There was a time I never spoke out and I'm horrified by it. A time I didn't think and didn't listen but just accepted. I can't seem to figure out when and where and how often it's appropriate to speak out, especially as a person who rarely gets out.
I'm an undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive. But I am diagnosed with something else that includes obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behavior. It's a nightmare. I find a topic and I obsess over it. I have a thought and I obsess over it until I can't stand it anymore and act on it. This process generally takes a second, but sometimes takes over the span of a few days. Weeks, months. A year. It depends on my cycling. Sometimes I don't think and just do despite knowing I need to stop and think. I'm rarely happy with myself afterward. I'm learning control, but it's hardly easy. It's a continual struggle that often results in damaged relationships. One that depends on the forgiveness of others and the gift of second, third, even fourth chances.
I want to do what is right, but the definition of "right" has changed a bit. I feel a lot of responsibility being surrounded by people who can't see past their leaders' noses, spread the ignorance, and in the process hurt others. But, you know, they feel just as right as I do.
I don't often proclaim something is definitely right or wrong anymore because I know there are exceptions, that there are more than two sides to each story. I can give a general, reasonable judgment on certain things--murder is wrong, rape is horrific, love is good, the church isn't "true." I can reasonably proclaim that racism and sexism are bad, that while homophobia is not in itself bad (I see it more as a misunderstanding, lack of education, experience, time), the actions that stem from it can be.
I should be more concerned with inspiring people to think for themselves rather than make judgments. People who feel wrongly judged don't want to listen. They want to fight back. I think there are those who have felt ostracized by a religion or church or its members because of individual beliefs understands this. It's the same on their end, too. When you feel attacked, you want to fight back--however is your style.
I'm on the fence about this Boyd Packer thing. I want to talk about it, and I have. I want to scream and yell, which I've tried my best to not do. I'm actually proud of myself for my reactions here. Not so much elsewhere on the 'net, though. I've come to ask myself at what point do I stop--at what point does focusing on it and feeding it become antithetical to me, personally? Because let's be honest, I'm standing up for myself, too, because this very thing is what drove me out of the church. The accusation that I wasn't faithful enough despite everything I was doing to be just that.
But what of those I'm standing up for as well? At what point does it harm more than help? At what point do I end up chasing away those who might otherwise listen to me at a lower volume?
I can't figure out when silence is good and when it's hurtful. My husband says he's disgusted by everything that has happened, but he doesn't show it unless I press him and even then he's pretty even-keeled. And it's then that I wish I could be more like him, more like those who exhibit control. I feel out of control.
The quote I have on this blog propels me to action. I don't want to be silent anymore, especially as others around me state that which is wrong and spread those diseases. I don't want to be silent anymore, in part because I am still attempting to atone for a sin I committed ten years ago when I dismissed my hurting friend. I want to stand with him, with them. I want to be brave and do this in not-so-safe places. I want to acknowledge things within myself that will help their cause--but I'm not entirely sure it would. Because in the end, to too many people, I chose a man. I chose "the right."
Not only do the words like that hurt other people, but they hurt those who don't know any better than to just accept the sentiments and conclusions of their chosen leaders. Later some of them will find out. Later they will hate themselves. Later, they may even realize they've been hating a part of themselves all along.
Not that I want that, but perhaps that's just how it has to go.