“You Leave But You Can’t Leave it Alone”
That is the criticism every non-silent former Mormon (or other religious tribe where this is a common issue) hears from still-member friends and all the way up the the leaders of the Church.
This is why people can “leave the Church, but not leave it alone” and “tear apart their family” in the process.
(No doctrine, history, or “anti” info here. Just an analogy to answer the question.)
I know its hard for those who believe to be left by those they love and to feel attacked. I was one of them. I know exactly how that feels, both in times when truly hurts and times when you easily “let go and let God.” I know how it feels to trust God and love them anyway.
…Love, but not truly hear…
The Family’s Favorite Uncle
It’s always the person willing to expose the family’s favorite uncle for abuse he’s committed, who gets blamed for tearing the family apart, rather than the uncle who actually committed those crimes.
In many cases it’s because the other family members can’t fathom the accusations are true. Even if there is proof—they already KNOW he’s wonderful, no matter what evidence there is to the contrary (including evidence actually admitted by HIM).
Or because they value not rocking the boat more than they value the truth, in spite of the accounts of those who have been hurt by him. Rocking the boat directly affects them because it is negative and feels horrible.
Or because of the great good he also does in the world.
Or maybe they feel he “got better,” thus don’t feel its important everyone knows about it, even in order to be informed and aware for the safety of their children, just in case.
Or they have seen some of the evidence but feel his rebuttal debunked it to their satisfaction.
Or they heard some of the accounts of abuse and felt forced to believe the victim was lying, or that it didn’t matter as much as the greater unity of the family, or that the victim somehow caused the incident, or other discounting views of the victim’s experience.
Or any number of other reasons.
Tragically, the one who was willing to step out of the family’s/tribe’s status quo to raise awareness about the harm, is the one who gets the heat.
Now, you may feel this analogy does not apply—you may feel it is false accusation, and for this discussion that is okay! We are not getting into the proof or debate on that.
All I ask is that you try to understand that many others you love feel it does apply, and thus it warrants compassion at the very least (how would you feel being the one having knowledge of the favorite uncle’s abusive behavior?), or even better, open listening and honest understanding.
Does this Change Anything?
Considering this analogy, do you feel there is a way to now mend the bridge over the pain between the two perspectives?
Why or why not?
Under what terms?