March 7th, 2013, 10:42 pm

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208-There's nothing to forgive

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daviddoesntgetit March 7th, 2013, 10:42 pm

Continuing the theme of growing up... I think of this at the moment that pulled me out of my angry, depressed teenager phase, haha.

I was going to put this in but there really wasn't a place for it. One of my ways to get back at her was while folding laundry I'd pluck some fur off the dog and fold it into her underwear and then she'd just be around the house scratching her crotch and I'd delight in that. I was proud of myself.

My friend and I were watching a documentary on happiness and there was this one scene about an... anger management? Or forgiveness session? There was this man who lost the use of his legs because the owner of the bar whose balcony he was on broke under him. He was just talking about letting go of that anger and...

There was this soldier who talked about the Vietnam war and being in a Viet Cong prison and if he had to go through it all again, he would since it still defined him where he is.

Anger's pretty consuming, while you're in it. It's, uh. It's pretty scary.

I guess the thing is I don't really feel like forgiveness is an action we take on another person. I really think forgiveness is the letting go of anger. Once you let it go, you no longer have a reason to hate the person and... that's the end of that.

Anyways, one of my most feared punishment from my stepmom was when she'd make me hold my hands out and beat me with those yellow chopsticks, she'd do it 'til they break. There's a brief relief when I think it's over but she just goes back and fetches some more and continues to break them over my knuckles.

But well. That's that.

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Gene (Guest) March 8th, 2013, 9:30 am

Gosh, David, I'm sobbing here. You really are an amazing person.

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brumagem March 8th, 2013, 10:22 am

Mother of God, just as Moon River comes on the media player. ;_;

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Gore-chan March 8th, 2013, 4:36 pm

@daviddoesntgetit: My grandmother used to emotionally and verbally abuse my father and his siblings. She would pick favorites and pit them against each other, my father always at the bottom. As a result my dad is totally emotionally stunted and has a really hard time interacting with his own family, let alone people. As a result he has a hard time holding a job, and it's made my home life stressful and destroyed any relationship he might have had with my sister. She used to yell at me as a child, and now I cry whenever I'm yelled at. I'm 19 years old, and only just recently did I find out my grandmother's terrible past. And I still hate her. So much.
My cousin talks about how great our grandmother was, how sweet and nice and comforting.
The woman who used to push me when I was four, yell at me, throw things at me.
I haven't forgiven her, and I'm trying really hard to, because she's been dead for over 10 years, and I'm still having trouble.
You're an amazingly inspiring person, and I look up to you in a lot of ways, and this instance is just one of them.
Thank you for sharing your life and your stories.

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daviddoesntgetit March 8th, 2013, 10:11 pm

@Gene: Ah, I'm sorry I made you cry. And thank you but I'm not that great. Haha. I hope you feel better now.

@brumagem: Haha, I'm sorry. Hope you're feeling better.

@Gore-chan: Jesus, your grandmother. That's the thing though. Parents.

Miriam says "Joy Luck Club" is such a big name now that no one reads it 'cause it's just so big but she said it's an important book because it's stories of Chinese girls with overbearing parents and finding out about their struggles. And even though it's explicitly stated you know that when the stories go a generation back, you feel the characters let go. The book is a nonexplicit story of forgiveness.

Haha, but my grandma was the same as yours. We had cousins that came from Vietnam so they could speak and write and read Vietnamese as opposed to me who couldn't so she'd only ever yell at me and not them.

But they love the crap out of her and I haven't spoken to her in years. I kinda don't care if I ever do. I don't hate her but I don't see any reason to talk to her again.

Thanks for the thanks but I also want to thank you for the story. I feel like I learned a lot from that I really liked reading it.

Hate's hard to give up, especially when you are completely justified in it 'cause when you're justified, you're ready to just let it eat at you forever.

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hyeonmu March 9th, 2013, 3:22 am

You portray this all so... nicely. It's quite cinematic - I know I've said it before but whatever - and I like it.

You seem quite kind.

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brumagem March 9th, 2013, 11:26 am

@daviddoesntgetit No, it was a good cry :)

If you haven't seen Breakfast at Tiffany's I suggest you do. It's not particularly relevant to this, but it's really good. I covers the ENTIRE emotional spectrum.

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Elivier (Guest) March 9th, 2013, 4:48 pm

Dude. No matter what you say, you're an extremely kind person. If it were anybody else they probably wouldn't have said no. They wouldn't have convinced her to move back near her family and they wouldn't have forgiven her. You're amazing. I was on the brink of tears here then I read Gore-chan's story...
I haven't cried since my grandma died you know? I didn't cry for her or anybody else that died on the same day. Three people. On my 21st birthday. And maybe I was just... I don't know... ignoring it? I was never really close to my grandma. She never wanted much to do with me or my brother and my mum never told us stories of her childhood.
And then, as she lying in the hospital with a broken hip, dementia having rotted most of her brain, she freaking reached out for me and called me. By name.
She forgot everybody. EVERYBODY. But she remembered me and my brother.
She died the next day as my mum was sitting next to her.
And I didn't cry. Not when I heard, not at the funeral and not anytime after. Now here I am, crying like a freaking baby in front of my computer for you, for Gore-chan and for her.
I'm sorry that this message was long and probably a bit pointless, but thank you. For helping me FINALLY feel human again.

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TheEmptyPot March 10th, 2013, 11:25 pm

Ow, ow, ow. This one hit really close to home for me. David, I can't say that I've gone through the same thing because everyone's situation is different. But as someone who's caught up in something similar, I think you're an incredibly brave and strong willed person. It takes a lot of guts to forgive someone, especially someone who's abused you so much. It's easy to hate, but it's strength that helps you forgive, and I really admire you for that.

You've drawn this all so beautifully and viscerally, aaah...

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hoshi.neko March 11th, 2013, 12:37 am

Just wow, David. This page is definitely one of my favorite pages in this entire comic.

There's something almost symbolic about the blue in those last three panels. Anger can contribute to an entire cycle of hate, but I don't think it's easy for anyone to let go, especially with the memories forever ingrained in the mind. I'm glad you were about let go of your past grudges, make peace, and move on.

:) And thanks for helping me out indirectly with this page's message.

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daviddoesntgetit March 16th, 2013, 4:13 pm

@hyeonmu: Haha, that's good. The comic's so small, it's hard to get it to look cinematic so glad it worked out, haha.

Ah, I'm not, I just have moments where I am, haha.

@brumagem: Haha, that's good.

Man. I'm really lazy about watching movies but I'll see if I can't one day.

@Elivier: Ah, ok. I give up on fighting people's opinion about me. Haha. I don't really care either ways.

Wow! Your comment was amazing! Thanks for that comment, wow. That was really something to read, haha. I'm glad you're feeling pretty good after reading the comics, really. I'm really glad to hear that.

@TheEmptyPot: Ah, good! Glad you enjoy the comic and thanks for all the compliments, haha.

@hoshi.neko: Glad you enjoyed the comic and I'm glad I was able to move on too. I have a hard time talking to people who still complain about the things their parents did and I end up not knowing what to say to them. Haha. It's not like they're unjustified so I can't really tell them, "Just move on." So... I hope this comic says what I can't, basically. Haha.

Haha, I'm glad. Good luck to you!

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Sir April 4th, 2013, 2:45 pm

Forgiving someone who has physically or sexually abused you is a very difficult thing to do. And that's putting it mildly. Some people never do and there's nothing wrong with that, but it does eat away at you, especially if you don't tell anyone. And the damage remains long after. I'm amazed you did this as a teenager? I was only finally able to do this a year or two ago.

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Yeah.

WhisperingHeartSyndrome April 4th, 2013, 8:06 pm

It is incredibly hard to forgive. I know in my experience it's actually been easier to forgive the abuser than the person who allowed the abuse, but that doesn't stop sick feelings that make you desire some form of petty revenge. I'm in incredible admiration of your choice to tell her the truth and actually advise her on a path that will improve her circumstances.