Friday, June 5, 2009

The Presence of Guilt

I've come to a realization. The conflicted and complex feelings I have about the matter that I discussed earler are stirring in me feelings of guilt.

I mentioned that I would be guiltless if I cut Monty from my life. I would be. Many people would consider his crime unforgivable. If I clung to that, I would have no remorse for removing myself from the situation.

It is not removing myself that is causing guilt.

Logically, there's no reason for it. I committed no crime. Usually, standing by one's friends is a favorable action. But doing it is making me guilty. Sometimes I feel I shouldn't be doing it. I should join the ranks of those who say it is unforgivable. It might make the people who were hurt, who are not involved in any of this anymore, feel better. Is a victim comforted by knowing that others stand with them and not with the offender?

It's a false sense of reparation, I know this. Good people can forgive something otherwise unforgivable. Maybe these people are good people and forgive where others may not. I don't know. I'll never know. If they are, I'm further doing them a disservice by not forgiving. But, if they're not the forgiving sort, my disservice is that I am.

I know full well that I'm putting a lot of focus on the victims. I can relate to them. And I love my fellow people, even when I think many of them are idiots, so I can't not think about them. They are nameless, faceless, to me. They always will be. But they are real.

The guilt that I feel stems from feeling like I owe them. Why do I feel that way? Why do I feel I owe these nameless, faceless victims who don't know Monty and will never know me?

I understand this fact is probably very hard to understand, dear readers. How can a serious crime be committed against someone who was never face to face with the offender and does not even know who is involved? I cannot clarify this, but it is true, it is the way it is.

I wonder if it would be better if I could face them, if I could tell them I was sorry for them, that I understood their pain probably better than anyone. Would they be able to understand why I stand by my friend despite his faults? Then there's the paradox that I'm not even sure why I do.

There's more to it now. If I decided to have nothing further to do with Monty when all of this began, I would be guiltless. If he gave me more details that changed my perception of the reality of the situation, causing me to cut ties with him and move on, I would be guiltless. If I just did it now, if I just changed my mind, I would not be guiltless. There's guilt wherever I turn.

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