Status Update #69
“Previously on “The Wallet” Richard walks back to his hotel, feeling lonely and a tad hopeless about his love life, and his phone’s role in it.”
Going for a walk has actual therapeutic value. The alternating stimulus of brain electricity allows our thought to process. I deliberately swing my arms as I walk up the hill to my hotel. I was in treatment a while ago for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or PTSD, as we like to call it. (It’s faster, and less traumatizing to say.) The procedure used commonly to deal with PTSD is called Eye Movement Displacement Reprocessing or EMDR (phew.) This technique addresses the belief that talk therapy, when dealing with trauma – isn’t very affective – in fact it can make the person worse. Basically, talking about shitty things, makes people feel shitty. EMDR allows people to look at how their brain has been working, from a detached place, or displacement. By alternately stimulating the left and right side of the brains (originally through eye movement – but generally through hand buzzers now) you can follow your thoughts past the memories of trauma, and into a more peaceful place – thus reprocessing these thoughts. My traumatizing by my mentally ill grandmother is a place I would return to when I would get triggered, but through EMDR, my thoughts would not get stuck there, and I was able to move through the nasty past and into a more peaceful present. This process was very effective for me, and many people who suffered from PTSD. But it didn’t really address the question I had about why my grandmother would treat me that way, when I was not yet three years old. Budha apparently had said, “If you have been shot with an arrow, don’t worry who shot you, or why – just get the arrow out.” The problem is that the who and the why – ARE the arrow. Or at least part of it. What did she know that I didn’t – was I really that bad, is that why I can’t get a girlfriend? She committed suicide before I was six – so I never got a chance to ask her, or forgive her. Forgiveness, it seemed, was the key.
I saw a documentary a few years back called “The Green River Killer”.
It was about a guy named Gary Ridgeway. He killed a couple dozen prostitutes in the Seattle area, took their bodies down to the Green River, where he would go back and fuck them until the cops found them – and the news would announce another victim of the Green River Killer.
It was a long, horrible, terrifying year in Washington State until they caught him, and announced that The Green River Killer was Gary Ridgeway.
He confessed to everything, and took the cops to a few bodies they hadn’t found yet. The trial was quick. Ridgeway pled guilty and they sentenced him to about a billion years in prison – no death sentence in Washington State. Well not for Ridgeway. His victims… not so much.
At the end of the documentary they showed video of the Victims Impact Statements – where families of his victims could speak to Ridgeway, tell him what he’d done to them.
And what a spectacle it was as Black mothers, and White sisters, Hispanic nieces and nephews, husbands, sons and daughters got their chance to confront their tormentor.
The pain was palpable through my TV screen. The rage was unfettered as these women screamed at Ridgeway, tears and phlegm flying as they were pulling from the courtroom, clawing at the doorjams, “I HATE YOU – I HOPE YOUR BURN IN HELL YOU MOTHER FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT – FUCK YOU – FUCK YOU – FUCK YOU.
The whole time Gary Ridgeway stood there placid, a pudgy little office-manager looking guy in his glasses and orange coveralls, unaffected.
A little old man walked up to the mic. Pot belly, suspenders and a little leather cap, he pulled the mic down to his height and said, “Mr. Ridgeway, my God teaches me to forgive everyone. Not just the people I want to forgive, but everyone. So I must tell you Mr. Ridgeway, you are forgiven.”
The tears instantly began streaming from Gary Ridgeway’s eyes – and the Green River Killer sobbed uncontrollably.
This monster, the man to whom people had begged for their lives and he did not relent, cracked open, and a terrified little boy stood there sobbing. The person, who had calmly led police to grave sites and body dumps, with no sign of remorse, humbled by those three words, “You are forgiven.” None of the other families wanted that, they wanted their pound of flesh, their revenge, but all their screaming and ranting paled in comparison to those words.
TO BE CONTINUED
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