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Source: (consider it) Thread: A time to speak...
# 58

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There’s been a spate of high-profile cases in the news in the past few years featuring people who have been on the receiving end of abuse or unpleasantness of other kinds deciding to break their silence and come forwards after many years. On a lesser scale, in everyday life, people can and do sometimes bear grudges or hurts for a very long time, so the question for this thread is:

Do you think it’s helpful to bring something up after a long interval when everyone else has forgotten about it and moved on?

Would you think it helpful to do so, if the person who had committed an offence that you found you couldn’t forget had done this only once, and never repeated it, rather than being a serial offender still committing the same offence?

Is it compatible with the idea of forgiveness to bring something up after, say, 20 or 30 years?

I don't want to get into discussing abuse cases in specific detail, I'd like to keep this to hypothetical scenarios with the general idea of someone committing an injustice or unpleasantness against someone who doesn't react visibly at the time, and says nothing and keeps silent, but decides years later to speak out. Or perhaps that someone was a witness to something that they felt they couldn't speak about at the time.

[ 03. November 2016, 11:20: Message edited by: Ariel ]

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Brenda Clough
# 18061

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I think you could distinguish between acts that are clearly criminal (sexual abuse, violence) and acts that are annoying (invitations to weddings, that venomous note in the parish newsletter, etc.) but not actionable in court. Crimes should be fought, for the sake of the health of the polity. Annoyances should be, if possible, forgiven and forgotten.

Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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The very fact that the person is considering bringing it up suggests that it probably ought to be--the issue appears to be festering. It also suggests that the person is unable to access any other way of coping, such as forgiving without bringing it up. Otherwise they'd probably have done so already.

I'm not saying it's a GOOD thing that someone might be unable to forget and forgive, say, a slight at a wedding, but if even a triviality is causing that much pain, it's probably better to finally deal with it out in the open. The person is highly unlikely to find a different resolution after all these years of not doing so.

Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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# 12143

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I think it can be healing for people who were abused and it was never acknowledged to be able to finally state that it happened and have it acknowledged. It does often seem to happen many years later, but I think that is because in the past abuse often wasn't acknowledged, was often swept under the carpet, and abuse victims made to feel guilty and ashamed. Sometimes it is only when the abuser dies that a person feels able to speak out about it and acknowledge it. Not necessarily in a high profile way but, say, within a family. I have seen this happen within my own family, and the person who spoke out to other family members had been very damaged and it was a healing process for them to be able to speak about it. Nowadays fortunately there is a lot more awareness about abuse and it is more often picked up on and stopped and counselling support provided, at least in children and young people.
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