What is forgiveness? As a devout Roman Catholic in my formative years I was taught that forgiveness was necessary to heal when someone hurts you. The act of forgiveness was to lift the burden of resentment, anger and thoughts of revenge. The past couple of years have taught me otherwise.

June 13th, 2010. It was the day after my wife passed away. Karen Velie posted Questions Surround Santa Margarita Woman’s Death on her website. The article implied that I had something to do with my wife’s death.

The aftermath of the article was swift and painful. The story and some of the unmoderated comments posted contain false statements. These statements have caused great harm to my family and me. These statements were made without adequate consideration as to the truthfulness of the story/comments. It took a toll on me. I lost eighteen pounds that week.

I met with Karen Velie on March 11, 2011 at the Black Horse on Higuera. My purpose was multi-faceted: to have a retraction article published that clarified that there was no foul play in my wife’s death; to ascertain the identity of several of the slanderous posters in order to protect my children from those who had personal vendettas; to identify the positive supporters on the site so I could express my personal gratitude to those who stood up for my family, and to open back up the comments so that my supporters could defend me. (The comments were disabled soon after the coroner released the report absolving me of any foul play. What a coincidence!)

Karen was thirty minutes late for our meeting. I offered her a cup of coffee, she declined. I spent the next thirty minutes rebutting a litany of libelous, untrue accusations about me. It took my grief-wracked mind a while to realize Karen was there just to get an “incriminating” statement to run with on her site. What was weird was I was the one who initiated the meeting, only to see it descend into a fury of verbal abuse and accusations. I ended the meeting saying “we have nothing more to talk about”.

Several weeks ago Karen was arrested on a DUI charge. She ran a story on her site that cherry picked the facts and allegations on her arrest. She got called on it. First by The Rock a bastion of journalism. The City of San Luis Obispo chimed in with a Press Release rebutting Karen’s version of her arrest. The New Times published an article and a column taking down Karen Velie. I’m amused there are people who vehemently defend her in this affair. They are stupid.

That’s her mug shot above. She looks like a drunk. She doesn’t have a face for TV. She doesn’t have a pleasant voice for radio. Karen has no journalistic chops. She doesn’t make any attempt to get both sides of the story. Her entire basis for the hatchet job she did on my family was one sole disgruntled neighbor. She tried prying my friends for anything derogatory. My friends read her the riot act. She made zero attempt to get my side, violating the #1 rule of journalistic integrity. She bragged that she had “confidential sources” in the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s department regarding the investigation into my wife’s death, a flat-out lie.

She’s in love with her self-portrayed image as a “crusader for the truth”. She’s arrogant, envious, and exploitive. She sees herself as perfect and projects shame on others.

Forgiveness is not about releasing others. You need to separate raw emotions from feelings, if you don’t the emotions will consume you. Feelings are about one’s self. Realizing your feelings clarifies everything. My feelings are me.

My emotions about her are not ambivalent. She hurt my family. That I know, and that I leave behind. I learned my feelings are about how I see the world and others and myself. My feelings allow me to separate that offensive act from my emotions, to let go of the anger. My feelings protect my precious self. My feelings bring me life.

It all boils down to this: there is no penance Karen Velie can act upon to rectify the harm she has purposely inflicted onto my family. She is a vile piece of shit. And with that, I’ll leave it there. Peace.