|I think we all get bit at some point...or even bite others....|
I'm about as protective of my children as they come, and to have my children threatened and harmed in the church while adults aren't paying attention, and then to have the person who did it say that he can't be stopped no matter what happens to him - well with my profession that can't, by law, go unreported (and I'm being deliberately vague here) but.....well....I'm not quite sure what to do anymore socially in my ward.
I would change wards immediately, but my wife's disability makes that an impossibility because the other ward in town, she can't get her wheelchair into, and getting her into the other ward at an earlier time with her disability isn't possible. Then the thought comes to me that there are going to be problems no matter where I go - though hopefully not the gettting-the-authorities-involved-type. Once is enough and I have zero tolerance, but also don't like feeling like I'm the problem for doing what needs to be done.
At any rate, trying to dodge and avoid people in church really isn't the thing I want to do and I just don't have patience for - I'm an outsider here - I live now in a place where though I'm extremely conservative where I'm from, I'm viewed as extremely liberal here because of my profession working in criminal mental health. So I don't really feel like I have much refuge here. I know there are wards that have dysfunctional narcissism at every level, and the church isn't for perfect people, and we are supposed to forgive, yadda yadda yadda.
But when you realize just how much you rely on the church to be your home and your refuge from the world, to de-stress and draw close to heavenly father, and all of a sudden your children are being harmed and threatened and parents and church leaders aren't looking out for your children...that's not supposed to happen in the one true church.
Does it? It happened to me. But it's not supposed to.
It's exhausting when all of a sudden rather than a place to uplift, it becomes an exercise in dysfunctional social psychology despite us trying to live the gospel. Beyond what it normally is.
And then, I look at Joseph Smith and even Christ and what they suffered with how many traitors they went through and I'm like...I don't know what to do, honestly, or how to feel.
I, really, with my wife's disability, have zero energy for much more than showing up at church, and the social pressure that comes with being LDS and to forgive...well, here's a few thoughts on this.
I haven't been apologized to, nobody's followed up with our family, and what am I? Some hoity-toity unforgiving jerk because I'm disturbed and shaken and stressed by what's happened and I don't want to go to my ward anymore or really want my children involved with these adults or their kids anymore? Do I not have faith anymore? Am I overreacting? (Honestly, all my professional training showed this was criminal behavior and behavioral observations of the perpetrator shows me that the offender has some issues).
I really don't know what to do with this.
"Pray about it!" I can hear people saying.
Yes, yes I should. Add to the complications that I'm a leader in our ward so simply disappearing with anonymity is out - nevermind the fact that I have three children and my wife's a teacher in the ward so simply disappearing isn't really an option though tempting...I really don't know what to do.
I just know, that as I apply what I know of psychology and human behavior, that I think even the gospel takes time to have an effect. Even God works in eternities. Though as I think about it, it seems we are willing to give all the time in the world for people to investigate the gospel, and to repent, but forgiveness is seemed to be expected to be immediate and if people can't forgive, then something's wrong with them. I can hear the parable about the rattlesnake bite that fills us with poison and how we can spend our time chasing the rattlesnake meanwhile the poison kills us, and equating the poison to how forgiveness needs to be done quickly before anger destroys us. But I think forgiveness is a matter of healing and much more than simply not caring what happens to you. I don't think people taking time to forgive is really just people holding out while they decide to be jerks, until they finally pull their boots up and decide to be Saints and be holy and spiritual and forgive.
Anyways, this blog entry is me processing and sharing.
I know the church is true.
I know the people aren't perfect.
I know we're there to strengthen each other. But my family is crippled already and smaller things do greater damage to our energy, and bigger things like this that I know and recognize as criminally deviant - I have no time or patience for - and hearing it get passed off and dismissed and not followed up on or even addressed to me - I don't have the stomach for - and to hear this has been a problem for a long time and nobody's done anything about it....where am I to go?
Because I don't want to be here anymore.
I want to know my children are safe and know my efforts as a parent are upheld.
So for now - I am not sure what to do but I know I need to heal, there's a lot for me to learn from the gospel, and I know Heavenly Father isn't expecting me to just get run over and be fine with it - that's not what forgiveness or healing is about. So for now still, it's going to be a while and be some time and I don't know what to do other than continue on.
Maybe this is just part of the lesson.
Maybe this isn't an accident and we're supposed to grow from this as well - or at least have the opportunity - even though it's not supposed to happen. Maybe that's what makes the growth so much more critical in this place and setting.