Letters with a Big Punch

Sometimes, the letters our Sims write pack a big emotional impact. That’s how I felt after reading Newt’s letter to Norman this week. Having to reply to a letter like that caused me to think.

In this way, as we ponder responses to these letters, our engagement with them and the issues they present becomes deeper. If I were interacting with Newt’s letter solely as a reader, I would be able put it out of my mind and not grapple with the weight of Newt’s confession. Thinking of Norman’s reply, however, caused me to face these issues. What would I do if a friend of mine confessed that he or she abused his or her spouse or partner?

I did some research to see what a responsible reply might be. I consulted my heart. Instead of turning away from this tough issue, I turned towards it.

The letters we exchange invite us to do this, to turn towards each other and each other’s stories. We engage with ideas, issues, and emotions we might not otherwise. Maybe this is one of the best aspects of collaboration. Maybe this is how we come up with something more and something better than we’d do on our own.

How has collaboration inspired and pushed you to turn towards ideas and issues you might otherwise turn away from?

3 thoughts on “Letters with a Big Punch

  1. I agree with CathyTea. I never expected when I started writing my Escape to Nowhere challenge blog that this character, Newt, would be anything more than part of a back story and I would ever have to deal with him again. It was just a Sims 3 challenge with a hopefully entertaining story to go along with it. When I chose him for the pen pal I never dreamed it would become so emotional and delve into a subject I only know of from characterizations in books and movies or news stories. It accidentally took me into a world I was totally unfamiliar with and unprepared to tackle. Had it not been for the pen pals I never would have thought much about it. It was always something that happened to someone else. I had to try to understand what drives him to do what he did and decide if he could really change. It affected me more than I ever thought possible. I cried when I wrote his “confession” to Norman. The effect was so profound that I considered not continuing with him because I felt I had entered into a world I know nothing about and wanted to be sensitive to those that may have actually had real life exposure to it at some point in their lives. It has been eye opening for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I got lucky and found the best spousal person in the world when I was 18, so I don’t have personal experience with being abused by a spouse. But I do have complex PTSD from a childhood that included abuse, and a few years ago the person I thought of as my best friend for two years was actually incredibly emotionally abusive.

      I’ve been reading your letters with Cathy, and I think you handle it pretty well. I just wish that the people who’ve hurt me had Newt’s self-awareness and willingness to work on themselves.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am so sorry you had to experience that as a child and very happy you found someone that loves and respects you. I know that must be hard to share and I hope this wasn’t hard to read. ❤ I think this is what I worried about when this became more complex than I thought and am very happy you think I am handling it well. That’s mostly due to Cathy guiding me.

        Sadly, from what I’ve read most people that do this don’t have the self awareness to begin to get better. Newt finally realizing that he was wrong and needs to get better is me not understanding how anyone could possibly do that sort of thing and not know it’s wrong. I guess they are just too self absorbed to admit they aren’t justified in their actions and naive of me I suppose. Writing these letters made me get into his head a little and it was uncomfortable to say the least. I think that’s why I just want him to learn how to have empathy for others. And like an addiction, it’s a lifetime journey to recovery for these people.

        So from Newt’s perspective I really think writing these letters to Norman, seeing how Norman feels about Ira, how he treats her with the utmost respect and how seeing her happy makes him happy was what made Newt look at his life and his actions and begin to take responsibility for them. He is only just now realizing how much he lost due to his own actions.

        Liked by 3 people

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