Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sin Eater: Week 3, If Hell Exists . . .

If Hell exists then I have surely found what will be my ultimate punishment: helplessness. I don't mean the sort of helplessness that comes from being an invalid, such things are beyond your control. No I mean the helplessness that comes from being in the same room as your wife when she cries, and cries, and cries because of an awful thing that you can't do a god damned thing about but sit there and hold her. The helplessness that comes when your son climbs in your lap and tells you about the bad dreams that keep him up at night and no matter what you say there is no assuaging his fears. The helplessness that seeps into your bones when you think about him having a febrile seizure and you're holding him only he doesn't even know you're in the same room.

This week has been filled with nightmares reliving past and current moments of helplessness for me. Moments when I drove across the state praying that I wasn't about to lose my Mom and hearing my son crying into his pillow because he thought Nana and Poppa were mad at him. So many nightmares crawling through my dreams as my wife struggled with a lie from another family member that I couldn't help her through because  words failed and comforting hugs weren't enough.

Our sins and failures haunt us all and this week I just want to move on from this feeling of helplessness that has overwhelmed me. So I let it out to the void for the internet gods to feast.  Let the Sin Eating begin.
The Sin Eater series is an opportunity for each of us, you and me, to recognize our sins and failures. Each week I kick it off by discussing something I do wrong, that I have failed at, or that I find reproachful in myself. Then anyone who wants to can join in and post their own 'sins' either through the use of their own username or anonymously in the comments below (DO NOT POST ANYTHING ILLEGAL AND THAT WILL GET YOU IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW). 

The idea behind this project is to humanize ourselves (so take your self-righteous judgments and pronouncements and shove them right up your ass). It's also a place to help each of us to let go of the 'sins' that have been dominating our lives and recognize them for what they are: the simple human frailties that all of us struggle with daily. This series is the place where you can speak honestly and let your frailties be devoured by the internet gods.


  1. Helplessness isn’t a sin or weakness. Helplessness doesn't necessarily mean you've failed. It’s a part of the human experience. What you do while facing a helpless situation defines you as a person. And, from your descriptions in your post, I think by just being there, you did all you could have done and that was probably the most anyone can ask.

    1. The helplessness isn't the real sin here, B.E. Trautman, the real sin is kicking my own ass over things I can't help. You shouldn't punish yourself for things that you have no control over.


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