Our family on the other hand was devastated. Our lives would never be the same,our faith would never be the same, our ability to trust would be forever altered.
What good are we if in a moment of real need we deflect, distant ourselves, or ignore the issue?
I don't want to ever be that person!
For the first two weeks our family was trying to figure out how to maneuver through all of what was happening. Initially, we stated that we didn't want our family named as the "victim family" when the leadership spoke of the matter. We wanted to try and control who knew it was our family for the simple reason of protecting our child's privacy. Fairly soon we decided we didn't have anything to hide and communicated to the leadership that it didn't matter to us who knew it was our family. (About a week after the discovery the leadership had a meeting and told the congregation that there had been "inappropriate affection" between Patrick Rojas and a child in the congregation. They informed the church members that the authorities were involved.)
When we started to tell our close family and friends the reactions were so diverse. I would start by saying that we called 911 to report sexual abuse by Patrick Rojas against one of our children. It was always disbelief at first but after that some would actually start to cry and show deep concern for our child and family. They would want to listen, ask questions, they would be real.
Some reactions were hurtful! I had a few people after the initial shock actually turn their concern towards Patrick. No kidding, one comment was, "Well he better get a good lawyer, the state will be out to get him."
Another one went right into rantings of how "The Rojas ways weren't all that great after all, now were they?"
In those moments, I was struck by the fact that the individual in front of me really hadn't heard me. I had just told them I had to call 911 because my child had been sexually molested by Patrick.
The comments I resent the most were the ones where the person would say, "At least that's all he did, it could have been worse."
I wanted to scream, WHAT IS WORSE?" (Any form of sexual abuse is devastating!)
These people just didn't get it! I think this is when I started to shut down inside, to hunker down.
Part of me died inside.
*Partly from the "Reactions" post.