October 6th, 1988
Today there was a plebiscite. I hope it changes things in Chile. I have been out of prison for two months now. It is not clear why the released me. It might have been related to the recent political developments, but perhaps they had simply had enough with me. Going back to Puerto Montt to see my family was surreal experience. At first my parents and siblings – who had all stayed in our hometown when I had moved to Santiago – did not recognize me. I was gaunt, bearded and walked with a limp. Once they realized who I was they all embraced me. They had forgotten all our past fights. My family was sure I had been killed, having disappeared five years ago. Their experience under the dictatorship has been the opposite of mine. My parents kept their jobs with the government after the coup and only retired in the 1980s. My brother and two sisters both took civic jobs as well. No one lifted a finger against the government.
I bear no ill will against my family members for their lack of opposition to the junta. Nonetheless they also accepted by disappearance and did not spend an enormous amount of time searching for me. This I have a bit more trouble making peace with. My Christian upbringing was based around doing what is both good and just. It seems that those who taught me this did not live by it. I have long abandoned god – or perhaps he abandoned me. Regardless these constant hypocrisies remind me of the falsenesses of religion every day.
I have resolved to try to move past all of my struggles. I do not wish to live the rest of my life as a broken man. My hatred for the government and for those that allowed my country to be ruled by such a brutal regime has consumed me. Once my hope gave out it was the only thing that kept me going during my imprisonment.
I cannot imagine what will happen after the plebiscite. I voted against the government and I am sure many of my countrymen did to. Of course I hope that the junta gives up power, but after 15 years of oppression I am not sure they will go quickly.