When An Abuser Dies

  • Darnielle: ...and then Sunset Tree was after my stepfather died. He died and my sister called in the middle of the night to say "Mike's dead." Then I went on tour a month or two later and stuff started to crack open. It was really amazing. I just started to feel free with my feelings and––
  • Maron: In general.
  • Darnielle: Well, no, with those–––just my vision, my ability to think about that time and how far I've come. I lived in Iowa at the time––
  • Maron: Do you think that some impact was that, you know, the abuser was dead?
  • Darnielle: Absolutely...I ask survivors when they come up to me at the merch line, "has your abuser died yet?" And they will say, "no" and I will say, "I want you to be ready, cause it is, I hate to say this (I don't wish death on anybody), it is wonderful when your abuser dies. It's wonderful, it's like nothing in the world. It's like you are free." There's a feeling that you will never be free of what you were, you know, there's that...But to know that the person who used to hurt you no longer can is very very very deep. It's unbelievable.
  • Maron: Do you forgive him?
  • Darnielle: No.
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