To all of you, who have never cared until now, I have a few things to say. I know most of you won’t read this, I know most of you will read this and not understand it, but I’m going to say it anyway.
I don’t write this out of the complete anger I feel, because feeling that is in every part me. I write this to give you insight, to understand what you’ve failed to see.
I have lost a friend. He is someone I have always called my friend, no matter the circumstances or what he has done. In losing him, I have never been so upset at all of you; each and every one of you, who have sat back throughout his lifetime, watching and not doing anything to try to help him. I say this to my own family, my friends, the county I’ve lived in and known. To all of you, I hope you hear me now.
My adjectives are colorful, but for Collin’s sake, as I know he is wishing by now that I wouldn’t even do this, I’ll stick with these ones: ashamed, disheartened, disgusted, furious, frustrated, embarrassed, and as for the rest I’ll save for later. All of you, out there, pretending to be good people, should very well know, that I’ve heard everything you’ve ever said. I have seen your faces, I’ve seen your reactions, I’ve seen the ignorance that you’ve so proudly put on display. Yet, there is the other side I’ve seen as well. I’ve seen the hurt you’ve caused. I’ve seen you not attempt to know or understand him, someone that was lost and broken. I’ve seen each of you walk in the opposite direction of where he stood. I’ve watched it all for 31 years.
I began my advocacy for two reasons, and now one of them is gone. I am struggling to understand now the reasons why it was so easy for all of you to do what you’ve done. I’ve seen the pain that was inflicted. I’ve worn the animosity of your ignorance proudly. I have allowed your inappropriate words and actions to propel me further in to this cause. I haven’t done this for me or to try to stand out; because quite frankly, I’ve always stood apart from all of you. I was always happy to see the faces that I loved. And I maintained that love in their absence. I’ve defended them to your faces. And I’m not stopping now.
I have been upset, of course, in the past. Collin stole from me once, years ago. I tried to hate him for it. But I couldn’t. Inside of me I knew it wasn’t him, it was every bit of the demons he carried. I cried. I cried out of confusion and misunderstanding. I cried because every part of me wanted to help him. I cried because I could not figure out exactly what made him hurt. But, I tell you now, that years later, after he did it, he apologized to me. To me, that meant everything. Hell, I live now without apologies from my own family members, apologies I will never get because blaming me is easier. And of course it is, it always has been. Blaming other people is what we do. And I blame all of you.
For the last 18 months, I’ve worn your disgust because I could. I took it gladly. The reason being is because while you were focused on me, two people that I have always cared for deeply were left alone. I’ve accepted this burden because these two people have worn it for a lifetime. These same two people have felt your opinions resting solely on them. I hope that you’ll take the time to consider that fact, though just like before, I doubt you will now.
My own experience has taught me that that life is full of choices. I know that while most of all of you, have sat bar side for years, and still do, while waiting to be served another, have taken it upon yourselves to play the role of judge. I’ve watched you pardon yourselves of sin while discussing the weight of theirs. And through all of these years, I have grown to despise all of you. Even more so now than ever. Throwing condolences to the wind like you have cared all along, disgusts me. I’ve sat with his Mom and have heard her words the entire time you’ve done it. I have felt her anger and her pain, her sadness for what you’ve inflicted. I have been just as disgusted with all of you as she has. To you, two people have never mattered. But to some of us, they always have. So let me tell you what you’ve all missed through these years. I think you deserve to know.
Of all the things that Collin knew that each of you have spoken, he has never said a word about you. Even though he tried to understand your view, he still never spoke negatively about any of you. While he was just as angry and sad at those things that have transpired, he wished nothing close to what he suffered onto anyone. He cried alone, he sat alone, and all the while none of you cared. Spreading conversation and opinions was always more important. He was funny, he was hilarious, he had a way of bringing laughter. His personality was one of the best. He wanted to succeed, he wanted to do good things; he had hopes and dreams. He had family. He had a family that loved him unconditionally. He had brothers that supported him always, even though they too have struggled on their own. The entirety of the person Collin was, is someone that you would have enjoyed being around, had you taken the time to know him. He was a calm and caring person. He had something inside of him that most of you would envy. But you won’t know that, not now. He’s gone.
To you, he was just someone who would never amount to anything. You kept him at a safe distance. You have always made sure to leave him out. I hope you all remember that when you come to say good-bye. While in death we are saddened at the loss, it is those of us that knew him best that deserve to cry. You have all managed to maintain a cycle for two people that have only needed to be helped. Instead of taking the time to educate yourselves, you’ve allowed yourselves to succumb to your own failings. You have ridiculed each punishment suffered, and still are for his other half. You have made sure to make them a mockery and you have worn it proudly as some kind of pathetic example for the ‘good deeds’ you have done. You’ve wrongly accused them when innocent, and still today are proud of it. You’ve used them to hold yourselves higher than you are, and higher than you deserve to stand. You’ve proclaimed your own righteousness while not giving a damn about who they really are. For all of you, I’m sorry. You have missed out on knowing two people that are rare. You have chosen to do it. You still choose to do it. I’ve watched you all for years.
Yet even as Collin will be laid to rest, your conversations will never cease. While you will say he had it coming, I know he still forgives you; he always has. These words from me do not come lightly. I hope you will all hold your own children tighter and remember your own faults forever. I will not allow for his untimely death to be something that it wasn’t, or to be something he deserved because you say so. It is unfair. It is tragic. It is unjust. He deserved better. He deserved love. And unlike all of you, he never pretended to be who he wasn’t. He suffered more so than what any of you could ever imagine in this lifetime. He suffered silently. I know because he was my friend.
While you all go about your days and lives, I hope you will maybe now take the time to learn more about those things you do not understand. While you chose to cast him out of your life for the choices he suffered from, and from the demons he couldn’t resist, remember that choosing is an option we all have. While you sit around pretending now how sorry you are that he’s gone, I hope you remember everything you’ve ever said. I hope you remember that you allowed for your own ignorance to steer you away from him. I hope you know that I’ll never forgive any of you. I’ll never forgive you for not thinking twice about your words or your actions. I’ll never forgive you for hurting his family. I’ll never forgive you for hurting my friends. I’ll never forgive you for hurting him.
I think all of you in this place, these towns, and this county, need to invest in much needed resources. It doesn’t take much to learn, other than the desire to do so. For Collin’s death, for the deaths that have occurred, and for the deaths that will occur, there is still nothing being done.
Someone else that is irreplaceable has lost his life. And as I’ve chosen to stand up and speak out, being shunned by the lot of you, I hope you know that you have fueled me all the while. I began what I did for two friends, two brothers, twins. I will not allow for Collin’s untimely death to be the lost cause that you’ve made him be in life. For those of you now speaking kindly of someone you despised and didn’t know, you should all know now that I hate you for it. I have hated you for everything you’ve ever said. And I hate you for the things you still say.
While you blame the demons you so wrongly think he cherished, I blame all of you for helping to maintain them. The shame he carried because of you was the what he hated most. Though while he suffered silently, he could never comprehend why none of you ever cared. While he suffered, he never knew a lot of what I’d heard. Those of you pretending he was always a friend, forgot that I was watching. Those of you who chose to avoid him, forgot I’ve heard your words. His family suffers his loss. His family, yet again, suffers tragedy. Tragedies that most of you could never fathom. Tragedies that most of you have and will continue to make sure are unforgettable. Unforgettable, sums up who he was. I’ll forever be thankful for the time he had here. And that I chose to be his friend. I feel lucky to have known him, to have sat beside him, to have stayed when everyone else left. I feel lucky to have his family close to me, and to have a love for them even more so now than I have had all the while.
The epitome of all of you around me, in this county, on every level, make me ashamed of what you’ve done and what you continue to do. It sickens me to know that while this family, and many more, have suffered throughout the years, the help that has been so desperately needed was never an option. Not only are those of us that knew him best at a loss for what has happened, but every single one of us will now spend our lives wondering why it had to come to this. What pleasure does a place like this actually get out of sitting idly by and watching people suffer? What pride is there in knowing that we are failing those struggling with addiction? What good can any of you possibly see coming out of nothing changing?
I wish for Collin, my friend, to find the peace now that he never could. I will miss him. I already do. And for those of you still on the same road that he was, I hope you will look into getting the help you need. The help is there. I hope that this county will do what is needed to help those that are battling addiction. I hope the resources come and are accepted wholeheartedly. I had opened a door for Collin for any moment when he was ready. I leave that same door open for all of you. I’m not playing the part of martyr or saint; I’m just a girl, I was his friend, and I care.
In Loving Memory of, and why I push onward,
Collin Douglas Curry
5/6/77 – 4/28/17