I realised something yesterday, which should have been clear months ago. There has been a seismic shift, and a maturing (I think) of my feelings towards people that have been ‘the baddies’ since I was 9. You see, these men (and a few women I suppose) brought my life into the terrifying realms of ‘security problem’ a long time ago. At the beginning, I was just shaken and very scared, but as I grew up, my fear was joined with despisal of these men who had wanted us dead. All the attempts by my dad to paint them as ridiculous, incompetent human beings did not stop how I felt.
But over this past year, as I have been writing a fictional adaptation of my experiences during that time, I have changed. I see that I have made the villain of the piece slightly weak, and I have wondered if that is because I can’t face up to somebody worse becoming real in my head. He does some terrible things, but he still loves his daughter. He seems to have been caught up in terrorism almost by accident.
So how do i feel about this representation of my ‘baddie’? Still scared, still angry, but something else too. I am beginning to pity him. I want him to change his life, I want him to fix his relationship with his family. Kind of.
I have no idea if, when I was told of the real person, I would feel anything good about him. But I suppose I can start with the made-up version, and see if I can carry my pity from him to real life. That’s what we’re called to, isn’t it?