When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…
Christopher Hitchens
The hard part is that I lost myself. In the midst of life happening all around me, I lost the ability to be okay, I lost the ability to trust. I lost the ability to love myself and when that happens, you lose everything. And when the one person in the entire world who loves you unconditionally is gone, then you start wondering who will love you? And then when you start wondering, you get scared that you have to even ask that question. But since you have already asked yourself that, you can’t ignore it. Who will love you now? Who could possibly love everything about you, now that the only person in the world who could, is gone? Hell, you don’t even love yourself. Why would someone else? And then when you realize that, the relationship you’re in seems pointless. Because you start believing that they won’t ever be able to withstand your problems and craziness. And then that snowballs to even more insecurities and fear and you feel trapped in this broken body that can’t ever be healed. And then you feel lost, torn, broken, unfixable, damaged and like nothing in the entire world could ever possibly be okay again. Because you know from the past, that even when everything seems okay, another devastating blow comes around again and knocks you back down. So you feel even smaller, even weaker. By that point you’re at the bottom, you’re looking up in tears, ready to scream for help. But you’re not sure who’s going to be there and if the person who does show up, is going to be the person you need, the person who’s going to pick you up and help you heal. And then you realize again, that you lost yourself. That in the midst of life happening all around you, you lost ability to be okay.
Sabrina K