How to Get Revenge—and Heal Yourself, Too
I’ll Get Even With You…
Revenge is one of the most sought-after things in life, possibly second only to success, and success is the best revenge, so they say. Many a book, poem, film, and song has had a theme based on revenge. These are often very popular because we can all identify with this theme.
We have all been hurt, and many of us at one point or another have wanted revenge. It might have been a friend who stabbed you in the back, or it might have been a lover, or some stranger who just happened upon you—the wrong person at the wrong time.
Revenge is like the taste of cold, refreshing water in an oasis after a long treacherous hike through a dry, hot desert. It is sweet.
There have been points in my life where I was severely wronged by people I once thought to be close friends. For several years I suffered because of the things they did. I have a lot to say about prejudice and bullying, as well as hatred. I have a lot of hands-on experience.
For many a year that passed, I had dreams and visions of what I would do to the people who ruined a part, if not all of my life. I became extremely bitter, hateful, and angry—and it burned inside. I felt I could no longer bear the pain, and I would break down and cry. For so long, it seemed so hopeless, and that retaliation would only lead to further pain. I thought it so unfair that people messed with me for so long, and that I was stuck with being told to turn the other cheek.
The fact is that that attitude, no matter how admirable it’s supposed to be, doesn’t fix the problem. All you end up doing is stuffing it down deep, and every now and again it comes up again. At one point I didn’t want to live anymore because of how I felt. For every nasty reprehensible thing that happened to me, I felt them laughing at me; an evil face grinning like a Cheshire cat, reveling in my torment.
While others enjoyed their lives and the simple things that come with youth, I endured a lot of personal torture. I went through hell. Eventually, I became almost devoid of feeling, I wanted to switch my feelings off, but I had to shake off this need to close this chapter in my life first before closing myself off completely.
All I knew was it had to be something big, it had to hurt, it had to cause a hole in their hearts as big as the one in mine, with minimal effort, but with a lot of planning and forethought. The dark cloud over my head showed signs of lifting, and I could see the sunlight; I wanted to be free of this curse, the hold that they had on me. I wanted my life to belong to me again, and not be under someone else’s control. I would compare it to being in a bad marriage that included abuse; I wanted out, I wanted freedom. I had to leave it behind so that my wounds could heal properly.
When that day came, and I finally achieved what I had wanted for several years, I had mixed emotions. It didn’t change my life, it didn’t change my situation. But it had changed some of theirs, and that was all that mattered to me; to bring them down with me. I felt as though it was the first step towards a possible better future for me.
"I thought it so unfair that people messed with me for so long, and that I was stuck with being told to turn the other cheek."
There had been bad times; I’d been through hell, fire and brimstone, a towering inferno which seemed to hold no escape. Those walls of flames had finally been extinguished, and after every fire, the soil thrives and new life, as it were, grows.
This can only really happen once you let go, and stop revisiting the past. Sometimes, you need to face your fears instead of running away.
I notice that a lot of people look for ways to get revenge on someone else on the internet. I’ve done searches as well and I kept coming across the same message, “Don’t bother, because you’ll just become as bad as the other guy.” It does become an obsession, and it can take over your thoughts and your life to the point where your head actually hurts and you can’t sleep because of it. Eventually it causes more pain than anything.
The thing is that people either don’t want to give out ideas for revenge because for all their tough talk, they can’t really think of anything or they don’t want to get into trouble. Let’s face it, if someone were to give out ideas for revenge and you followed it, and got into trouble, you would naturally say, “The devil made me do it”, and point the finger at the blog or article online where you got your inspiration to possibly commit an illegal act.
There is merit in what some of these sites have to say though, that success is the best revenge. It might not sound like what you wanted, and it might sound like hard work, but it’s the long term things that will make it seem worthwhile. Imagine if you were to ride past in a brand new car, or have a hotter girl or boyfriend or a better job. That would eat away at him inside, because for all his bullying, you turned out alright and he turned out to be the proverbial tough-guy loser, flipping burgers at a smelly take-out place with a cleverly disguised chimp with its palms shaved for a spouse.
Of course sometimes, frustratingly, it doesn’t always work out that way and that person might end up being successful and because of your dwelling on the past, you didn’t achieve anything and didn’t get anywhere.
The fact is that it’s not hard. It’s not hard to think of anything that would hurt someone. It doesn’t have to be physical, and they don’t even have to know that it was you. There are other ways, especially if you’re familiar with the target that has targeted you in the past. “Know your enemy”.
The one thing is that you will have to be prepared for is repercussions, whether exacted by the person in question, or the law or a higher power. After all, Paul wrote in the Bible: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12:19, King James Version). I’m not religious, but I almost wish that the god from the Old Testament would come back into practice with that favourite old saying: “An eye for an eye.”
Some people interpret the above sayings by assuming that only god can exact revenge and that by ‘eye for an eye’, they mean that the punishment exacted on your foe must only be equal to what he has done to you. That’s why they call it ‘getting even’.
"That would eat away at him inside, because for all his bullying you, you turned out all right and he turned out to be the proverbial tough-guy loser, flipping burgers at a smelly take-out place with a cleverly disguised chimp with its palms shaved for a spouse."
Therapeutic (and Safe) Ways to Work Through Revenge
Here are some therapeutic ways to "get revenge" that can also help you heal. I’ve tried some of them:
Confrontation. With some of the people that I hated a little less, I have actually had words with them only to watch their eyes grow large and stare in disbelief. As it turns out, they had no idea of what they had done, despite my wild paranoid imaginings, or so they said. Some even apologised.
Tear up or burn paper. The paper can have people’s names on it or things that have happened in your life. You can tear it up, but what I do sometimes, is I burn a list. You can make a bonfire and burn other things too, but just don’t get carried away, and throw paraffin or alcohol on the flames.
Throw something in a lake or other body of water. I’ve heard from a source that you should lock up all your troubles in a box and throw them into a deep ravine in your mind. Once that box has sunk to the bottom of the deep, deep ravine, those troubles will never find their way out of that box. You don’t have to just do it mentally; you can do it physically as well. Just make sure of a few things first before you rush off to do it though.
- Make sure there’s nothing in there that you’ll want to get later.
- Make sure that you’re not seen. It probably will be illegal no matter where you go. But I mean, out in the middle of the ocean, who’s going to cry about a little box with a few personal keepsakes or papers in it when there are a hell of lot worse things that are in the big blue drink? Sunken ships, garbage, oil spills and toxic waste are some of the things that come to mind.
Get rid of anything that reminds you of them. It’s one thing to have the person on your mind, but if you can get rid of anything physical to aid you in forgetting about them, that’s good. Maybe you have something that’s lying around that reminds you of them that you could throw away or even throw in the lake or burn. Any e-mails or text messages or messages on the answering machine should go, if you were actually friends at all in the first place; out of sight, out of mind.
Write something. A great way to get revenge and with almost no way of that person being able to do anything about it is to write something like a poem, a story, a book, an article, or a song and put it online. You could even try to sell it! That’s how you could make your fortune, and to think, it was all thanks to them! As long as you don’t actually name any names, there’s nothing they can do and even if they tried, you can deny it. You can only name someone if they've been convicted in a court of law.
Think of all the books and songs that have been written, expressing the emotions that many people get, and how popular they’ve become. Think of Eminem or Dave Mustaine of Megadeth (one of my favourite musicians and bands); they made careers out of anger, a thirst for revenge, and have no doubt come under some criticism, but they are famous nonetheless.
I'm always reminded of Geoffrey Chaucer's character (played by Paul Bettany) in A Knight's Tale, who said this to two men who made him strip naked for failing to pay his debt: "I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity."
Whatever you decide or whatever happens, remember what I wrote. Be prepared for the consequences, and take responsibility for your actions if confronted, or just deny it, but don’t blame anyone else.
Once you leave it behind though, you should never look back.
“Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.”— Francis Bacon
Have you ever wanted to get revenge on someone?
Questions & Answers
© 2008 Anti-Valentine