RDP Thursday – PUTRESCENT
mid 18th century: from Latin putrescent- ‘beginning to go rotten,’ inceptive of putrere ‘to rot’ (see putrid).
Have you ever put your hand in a bag of potatoes to start supper, and come up with a handful of stinking, rotting, putrid goo that made your stomach turn?
Or have you bitten into a rotten tomato and nearly lost the contents of your stomach?
Ever found yourself gagging over the stench of a really bad baby diaper? Holding your breath so you could clean up the poor child?
Or had to deal with stinking, slimy vomit? For me that’s the worst. I can deal with just about anything else, but that one? First I see it, then I do it.
Putrescent is a colorful, useful word for describing the worst kind of rottenness you can imagine. I’ve never smelled a dead human body as it decomposes, but I’m told there’s nothing much worse, and once you’ve smelled it you won’t forget it.
That’s all physical stuff, though. Sometimes, in my work, I have to hear putrescent stories of things people have gone through that make me want to hurl. The way one human being can abase another always, even after all these years, leaves me shocked and wondering why God allows us to continue breathing.
Physical torture is horrendous. Inexcusable. Unforgivable. Putrescent. Stinking, rotten, filthy. But so is verbal torture; emotional torture; sexual abuse, passive-aggressive manipulation, narcissistic satisfaction in keeping other people off balance ALL the time. People who have no conscience are capable of unthinkable, unbelievable cruelty in their efforts to control everyone and everything in their sphere of influence. There is no wrong deed that they commit–it’s always someone else who forced them to do it.This person is a great blame shifter. Example: “You really hurt me when you said that.” “Well, what about YOU? You aren’t always exactly nice to me, you know.”
It saddens me that often, marital counseling is a dismal failure because of the absolute certainty of one partner that he/she is ALWAYS on the moral high ground, always right, always must win. That means the other partner is NEVER on the moral high ground, never right, always must lose. There is no hope of success in counseling that kind of situation unless the narcissistic partner can be persuaded to change his approach. And that’s rare.
Such behavior, to me, is just rotten. Putrescent. Stinks to high heaven.
And then I have to turn the mirror back on myself. I do so love to win. To be right. To be proven superior. I’m just nicer about it. I’ve learned to cover it better than someone who just doesn’t seem to care if everyone knows how rotten he is, as long as he gets his way.
Don’t worry, I’m not a felon just waiting for my opportunity to commit murder most foul 🙂 I’m just an ordinary human being who sometimes needs to do some self-examination and ask God to show me what needs to change.
Surprising, isn’t it, how easily these one-word prompts can lead us to so many different places. A little philosophical meandering for me today. Looking forward to reading all of yours–no time to do that yesterday.