Laura's Story…will be slightly delayed

by Laura

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Dear Readers of NLQ,

You may have noticed that it has been a while since I posted an installment of my chronological story. I was doing some “research” in order to get more writing done this morning. I dug out my old journal kept during the time of my clinical depression and subsequent treatment. When I read it, I was so enraged at the pain and abuse inflicted on me, I was too angry to write coherently.

I stomped around the house swearing for a while.

I was so dependent on my ex for every thing – emotionally, physically spiritually. I was angry at the hell he put me through so he could follow “God”. I was angry at myself for not being what I thought he wanted me to be but mostly I was angry at the abuse that I really didn’t aknowledge before. When all this was actually happening, Vyckie and I were talking in my bedroom during a home church service. We were happily nursing our babies and I was telling her some of my woes. She said right out that my ex was emotionally abusing me. I didn’t see that at all. It was something that I was doing wrong. I wasn’t submissive enough. I wasn’t meek enough, I wasn’t spiritual enough, understanding enough.

I beat my self up over my failure. And I begged my ex to meet me half way. When he didn’t…I hated him for it. And then I felt guilty, guilty, guilty. I saw it in my journal.

For the last few years, I have been labeled the bad guy in the demise and death of my marriage. It is my fault somehow and my ex is the victim. After I read my journals, I saw that who ever thinks that this was Laura’s fault is wrong. Maybe I should publish them in all their painful glory. Maybe then those folks who think that I am such a horrible person for “abandoning my children” will get off their pious horse and see the hell that drove me to leave.

Ok…I am done..I will get to work on my story…I just wanted to explain why I haven’t continued it yet.

Laura’s Story:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13

More from Laura:

  • Anonymous

    Take your time! Unpack your baggage as you see fit. CareBirdy

  • aimai

    CareBirdy has a great comment. It is baggage! Unpack it, do your laundry here, feel at home–but in your own time. You and Vyckie have created what looks like a pretty supportive community of people so don’t let the duties of blogging drag you down. Post open threads! Let the commenters do the heavy lifting while you are meditating on what you have been through.with much love and compassionAimai

  • Linnea

    Indeed! And thank you for all the sharing you’ve done already – I know this can’t be easy.Hugs.

  • adventuresinmercy

    ((((hugs))))Feel proud of yourself. This whole thing is a journey. One step at a time is all any human can expect to take. You are doing GREAT.

  • blk

    It is awful to feel other people blame you for something which you believe you were the victim in. But it may be more awful to feel you -have- to get the acceptance of everybody around you in order to live your life in a healthy, productive way. There will -always- be some people who will blame you and leave your husband and the QF movement blameless. But you know yourself. You know the truth for you. That is what matters. Hold onto that truth and believe in yourself. Step by step, you will prevail.

  • EK

    I think about those people who sit so comfortably on their high horses when judging situations in which they do NOT have the full story (no matter how close to the situation or parties they may be). Humans are infuriatingly judgmental. In every country and society I’ve lived in, it is ever thus. People do anything and everything they can to view others’ issues through their own lens and to try and make sense of it on their own terms. They HAVE to find a way to fit you into their worldview…because there’s nothing so uncomfortable as cognitive dissonance.And if your worldview, your socialized belief, says that: “Mothers and children have a mystical and eternal bond that transcends the mother’s suffering. Mothers are magically and mystically welded to their children such that only monstrous non-women would ever leave their children, for ANY reason. Mothers who favor their own health and sanity and life over being with their children are monstrous and monsters.”Well, if that’s what you believe to be a natural, biological, universal truth…then Laura can only ever be construed in your mind as a monster. Doesn’t matter what she suffered or that she might be driven to suicide. Period. I have to police myself all the time to avoid judging people. It is hard work. But each time I start to think, “hmmph, that person is so backward in their belief” or “dang, I can’t believe they DID that!,” I pull back and order myself to cease my unkindess and to stop privileging my own experience over others’. I refuse to become a hater. Period. I wish people received training at a young age to learn how to do likewise…we are socialized to be so many unnatural things, why not socialize towards crushing the urge to judge and belittle?

  • Jadehawk

    that’s a… very lovely picture of you… *hides from angry Laura* :-pin all seriousness though: what the first commenters said: unpack your baggage at your own time: laundry is hard work!

  • Laura

    Thank you my friends…I appreciate all that was said above. It is hard to relive it all and to put it into words and then share the ugliness with others. I want to be able to say that I too refuse to become a hater but when there is so much resentment and anger…it’s hard to not hate the person(s) and ideology that I see as being responsible for it. I know that I absolutely had a part in the last 25 years of my life. I allowed alot of things to happen and didn’t stand up for myself yet I was so very young and ignorant of religion. I look back at my self then and think ,”That poor kid. She never had a chance. She gave it all up for her guy and his god and she won’t even know that she is sorry to have done that for decades to come.” Just alot of ICKY and YUCKY to get rid of. Thank you for your patience, love and support.

  • tiro

    Laura, you are doing a great job. It is normal to be angry. If you weren’t angry then we’d be worried. You went through hell. It will take you some time to make sense of it all.Just know that God loves you and He didn’t authorize that stuff even if others say He did. You know that now. You are not the only woman to have gone through abusive stuff in the name of God. It’s horrible that it happens. I cannot figure it out myself. It is just the sinful nature of humans.But you are going to heal. And somehow it is all going to work out. Take one step at a time. Many people are praying for you.((hugs))

  • Anonymous

    Dear Laura,Well to say the least…I am just sick to my stomach with this blog you have started….you are saying some disgusting things…and you are putting down the life that I live and love and my friends live and love….No, I am not part of a cult or movement…we as a family are seeking what God would have for us. Just b/c you or your friend did not like this life does NOT mean others don’t love it. I am sorry your marriage was not great….for that I am very sorry…..but that really should be between you & Dale and the Lord…… to think ALL marriages w Christ are like that is just wrong. That is not how most marriages are…. I love my husband. He is my VERY best friend…we have fun together….we are a team……We LOVE Jesus and are THANKFUL for the children He has blessed us with. I consider it a BLESSING to be able to stay home and care for my children and home school them. It was always my heart….not a cult or movement…The teachings that your friend is so against are just wonderful and solid. The choices you are making are awful. Whatever teachings you are following or listening to are totally not of the Lord. It is so sad to see a woman like you go from taking care of her family to doing what you are. It is sad to see what you are doing to your children. The children you birthed. I pray for you often. I pray you will come back to what is sound and true. I am not sure why you have done all this but it just makes me so sad for you. What a bad example you are being to your children & others that know you. You are making very sad poor choices. It makes me sad to see how you have changed/ your heart seems to be gone…when I lost my first little one to miscarriage….you were so kind and sweet and really comforterated me during a very hard time in my life. Where did that heart of yours go….? If you are still dealing with depression…I pray you are getting the help you need and getting better…. I was not going to say anything…..just keep praying for you….but you and your friend seem to have woman who are following you that too are very liberal in their ways….and they need to hear that there are MANY woman out there….that LOVE this life you are saying such awful things about…..we LOVE it and are THANKFUL for it…and are THANKFUL for the LORD and our HUSBANDS. We are NOT part of a cult or group. We choose to have children because they are a JOY to our days….we will rise up and be blessed one day… so your followers need to know…that we LOVE how many children we have and LOVE being home w our children….and don’t really care for being of the world…but living for Christ….we know where we are going to be spending our days when we are done with this world….we will be with the Lord praising him…. I am sick what you said about the Lord… I really can’t believe you would say such a thing….your little miscarried babies are sitting up there with God worshiping Him… your children….& you are saying that about the Lord. I pray the day will come when you will turn from all this worldly living/thinking and embrace the truth and we can enjoy seeing you again and chatting about our families/children and so on. …..May the Lord be with you Laura and may you listen to the truth…..

  • aimai

    Laura,Its not my place to say it, and please don’t feel the need to respond, but I hope you are getting some therapy now. Its not just that you have been robbed of your youth and some of your early productive years (you are still very young, of course, and have lots of wonderful experiences ahead of you with your new husband). You’ve also been robbed of your children and of the past that you shared with them. A person who is enduring what you are enduring is entitled to feel more than just depressed and angry–they have got to be working with some righteous and overpowering rage. It seems to me from your comment on this thread that some of the rage you are feeling is even for that younger girl, so vulnerable and so foolish and so open hearted and so trusting. And all of your feelings about yourself have to be doubled and tripled as you think of your daughters and sons left behind without even your protection and with even the memory of their mother sabotaged by their father. That is some horrible, hard stuff to be dealing with. And its not something you should have to go through alone. I hope you can find a really good support group of some kick*ss feminists, lawyers, and therapists who can help you not only come to terms with your grief for your old life, but help you bust out of the chrysalis in this new life.aimai

  • Anonymous

    “The teachings that your friend is so against are just wonderful and solid. The choices you are making are awful. Whatever teachings you are following or listening to are totally not of the Lord.”Dear anonymous,Everyone is free to make choices as to how their marriage is arranged. The teachings that you have chosen to follow are not correctly gleaned from Scripture. God does not approve of the kind of life that Laura was fooled into living. Jesus came to set people free to be themselves and to live a full and fulfilling life, not be brought again into legalistic bondage. But you are free to choose that lifestyle yourself. You are not free to compel others to live it.As for many women out there loving your life style, what I see are many women who are told they are not loving God if they don’t live the quiverful hierarchalist life style. That is not the same thing as freely choosing. I’ve been involved with many women who have felt that was their only choice. And they have had to knuckle under their own vision, desires, goals, hopes and dreams and try to take up their husbands. They have lost themselves in the process. It has not been easy to die like that and be happy about it. Those of us who do not choose to become an anonymous appendage of our husbands in that manner, understand your anger over someone ‘getting out’.We have found that Jesus died for us as much as He died for men. Jesus died to set women free and to empower women to live full lives as well as men. It isn’t all about the men. Giving men this kind of privilege and power over women is not good for them either. A wife is to be a strong help to a husband, not an assistant to do his bidding. Giving men control like the Quiverful Movement is bad for men as well as for women.

  • Anonymous

    I should also add that we know MANY families that have healthy marriages….that home school their children…have a house full of kids & their children are now graduated & well rounded happy children….they are NOW home schooling their house full of children and very very happy with it….they LOVED their lives and want the same for their children….All home school families with lots of children are NOT unhappy. There are MORE happy ones than not happy ones….and there is always two sides to each story in marriages and in anything. I don't care to hear someone arguing with me…b/c you are talking apples and oranges…you are walking the world and I am walking a wonderful happy life in Christ. There seems to be something missing in your life….I lived the world the first part of my life…now I am walking with Christ the last 15 years….and have never been so happy in my life…I have God, a wonderful husband that loves, honor and respects me and a house full of children that I love and home school. It was my idea to home school the children too. It was on my heart so I shared it w my husband…and we talked about it and came to it would be the best thing for our little blessings from God. Where my husband is the head of the home….he respects me & listens to my thoughts….. we are best friends…that can happen w love & respect. You all can say what you want ,but there are MANY woman who will NEVER agree w what you are speaking. I know there are men out there that abuse and hurt their wives and that is very wrong and not what God would have….but there are MANY good Godly marriages out there too…that have LOTS of kids and homeschool. ALL should not be in one bulk movement….they are not the same at all…

  • Cathy VanPatten

    It really is eye-opening to read through old journals, isn’t it? I remember when I was in the midst of the break-up of my first marriage–a marriage which seemed, to me, to end so quickly and without warning–pulling out some old journals and realizing that the signs had all been there, had I been willing to look. And yes, it’s infuriating. Although in my case, my fury was with myself for being such a chump (not good! trust me on this!).What is good about your anger, though, is that it is NOT misplaced now. You need to experience it. You need to revel in it. And only then–once you have processed it–will you be able to put it aside and move on. I agree with the poster above who suggested seeing a good therapist to help you.All the best to you–I am in awe of depth of strength and courage in you and in Vyckie.

  • Ayla

    Anonymous, it says a LOT about you that find these women’s freedom from an oppressive lifestyle and subsequent writings about it “disgusting.”A WHOLE LOT.

  • Laura

    Dear Anonymous, First of all, I am glad that I could be of help and comfort to you when you were hurting at the loss of your baby. Thank you for letting me know that even if you choose not to let me know who you are. Secondly, it is very interesting to me that you are so angry at me regarding the things I have written about my life. I am not clumping anyone into any box. I am merely telling my story the way I see it, the way I lived it, the way it affected me. It has nothing to do with you or the life you live. I am glad that you and your husband have a good relationship and that you are happy. That is wonderful. But that was not MY experience. I think it is quite unloving and un-Christlike (if I may be so bold) to write the kinds of things that you wrote, blasting me and making small the things that I went through and then not even having the courage to sign your name. I am realizing more and more that the “people of God” can be the most unkind, hateful, hurtful, judgmental folks out there. I think I prefer the company of my atheist friends who actually love me the way Christ supposedly does. Without judgment and condemnation. Some Christians could learn a thing or two from their example. Please don’t get me wrong Anonymous, I wish you all the best and hope that you never ever experience a fraction of the misery that I have in the name of Christ. May your God richly bless you.Your Friend,Laura

  • Anonymous

    To comment back to everyone…if a man is sexually or physically abusing his wife NO I do not think they should stay with them. If Dale was abusing Laura NO I do not think she should stay, But I don't think that was the case… That is not what the Lord would of had either. For the time I knew Laura her marriage was not great…but I never once heard that she was abused by him…Not once. She did share Dale made mistakes but she also shared she did her fair share of mistakes too. Where is that being said in this blog? I believe that each of us need to live our lives for Christ…and not follow any movement. We ourselves are not part of a movement. We have a house full of kids b/c we LOVE kids and have fun with them. My husband does NOT make me….not one of my friends that has a house full of kids had their husband MAKE them…it was in agreement between the husband and wife as a team/best friends…we are BEST friends with our husbands…& we are HAPPY….I have never been so happy….We and our friends LOVE their kids and love their time with them and spending their days with them. They love home schooling them…You can't look at a few woman that had a crapy marriage and assume b/c their marriage was awful and they home schooled and had a house full of kids…that ALL homes are like that. So it should not say A LOT about me that I find what these woman are doing disguisting…I knew Laura….I talked w her, shared stories…she has totally changed. Many people that loved her are so sad to see how she has changed…. Why did she stay 25 years if it was sooo bad. No, she had some good.

  • Jadehawk

    ah, so you don’t accept the existence of mental or emotional abuse, anon?that you think only rape and violence are sufficient reasons to leave a husband is truly horrifying. you’re not making the QF thing look any more caring if you can honestly say such things.

  • Anonymous

    I just posted a comment but I think it got lost…I don’t have time to write again right now all that…but…what I was also going to say….is that I am glad you don’t box everyone in the movement…it seems Vicki does. Every large home school family does not have it bad…as you know from your former church. There are MANY of us that are very happy. I am sorry you had hurts from Christians.

  • Kaderin

    if a man is sexually or physically abusing his wife NO I do not think they should stay with them. If Dale was abusing Laura NO I do not think she should stay, But I don’t think that was the casebut I never once heard that she was abused by him…Not onceYou’ve never heard that she was abused by him? That’s because you don’t acknowledge the third kind of abuse: emotional.Go and read Laura’s snapshots again. Then read the comments. You will notice a certain trend. As in, lots of comments going “OMG, that’s abuse! Good thing you left him.” Also, many book recommendations on emotional abuse. I suggest you read some and then come back.I think it’s pretty sad to see. You say Laura was a good friend to you when you were hurting and now you won’t listen to her when she tries to tell you of her hurt. I’m sorry, but you do not sound like a good friend at all.(Also? I’m a big fan of proper punctuation and paragraphs. Your comments are hard to read.)LauraI’m sorry to see what you have to deal with. I’m now more impressed than ever that you got the courage and strength to leave! *hugs* Don’t give up.

  • Anonymous

    Laura & I were not good friends….but we knew each other. She had other ladies she was best friends with. I am not here to argue with anyone. Every situation is different and yes there are different forms of abuse…In all that was going on I never heard she was "emotionally abused/ or saw that…..just that they had an unhappy marriage..she would openly tell you that…any one could see that. I am not here to hurt anyone. I just know Laura has some wonderful children/so sweet and it is sad to see them hurt so bad…do you all see that? it is sad. The Laura I knew and talked about family and God with….was so different than she seems now. Even in the times of the marriage being unhappy she still had a love for the Lord. It is sad to see that gone.

  • Anonymous

    kathy saysMaybe Laura will let this post through.She has not as of yet let any of my comments through.Let me tell you, Mrs Anonymous, that Laura was definitley abused. She was not let to believe what she wanted. She was not let to live her life as she wanted. Let me tell you that she did not want anything ungodly, just what her husband did not want.I consider Laura one of my very best lifelong friends, but this whole situation has been very hard for me to go through with her. She and I had very similar dysfunctional marriages. While I was not involved in the “Quverful Movement” I certainly see great values lived out by these people. I have also seen a great deal of hurt through Laura’s treatment. I have 7 children and I homeschool. I live in the city and would consider myself an relatively normal evangelical Christian. Laura and I have lived through much of the same pain.I asked my husband to move out 4 years ago, and while we are still married, we are legally separated. Anonymous must realize that many people living the lifestyle she lives, do not reflect the freedom and grace given from Christ’s death. I agree that the head of the home is the husband. That being said, I also believe that someQF husbands completely miss the part about how they are supposed to treat their wives, heck if they would just treat their wives how Jesus said to treat your neighbor, it would be a step up. The only problem that I have with this blog is that I do not believe it is entirely honest. This is where Laura hits the “delete” button. Dale did backflips to change his behavior for her. She said herself, on many occasions, that he will make someone else a great husband. She won’t likely ever share that part with all of you. I am thinking that she is enjoying the pity party too much. LauraYou know that I know that your experience was emotional abuse. I lived through my own. I just wish you might keep this private for the sake of the kiddos who are really hurting over this. I love you very much.Kathy

  • Kaderin

    In all that was going on I never heard she was “emotionally abused/ or saw that…You just said you weren’t close. So… You, distant bystander, know better than Laura, who lived through it, wether or not she was being abused. Gotcha.This whole blog is about Laura (and Vicky as well) telling stories of their lives. Telling stories where it’s plain that their husbands were being abusive, without them even having to assert it. You’re “not seeing abuse” because you don’t want to see it – you have closed your eyes to human suffering. How christlike.This is the worst part about it – and why I think it’s so important that Vicky and Laura continue. The quiverfull lifestyle sides with the abuser over the victim. How could she retain faith when her faithful community turns against her?Which is what I meant when I said you weren’t being a good friend. I didn’t mean in the “bestest friends forever” kind of sense, but just being there for a friend. As in…when I lost my first little one to miscarriage….you were so kind and sweet and really comforterated me during a very hard time in my life.Where did that heart of yours go….? Where’s yours?

  • a.b.e.

    Anonymous,Have you ever thought it was the way your group of Christians used the Bible to justify male dominance of wives that caused Laura to change her feelings about the Lord?Many people are being turned off to Christ by this unGodly and unBiblical teaching about husbands and wives. God did not make the husband the authority or leader over his wife. Men gave themselves that position. The word head in Eph. 5 and 1 Cor. 11 does not mean leader or authority in the original Greek. When Christians use the word “head” in these passages to teach women male authority they are misleading them. In addition, the verses on marriage in Eph. 5 do not start at verse 22, they start at verse 21 (Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.)Unless male Christian leaders and female Christian followers stop teaching this distorted Biblical view of a marriage relationship, people are going to keep being turned off to the Lord.

  • Arietty

    Anon who was Laura’s friend: I understand that you never saw abuse. I remember well the first christian marriage I saw end in divorce, they had been friends and I was deeply shocked. I had never seen abuse. The woman was painted as “unbalanced” and all the blame was put on her because she left. The man was surrounded with sympathy by the church. I was full of compassion for him and horror at how his wife had left and was now looking so much more liberal etc.. but then circumstances in my life changed and we ended up living with this man, myself and husband and small children. It was horrible. During that period I was truly living with two abusive men and I spent all my energy trying to protect my children from the anger both of them meted out. By the time we left that house I could not bear to even look at this man. Now, with wisdom and age, I look back and I see that the signs were there. An abused woman doesn’t humiliate herself with long descriptions of abuse, especially when she knows this will be seen as complaining about her husband. An abused woman says, “oh things are difficult at the moment.. I really need your prayers”. She does not say that that her husband hasn’t talked to her for a week to freeze her out, or that he threatened her for hours and she is terrorized or that every word that comes out of her mouth is belittled and she feels utterly unloved and uncherished and alone.I have learned from my own experiences to give women who tentatively express their pain space to open up about it. I don’t grill them but I do affirm them and gently ask them questions that I know no one ever asked me. I know how hard it is when you are in great pain to really talk about *the details*, the very humiliating details that you already feel an utter failure about.Laura I didn’t even remember a lot of the abuse until someone asked me to actually write it all down some years after the marriage was over. I was in shock at the stuff that came out. I had not even mentioned most of it to the counselor we went briefly to, I had buried it. I’m ten years out now Laura and I still live in the same area and there are still people who condemn me. I learned that the person who leaves or mails in the divorce papers is the BAD person in the eyes of the church. That is all people look at. I am remarried 6 years now and still only a few months ago I had a woman give me the most underhanded rebuke.. she told me what a shame it was that my children I have with my second husband weren’t the children of a reconciliation with my first husband. I felt like I was going to throw up. I need to be more aggressive in response to the condemnation which comes out of nowhere into my happy life and I am resolved to not let it pass in the future. It’s not something that ever really goes away.My heart goes out to you Laura, I think about you all the time (and I pray for you, in case it works, LOL!) The bad triggering stuff comes in waves and as the years go by the waves lose their strength–much is only healed with time.Thank you for your blog Laura because it is been healing for me.

  • Anonymous

    First I am not angry. I am sorry it came out that way. I am upset how Vicky makes the home school, full quiver lifestyle sound. It is NOT like that for everyone. I am sorry you had problems in your marriage, but as you know…all home school families are not like that. We go to a church that has many home school families that are very much enjoying their marriages and lives. I am sorry and sad to see things end how they did for you. I am more sad for the children. You have some of the sweetest children that are hurting so bad. In all the years you were home raising them you did a great job…look how they turned out. It was sad to see you leave the farm and your children. I had prayed like many other families in the church that you and Dale could work everything out if not for yourselves but for the children. There are many other woman still praying for that.Yes, you were so kind to me when I lost my little one and then blessed me so much when I was blessed with another baby. I thank you for that. I will always hold that in my heart when I think of my little one in heaven. I am sorry you turned from the Lord. He loves you very much. I am glad you can see that there are happy wholesome Christian marriages out there still enjoying their house full of kids and home schooling. For every bad marriage that did not work there are several good ones that have worked. It is like that with anything. Again I tried to leave a message with my name but it got lost. Jessica

  • Anonymous

    Tat!Anon here.I’m just… ignoring Clueless!Anon. She’s driven to post here about how wonderful her life is by something.Instead: rage is good, early on. Rage warms you, it keeps you moving, it drives you to repair the faults that let all that happen, it motivates you. It can go too far–I ended up hating for a few years, and I had to work to forgive my abusers and stop that. But rage is healthy. Rage is how you keep it from happening again. Rage is a part of loving yourself fully again.People will fool you again eventually. They will try to emotionally manipulate you (gee, if only there were several paragraph’s worth of that somewhere on my monitor as an example! Where can I look?!) And some of them might get you.But the thing is–you’ve freed yourself. You’ve stopped looking into a blindfold. And you don’t have to do it again. Even if someone gets you while you’re vulnerable, you can fight them off again; nine out of ten abusers who approach you now, you’ll look past the shiny carrot and see the stick behind their backs.I’m going to post two links in a separate comment; one has a curse word in the link name, so it’s up to you if you let it through or not. If you don’t, though, I hope you look at it for yourself.

  • Anonymous

    Tat!Anon with a link on how to recognise a manipulative abuser: http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/manipulator/eighteasyways.shtmlAnd the bigger pile of signs women have pitched input onto from all directions:http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/manipulator/redflaglist.shtmlOh here, just have the whole kit’n'kaboodle of hard-earned wisdom:http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/manipulator/manip.shtml

  • Anonymous

    I forgot to say that I will not be back so no one needs to spend their time trashing me…I had heard you had started a blog Laura a few days ago so I read through some of it. I just don’t feel this blog is honoring to the Lord or helpful and honoring to your sweet children. Airing this “dirty laundry” is just not helpful to them. They have been through so much already. They are hurting enough. I pray for your children. That they will be able to rise above all this and become even stronger Christians from all of this. Their love for the Lord already is so inspiring.Jessica

  • Anonymous

    Tat!Anon getting cranky. Jessica: we know. You want people who disagree with your religion to be quiet.Picking up children and constantly waving them in the air is graceless enough already, but it’s just flat-out tacky when it’s other people’s children. Stop already. We know who you’re concerned for.

  • EK

    Arietty, regarding the comment someone gave you after you remarried: “she told me what a shame it was that my children I have with my second husband weren’t the children of a reconciliation with my first husband.”It’s one of the most despicable comments I’ve ever heard. If someone had said it to my face, I would have been stung to my very core and unable to speak for at least a few minutes.But it’s wonderful, in our imaginations, to think of all the awesome quips we’d have used if only we’d had the presence of mind at the time!Me? If I were you and could go back in time, I’d look her dead in the eye and say, “actually, I’d rather my children not have been born at all than to be born to a man who abuses and terrorizes them.”But then, I’m dramatic like that ;) . Jessica/Anonymous: I hope you realize that your post has done Christianity no favors. At all. I’m truly mystified when I see members of an expansive/evangelistic religion, ideology, or preference behave in front of non-members in ways that are turn-offs at best and appalling at worst.Denying that a woman was abused in a household *of which you were not a part* is appalling behavior. That’s belittling and minimizing someone else’s pain. Out of curiosity, how do you think Jesus would respond to a woman who posted stories of such vividly detailed horror and abuse that the emotional turmoil is palpable? Do you think He would accuse of her exaggerating her pain to get sympathy? Do you think He would try to shame her into stopping blogging about it? DO you think He would invoke children to justify this smokescreen/cover-up?Tell me, do you want to follow the NT’s command to “go ye into the world and make disciples of all the nations?” Tell me, truly. Because from where I’m standing (non-fundamentalist, equal-human-rights-for-all Christian), you have probably just LOST Jesus a few potential followers who are readers of this blog. Think about that.

  • Arietty

    Thanks for your stirring words EK!I thought of some truly appalling things I could have said after the fact but at the time I was in shock. It was also said in the middle of a busy cafe with one of my teenagers with me. But what really kept me from responding was that the person who said it was one of the sweetest, kindest women I had known from my old community. It is so much harder when the person actually thinks they are expressing something godly when they say such things. I did rationalize it later though. I knew this woman had a very abusive marriage herself, her husband was into BDSM and she had to go along with a lot of stuff she hated every second of because she wanted to be a submissive wife. I remembered her pain. She is still married to that person and I’ve found as a generalization that people who put up with this kind of evil can get very threatened about another woman getting out of it. Look at all this sh*t they are dying to self over and Arietty just walks away from it all! That kind of thing. I was on a Christian e-group once after my divorce and one woman said to me that she did not like to talk to christian women who were divorced because she was afraid it would “rub off” on her.I know for Laura the comments from people who loved her in her old life will be a lot more painful than the random drive by sermons some people post.

  • Jadehawk

    …her husband was into BDSM and she had to go along with a lot of stuff she hated every second of because she wanted to be a submissive wife… OMG that’s horrible!!!!BDSM is for volunteers only, subjecting a “plain-vanilla” sexual to this is tantamount to rape :-/Now I’m not even sure if I hadn’t just broken out in tears if I had your life-experiences and a woman who was regularly forced to do that had said something like that to me…

  • Emma

    Laura: I think it’s healthy that you’re angry. It’s good that your anger is directed at the people who’ve treated you badly rather than back at yourself, because I think it shows that you are valuing yourself and realising you deserve respect, kindness and so forth.Anonymous: While it’s very nice that you are happy in your lifestyle, Laura was not happy. It would be appropriate to respect that. Make sense? The fact that you are happy doesn’t mean that she was happy. The fact that you didn’t realise she was being abused does not mean it wasn’t happening. What is right for you is not always right for everyone else. What you’re saying to her is cruel and invalidating, and you are using ellipses (…) excessively.

  • Anonymous

    Tat!Anon chipping in: Forcing someone who doesn’t want to have sex into having sex is rape. It doesn’t matter that it’s sex act A they’re opposed to instead of B they’d be okay with. BDSM in specific being a kink that often centers around pretend dislike from one partner just makes it worse, because the dislike was real. That’s another kind of rape on a whole different level. There is no excuse for that.

  • Charis

    Kathy and Jessica, Sounds like you live in the same area as Laura’s children? If you are still reading, I thought of something practical you can do. You can keep an eye on those children and make sure they are OK. Are they slaves making bricks without straw (or bread without a Bosch, as the case may be)? If you observe that the abuse history is continuing, alert the authorities.(I am a QF mother of 8) My marriage went through upheaval for the past 4 years or so and I didn’t know if we would survive. I was so traumatized, depleted, and easily triggered that I imagine my husband would have had an easy time proving me “unbalanced” had he wanted to try (he didn’t want custody). My husband went through a bunch of superficial changes very early on. You might have seen those changes and thought he was trying very hard and judged me for not warming up to him in response, but the reality is that his attitude stunk to high heaven (“woe is me, the poor poor persecuted saintly victim of this horrid contentious wife. look how hard I am trying and how unreasonable and wretched she is.”). A wife knows if he has really changed or if this is “bait” to get her back in the cage. Had we split, I sincerely don’t believe our children would have been safe with him, and I can’t help but wonder if their children are safe with Dale? You keep an eye on things. Stand in the gap for those children. That is what you can do. And remember, even horribly abused children love their abusive parents and will make excuses, so exercise discernment. They may not be able to discern their own situation clearly at this point.

  • aimai

    Yeah, I just want to second Charis and Arietty and the other bloggers point when we say to Kathy, Laura’s imaginary friend up above, that to say that Dale “did backflips” at some point in a failing marriage doesn’t make him not a partner to some horrendous abuse during the course of the marriage and it doesn’t mean that Laura wasn’t justified in leaving. Its a well known cycle in relationships of all kinds, and especially abusive ones, that when one partner starts to try to leave, or after a very horrifying incident, the other will temporarily “reconcile” or “offer to do better” or even make a special show of deference. What you saw from the outside, or even Laura’s rather sweet admission that he “could be a great husband for someone else” is neither here nor there.As for your point about the children–Laura is working out her issues here, on a blog. Dale is working his out with the children there. If you are so concerned for them why dont you step in and become their part time mother? Why don’t you go up to Dale and let him know that you are monitoring his statements and his feelings to make sure that there’s no nasty spillover for the kids? Because you respect the boundaries that a man gets to put up while you assume that Laura should “eat bitterness” alone for the sake of the children?Laura is doing what she feels is necessary for herself and her children. You don’t get to lecture her about how she could be that scariest of all things a “bad mother” because she demonstrates to her children that a woman’s life is a human life.aimai

  • Jadehawk

    Tat!Anon, you expressed this better than me. it’s indeed a “whole new level of rape”. I feel really bad for that woman, and I don’t even know her :-/

  • Hollis M.

    All, I understand that this string of comments is getting very long, and adding mine may be repetitive. I just want to say that this blog has been instrumental in helping me recover from an abusive relationship. I have never been a believer in God, but several people in my life (Kristen F., if you are reading this by any chance, big thanks to you) have helped me see how deeply good and kind some people’s faith in God can help them to be. Laura, you and Vickie have, with your thoughtful attitudes, helped me to move beyond some of the cynicism about humanity that my relationship with my ex instilled in me, and to believe in the love that exists between me and the truly good person I am with now. His love and respect for me is what I know will make our future marriage blessed. The anonymous commented did the exact opposite. I suspect she was motivated more by fear or anger than by her purported belief that it was right to say the things she did, but they sadden me nonetheless. I really hope, Laura, that you will not allow comments like hers to keep you from writing a single word that could help others like me recover faith in life, love, and the fundamental goodness of people.With gratitude,H.M. in California

  • Susanne

    I thought Jesus was all about not judging other people. Judging is such an irresistable sin, it takes no intellect, no work…you just open your mouth and spew high-minded opinions on the imperfections in other people’s lives, all while cozily wrapped in a cloak of superiority and faux concern.Too bad our Annon didn’t get the memo.

  • Arietty

    Concerning a spouse changing.. yes very good that people have pointed out that the change is often a part of a the cycle of abuse and is not a long lasting thing, or is superficial. I do want to say though that if my ex-husband had changed COMPLETELY I still would never have gone back to him. Too much happened. My children were too damaged by his rage. I wouldn’t ask them to be babysat by some man who had terrorized them for years and then miraculously changed so why would I want them to live with their father under those conditions. Part of protecting them was about giving them space not to have deal with these issues, to be FREE to be kids. Just because a person fixes themselves doesn’t mean all their relationships are fixed. The past doesn’t just disappear. And sometimes love has been trampled to the point where it is just unsalvageable. Where I disagree with christians is that I don’t consider marriage some sacred idol to which I am forever bound. So I can happily say that even if he had changed completely I wouldn’t have cared, my life had moved on.

  • Laura

    Dear Arietty, I too was in this situation in so much as my life had moved on. My dear friend Kathy pointed out in her comment that my ex was doing backflips (or something like that) to try to make me happy and come home. I remember describing his actions to my brother as different from “too little, too late”. It was more like “enough, too late”. I was no longer interested in reconciling. I had no desire to go back into the “box” I had just escaped from and all the gifts, compliments and affection just made me angry. It was like all the things that he wouldn’t do all those years he was now doing and it just made me feel the hurt of the past more acutely. I was lovingly blasted by some well meaning friends and such and endured more than a few guilt trips over it. I have used this word picture more than once… if a woman is raped by a man, she never forgets that. She may be able to forgive him but does that mean she has to be in the same room with him, be nice to him or be married to him? Even if he “changes” and becomes a nice person and “puts the past behind him”…does that mean that she must or even can do the same? I couldn’t.

  • Arietty

    And you know Laura for your ex-husband not being able to fix “it” is a consequence of all those years of abuse. It’s like you’re a drunk and you maim someone in a car crash and then you get sober and are full of remorse.. well you might get forgiveness but the maiming will always be there and you will never be able to fix it. That’s what happens to relationships. We accept this is so with abusive parents, there are books on “Toxic Parents” but even the world balks at accepting this is so with a broken marriage. I hate the pressure put on people, the intense obligation to not let a marriage fail. For christians marriage is an entity separate from both individuals, an entity that demands obeisance of one’s whole life. The entity is ALWAYS more important than the individuals in it. It is just weird!!”two shall become one flesh” is also totally weird. I mean, WTH? No thanks. I have a fantastic relationship with my second husband whom I adore.. we are friends, lovers and co-parents. I talk about “my relationship” when I talk about us or him, I don’t like talking about “my marriage” because the term has so much grotesque baggage to me. I reject marriage as an entity. We are two individuals who are friends, lovers, co-parents.

  • Linnea

    Reading this blog makes me want to reach out a big warm comforting blanket of love to all the women who have been abused.Laura, I think it’s very telling that while you were staying put in the marriage, Dale wasn’t willing to give you what you wanted/needed, but when faced with the threat of losing you, he was. In other words, he wouldn’t give you love and attention for your own sake, only as a means of trying to keep you.

  • emf1947

    I no longer have the article I read this in, so I can’t give a proper cite, but an article I got many years ago from our local Battered Women’s Shelter talked about the way batterers respond when their wives/girlfriends try to leave and how they often make temporary changes. The author commented that the men are motivated to do this because they need their partners, in a way that would be unhealthy even if there were no abuse going on.

  • Kristin

    “I just don’t feel this blog is honoring to the Lord or helpful and honoring to your sweet children. Airing this “dirty laundry” is just not helpful to them. They have been through so much already. They are hurting enough. I pray for your children.”That’s some manipulative bullshit right there. Look… No one is debating *your personal happiness,* Jessica. You know what I think is “disgusting” Jessica? I think that coming on to a woman’s blog–and particularly to a post in which she talks about the pain and anger that she is experiencing as a result of her abuse… To come here and trivialize all of it in order to justify your own reality is disgusting to me.Laura is not trying to tear down your home church. She’s not showing up to disrupt the services and scream, “FREEEDOMMMM!!!” Or making out with other women in the front row. She’s not posting on your blogs or your forums to prove once and for all that UR DOIN’ IT RONG. She is not giving you instructions about how to raise your own children. Nor is she making sanctimonious and specious claims about your marriage or your relationships. She is not even leading Teh Great Big Evol Campaign to End Quiverfull. And, most of all, she is not responding to you with abuse even though you came here to abuse her.Jessica, you know what I’m tempted to say whenever people offer to “pray” for me? (“Pray,” as in: gossip about my apostasy and non-heteronormativity with all the believers back home) Well, to be honest, I usually have to repress the urge to leave it at “f***[redacted] you and the horse you rode in on.” But, you know what?That’s not what I’ll close with. I will pray for you, Jessica. Yeah, you read that right, and I’m not even identifying as a Christian today, but I. Will. Pray. For. You.That is all.

  • lisa

    The point of this blog is Laura's healing. This is her story. Her experience. It cannot be argued with. Take it or leave it.For my part, thank you Laura for sharing your story. I wondered about what was happening to you over the years. And I am not surprised to hear the truth. We (my husband & I) got out of the same brainwashed-mess by the skin of our teeth. He did not want to be a party to that mindset any more than I. It took us leaving the state and starting over where no one knew us. You made a hard choice and saved your life.

  • Laura

    It must be a thing with Lauras. :) I used to be a pastor’s wife, but I was fortunate enough to get out after only three years of marriage and one kid, but I can really identify with the blaming of self and the anger when trying to write it down. My pastor husband took pleasure in getting me drunk and then having a friend of his have sex with me, and I still blamed myself for the end of my marriage and felt so ashamed. It is insane what religion can do to you. I am glad you got out, too. I think you did the right thing. I know I did, even though I still deal with the fallout.


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