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#415005 - 11/01/12 05:43 PM A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing.
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
People hav heard me mention before the extremely unpleasant ultra feminist lecturer, (more properly an advocate of male oppression), who was probably one of the first people to give me a wake up call of my abuse back when I was taking my degree.

She started a supposedly introductory lecture on s/xual ethics with the words "it is a scientifically proven fact that seventy percent of men would rape a woman if they could" then proceeded to give a blazing diatribe against any and all men, ---- which for me, a victim of female sa was needless to say very difficult to here (I actually stuck my laptop's headphones in my ears at one point sinse I couldn't bare to hear anymore without screaming).

She at one stage tried to shut down the student philosophy society (which I'd been president of at the time), supposedly sinse we weren't having enough female speakers, though actually more because we were getting a better reputation than the post graduate society she was in charge of. She also quite literally told a friend of mine she cared nothing about his feelings and became physically threatening towards him, and was genuinely the most unpleasant individual you could imagine, (she once even attempted to sue the department).

Well, I heard today that over summer she died of a blood clot in the brain. She was not too old, and this was quite unexpected.

The odd thing is, I really do feel nothing about this, not even a vague sense of guilt, even though back when she was causing merry hell for myself and the rest of the philosophy society (the occasion i had to learn to play politics very fast), I actually started singing "ding dong the witch is dead!" after the situation was resolved.

My head of department, one of the most considderate and fair minded people you could imagine even said "she was always a very confrontational person" and didn't attend her funeral, (in fact given comments she used to make about her own daughter, I wonder if she! attended the funeral).

the only vague thing I do really feel is a little disgusted at the fact that someone could live an entire life, interact with others, and yet leave behind nothing but a legacy of indifference and disdane.

When someone dies I know it's usual to try and think the best of them and their life, but in the case of this woman I really can't think of a "best" at all, and I know for a fact I'm not alone on this, (I find it quite significant that my . tuter didn't even attend her funeral, despite his considderation for everyone).

The odd thing is, I know if I heard now that one of my abusers had died, I'd think probably even less of it.

Contrast this with another experience. A couple of years ago, I had been up all night learning some lines for an audition. I was catching the train back after my audition and just sitting around waiting for a taxi. The lady behind the counter of the coffee stand at the station asked me if I wanted a coffee sinse i looked so utterly shattered, but I didn't have the money so I declined. She simply gave me a cup, saying I looked as if I needed it and I accepted.

her name was pauline, and I remember her very fondly. If I heard she! had died, I'd be sorry to here as much.

Is there a point to this? yes!

It seems to me, that ultimately in terms of impact upon others, perhaps with very few exceptions it is not the bad things that get a person remembered by those in the world they came into contact with, ---- or at least not most of the time, perhaps because if acts of violence, cruelty and indifference have a consequence that is necessary! to be reduced in it's impact, to be if not literally forgotten, at least robbed of it's immediacy. The other side of the coin however is that positive actions, acts of kindness or empathy or even just ecency take on grater significance upon reflection and hold more meaning for those who recieve them, especially when considdered over time.

Of course, history and the media and such are a different matter entirely in terms of rememberance, but I'm thinking here more of personal significance than anything else.

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#415026 - 11/01/12 09:22 PM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
TwoSpiritRising Offline


Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 32
it sounds like you are feeling a good number of things: anger, resentment, overwhelmedness. what would you like to feel?

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#415028 - 11/01/12 09:39 PM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
Vadrian Offline


Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 111
Loc: Pacific
I do remember you mentioning this terrible professor. It's good that you don't feel guilt; she was the verbally abusive, repugnant person, not you. Some people are better lost then found, and personally I think remembering people as they actually were is better then revisionist history. However, if my own abusive died I would feel great relief, though probably the impact would be less then if some kind person that I actually loved were to pass. That's what you were saying, basically?


Edited by Vadrian (11/01/12 09:41 PM)

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#415052 - 11/02/12 06:09 AM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Twospirit, I really don't feel very much. what i find interesting is that a person, a real person I used to know, who I saw every week in lectures for about three years and pretty often after that, who, though she never actually abused me physically made me feel extremely scared and threatened died, and I feel so little about it.

I'm not glad she died, for all my "ding dong the witch is dead!" when i no longer had to have lectures with her and had finished my degree, neither I am I sorry.

I don't even feel the usual, "well that's a bit sad" I would feel if I heard a 50 year old stranger had died. and the really odd thing is I'm fairly certain i'm not alone in this.

I'm not sure if she did, like Mr. scrooge die "unloved by all" but certainly I don't think too many people will care too much, her life merely passed.

which is as Vadrian said really the point. I know the media can blow bad actions out of all proportion, not to mention historians, but on a personal level when dealing with people we have encountered in life, are the bad acts of others the ones we truly remember, ---- or at least the ones we wish! to be
remembered.

Recently I saw a bbc documentary about the trade of funeral directors in different faiths. when one christian funeral director was asked to conduct a service for a man who'd lived alone and died alone, he didn't say "We didn't know who this man was but he was probably a lousy scumbag!" he tried to pick out a few good things about this chap, ---- like the fact that sinse he owned twelve! cats, he obviously loved animals.

What I'm wondering is if this has some baring in the way we remember and considder the actions of others and their ultimate significance on our lives, sinse isn't much of the process of recovery for the victims of sa a question of minimizing impact of those bad experiences?

As I said, I don't think I'd care a bit if I heard today that one of my abusers died, indeed I have to think to remember their names, (and I don't know the last names of some of them). Yet there are others i've encountered who I'd feel very differently about, and not just friends, even minimally decent stranges who I remember occasionally doing something good.

I was for instance very sorry when I heard the old chap who'd taught me cross country skeeing died, even though I'd only known him three days.

Does this say something about the ultimate significance of the way we are treated by others, I'm not sure I just found it an interesting thought.

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#415080 - 11/02/12 12:10 PM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
My sperm donor has prostate cancer. I say it more fun, "He has cancer of the ass. SOB fucking deserves it!" Yes, I bloody enjoyed finding out he has cancer of the ass. roflmao As far as I know, both my rapists are dead, which is good cause I'd kill them both if they weren't.

It sucks when anybody dies to someone. Just don't hate people cause that can come back to bite you in the ass. This story says it all:

This guy passionately hated his father and was fiercely devoted to his mother. His dad beat him so he hated him. When his mother died, he could not shed one tear. Not one. When his father died, at the funeral he cried and cried and was inconsolable. The moral of the story is we should not hate someone so much that when they die we no longer have anything to live for.


Edited by phoenix321 (11/02/12 12:11 PM)
Edit Reason: edit
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#415823 - 11/09/12 11:30 PM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: phoenix321]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Phoenix321: I've heard that parable before - it was haunting because it was delivered at the end of the HBO film "Conspiracy" about the Nazi meeting for designing the death camps.
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#415886 - 11/10/12 10:09 PM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1181
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/17/13 10:32 AM)
_________________________
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#415906 - 11/11/12 03:38 AM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Hi jef.

I don't feel bad specifically for her, she's not worth it, I'm just surprised that's all. She was alive once, she felt and breathed and even had a child, and presumably wasn't always the aggressive, man hating ultra bitch that I knew. At some point she was a child herself.

I'm not saying this excuses her attitudes or her actions, or indeed the attitudes and actions of anyone, only that I find it interesting to reflect that a live person can leave behind such a small footprint in the sand, indeed this very reflection of mine is possibly the only decent! thing she has left, laugh.

Before I started my phd thesis, I did write an essay on fear of death, in which I argued roughly that if you spent your entire life afraid of what sort of score your life would tot up, this would diminish your life over all (for purposes of that essay I was arguing that there was no life after death sinse those who write about fear of death usually assume as much, though I myself am agnostic on that subject and will find out when and if I get there).

However, I never considdered matters from the other perspective, of what impression upon the lives, thoughts, and experiences of others a person leaves. I never knew my grandfather, but my mum has given me a good impression of who he was, indeed at my grandmar's funeral I sang what I felt he would've! sang, sinse I think i got my tenor voice from him. He therefore had a positive affect upon my life, even though I never knew him, yet this woman I knew relatively well had far less because! she was so vile.

I know in many cultures throughout history, the egyptians, the vikings, I believe several American indian cultures etc, it was believed that even though there was an afterlife, there was great importance upon how people were remembered. Ramases the phaero for instance, despite the fact he was to his people a god and assured of a worthy place in the Duat (the egyptian underworld), still made monuments to himself and had his name carved on just about everything he could my friend who is an archaeologist calls him the greatest grafitti artist in history sinse he wrote "ramases was here" on nearly everything! including other phaero's monuments).

Yet in this form of rememberance, in the affects that we remember upon our lives, it seems that there is a degree of justice, sinse ultimately it is the good that people do that we wish! to remember, and the bad that we wish! to forget.

In 10 or 20 years time, I will have forgotten my horrible lecturer (indeed I don't think of her much now other than for this topic), yet I will still remember the kind lady i mentioned above who gave me a coffee for free several years ago because I was looking so utterly shattered!

perhaps this is karma, in the literal sense, perhaps just a consequence of our actions and the process by which we recover from traumatic and unpleasant experiences, but iether way, it does show perhaps that ultimately in one sense, those who live lives which give pain to others do! perhaps lose in the end.

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#415920 - 11/11/12 09:52 AM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1181
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/17/13 10:32 AM)
_________________________
Stick around, It will get better....

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#416035 - 11/12/12 10:36 AM Re: A horrible woman has died, but I feel nothing. [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Jeff.

While it is true that many people are vile because they are unhappy, it does not seem always to be the case, indeed I find the propergation of beliefs to the contrary that a person who is unhappy must naturally! be a scumbag to be quite worrying (look at all those ooks and films and such that ask us to forgive the villain because they were traumatized or unhappy or what not).

My abusers weren't unhappy, quite the opposite in fact, and my abuse was actually part of their! happiness and fun activities at school.

this doesn't excuse what they did, neither would it do if they were unhappy or vile.

Remember all the nazi officers who'd go to the concentration camps during the day and come back to their happy German families in the evenings.

While there is certainly a link betwene anger, unhappiness, sickness and how you express that towards others, I don't think it's a simple link, and also suggesting that a person who is vile is just a slave of their past removes all human autonomy and responsability, sinse ultimately even if you were! doing it because you were in pain, you still did it, ---- heck I've not always been a pleasant person myself when feeling the affects of depression and loneliness, but that isn't an excuse for the way I act.

I think if there is a karma of affect of actions, part of that karma is the recognition that people do act autonomously. A person who treats others well does so through their own choice, ditto with the converse, which again places more importance upon how people are treated especially looking at light of things of the affect of your life upon those around you.

For me, the fact that I once coldly, rationally, and in all knolidge of what I was doing very seriously planned to commit suicide is partly what made me fascinated with the idea of death. having sat and planned in detail what would be the least painfull and most efficient way to kill myself (indeed the only reason I didn't was because I couldn't think of an ifficient method, if I had had access to valium I wouldn't be here now) I find it does give me a rather different perspective on the hole thing.

there are people, who's entire mode of thought is built around their fear of none existance, (I won't even say death, sinsse usually people like that always assume death is extinction). I once met a lady who gave long and complex explanations of all human behaviour on the idea that we all have an unconscious fear of death and we all know! it is none existance, and I have a lecturer who goes through huge complex existential frameworks on the subject, though in his case I think he is most afraid of a universe that does not contain himself and his gigantic ego, and I have great fun poking him with the fact tht I genuinely myself do not fear the thought of not existing.

this is what prompted me to be interested in the subject, simply the fact that it is something which I myself seem to have a different thought over than others, namely that expressed by epicurus:


"death is nothing to me, for where I am, death has not come, and when death has come I am not"

In which case, wy should we worry about it?

Hence my reasoning on fear of death. thinking about the death of my nasty lecturer however, I reallize that there is a second perspective on death, not merely the personal, but that of the people left behind, and that of how the actions we perform in life affect the lives of others, and it is in this perspective that I'm beginning to think there is justice.

a person can be a vile, selfish and totally amoral person. They might be happy, they might be unhappy, but they choose their actions. They might cultivate a grand public image and media personality. yet, it is their affects upon others that perhaps is their true judgement. So, for me the salient question about your mother isn't "is she happy" but "how does she make those around her feel" which seems to have quite a distinct answer.

Will you be remembering her as a good person who's actions you will fondly think of? I think not!

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