Friday, March 16, 2012

The Past

The past is, for a Lifer, ever present. History is contemporaneous. How could it be otherwise when I know that my future, my whole life, has been shaped by the singular act of my having killed another human being?
The Editor gets frustrated and cross when people leave ad hominem digs in their comments. I take a more relaxed view. If you were a friend or relative of my victim then obviously anger and resentment must occasionally spill out and onto the page.
It may make the commenter feel better; but I doubt it. As intended, such comments don't make me feel good about myself, leaving me feeling quite helpless and frustrated. There is no way, there is nothing that I can do, to alter the past and bring my victim back to life. Nothing. And there is nothing that I can do to assuage the feelings of those close to him.
I am alive and he is not. This is the unalterable situation I am in. Even if I were to die a horrible death, he will still be dead. So what am I to do? Truly, there is nothing to be done. That this frustrates and angers my victim’s friends or family is a perpetual burden for them that I cannot alter one whit.
The 32nd anniversary of my crime is approaching and it is always a time when I become more reflective, even maudlin. Some years leave this time scarred with nightmares. All of this is meaningless, though, in that it fails to affect the past.
The future is all I have, and I know that it is a future that my victim never had thanks to me. But I must live; there is nothing else. But I never, ever forget.
So keep the cheap shots coming. I know that they are heartfelt and why should I deny those who most feel the pain of my actions a voice? And I ask you to treat such comments they leave with care. If they are people who are hurting then being shot down by other commenters is, well, a bit mean? I may have lacked, amongst many things, compassion when I was 14 but over the course of 32 years many things change.
The pain of my victim’s friends and family is not one of them. It is beyond my power to alter.


  1. Ben, I just want to say that this attitude is one of the things I've seen on this blog that is most impressive to me. I'm not trying to put you on a pedestal or anything, but I doubt very much that I would be able to give someone space to accuse me without getting defensive - all the more so if I considered their accusations valid. Perhaps some of that comes with time...that ability to accept someone else's anger at you without returning it is something that I would like to think I'll learn. More likely it comes with practise, which makes it possibly less likely that I'll pick it up. Either way, I respect it quite a bit.

  2. I have never mentioned the event in your past, as it is normally none of my business. I must say though, ghosts in other peoples closets, are quite common. Through some kind of act in a persons past, they themselves stick a lable on their heart, then feel guilt for the rest of their days. Nobody else needs even to know of the event, but the one who feels a guilt, will never forget the event.
    I like to piss others off, especially when they try being "High a Mighty" with their thoughts on others! All of these people, have their own guilt, that is why they are concentrating on somebody else, to try and hide their own failings, and acts.
    I usually shut them up, by turning around there mind, and getting them to realize their own failings. It is important to know, that it is the self, that must judge itself. It is that which most fear, because it is "Being responcible for the Self". When you fully judge yourself, which is very difficult indeed, you can then forgive your own self! These things are not liked by society, as it is "them", who like to have power over us. But on the higher level, you don't need them anyway.
    For your captors, just do what they require of you! We know the biggest events are within ones self. It is your inner Judge and Jury, who have the final say, not those down the corridor.
    As a male, your "Boy Within" still lives. It is that part of you, that has the guilt, because it was "He" that committed the crime, all of those years ago. As the "Boy" within us, is always there, be kind, but firm with him. It is this "Boy Within", that females never understand, because they are never allowed to meet the "Boy Within".
    The female knows the "Boy" exists within the male, because they are forever complaining about him, and saying they don't understand him!
    Just to drop a clanger, one that will fox any female, the "Boy Within", is in fact your "Divine Soul"! Start to talk to females about the "Divine Soul", and they will always feel uneasy, and want to change the subject! I shall leave you to get your head around that one. If you want to know why I know so much about the "Boy Within" in other's, is because I have made it my job to do so!

  3. I am firmly of the view that both Ben and the readers have every right to express themselves in any manner they please, as long as they do not seek to offend each other.

    I am fully aware that some of the anonymous comments come from the family and/or friends of the victim, and I am also aware that some of the most venomous comments do not.

    I am fortunate. My "index" victim never felt offended against and understood the public interest was in my prosecution. As Ben did, I pleaded guilty. I also became a paid up member of the awkward squad, and as I didn't have to worry about Parole, I got away with it. And now, my "victim" and I are engaged to marry. I am fortunate. Ben is less so.

    Nonetheless, I would say this to those who are directly affected by the murder - if you were to admit who you were, there would be no repercussions, and your comments would be taken more seriously because you have the courage to admit they are from you, and why. I am sure that Ben is not afraid to face you, or even try to make what amends he could. It's clear his intention is not denial, but acceptance. So stand up, and be counted, and be proud to represent your dead, and yes, murdered, family member or friend with pride, and be forthright and challenging. But do it in your own name, don't hide behind anonymity.

    If, despite Ben's comments, and mine, you choose to remain venomous and anonymous, then all here who have the decency to post or comment with a name will know that your intention is not closure, or representation, but simply vengeance.

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  4. People die at all ages for all reasons. There's nothing the family can do except get over it and not let it destroy their lives too. But nobody else can do that for them, and Ben's attitude won't make a blind bit of difference. Especially after all this time.

  5. If Ben cannot forgive himself there is little chance that anyone else will be able to forgive him, especially the boys family and friends.

    This agony that Ben experiences (which has lasted now for thirty two years) really ought to come to an end now.

    Look at Erwin James, he is a good example of someone who has been able to move on. He killed not once, but twice, I am sure he is a good source of how to go about forgiveness and moving on.

    I agree with noggin48 about that enfant terrible, its time Ben you forgave the angry, spitefull and messed up child that you were and have not been able to as yet come to terms with. Give him a break and let it all go finally.

    It is not only important for you Ben, but also for the victim of the crime you committed and also for his family and friends.

    All the best Ben and all x

  6. This blog shows insight and compassion from someone who has grown and matured over the years and I believe that the family of the murdered child will almost certainly recognise this. Ben, try to forgive yourself and continue to show the compassion and understanding you have - and you will be able to lead a fulfilling and useful life. Make someone else happy and you will have achieved something of value in your life.

    Thanks for the blog - keep strong.


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