She’d just finally started having the life she always wanted.

The first 18 years of her adult life were spent with an abusive husband. Emigration, working at a poultry factory during the day and cleaning offices at night.

Then she got an education, read feminist authors, and found the strength to leave the horrible abusive rapist husband.

But then there were boyfriend troubles, job troubles, kid troubles, money troubles, the usual.

But finally she had the work she liked (low-pressure, stay-at-home translation services), a nice income, the house she looooved (overpriced, cramped, and in Anjou, but there’s no accounting for tastes), the boyfriend she turned from a loser deadbeat into a respectable middle-class fellow, a favorite local hangout place (a brasserie with gynormous – even by my standards – plates of really nice food), a collection of teas from David’s, and a favorite vacation spot in the Caribbean. Her very difficult daughter was finally grown, and even the abusive ex became a friend of sorts.

And right when it all came together, she got the death sentence. At 47! So unfair.

11 thoughts on “Unfair”

    1. “would also have been angry”

      Completely understandable, it would not be normal to not feel some kind of anger in that situation (I’d be livid for a time). But anger not sublimated or channeled into something productive is destructive to the angry person… and unfiltered anger plus obsession is a terrible combination.


      1. When Eric died, I knew that if I attached to an angry narrative, I’d destroy myself. I asked everybody not to engage me in conversations of “why didn’t the doctors run these tests earlier” or “why is a pre-39-week C-section illegal?” because looking for someone to blame and raging against them would be the end of me.


        1. But are these the typical reactions? They seem so irrational — the idea that one can control things in retrospect, and that whatever has happened was targeted at one as an individual, for an explicable reason.

          I don’t get angry enough — I’m too laid back and too tolerant, and I put up with things I would do better not to. NOT getting angry is the way I hide from pain, and it’s a problem. But people who get angry to evade pain seem really crazy to me


  1. “finally started having the life she always wanted”

    Something vaguely kind of similar happened with both my parents (separately) which instilled a kind of…. fear of stability in me which has only been strengthened by seeing other similar cases.

    Getting too many ducks in a row seems very dangerous to me, which is…. probably just superstitious (or a side effect of turning people’s lives into narratives) but…


  2. I can’t imagine there being nothing left to want, since things I want include things like dismantling the global prison industrial complex and saving the ecosystem. Or just getting certain reading done. I don’t know, it’s sort of infinite, the list of things I want to do.


  3. I don’t know: it sounds as though this was a last straw for her. It is really sad, she had overcome so much.

    I still wonder about the truisms about how people don’t feel enough pain and avoid it through anger. I find anger is a reaction to injustice and helps you see it. And trying to feel pain even more acutely than you already do is just disabling. But then I also don’t really understand why people say why me? and things like that. So: am I from a different culture? It feels that way


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