Frankly, I am concerned too:
“Experts on child sexual abuse are extremely concerned about the rise of conspiracy theories, particularly in what are intended as safe places for survivors. “It’s very discomforting” to know that sexual abuse survivors are being drawn into conspiracy theories like QAnon, says Jetta Bernier, executive director for Mass Kids, a child advocacy organization. “Those who have experienced sexual abuse in their childhoods have a deep understanding of how traumatic it can be over the course of a lifetime,” she says. “We want to support survivors in turning their attention to constructive ways to make a difference in the lives of other children. We don’t want them to be exploited and, in a sense, re-abused, re-traumatized, by those who would propose these conspiracy theories.””
Look, I get it. As an abuse survivor, all I wanted to do was figure out how this made sense, and how I could go on believing the world was fair, even after I had been abused, because I couldn’t deal with it just not being fair. Having a conspiracy theory that told me that the world would be fair, if only we could get rid of these elites who cheat at it, would have been very tempting.
It would have also been wrong, and robbed me of a chance to learn a truth that has since been a huge part of my healing:
The world isn’t, and has never been, fair. Bad things happen because someone decided to do a bad thing. Good things happen because someone decided to do a good thing. There is no grand control of the world being wielded by anyone, we are all just doing what we can with our own lives, and we are all responsible for what we do with our own lives, and not responsible for the decisions of others.
If I had bought into QAnon, I never learn that, and I never learn how to deal with that and be an adult. I remain the child trying to find the reasons why “I” was abused, how it all works, etc.
And, I also ignore the millions of child around the world who are abused, not by some elite cabal, but by their own families and people close to them, because it doesn’t fit. Those survivors also deserve better.
And, frankly, I’d also agree that right now, it’s hard to be an advocate online. I spend so much time weeding through and removing comments, or posts to Facebook groups, or posts from people I follow who want nothing more than to spread fear and misinformation in what they think is “protecting the children”, instead of actually supporting survivors and learning the things that will actually protect children, and it’s exhausting.
It’s a problem that keeps getting worse, and no amount of fact-checking seems to help. That’s the thing about conspiracy theories. Once you’re in deep enough, you’ll fight tooth and nail to stay in it, and we are all seeing the repercussions play out in social media right now, drowning out everything else.
I’m not OK with that.