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Ask Amy: Family members are conflicted about compassion

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have been invited to a family event. One of the other guests, a relative, was recently arrested for possessing child pornography.

I want to make it very clear that, as far as I know, he has not physically abused any children. My wife refuses to attend.

I’ve known this man my entire life. I have always liked him. Naturally, I was shocked, confused and disgusted when I found out the circumstances surrounding his failed suicide attempt.

I am trying to wrap my head around how I can separate my love for a family member when they carry such a horrific history/situation/illness.

I am asking you this question (instead of another family member), because I do not know who in my family knows what.

I do not think it is my responsibility to share this information with anyone (especially since there won’t be any children attending the affair).

 

How can I hug him and have a conversation when I am repulsed by what he has done?

And if I can, is that the “right” thing to do?

– Conflicted

Dear Conflicted: An embrace is not an endorsement.

...continued

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