Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

A society that institutionalizes the Shameful Secret makes me profoundly uncomfortable. When figment0 told me in all earnestness that it wasn't that LDS folks never made mistakes, it was that no one mentioned the mistakes that they'd made, and no one around them mentioned them either, in the idea that not talking about the mistakes would draw attention to the strengths of people, not their weaknesses.

The Figment does not have a way with words. His words often come out klutzy and half-backward, and sometimes reinforcing the exact opposite of what he intended, though the words are coming out almost right for what he wanted to say. Everything he said to reassure me that LDS was good and healthy for him and for everyone made me more likely to want to take him by the hand and flee screaming, except that I knew that he would not appreciate that. So I fled silently into the night. Sometimes he sends me postcards from Stockholm.

I am sure that in a tight-knit community, everyone knows everyone else's business, whether they want to or not. There's just no way to avoid knowing about it, sometimes. And it's very important to give people privacy, at least illusory privacy. It's also healthier to look to the future rather than dwelling on the past. But the impression that Figment gave was different. This impression was that while a problem was going on, appropriate help would be rendered -- but once the problem was past, the problem would never be referred to again, not even in the context of "I know what you are going through now, because I battled with that myself in the past, and it was a difficult fight."

If that's not the case, then Figment was communicating it badly.

If it is the case, that past struggles are not acknowledged to someone going through a struggle now, I think it would lead to feelings of isolation and inadequacy, rather than leading to strength through overcoming adversity. If someone offers me advice, I want to know why they think that is a good idea for me to try. Maybe they've seen this countless times. Maybe they've been there before themselves. Maybe they just know me and know what tends to help me. Maybe they don't know me from Adam and have never been there themselves before and never known anyone, but they've read a lot of theory. I'm not used to accepting "Because I say so" as an answer from anyone whose authority I'm not already assured of.

("Because I say so" works from Darkside, because I know who he is and he knows me past the point where words run dry. "Because I say so" works for anyone making claims about their own experience and feelings. "Because I say so" works from the deities Who have directly tapped me. "Because I say so" worked from my parents until the assorted points in the maturation process when I started making my decisions for myself. Everybody else has to go with "Because I think so," and then either defend their thesis or not.)

I have problems with authority that expects no questioning. I have problems with authority that assumes a greater knowledge and experience without testing or comparing. I have problems with authority that says "It's for your own good" without attempting to involve me in the process of determining what my own good is and should be. On the average, certain things can be assumed. But when you try to assume that because something is the average, it must apply to one single individual out of that group? That is a logical fallacy, first off, and is dreadfully presumptive and insensitive to boot.

The Figment's faith seems to attempt to apply to the broadest common denominator, but does not particularly inspire my confidence that more complex situations will be handled with love, grace, and sensitivity to the situation.

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