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  1. This is Google's cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Jan 31, 2011 18:11:15 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime.
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  5. I have the urge to declare my sanity and justify my actions, but I
  6. assume I'll never be able to convince anyone that this was the right
  7. decision. Maybe it's true that anyone who does this is insane by
  8. definition, but I can at least explain my reasoning. I considered not
  9. writing any of this because of how personal it is, but I like tying up
  10. loose ends and don't want people to wonder why I did this. Since I've
  11. never spoken to anyone about what happened to me, people would likely
  12. draw the wrong conclusions.
  14. My first memories as a child are of being raped, repeatedly. This has
  15. affected every aspect of my life. This darkness, which is the only way I
  16. can describe it, has followed me like a fog, but at times intensified
  17. and overwhelmed me, usually triggered by a distinct situation. In
  18. kindergarten I couldn't use the bathroom and would stand petrified
  19. whenever I needed to, which started a trend of awkward and unexplained
  20. social behavior. The damage that was done to my body still prevents me
  21. from using the bathroom normally, but now it's less of a physical
  22. impediment than a daily reminder of what was done to me.
  24. This darkness followed me as I grew up. I remember spending hours
  25. playing with legos, having my world consist of me and a box of cold,
  26. plastic blocks. Just waiting for everything to end. It's the same thing
  27. I do now, but instead of legos it's surfing the web or reading or
  28. listening to a baseball game. Most of my life has been spent feeling
  29. dead inside, waiting for my body to catch up.
  31. At times growing up I would feel inconsolable rage, but I never
  32. connected this to what happened until puberty. I was able to keep the
  33. darkness at bay for a few hours at a time by doing things that required
  34. intense concentration, but it would always come back. Programming
  35. appealed to me for this reason. I was never particularly fond of
  36. computers or mathematically inclined, but the temporary peace it would
  37. provide was like a drug. But the darkness always returned and built up
  38. something like a tolerance, because programming has become less and less
  39. of a refuge.
  41. The darkness is with me nearly every time I wake up. I feel like a grime
  42. is covering me. I feel like I'm trapped in a contimated body that no
  43. amount of washing will clean. Whenever I think about what happened I
  44. feel manic and itchy and can't concentrate on anything else. It
  45. manifests itself in hours of eating or staying up for days at a time or
  46. sleeping for sixteen hours straight or week long programming binges or
  47. constantly going to the gym. I'm exhausted from feeling like this every
  48. hour of every day.
  50. Three to four nights a week I have nightmares about what happened. It
  51. makes me avoid sleep and constantly tired, because sleeping with what
  52. feels like hours of nightmares is not restful. I wake up sweaty and
  53. furious. I'm reminded every morning of what was done to me and the
  54. control it has over my life.
  56. I've never been able to stop thinking about what happened to me and this
  57. hampered my social interactions. I would be angry and lost in thought
  58. and then be interrupted by someone saying "Hi" or making small talk,
  59. unable to understand why I seemed cold and distant. I walked around,
  60. viewing the outside world from a distant portal behind my eyes, unable
  61. to perform normal human niceties. I wondered what it would be like to
  62. take to other people without what happened constantly on my mind, and I
  63. wondered if other people had similar experiences that they were better
  64. able to mask.
  66. Alcohol was also something that let me escape the darkness. It would
  67. always find me later, though, and it was always angry that I managed to
  68. escape and it made me pay. Many of the irresponsible things I did were
  69. the result of the darkness. Obviously I'm responsible for every decision
  70. and action, including this one, but there are reasons why things happen
  71. the way they do.
  73. Alcohol and other drugs provided a way to ignore the realities of my
  74. situation. It was easy to spend the night drinking and forget that I had
  75. no future to look forward to. I never liked what alcohol did to me, but
  76. it was better than facing my existence honestly. I haven't touched
  77. alcohol or any other drug in over seven months (and no drugs or alcohol
  78. will be involved when I do this) and this has forced me to evaluate my
  79. life in an honest and clear way. There's no future here. The darkness
  80. will always be with me.
  82. I used to think if I solved some problem or achieved some goal, maybe he
  83. would leave. It was comforting to identify tangible issues as the source
  84. of my problems instead of something that I'll never be able to change. I
  85. thought that if I got into to a good college, or a good grad school, or
  86. lost weight, or went to the gym nearly every day for a year, or created
  87. programs that millions of people used, or spent a summer or California
  88. or New York or published papers that I was proud of, then maybe I would
  89. feel some peace and not be constantly haunted and unhappy. But nothing I
  90. did made a dent in how depressed I was on a daily basis and nothing was
  91. in any way fulfilling. I'm not sure why I ever thought that would change
  92. anything.
  94. I didn't realize how deep a hold he had on me and my life until my
  95. first relationship. I stupidly assumed that no matter how the darkness
  96. affected me personally, my romantic relationships would somehow be
  97. separated and protected. Growing up I viewed my future relationships as
  98. a possible escape from this thing that haunts me every day, but I began
  99. to realize how entangled it was with every aspect of my life and how it
  100. is never going to release me. Instead of being an escape, relationships
  101. and romantic contact with other people only intensified everything about
  102. him that I couldn't stand. I will never be able to have a relationship
  103. in which he is not the focus, affecting every aspect of my romantic
  104. interactions.
  106. Relationships always started out fine and I'd be able to ignore him for
  107. a few weeks. But as we got closer emotionally the darkness would return
  108. and every night it'd be me, her and the darkness in a black and gruesome
  109. threesome. He would surround me and penetrate me and the more we did the
  110. more intense it became. It made me hate being touched, because as long
  111. as we were separated I could view her like an outsider viewing something
  112. good and kind and untainted. Once we touched, the darkness would
  113. envelope her too and take her over and the evil inside me would surround
  114. her. I always felt like I was infecting anyone I was with.
  116. Relationships didn't work. No one I dated was the right match, and I
  117. thought that maybe if I found the right person it would overwhelm him.
  118. Part of me knew that finding the right person wouldn't help, so I became
  119. interested in girls who obviously had no interest in me. For a while I
  120. thought I was gay. I convinced myself that it wasn't the darkness at
  121. all, but rather my orientation, because this would give me control over
  122. why things didn't feel "right". The fact that the darkness affected
  123. sexual matters most intensely made this idea make some sense and I
  124. convinced myself of this for a number of years, starting in college
  125. after my first relationship ended. I told people I was gay (at Trinity,
  126. not at Princeton), even though I wasn't attracted to men and kept
  127. finding myself interested in girls. Because if being gay wasn't the
  128. answer, then what was? People thought I was avoiding my orientation, but
  129. I was actually avoiding the truth, which is that while I'm straight, I
  130. will never be content with anyone. I know now that the darkness will
  131. never leave.
  133. Last spring I met someone who was unlike anyone else I'd ever met.
  134. Someone who showed me just how well two people could get along and how
  135. much I could care about another human being. Someone I know I could be
  136. with and love for the rest of my life, if I weren't so fucked up.
  137. Amazingly, she liked me. She liked the shell of the man the darkness had
  138. left behind. But it didn't matter because I couldn't be alone with her.
  139. It was never just the two of us, it was always the three of us: her, me
  140. and the darkness. The closer we got, the more intensely I'd feel the
  141. darkness, like some evil mirror of my emotions. All the closeness we had
  142. and I loved was complemented by agony that I couldn't stand, from him. I
  143. realized that I would never be able to give her, or anyone, all of me or
  144. only me. She could never have me without the darkness and evil inside
  145. me. I could never have just her, without the darkness being a part of
  146. all of our interactions. I will never be able to be at peace or content
  147. or in a healthy relationship. I realized the futility of the romantic
  148. part of my life. If I had never met her, I would have realized this as
  149. soon as I met someone else who I meshed similarly well with. It's likely
  150. that things wouldn't have worked out with her and we would have broken
  151. up (with our relationship ending, like the majority of relationships do)
  152. even if I didn't have this problem, since we only dated for a short
  153. time. But I will face exactly the same problems with the darkness with
  154. anyone else. Despite my hopes, love and compatability is not enough.
  155. Nothing is enough. There's no way I can fix this or even push the
  156. darkness down far enough to make a relationship or any type of intimacy
  157. feasible.
  159. So I watched as things fell apart between us. I had put an explicit time
  160. limit on our relationship, since I knew it couldn't last because of the
  161. darkness and didn't want to hold her back, and this caused a variety of
  162. problems. She was put in an unnatural situation that she never should
  163. have been a part of. It must have been very hard for her, not knowing
  164. what was actually going on with me, but this is not something I've ever
  165. been able to talk about with anyone. Losing her was very hard for me as
  166. well. Not because of her (I got over our relationship relatively
  167. quickly), but because of the realization that I would never have another
  168. relationship and because it signified the last true, exclusive personal
  169. connection I could ever have. This wasn't apparent to other people,
  170. because I could never talk about the real reasons for my sadness. I was
  171. very sad in the summer and fall, but it was not because of her, it was
  172. because I will never escape the darkness with anyone. She was so loving
  173. and kind to me and gave me everything I could have asked for under the
  174. circumstances. I'll never forget how much happiness she brought me in
  175. those briefs moments when I could ignore the darkness. I had originally
  176. planned to kill myself last winter but never got around to it. (Parts of
  177. this letter were written over a year ago, other parts days before doing
  178. this.) It was wrong of me to involve myself in her life if this were a
  179. possibility and I should have just left her alone, even though we only
  180. dated for a few months and things ended a long time ago. She's just one
  181. more person in a long list of people I've hurt.
  183. I could spend pages talking about the other relationships I've had that
  184. were ruined because of my problems and my confusion related to the
  185. darkness. I've hurt so many great people because of who I am and my
  186. inability to experience what needs to be experienced. All I can say is
  187. that I tried to be honest with people about what I thought was true.
  189. I've spent my life hurting people. Today will be the last time.
  191. I've told different people a lot of things, but I've never told anyone
  192. about what happened to me, ever, for obvious reasons. It took me a while
  193. to realize that no matter how close you are to someone or how much they
  194. claim to love you, people simply cannot keep secrets. I learned this a
  195. few years ago when I thought I was gay and told people. The more harmful
  196. the secret, the juicier the gossip and the more likely you are to be
  197. betrayed. People don't care about their word or what they've promised,
  198. they just do whatever the fuck they want and justify it later. It feels
  199. incredibly lonely to realize you can never share something with someone
  200. and have it be between just the two of you. I don't blame anyone in
  201. particular, I guess it's just how people are. Even if I felt like this
  202. is something I could have shared, I have no interest in being part of a
  203. friendship or relationship where the other person views me as the
  204. damaged and contaminated person that I am. So even if I were able to
  205. trust someone, I probably would not have told them about what happened
  206. to me. At this point I simply don't care who knows.
  208. I feel an evil inside me. An evil that makes me want to end life. I need
  209. to stop this. I need to make sure I don't kill someone, which is not
  210. something that can be easily undone. I don't know if this is related to
  211. what happened to me or something different. I recognize the irony of
  212. killing myself to prevent myself from killing someone else, but this
  213. decision should indicate what I'm capable of.
  215. So I've realized I will never escape the darkness or misery associated
  216. with it and I have a responsibility to stop myself from physically
  217. harming others.
  219. I'm just a broken, miserable shell of a human being. Being molested has
  220. defined me as a person and shaped me as a human being and it has made me
  221. the monster I am and there's nothing I can do to escape it. I don't know
  222. any other existence. I don't know what life feels like where I'm apart
  223. from any of this. I actively despise the person I am. I just feel
  224. fundamentally broken, almost non-human. I feel like an animal that woke
  225. up one day in a human body, trying to make sense of a foreign world,
  226. living among creatures it doesn't understand and can't connect with.
  228. I have accepted that the darkness will never allow me to be in a
  229. relationship. I will never go to sleep with someone in my arms, feeling
  230. the comfort of their hands around me. I will never know what
  231. uncontimated intimacy is like. I will never have an exclusive bond with
  232. someone, someone who can be the recipient of all the love I have to
  233. give. I will never have children, and I wanted to be a father so badly.
  234. I think I would have made a good dad. And even if I had fought through
  235. the darkness and married and had children all while being unable to feel
  236. intimacy, I could have never done that if suicide were a possibility. I
  237. did try to minimize pain, although I know that this decision will hurt
  238. many of you. If this hurts you, I hope that you can at least forget
  239. about me quickly.
  241. There's no point in identifying who molested me, so I'm just going to
  242. leave it at that. I doubt the word of a dead guy with no evidence about
  243. something that happened over twenty years ago would have much sway.
  245. You may wonder why I didn't just talk to a professional about this. I've
  246. seen a number of doctors since I was a teenager to talk about other
  247. issues and I'm positive that another doctor would not have helped. I was
  248. never given one piece of actionable advice, ever. More than a few spent
  249. a large part of the session reading their notes to remember who I was.
  250. And I have no interest in talking about being raped as a child, both
  251. because I know it wouldn't help and because I have no confidence it
  252. would remain secret. I know the legal and practical limits of
  253. doctor/patient confidentiality, growing up in a house where we'd hear
  254. stories about the various mental illnesses of famous people, stories
  255. that were passed down through generations. All it takes is one doctor
  256. who thinks my story is interesting enough to share or a doctor who
  257. thinks it's her right or responsibility to contact the authorities and
  258. have me identify the molestor (justifying her decision by telling
  259. herself that someone else might be in danger). All it takes is a single
  260. doctor who violates my trust, just like the "friends" who I told I was
  261. gay did, and everything would be made public and I'd be forced to live
  262. in a world where people would know how fucked up I am. And yes, I
  263. realize this indicates that I have severe trust issues, but they're
  264. based on a large number of experiences with people who have shown a
  265. profound disrepect for their word and the privacy of others.
  267. People say suicide is selfish. I think it's selfish to ask people to
  268. continue living painful and miserable lives, just so you possibly won't
  269. feel sad for a week or two. Suicide may be a permanent solution to a
  270. temporary problem, but it's also a permanent solution to a ~23 year-old
  271. problem that grows more intense and overwhelming every day.
  273. Some people are just dealt bad hands in this life. I know many people
  274. have it worse than I do, and maybe I'm just not a strong person, but I
  275. really did try to deal with this. I've tried to deal with this every day
  276. for the last 23 years and I just can't fucking take it anymore.
  278. I often wonder what life must be like for other people. People who
  279. can feel the love from others and give it back unadulterated, people who
  280. can experience sex as an intimate and joyous experience, people who can
  281. experience the colors and happenings of this world without constant
  282. misery. I wonder who I'd be if things had been different or if I were a
  283. stronger person. It sounds pretty great.
  285. I'm prepared for death. I'm prepared for the pain and I am ready to no
  286. longer exist. Thanks to the strictness of New Jersey gun laws this will
  287. probably be much more painful than it needs to be, but what can you do.
  288. My only fear at this point is messing something up and surviving.
  290. ---
  292. I'd also like to address my family, if you can call them that. I despise
  293. everything they stand for and I truly hate them, in a non-emotional,
  294. dispassionate and what I believe is a healthy way. The world will be a
  295. better place when they're dead--one with less hatred and intolerance.
  297. If you're unfamiliar with the situation, my parents are fundamentalist
  298. Christians who kicked me out of their house and cut me off financially
  299. when I was 19 because I refused to attend seven hours of church a week.
  301. They live in a black and white reality they've constructed for
  302. themselves. They partition the world into good and evil and survive
  303. by hating everything they fear or misunderstand and calling it love.
  304. They don't understand that good and decent people exist all around us,
  305. "saved" or not, and that evil and cruel people occupy a large percentage
  306. of their church. They take advantage of people looking for hope by
  307. teaching them to practice the same hatred they practice.
  309. A random example:
  311. "I am personally convinced that if a Muslim truly believes and obeys the
  312. Koran, he will be a terrorist." - George Zeller, August 24, 2010.
  314. If you choose to follow a religion where, for example, devout Catholics
  315. who are trying to be good people are all going to Hell but child
  316. molestors go to Heaven (as long as they were "saved" at some point),
  317. that's your choice, but it's fucked up. Maybe a God who operates by
  318. those rules does exist. If so, fuck Him.
  320. Their church was always more important than the members of their family
  321. and they happily sacrificed whatever necessary in order to satisfy
  322. their contrived beliefs about who they should be.
  324. I grew up in a house where love was proxied through a God I could never
  325. believe in. A house where the love of music with any sort of a beat was
  326. literally beaten out of me. A house full of hatred and intolerance, run
  327. by two people who were experts at appearing kind and warm when others
  328. were around. Parents who tell an eight year old that his grandmother is
  329. going to Hell because she's Catholic. Parents who claim not to be racist
  330. but then talk about the horrors of miscegenation. I could list hundreds
  331. of other examples, but it's tiring.
  333. Since being kicked out, I've interacted with them in relatively normal
  334. ways. I talk to them on the phone like nothing happened. I'm not sure
  335. why. Maybe because I like pretending I have a family. Maybe I like
  336. having people I can talk to about what's been going on in my life.
  337. Whatever the reason, it's not real and it feels like a sham. I should
  338. have never allowed this reconnection to happen.
  340. I wrote the above a while ago, and I do feel like that much of the time.
  341. At other times, though, I feel less hateful. I know my parents honestly
  342. believe the crap they believe in. I know that my mom, at least, loved me
  343. very much and tried her best. One reason I put this off for so long is
  344. because I know how much pain it will cause her. She has been sad since
  345. she found out I wasn't "saved", since she believes I'm going to Hell,
  346. which is not a sadness for which I am responsible. That was never going
  347. to change, and presumably she believes the state of my physical body is
  348. much less important than the state of my soul. Still, I cannot
  349. intellectually justify this decision, knowing how much it will hurt her.
  350. Maybe my ability to take my own life, knowing how much pain it will
  351. cause, shows that I am a monster who doesn't deserve to live. All I know
  352. is that I can't deal with this pain any longer and I'm am truly sorry I
  353. couldn't wait until my family and everyone I knew died so this could be
  354. done without hurting anyone. For years I've wished that I'd be hit by a
  355. bus or die while saving a baby from drowning so my death might be more
  356. acceptable, but I was never so lucky.
  358. ---
  360. To those of you who have shown me love, thank you for putting up with
  361. all my shittiness and moodiness and arbitrariness. I was never the
  362. person I wanted to be. Maybe without the darkness I would have been a
  363. better person, maybe not. I did try to be a good person, but I realize I
  364. never got very far.
  366. I'm sorry for the pain this causes. I really do wish I had another
  367. option. I hope this letter explains why I needed to do this. If you
  368. can't understand this decision, I hope you can at least forgive me.
  370. Bill Zeller
  372. ---
  374. Please save this letter and repost it if gets deleted. I don't want
  375. people to wonder why I did this. I disseminated it more widely than I
  376. might have otherwise because I'm worried that my family might try to
  377. restrict access to it. I don't mind if this letter is made public. In
  378. fact, I'd prefer it be made public to people being unable to read it and
  379. drawing their own conclusions.
  381. Feel free to republish this letter, but only if it is reproduced in its
  382. entirety.
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