Open letter to David Hymen Silverstein

Subject: Open letter to David Hymen Silverstein
From: Dvorah
Date: 29 May 2015

Dear David,

I think it is such a shame that things worked out the way they did between us. It was so stressful to spend that month or two with you. I kept hoping you would somehow awaken from the darkness in your soul to let some light in, to let the truth in. I still can’t quite believe that you threatened to slit my throat. But you did.

I feel sorry for you that you insist on believing that I didn’t respect you or your work. I feel sorry for you that you believe that being abusive is a sign of manliness. I feel sorry for you that you have not fulfilled the potential you had. What a waste.

You were so beautiful. So talented. How is it that you ended up so mentally misguided? I remember that as a child you used to pull the feathers off the parakeets and they died. I remember that you threw my little poodle against a wall and broke her leg. I remember you used to get angry at me because I believed in my own ideas and seemed confident. I remember that you moved back in with Mom to try to work things out with her and that she called me in terror because you were violent and abusive towards her.

But what is most disturbing about these things is that you think they are funny; you don’t understand how wrong it is to hurt other living beings. And I guess this is the real seat of your illness. Your inability to distinguish right from wrong.

I know that you joined in with Mary to cheat me out of money from the estate. I have the awful feeling that you have participated in the acts of cruelty against me as a sort of revenge for what you imagine was my lack of respect for you. I hope that you will come to realize that the entire basis of your psychology is mistaken and that everything you have done is actually a senseless act of aggression on your part.

There is no basis for vengeance. I remember being allies as children against Mary. I remember running away with you to Bryna’s. I remember getting lost with you one day when we went out on our bicycles. I remember jumping on Al’s back and pounding him on the head when he tried to discipline you physically. I remember you coming to visit me in Ann Arbor and my friends commenting on how close we were. I went around to galleries with your work to try to get you representation. Do you remember any of those things? Just the imagined slights to your ego? From something that happened when we were 5? Five years old. Wake up, David. People like you who hurt others and don’t understand that what you do is wrong don’t really deserve to be free. You should be committed to an institution if you are a danger to others. That is what places like that are for.

I know it was hard for you to grow up in a house with 3 strong minded women and without a father, but your idea of male and female roles is hugely misguided. I don’t know what you base it on.

Do you remember Daddy at all? He was not cruel. He was so generous with Mom and with us. He never hurt her. He did everything to make sure she was happy. He treated everyone with respect. Uncle Henny was not cruel. Uncle Donald was not cruel. Popou was not cruel. Even Stanley at that early stage was not cruel. Where did you get the idea that women are not deserving of respect? That you have the right to hurt women because you are a man?

The fact that you have not sustained a relationship since you were 20 should awaken the understanding that your thinking on this is misguided. No woman will agree to this. Is that the problem, David? You have no one else to torture so you’ve focused your energy on me? This imaginary voice in your head telling you that you aren’t any good? I say imaginary because the voice is not mine. It does not express my opinions. It is like a worm eating away at you. It is in fact the evil in your own heart. It is your illness.

You owe me a tremendous amount. I know you have the money to pay me back now. I hope you will take this time to make amends for what you have done. Don’t blame me for your failings. Take responsibility for your own actions. You expect a lot of compassion because you are ill, but you don’t really deserve it, do you? You use it as an excuse and then you mock and abuse the people who try to understand. Like me.

We could have done so much if we had worked together. What a waste.