There are moments I have wished I were stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m a genius. I know I’m not, as a matter of fact. I have some pretty major flaws in my intelligence (we aren’t talking about my character, here!). But I know I’m pretty smart. Smarter than average and smarter than most of the people around me. And no, I don’t suffer fools well.
If I were stupid, I could have lived with my marriage. My first major relationship, it consisted of me trying to please my husband with everything I had. My body, my efforts, my intelligence. But it was never enough for him. He had to be smarter than I, stronger than I was. The physical abuse ended when I’d finally had enough and lashed back. The emotional abuse only got worse.
If I were stupid, I would have been able to subsume my self enough to give him what he wanted, complete and utter control. But I am not stupid, and I saw that it was never enough, that he would keep taking until I was utterly gone, and I could not give that much.
It was never enough, and that is good. I was able to walk away with enough of my self left to rebuild. I am able to give of myself to my children, now. I will teach them that giving with no return is never good enough. Breaking down another person’s self is destructive to both of them. I will teach them to live with eyes open to the damage another can do to them with words alone. And I will teach them that when it is never enough, it is time to walk away.