Ask Amy: Family members are conflicted about compassion
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?
Dear Conflicted: An embrace is not an endorsement.