An Open Letter to my Online Community

Dear Family,

I chose the word “family” because that’s what you are. You are – and have been – my chosen family in this wonderful wacky world of the internet. And I love you. I’ve been so glad to have you in my life. I have found joy and a sense of belonging because of you.

One year ago, a schism happened in our family. As time passed, and details emerged, the schism grew. Some people chose sides, others tried to remain neutral. Relationships were lost.

And while my conscience directed me to draw a line and choose a side, I tried to straddle that line anyway. I did cut ties with the abuser and those who directly and physically shield him. But with those in the community who chose to remain neutral and “mind their own business” – I stayed silent. I loved you, I cheered you, I supported you. I kept you in my heart.

And I still love you.

But sometimes love isn’t enough. Sometimes you can love someone and still have to walk away because you can’t support choices they’ve made. And that’s where I am today.

Yesterday, information was made public about sexual assault that occurred within this family. Many of you didn’t know about that assault, nor about the previous patterns of manipulation and physical abuse perpetuated by this man. I could justify and rationalize that some people could still support a liar and cheater because they didn’t know the whole story.

Well now that story is complete. You know what happened. Information is freely available. There are police reports and legal affidavits detailing physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Some of these reports involve minors.

Make no mistake about it – this man is a predator and an abuser.

Some of you have come out and said you simply don’t believe it, instead choosing to believe that these allegations were made up. Some of you have said that you will continue to mind your own business and that there are two sides to every story.

And by doing so, you are giving an abuser power.

Choosing not to take a side is taking a side. You are silencing his victims. You are enabling him.

And while I love you, I cannot be in your life if you are supporting this man – even indirectly.

I believe her. And I will not give him power by staying silent anymore.

Please know that if I stop interacting with you, it’s not because you aren’t in my heart. If you find yourself in a place after you’ve processed this for awhile and you do choose to stand against him, I will be there for you.

Be well.

Love,
Mandi Kaye

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