Sunday, March 13, 2011

Let's Get Personal


What could I possibly say to my victim’s family? That I have spent my life transforming myself; that I am not the person I was, and that I always fight to improve the world that surrounds me? All of these are true.
And I know that if my sister’s killer told me these things, I would shrug my shoulder. So what? Because nothing can ever change the past, nothing brings back my sister or my victim.
There is a lot I could say. But none of it means anything, nothing changes what I did.

Should I make a "success" in my future on release? Should I have a semi-public profile as, say, a writer or a criminologist? Should I make a decent living and have a lifelong relationship that sustains me and lights up my existence?
And how would my victim’s family feel if, for instance, I suddenly appear on the TV pontificating about whatever? I am trapped with this. I'm only human, and I aspire to all that everybody else desires. Nothing changes that, and nothing changes the fact that I killed.
The pursuit of "success" isn't a goal in itself. This blog and any future work will always be rooted in my overriding compulsion to challenge abuses of power. I've never sought publicity or money for its own sake; each of those are mere tools, irrelevant to me except if they provide an opportunity for me to conduct my work.
The instant challenge, the perpetual accusation, will always be that my victim can't have a drink, a girlfriend, a voice, a blog, and all of that is true. There is no answer I can give to such accusations, I can only stand mute and helpless because it is true and unalterable. I am alive and I can do all of these things. Even if I was dead, would that change anything? What am I to do? All I can do is live, as unfair and wicked as that may seem.
And having read everything I've written over the last few days, I can only apologise for the inadequacy of my expression. Attempting to explore my crime and victims may have been a mistake but I felt moved to make the attempt. Minus the gifts of poets, though, it is very obvious that I struggle to grasp the nuances of emotion and nail them onto paper. Thanks for your patience.


  1. God let it drop Ben, just be yourself, because that is ok. We all loved your recent posts, you shouldn't invent problems where there arn't any.

    You are alive so don't feel guilty about it, you've paid your price for having killed someone, you show deep regret and remorse, what more could anyone ask of you.

    You are human, we are all fallable, if we do something drastic and wrong, we should look at the reason why this happened, not load it all onto that person and grind them down until there is nothing left of them, that helps no-one, not the victim nor the person who did the crime.

    Ben please relax and live as much in the present as you can.

    The present is a gift hence why it is called present.

    All the best.

  2. Your few recent posts have truly been a source of reflection, just like they were obviously the result of much cogitation.

    The paragraph next to last hit home in the most vigorous way for me. "What am I to do? All I can do is live" should be the conclusion that everybody who lives with concern over past actions reaches.

    And since all you can do is live, in addition to being a conclusion, this phrase must also be a starting point of some sort. Once you're there, what is next?

  3. I feel privileged to have read your thoughts and reflections over the last few days Ben. You are right of course, there will always be those who don't beleive you should have any sort of life at all. I know from your blog that you embraced Zen Buddhism for a long while. I wonder if you have ever seriously studied or considered Christianity (as opposed to churchianity which is something entirely different). If you could accept God's love and forgiveness it would set you free. Your future may lie in writing, but also perhaps in concilitary work, restorative justice or something of that nature, where you could use your profound life experiences to the full in the service of others. It is truly liberating and fulfilling to let God help you to find yourself and your purpose in this way, I speak from experience.

    Moses and David are two examples in the Bible of men who took the life of another, but consequently went on to be a blessing to others. Not preaching, just sharing. Heartfelt prayers for you and your future, Jules

  4. I can't think of anything to add here, except to big you up ... your writing that flows from your thoughtfulness is quite superb and does verge on poetry at times Ben, (but don't let it go to your head now). And good luck, I wish you joy and happiness in your life, and don't look back.


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