Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Most Powerful Email I Have Ever Received

The Most Powerful Email I Have Ever Received

Since writing "Goodbye To Comics," I have received hundreds of emails. The most powerful one was short and sort along the lines of this:

"I have gotten sexual enjoyment out of viewing rape and other such scenes in comics and entertainment. Your blog made me stop and think why this is so. And I realized that it is because I hate myself."

I don't hate this person or think less of him. I think it was very brave of him to write. It made me emotional reading it. Sometimes life bends you in different ways and this is how you cope. And I deeply wish this man finds peace and a place in his life where he doesn't hate himself anymore.

But as my blog made him think, his email made me think.

This world -- so many people coping and such a tapestry of lives and stories.

Should this man be my "enemy" -- or do we build bridges? How do we build these bridges? How can we understand the Other's viewpoint and move on?

When does forgiveness happen?

My father's grave -- I've never visited it. When do I forgive him for the past?

You know, it's funny. There is a recent blockbuster movie that I have never watched. Everybody and their mother has seen it but me. I refuse to see it. In essence, there is nothing wrong with the movie and I would probably like it. But its very subject matter brings up too much drama for me.

At what age do I move on and see this film? At what age do I visit my father's grave?

And is it a decision that I make on my own, or does time work its own magic, dulling my memory, mellowing my soul?


  1. I certainly wish the question you posed was an easy one. It's not. Sometimes I think it takes more strength to forgive than it does to heal. I haven't spoken to my father in 3 1/2 years, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. For you, forgiveness for your father comes with the added twinge that there is no way for you to speak to him about the past. I think this is both regretable and fortunate. The main thing I fear when it comes to the attempt to forgive my father is the dread of the confrentation that I *know* will be a part of the so-called "healing process". I think I'd rather shove hot needles into my eyes.

    I don't know at what point it's time to face the demons you have, I just know that eventually the regret for not having faced them will most likely be almost as large and painful as the situations that spawned them. I, myself, haven't been able to face my own... I think that the pasage of time and my resolve is both not strong enough... but the knowledge that I will eventually hate myself for not standing up to my fear of the situation is what spurs me forward on it. I guess what you need to do is weigh what is more powerful... your need to hold onto the pain of the situations or your need to move onto a new phase. I don;t think anyone can tell you (or me) when the right time or age to do this is... I think that one day we'll both just know. The inportant thing to me is that I remind myself that it *does* have to happen.

    Wow... that was a ramble. I hope I made a smidgen of sense.

  2. Hey, at what age do I decide I can deal with watching Holocaust film again?

    At this point, given how in yeshiva my ninth grade class was FORCED to watch Nazi films of concentration camp workers shoveling Jewish bones into mass graves (more than one girl ran screaming from the room), I'm still inclined to say "never."

    I've never seen Shoah nor Schindler's List nor any of the other documentaries and fictional portrayals of the Holocaust, nor am I ever likely to. Sometimes when you're scarred at an impressionable age that's just the way it happens.

  3. Anonymous3:34 AM

    A friend of mine told me about your blog, and how inspiring it is. I am really glad I had a chance to read your story, for all the pain you went through and I personally think you have persevered through it a lot better than most would have.

    About forgiveness, that is always very hard. You can even sometimes think you have forgiven someone, you tell yourself over and over that you have. Then suddenly out of nowhere some memory comes along, or something happens that reminds you of everything you went through, and you realize that you haven't completely forgiven the people who hurt you.

    I agree with rocketeerz its hard to forgive your father, when he isn't here anymore. Without the closure it is really hard. For me it was my mother, and I finally had to face that I was never going to get any closure or understanding of my pain from her ever. Every time I tried to talk to her about it, it was always that I was being mentally abusive to her because I wouldn't forgive her and stop talking about it. **sigh**

    I think it can't hurt to try and face the memory of your father. He can't hurt you anymore, there is only the pain of memory to deal with. Don't get me wrong, all those memories are going to be hard, but perhaps you can find some release by facing those memories and trying to find forgiveness.

    Mostly I just wanted to tell you that your words are very inspiring, and I was really moved when I read your blog.