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07 January 2011 @ 09:12 am
RIP Bill Zeller  
I'll let the man speak for himself.

I should warn you, the linked text is a suicide note, and it is very upsetting. No, I can't say that. It's horrible, and it makes me want to write a scathing expose of whoever raped and abused him and made him think he was a monster.

I'm basing this reaction entirely on the note: I haven't done a deep background on the man. But my initial response to this is--

I think Zeller's a hero. Not for taking his own life, though I can't think less of him for that, under the circumstances. But for trying so hard to live, and to protect others from the collateral damage of what was done to him.

That's a kind of courage that largely goes unrecognized, and it's more common than we think. He could easily have been seven kinds of monster. But he had ethics, and he chose to abide by them instead. I could wish he'd found somebody he could talk to, as well. But it's too late for that, so I honor what he achieved.

His friends at Metafilter react. 

Originally spotted through Gizmodo.
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: The Beatles - Only a Northern Song
Bethcasacorona on January 7th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
A hero indeed. So tragic that he never was able to break through to talk to a therapist who could help. But that's part of what monsters who abuse children do -- make them too ashamed to get help.

This is PTSD. There are treatments that work to help you out of the nightmare. To make the horrible "always-now" into "then".
standuponitstanduponit on January 7th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
There are treatments that mitigate, at least. A lot of them are better for acute PTSD than chronic.

It sounds like he was held in affection and esteen by a lot of people. I wish he'd been able to feel that.
ace_cub_reportrace_cub_reportr on January 7th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
A damn shame, and a fucking waste.
standuponit: warning: cognitive hazardstanduponit on January 7th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)

Nothing like the loving hammer of perspective. Which, of course, makes it sound like it's all about me. And, of course, it's not.

I'm just having one of those "And thus, the student was enlightened" moments.

Poor guy. I wish he'd been able to trust somebody. Anybody. Wow.
ace_cub_reportrace_cub_reportr on January 7th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
Bruce Cockburn said it best--
We see it break the other way too often, I think. We forget how many people are out there fighting the darkness with everything they have.

And we forget how hard a fight it really is.
standuponitstanduponit on January 7th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Bruce Cockburn said it best--
"You got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight"?

James Veitchjamesovei on January 7th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
My closest friend in high school would see himself mirrored in this missive. With him, it was art instead of programming, but the end result was the same. I haven't heard from him since before Thanksgiving. This reminds me that I need to check up on him and make sure he's fine. Thank you, sir.
ace_cub_reportrace_cub_reportr on January 8th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
Good on you for checking up. We watch each other's backs.
Galenigaleni on January 7th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
When I read it, I was absorbed in him and didn't fully notice his courage on keeping it away from others. Thank you for pointing that out.

I understand if a child has even one person who shows light and who cares, even if they aren't a major person in the life of the child or if they aren't around for long, then the result isn't quite as grim. I'm sorry this man never had anyone who saw -him- and cherished him.

ace_cub_reportrace_cub_reportr on January 8th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
Sometimes little things can make a difference. Sometimes, it seems like nothing can.

All we can do is try.
Galenigaleni on January 8th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
And that's some of why I smile at small children in the malls, grocery stores, etc. Just to let them know someone sees them and acknowledges them. What's fun is that they often smile back.

ace_cub_reportrace_cub_reportr on January 8th, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
If I do that, people call the cops. When I get a little more doddering, however, I plan to become downright avuncular.
glinda_w: wordlessglinda_w on January 8th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
Saw this yesterday. Cried. Have no adequate words.
ace_cub_reportrace_cub_reportr on January 8th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
There aren't any.