My uncle is a convicted pedophile.
Several years ago, he was caught sharing child pornography and, rightfully, put in prison for what should have been a long, long time.
Though he never physically touched a child himself, he sought out and paid those who did, successfully helping to create a market for abused children who are systematically kidnapped, tortured and used for the perverse pleasure of other people.
In my mind, there is no crueler, more depraved evil that exists in the world. To be a willing participant in such violence against the innocent... it is akin to abortion. Such exploitation extinguishes a child's sense of dignity and self... it kills their intrinsic thirst for love and hope.
And my uncle took part in this heinous brutality. I almost felt as though I spat those words through my fingers. The anger, revulsion and indignation rise like a tsunami of venom that bursts forth from my very core and rages out as an invisible whip vainly searching out his blood for vengeance.
This evil is, for me, a terribly difficult thing to forgive. What's worse is that he doesn't even seem to want forgiveness. He wants folks to simply "forget" that he participated in such perversion. He wants to be accepted back into the family with nary a word of complaint. He wants things to be as if he has simply returned from a cruise as opposed to incarceration.
No. This I cannot do. I have tried, but his handling of the family dynamic reached a head last weekend and I just about lost my mind.
Some in the family have tried telling us that all is well and he's no longer a threat to children. A few of us, however, stand in staunch denial of this. He has done nothing to prove he is even remotely sorry for what he's done; he's sorry he got caught. He's sorry he's embarrassed people he cares about. I have seen no inclination that he's sorry for actually participating in the destruction of children.
Countless times he has tried to play down his crimes. "The children were older" or "He didn't really know what he was doing."
He knew exactly what he was doing. You don't wade through as much pornography as he did without knowing EXACTLY what you're doing.
I've stumbled across porn sites, myself. I even have porn sites that link themselves to my page (and this entry will undoubtedly draw them out in droves). However, I don't sit there and download images and pleasure myself as these victims are sexually abused for my benefit.
Ugh - I actually want to vomit. That is HEINOUS.
And the fact that he has refused to acknowledge his part... my mind is blown. It is absolutely blown.
We were asked to attend a family function this past weekend for the kids. Vince, my niece and their cousin were all to get together for a special play date. John and I caught wind that this uncle would be there. My SIL also heard and all of us decided it would be better to keep our kids home rather than expose them to this situation.
Immediately there was an issue. We were looked at as wrong for not welcoming this uncle back into the family with open arms. We were looked at as selfish in keeping our kids from playing with one another just because he'd be in the same room.
What these people fail to realize is a glaringly obvious fact.
Uncle **** is the one who tore apart the family dynamic by participating in the abuse of children. Uncle **** is the one who made things awkward for everyone by purposefully seeking out photos of sexually exploited children.
Thus, it is up to HIM to fix it, if such a thing is even possible.
The onus is not on us to accept what he did. It's not on us to willingly place our children in his company. It's certainly not on us to reach out to explain or excuse his part in such atrocity.
Yet we are being looked at as if we are at fault. We are being spoken of as if WE are the ones with something to fix... as if our mindset is broken.
I just cannot understand this. Luckily, John's mother has been understanding of our point of view. She has not tried to trick us into meeting him since his release. The same cannot be said for others. Our cousins have come to us venting about how their parents have thrust him onto them, demanding that they treat him with respect and acceptance. No one is allowed to bring up what he did, and no one is allowed to act as if what he did has any bearing on who he is as a person.
Welcome to a world where up is down and right is wrong.
It's not on US to accept him. It's up to him to work towards acceptance. It's up to him to prove he's sorry. It's up to him to seek help and prove he would never put another child in harms way for his own perverted pleasure. It's up to HIM to reach out and speak to us as opposed to cowardly hiding behind his sisters as they fight for his acceptance back into the family.
His cowardice disgusts me.
I know Christ calls us to forgive, and I've tried to extend the olive branch (especially out of respect for other members of my family whom I love and I know are hurting over this, too), but his complete disregard for the feelings of my family members enrages me. I cannot forgive this... at least not yet. I cannot yet forgive that there are family members who expect us to accept this situation without even questioning the logic of their demands.
But I will not be made to feel guilty for protecting my child and protecting other children. I will not be made to feel guilty for speaking out against his depravity which has helped hurt so many. I will not be made to feel ashamed for refusing to accept such evil so willingly into the lives of those I love and care about.
So can I forgive a pedophile? Not right now. I am not able to. I'm trying, but it is impossibly hard.
And though I can't reach out with forgiveness, I can reach out with prayer. And pray for him I do. I pray for him and I pray ESPECIALLY for those he's hurt. I pray for the children who are caught in this vicious cycle, I pray for those in the family he betrayed and embarrassed.
I pray for the family as a unit, because we are obviously fractured on account of his actions.
Please join your prayers to mine. My appreciation. <3
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