I opened up our email tonight and there were more tales about how Fringe has changed people’s lives. Here is another touching round.
Fringe saved my life.
I did not realized it at first, but it made an impact in my life i didn’t thought a show could have. I was in a dark place, i was in a place where it would have probably not end well. It could have turned actually really bad.
But then i started to realize how Fringe made me smile after an episode aired for almost a day. It made me want to draw again in the corner of my papers while in class. It made me want to be better, to get better, It made me want to enjoy life and take a step in the light, if i can say it like that.
In Jacksonville, Olivia says “I’m not afraid of anything anymore” and something in me sort of woke up. I never cut myself since that day. Because i didn’t want to be afraid anymore. I wanted to be strong like Olivia is.
And after that episode and for a few months after that i wrote on my wrist every morning “you’re gonna be fine”. For every moments during the days i felt down, when i wanted everything to just end, i just looked at my wrist, took a deep breath and say to myself “you can do this”.
Those months were horrible, but then it got easier and the you’re gonna be fine became Anna Torv written on my arm. I wrote her name for over a year. Every morning. To help me remember.
To help me remember that i had promised myself that if one day i was lucky enough to meet her, i would be happy, strong, enjoying my life and stable enough to tell her Thank you, because her, being Olivia Dunham in this amazing show, is the reason i’m still here today.
And that is, my Fringe Confession. – Anonymous
#Fringe has made me major in Biology.
#Fringe has me interested in all sciences, especially Virology and Parasitology.
#Fringe has made me realize that everyone has struggles and you can overcome them.
When I was a little girl, my father went into a coma. I was only 5 so I can’t really remember much of those years. I don’t know if anyone really tried to explain what was happening to my father, and why he behaved the way he did when he came out of the coma 6 months later. The only concrete thing I remember about him from early on is a time when I was patiently coloring in the background, and he was talking nonsense to my mother.
“Lets go dancing!”
“Honey, you can’t dance, you can’t even walk.” (The stroke had paralyzed him)
“Well then I’ll dance in my wheelchair!”
I don’t know if he ever clued in to the fact that my mother wasn’t kidding. I didn’t understand how he couldn’t know he wasn’t able to walk.
The last thing I remember clearly about that day was thinking “That’s not my daddy.”
That thought stuck with me for years as surely as no thoughts could stick with him. His mind was in continual flux from the brain damage, things that had happened to him 15 years ago were playing in his head as though they were happening that moment. Having immigrated to Canada he had learned English, but easily lost the language when he was confused. My mother had to take German classes, and that’s when she learned his mental time slips weren’t limited to 15 years. At times he thought she was his mother when she talked to him, but his mother had died when he was a teenager. On top of all this, his short term memory was nearly wiped away, he couldn’t retain more than a two minute conversation. He may have been alive and we may have been his family, but I didn’t exist for him anymore, sometimes, none of us did.
To say I’ve always wondered at what his perception of reality was is an understatement. I grew up not only wondering what he was thinking, but what made us who we were. Who are we if we don’t have our own memories to define us?
What kind of person would I have been, had this not happened in my life?
He was shuffled from hospital to hospital for 17 and a half years before he died. One of those hospitals was Riverview. This complex of buildings was more known for being a mental institution, but he was kept in the intensive care ward. I honestly don’t know if it was specifically a ward for the insane, but certainly, living the way he did probably drove him insane over time. I did wonder, if you accounted for the dead parts of his brain, was he actually rational? In a morbid way maybe he was actually suffering from a bad case of not being able to tell the time along with some paralysis.
I only visited him once in Riverview, but once was enough, and my mother never took me to visit him there again. I didn’t see my father for years at a time and when I did those visits were – for the most part – distressing for him and ended in seconds. Explaining who I was would stress him out, and more stress increased his chances for yet another crippling stroke on top of all the others he’d had, so I rarely tried. Most people didn’t like how the longer bus route would waste your time going through the hospital grounds. I absolutely hated it for reminding me of him. As a teenager I complained once while the bus drove through the grounds how I didn’t like taking this route, the friend I was with agreed with me on the waste of time it was. It was then that I realized how my life was incomprehensibly different to my friend’s, and I felt too overwhelmed by it all and ashamed to tell him what I had really meant.
There was one visit, however, one visit that, in our twisted lives, could be deemed a success. He had been moved to a new hospital when the complex closed and I didn’t know where to find him. Finally I started asking around the common area to see if someone could help me. A very kind woman in a wheelchair piped up, “Oh I know him, I talk to him all the time!” I wheeled her with me as she directed me to his room at the far end of the long hall, time enough to explain to her that – yes indeed, surprise, he’s married with two kids. We kept no pictures by his bed, he couldn’t see. I think because she introduced me to my father that day he was actually stable enough to talk to me. From the way he said “What? Really?” When she told him I was there and who I was I could tell he was surprised, but somehow, he knew her and trusted her. Maybe that meant that I could have known him too had I tried to visit him over and over, so I quizzed him.
“Do you remember me?” I asked.
“Yes.” he said.
“What do you remember?” I inquired.
Silence. Maybe he just didn’t want to disappoint me, even if I was a perfect stranger to him. Every other visit I tried on my own to introduce myself, he wouldn’t be able to speak and his eyes would well up, I couldn’t stand to hurt him like that. His one friend I met is my great comfort that he still had some normalcy and stability in his life. I never saw her again after that.
When he finally died the largest problem I was left with was a vast amount of guilt; survivor’s guilt for having left him in the hospital when I got to live my life. It doesn’t make sense – really I couldn’t have taken him anywhere, he couldn’t remember me, he had difficulty even being continually reintroduced to me, but for 17 years I hardly stepped foot in those hospitals.
When I watched Grey Matters I was shocked. I had already drawn the parallels between Walter and my father. Watching Fringe for me is a little like watching the relationship I wish I could have had with my father, I’ve always vicariously enjoyed it. This episode however, felt like it was written just for me.
“I should have visited you Walter – while you were in St. Claires.”
“Oh that’s OK Peter. If you had I probably wouldn’t of remembered anyway.”
It was the apology to my father I could never voice. The response was simple, but more forgiving and fatherly then I could ever have imagined. The truth of it – that any loving father will find it in them to forgive you – set me free of much of my guilt, and made me feel a little less alone in the world.
Every Fringe fan I meet sees the hope, inspiration and connection in this show. I feel a kinship to them because they see the impact of it in their own lives, in their own way. Mine just happened to be more of a hitting-the-nail-on-the-head kind of experience, and I’m sure there are others. There’s a reason a lot of Fringe fans are breaking ground with fan campaigns in innovative ways. This isn’t just a show about the fantastical or fantasy, its taking that story and making it a tool to explore and enrich our lives at a fundamental level. To me, it stands at the intersection of science, spirit and love and asks the question ‘Where do we go from here?’.
I think the answer is to find our happiness in loving each other, despite and sometimes because of the suffering we’ve endured in life. Something this show has helped me crystallize. – Anonymous
Fringe is dangerous: for the first time in my life I became addicted to a tv show!
Fringe feeds both my brain and my heart!
Fringe makes me think, makes me cry and makes me laugh!
Fringe drives me crazy in the best possible way!
Plus incredible cast (stellar acting), great writers and amazing crew…. simply I can’t stop watching it!!
Eli – @Elimoncia
I am a 40 year old Gemini, & for the people that don’t understand why I would include my sign, just look up the personality & characteristics of a Gemini & you will understand but my sister & VERY best friend died unexpectedly on Easter 2009. Needless to say, my world fell apart! I always thought that a soulmate was a lover, a friend & the person you just can’t live without or don’t want to perhaps is better said but on that day, I lost mine & it was then that I realized that your soulmate does NOT have to be a lover. I become a shell of my former self. EVERY thing & EVERY where reminded me of her. My entire life had been spent with her being a part of it & then in an instant, she was gone. I struggled! Having a very trusting, loving husband that was by my side day & night that cried with me not only because of the pain that he was watching me go through but also because on that same dreadful day, he realized he had lost the one person he called his soulmate too….ME. It seemed as though when she died I had died also.
We moved to TN less than a year later leaving home, friends & family behind just to try to see if I could heal being in a new place to try & start over but after a year we moved back to our home & back to the place of all the reminders & that is when I realized that moving away was just running from the inevitable. I then felt myself immediately start to fall right back into that hole I thought I pulled myself out of. It became so unbearable after trying everything I could to deal with the loss & trying to regain who I was. I had come to a conclusion that I was never going to get back to the person I was before because on that day, a part of me did die & that I would never be that person again but I knew I would have to find a way back to being the closest to who I was.
So in saying all of this, I happened across a video of the episode “Over There” on youtube when Olivia kisses Peter for the first time & being a Josh Jackson obsessed fan, had to check it out. Well after seeing that I was determined to see what lead to this, so I went to Best Buy & bought both seasons & sat down at my computer in one of our bedrooms that I had turned into a cave & started to watch even though, every part of me was afraid I wouldn’t like it because I have never been a big Sci Fi fan due to alot of it being so unbelievable but after 3 solid hours of non stop Fringe, when I had to MAKE myself go to the bathroom, I was hooked! My husband had left me alone because that was the first day that had gone by that he didn’t hear or see me cry. So..before I knew it I was watching it from the moment I got up around 7am (to tend to our little dog that has to be fed & given meds due to diabetes) until I MADE myself go to bed around 3am. FRINGE HAD BECOME MY LIFE! I would sit in front of my 25″ flat screen monitor with headsets to block out all sound in a recliner for almost 24 hours a day. I then in a matter of days, had finished both seasons & had preordered the 3rd but could NOT wait 3 more weeks for it to come so I bought all episodes on Amazon.com so I could continue with the story.
By the time I had finished the 3rd season & was waiting on the 4th to start on TV, I happened across some different chats that I joined having to do with Fringe, so to pass the time, I joined in & ever since then I have met some amazing, hopefully, life long friends that share in the admiration, passion & love for this show as much as I do. This show gave me that part of myself back that I thought was gone. It gave me something to believe in. It took my imagination & my mind to places outside of the realm of possibilities. It gave me a chance to wake that part of my mind up & allowed it to engage into the brilliance of all the possible journeys that this story can tell along with the other brilliant minds of the fandom while allowing that dark hole time to heal when nothing else could. I will forever be grateful to this show, characters & the awesome fandom I am privileged to be a part of. This is my #FringeConfessions – Jennifer A.
I shouldn’t be where I am today… I’ve endured more pain than most people can stand. But today, I’m doing fine. And it may sound cheesy, but I’m serious when I say Fringe helped me not just survive – but thrive.
I’m the result of an affair. My father told my mom the truth that he was married and abandoned her. My great-grandparents adopted me, so mom could get straightened out. Which she would, eventually.
I was in a gifted program at school, but was tormented relentlessly for it, and for being a tomboy.
I fell in love – or so I thought – and had a son way too young.
I got through high school with great determination, graduating in three years instead of four. I went off to college, but had to work as well. With a kid, college and job, I was exhausted. Then my husband died from a freak illness, and even though we were separated, I still cared for him very much. I was crushed.
Sadly, college had to go, and I went to work in a soul-crushing job. After a while, I went into business for myself, but a lot was missing. I just felt like I was getting by. I was in a very dark place in my life and felt like I was lost. Or as that 3 Doors Down song goes, I felt so “Away from the Sun.” For several reasons, I had terrible issues with social anxiety. I just did not feel “normal” or like I fit in.
I was introduced to Fringe late in Season 1, and it was not long before I was immersed.
The character of Olivia Dunham spoke to my soul. In many ways, I felt like I was Olivia.
Peter Bishop’s plight is something very familiar to me. In more ways than I want to admit. I felt like I could be Peter, too.
And like Walter, I have lost someone I loved – I’d break universes too….
Because of these three broken, very human people, and their stories – I wanted to be a better person. No matter what was thrown at me, or if the odds seemed insurmountable, the powerful lessons I learned from Fringe acted as a great motivator. I went back to school and earned my degree. I also came across some of the most amazing people among Fringe fans – people that I could have intellectual conversations with – people that “get” me.
It brings me tears to think about it. I am no longer lost – and will NEVER be lost again.
Because of Fringe, I found the crack – the light shined through. Ever since, things have been amazing for me. And I greet every day with a smile, ready to take on the next chapter. – Anonymous