Monday, October 25, 2010

If I was a monster, then why...

Was Frankenstein's creation truly a MONSTER? We're all familiar with at least part of the story. Dr. Victor Frankenstein created an artificial being. He was freakish in appearance, and at times was very scary. He was abandoned by his creator, people were afraid of him and tried to kill him, and his quest for love and acceptance went unrequited. He was labeled a monster because he went after his creator in an act of vengeance, but felt remorse for his actions and took his own life. It was a tragic story, but "Frankenstein's monster" was not a monster.

I feel a common bond with this story. Frankenstein's creation was no monster. He was misunderstood. He was doomed from the start because he would always be seen as a freak in a society that judges based upon superficiality. He was aware he was seen as "broken." He wanted love and acceptance. He felt remorse for killing his creator. We judge him based upon fighting his creator, yet we forget the other aspects of the creation's personality.

Last month I wrote an article asking if I am a monster. Maybe I have a preconceived notion of what constitutes a "monster." We hear this a lot as registrants -- "Sex offenders think of nothing but sex. They do not have any feelings. They lack remorse/ empathy. Etc." In short, we lack the capacity to feel for anyone but ourselves.

If I was a monster...

Then why do I feel pain?

Why do I feel remorse for past wrongs I have done?

Why do I feel sad over losing my mother and fiancee?

Do monsters do these things? I pondered these things while I took a trip to Oregon. I watched the waves crash onto the rocky shores of Oregon as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. I partook of the most heavenly brownies at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, Tillamook cheese, and Marionberry Cobbler in various shops around Oregon. I shopped for Oregon Duck attire at Clackamas Mall. I stood in awe of the artsy buildings of downtown Portland. I stopped to smell the roses in Portland's famed Rose Garden. I felt the mist of Multnomah Falls land on my skin. I stood in awe of the devastation left by Mt. St. Helens 30 years ago. I spread mom's ashes at Mt. St Helens and the Pacific Coast at Manzanita. I enjoyed the beauty and diversity of the lands in Oregon, the nice people of Portland, and the feeling of experiencing something new and exciting. I was in good company, though I wish I could have shared this journey with my ex-fiancee.

Looking back on that short trip, I think a "monster" would not have enjoyed the experience. Can a monster feel love, feel sad, or feel pain? I think not. If a monster's only goal is revenge or inflict pain and incapable of feeling remorse, then why do I feel remorse and why do I still care about the one who betrayed me? That must mean I'm not a monster!

People love to label other people. Do we have to be slaves to the label? I think not.

2 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about your mother, Derek. And thank you for this sensitive, introspective and thought-provoking reflection.

    Let me know if you come to the Pacific Northwest again. I'd be pleased to meet you.

    Erik

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  2. Hey, glad to see you're still around, M-Mart. It seems we've experienced somewhat similar losses. My conldolences to you as well.

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