Karen Josephina Berg wrote on Facebook
Yesterday I climbed Ensign Peak with one group of friends, and while coming down the mountain, ran into another—led by Sam Young of Protect Every Child [and Protect LDS Children]. A former bishop (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDS, Mormon), Sam has been tirelessly raising awareness of harm being done to many Mormon children. As a result of his advocacy, Sam was excommunicated. He’s now advocating for all children.
Sam and I visited on my second trip to the top. He said I’d gone missing and that he’d asked of me, hearing that I was going through a rough time. I told him last summer was the hardest of my life, as I had become involved in a high profile case of child sex abuse that had been covered up (Sam knew of this). We spoke of how hard it is to go from simply realizing your religion is false, to acknowledging deep evil within it. He told me a few private stories. I said my awakening to reality had shattered me, and was the final straw in ending my marriage.
It’s also when I began to fall into hopelessness. Different than being suicidal, I began to wish I could just stop living. I saw no way to fix anything, or flourish within my life’s realities. The only slight glimmer of possibility was to simply never speak of Mormonism again, to ignore it, to think pink and distract myself. To pretend that there wasn’t an elephant in the livingroom of Mormonism’s Vatican City. There’s a lot more to this story. There always is to any human story of any depth. But here’s where I’m going with this…
I’ve been told by a couple people that moving from where my grown children and grandchildren live is selfish. I’ve been told, with an air of superiority, that they “could never do that!” I hear you. I understand what you are saying. Still, here’s what I cannot do. I cannot have my children see me implode, surrender, grow fragile, after seeing me dare truth and be brave. I am their model. I want, no I need, to show them how to be courageous and win beyond that courage, living meaningful lives that honor their souls. I need to show them what a happy, healthy life looks like. And I can only do that if I am living in a space where I can be whole, strong, powerful—my best Karin. Some people can do that from inside what harmed them, always surrounded by their demons. I’m not one of those people.
And it’s weird, now that I’m planning my exit—I’m strong, involved me again. And I just want to add, I share so much of my life on social media because I believe our human stories are more the same than different. I am you and you are me. We need each other’s truths, because, while we have different colors we’re painting with on entirely different canvases—still, if we listen, I believe we can learn about ourselves and find our own way within each other. Thank you to those of you who share your stories with me. ❤
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Sign the new Petition:
Climb a mountain, hilltop or driveway. Unfurl a banner and share it.
Come to the March for the Children on October 5, 2019 in Salt Lake City.
This is the big one. If we have 5,000 marchers, the national media will be all over it.
Institutions will be warned. Huge awareness will be raised.
Children will be protected. Past victims will take solace.
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