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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bill Zeller - Victim of Sexual Abuse

Bill Zeller was a talented programmer and a victim of sexual abuse as a child. He recently took his own life and left an explanation as to why he did it. It's a long read but worthwhile. Paedophilia is such a cruel crime but for some reason, it doesn't seem to warrant a long jail sentence. When they are caught, they serve minimum time and are quickly released back into the community. Australian detectives recently uncovered a paedophile ring of married couples who were abusing their own children and sharing videos and pictures of the abuse on the internet. Parents in the UK, Europe and the US were arrested.
Here is a brief glimpse at Zeller's story.

My first memories as a child are of being raped, repeatedly. This has affected every aspect of my life. This darkness, which is the only way I can describe it, has followed me like a fog but at times intensified and overwhelmed me, usually triggered by a distant situation. In kindergarten I couldn't go to the bathroom and would stand petrified whenever I needed to, which started a trend of awkward and unexplained social behaviour. The damage that was done to my body still prevents me from using the bathroom normally but now it's less of a physical impediment than a daily reminder of what was done to me.

Alcohol and other drugs provided a way to ignore the realities of my situation. It was easy to spend the night drinking and forget that I had no future to look forward to. I never liked what alcohol did to me but it was better than facing my existence honestly. I haven't touched alcohol or any other drug in over seven months (and no drugs or alcohol will be involved when I do this) and this has forced me to evaluate my life in an honest and clear way. There's no future here. The darkness will always be with me.

I'm just a broken, miserable shell of a human being. Being molested has defined me as a person and shaped me as a human being and it has made me the monster I am and there's nothing I can do to escape it. I shall never go to sleep with someone in my arms, feeling the comfort of their hands around me. I will never know what uncontaminated intimacy is like. I will never have an exclusive bond with someone, someone who can be the recipient of all the love I have to give. I will never have children and I wanted to be a father so badly. I think I would have made a good dad. There's no point in identifying who molested me. I doubt the word of a dead guy with no evidence about something that happened over twenty years ago would have much sway.

People say suicide is selfish. I think it's selfish to ask people to continue living painful and miserable lives just so you possibly won't feel sad for a week or two. Suicide may be a permanent solution to a temporary problem but it's also a permanent solution to a 23 year old problem that grows more intense and overwhelming every day.

Footnote: A memorial service will be held for Princeton graduate William "Bill" Zeller who died on the 5th January 2011 at a local hospital as a result of injuries sustained in a suicide attempt at his home near campus. He was 27.