NLQ Anniversary Post by Laura!

by Laura :)

So much can happen in a year!  Just a year ago Vyckie and I birthed this blog which has morphed into such a wonderful resource of encouragement and help for folks.  It has also been a great place of healing for myself and I am so grateful for all the love and encouragement I have experienced through the birth and growth of NLQ!

I have been pretty quiet the last 9 months or so and it has been necessary for me to be so.  Yet, in honor of the NLQ Anniversary, I want to come out of my silence, so to speak, and give you all an update on what has been happening in my life.  If you are feeling a bit blue or discouraged or have just been thinking that life will NEVER get better…read on for a lift in your spirit.  Dreams really DO come true!

When I left you, dear readers, I was just about to embark on the adventure of a life time with the man I had loved all my life.(Since 1980 anyway!)  I decided to stop writing at that time because I was concerned about how the story would affect my children (who were following my story quite regularly at that time).  I wasn’t too excited about them reading that their mom, who had been married to their dad almost 25 years and was a faithful and committed Christian in the deepest of legalistic and fundamentalist sense, had an affair.  Even though this is what took place.  I will leave out the next year and a half and just say that I did leave my husband Dale (several times actually) and finally moved to Washington State to be with Richard. I will leave out the indescribable guilt and pain, the shame and agony of being away from my children and the oceans of tears that were shed.  I will not elaborate on the many days of self medication and self recrimination and the lies of worthlessness that I listened to, that I repeatedly told myself.  I can only liken it to the horrific pain of labor, that whole body agony that we moms all have gone through.  It seemed it would never end; it got worse and worse as I beat my self up for leaving my babies and trying to take care of my self.  Richard kept reminding me that if I had stayed there, my kids wouldn’t have a mom anymore as I was increasingly suicidal before I left Dale.  Yet I couldn’t get past the fact that I was the world’s most horrid mother as I had left my 10 month old, nursing child behind.  Not only was the pain unbearable in my heart and mind, but my body ached for my child as my breasts filled with milk and there was no little one to feed. Looking back, I see that I was at the breaking point and I knew that I had to stay away from my ex in order to survive. Our religion had become too oppressive for me and I couldn’t live as just another of Dale’s children any longer.

It has been almost two years since I left and my life has changed in so many ways.  It is as if the pain-filled time of labor has passed and I have given birth to a new life.  My life.  My life without patriarchy, fundamentalism, hypocrisy, or legalism.  My life filled with unconditional love, acceptance, encouragement, affirmation, joy and hope.  On December 12, 2007, I married the man of my dreams.  I was standing in the ocean in Hawaii with my precious Moms watching.  Ever since I was a teenager I had wanted to share his name.  At last…I do!

My relationships with my children went through some VERY tough times as you can imagine.  Yet now things are going so well that I feel like I have I have been given a most precious gift. 2 of my sons married last year and I was asked to sing at one of their weddings. One of my older daughters came to visit us and left with an appreciation for the man who loves and cares for her mom.  Another daughter is coming out to nanny my nephew for a few months and she will spend most weekends with us.  My younger kids have come to visit here at my place and they have fallen in love with their step dad…and he with them.  This is no small feat since he was seen as the devil incarnate because of my relationship with him AND…he has never had any kids of his own and never really wanted any.  It is amazing to see the changes happening in my life and the lives of those I love.

As for me personally…I am doing very well.  I never knew I could be so happy. I never knew that marriage could be so fulfilling and joyous.  I have been slowly coming back to myself, finding out who Laura is, what Laura likes and doesn’t like, and what Laura wants to do with the rest of her life.  It is a daunting and challenging thing to take on but I have the most wonderful support in my hubby and my therapist.  I am learning that my opinions matter and that I am actually a pretty smart woman.  I no longer take the stance of a doormat and will often be assertive.  Sometimes I still go overboard into the aggressive instead of just being assertive but it’s all a learning process.

I have a job for the first time in almost 25 years and I like bringing home a paycheck.  I am thinking about going back to school and it seems the world is open to me now.  Spiritually, I am in neutral.  I have a longing for some sort of spirituality in my life but anything that rings of Christianity leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  I am so not interested in any kind of religious belief that is based on guilt and fear.

As to writing my experiences down in a book….I really don’t want to go there now.  When we first began the blog, it was so therapeutic to get all that icky stuff out.  It caused a lot of pain for my kids but the healing it was doing for me seemed more important to me at the time.  Now that a lot of that is behind me, I really don’t want to go back and relive it all as I write it down.  I am moving forward and growing and changing.  I don’t want my past to hold me down in bad ways.  So no book for me at this point.  It was tough enough to write this update for NLQ’s Anniversary!

I will say that my Ex and I have a very civil, friendly relationship these days.  He remarried about two weeks after I did.  They are getting divorced now.  My Ex is a great dad.  He really is.  He is just a miserable husband.  My kids seem relieved and his soon to be ex (who has become a good friend of mine!!) also seems happier to be away from him.  As for Richard and me….well I never knew that marriage could be so WONDERFUL!!!!

My best to you all…And remember …nothing is impossible…nothing!

I love you,

A very happy Laura

p.s. Follow my new happy life on Facebook!

Comments are OPEN ~ post your well-wishes to Laura below :)

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:

  • Caravelle

    It’s great to hear from you Laura ! And to know that you are doing so well, given the last few posts I was always worried the reason you didn’t post was that things were going badly… It’s too bad that we won’t know more about your story but the important thing is that you live your life !! Good luck to you and your family !

  • stbc

    I’m so happy to hear from you and to know that things with your children have improved and you are so happy in your new life. I had stopped reading the blog for a few weeks and when I came back to it you were gone and I wondered what I’d missed and what had happened. I thought it might have been for the benefit of your children. Thanks for updating us and I wish you all the best in your new happy life.

  • philosophia

    I was overjoyed to read your update! I am so happy for you and you have been on my mind a lot over the past year. It is so encouraging to see healing taking place, as it gives hope to me for my future!

  • Xara

    I am so glad you are doing well and healing. Thank you for the update.

  • SweetStina

    Laura! I’m so happy to read you’re doing so well! When I found this blog last March, I couldn’t stop reading your story! It was so interesting because I never knew the dark side of Christainity until I found NLQ. But like you said dreams do come true and I’m so happy yours is a happy ending and begining with Richard. I really respect you Laura and thank you for sharing your story and heart with complete strangers.

    Kristina

  • margybargy

    Congratulations, Laura! I’m so happy for you and so glad your kids are coming around. You deserve all the good things you’ve got.

  • Jenn W

    I’m tearing up, Laura. What a beautiful happy ending! Thanks for coming back to tell us about your triumph.

  • WanderingOne

    :-) That’s so wonderful and encouraging to read. I’m glad things are going so well for you, Laura!

  • http://www.redheadedskeptic.com The Other Laura

    Laura, I *really* identify with your story: the leaving, the guilt. I’ve been there, too, and I have been wondering about you. I am so glad things are getting better for you.

  • Maria

    Laura, I am so happy to see the update on your life and see that you are doing well. Thanks for posting this.

  • http://www.terracotabolsas.com/rato Cristine

    Hi Laura!

    I´m so glad to know that your life is now a dream come true, and that you have finally discovered that marriage can be a joy; that´s a real marriage of hearts and souls, and the wish to share everything in life.
    Thanks for sharing these good news with us, and I wish you, Richard and all your children many good things and much love. And now, enjoy your (deserved) new life! :-)

    All the best!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06960854781062560663 Susan

    Laura,
    I wish you continued happiness! Follow your dreams. Good luck in your endeavors.

    Susan
    http://susan-grandmaskitchen.blogspot.com/

  • Sara

    So glad for this update, as I often wondered what had happened to you, Laura. Thanks!

  • Betsy

    Laura, I was worried that your absence was due to worsening conditions. So so glad that you’re spiraling upward, not down! Thanks so much for the update!

  • molly

    YAY, Laura!!!! It is so good to hear from you! :) :) :)

  • http://krissthesexyatheist.blogspot.com krissthesexyatheist

    Glad to see so many ladies congratulating you in the comment section. Good luck to you, it seems that you are the right path-from the dude,

    Kriss

  • Sheri Duff

    Laura,
    I have been seeing your posts of facebook and have been happy to see that you are loved and how much that fills the hole in your heart. I hope for you that in your healing process you can find the One True God. Not the God of fear and guilt, but the One of Grace and Salvation, who loves to bless those who trust in Him.

  • nolongerquivering

    Thank you for this inspiring update, Laura ~ and for joining us in the chat room too. All the best to you in your new, happy post-Quiverfull life, my dear friend! ♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

  • Wendy

    Oh, Laura….You look just beautiful! I think that’s what happens when you feel happy and loved.

  • aimai

    Laura,
    I just wanted to log on to tell you how happy I am for you and for Richard, and your children, that your new life is working out so well. Congratulations to both you and Richard for having the strength and love to work through the pain and create a new, generous, happy life for so many people. I laughed out loud at the report that Dale had gotten remarried and divorced in the same time you had gotten remarried and happilly moved forward with your own life. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines:

    “There are no happy endings, only happy people” which, when you couple it with “Wherever you go/there you are” reminds us that the most important thing in life is to live your life as you wish because the only sure and certain companion to you, in fortune and misfortune, is yourself. Dale couldn’t make marriage work–not with you and not with his second wife. That’s not something you, or she, are responsible for. Likewise your new relationship with Richard, tacked on to your twenty five years with Dale, shows that you have it in you to make things work. The only real difference is that the new, mature, Laura puts herself and her happiness at the head of the plan, and doesn’t defer to anyone or anything. You are blazing a trail for your children and showing them how to live their own lives. I know it must have seemed very dark for a long time. But it sounds like you are moving into the light. And remember–you are still very young. There’s so much time for you and Richard and your children! I’m so happy for you, Laura. Thanks for coming back and reporting.

    aimai

  • MomofDaughters

    Laura,

    As a mom, one thing that jumps out at me about your life story is how unusual it seems given your background. You had two moms, a more-or-less liberal nonreligious upbringing, and STILL fell for the workings of the QF mindset.

    Do you still have contact with both your moms? Are they still together?

    But my big question is this: given your life experience, what would recommend as good tips for “cult-proofing” your children, particularly your girls. It seems like being “a headstrong and stubborn teenager” was, in your case, not enough. Please help me with this! What are you doing with your own children to make sure they do not follow the same path?

  • denelian

    relief! i’ve been worried! but that’s what i do; i worry :)

    glad to hear happy is there! [and chortling over the delicious irony - i can't even feel bad for Dale]

    you said you “hunger” for spirtuality…
    might i suggest you make your own? so, we’re pagan [almost my entire family - the only exceptions are my mom, who converted to Christianity when i was 10, and my sister who decided to be Catholic with her husband]. raised pagan, i wasn’t expecting anything useful from “craft books” – but i was WRONGWRONGWRONG.
    not that i am saying become wiccan, or any flavor of pagan – but the ideas [and ideals] in the Big Blue Book are pretty universal. also full of DIY stuffs [most of it is probably waaaaaaay too easy for you, but still] and it has a fairly decent biblio. but, really, the best aspect of the the BBB is that it shows you how to pick-and-choose what you want/need.
    my other sister’s husband calls himself a “Christian Druid” [he was raised fairly fundy, though NOT as bad as anything you went thru. probably partially because he was male, but still] and he credits the BBB with showing him how to “fuse” his beliefs.

    or, i am positive there is something for you – if this book doesn’t help, i bet i can find you something [know anything about Zorastrianism? Tiamet aside, it's *really* nice, respectful of women, hard to warp into patrirarchy - not impossible, nothing is, but hard]
    the book @ Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Bucklands-Complete-Witchcraft-Llewellyns-Practical/dp/0875420508/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268111065&sr=1-1

    if you want to talk, my email is denelian at yahoo – or my LJ is denelian [so is my facebook, but i rarely use it.]

    also: you are in the Northwest – EVERYTHING is in the northwest! you don’t really need a random pagan in Ohio, when you have everyone in your area! if you want spirituality without the BS but still in a known flavor, i *HIGHLY* recommend a Unitarian church [in fact, the only reason i'm not attending right now is because my disability prohibits]. nice people, easy to talk too, *VERY* understanding.

    “God is Everywhere. Religion is like a pair of glasses we put on to see God”

  • km

    I’m so glad you wrote something here, Laura! I’d loved your posts from the beginning and–like others–worried that your absence was the result of something terrible that had happened. I’m really glad to see that I was wrong–and also glad to see that your relationships with your children are going so well.

  • Rachael

    So so so so SO glad to hear things are going so well for you. May it long continue!!

  • Susan

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • http://www.sensualconfidence.com Michelle

    I stayed up all night to read your story. It felt like something from little house on the prairie how you described your home. i could picture everything there with you and feel your despair. i knew that you would end up with Richard in the end, but cried when i actually read this last story. i am very happy you can experience true love in this lifetime. i am very happy for you, envious in fact. but you deserve it and i am happy that God has given you Richard and his sweet love for you.

    i try to go to church after mostly being absent for almost 20 years, but i still get a headache and stomach ache every time. those old abuse tapes are difficult to get over, even with counseling and education. be patient with yourself – you will find what works for you. i can finally talk to parts of my family about prayer and Jesus. for so many years, i just couldn’t.

    but i still feel i know a very different Jesus than they do – the one who was with me since childhood and told me to get out of that crazy religious environment. my gut told me it was no good. i suffered in my body for years and years. but am finally putting things together after all this time. your story is very special, and healing, and thank you for writing it!

  • Karen

    I am glad to hear that you’re doing so well, and I’m so sorry that you were abused and mistreated by someone who used Jesus as an excuse. This must be how Muslims feel when people talk about 911…

  • lisa

    doesn’t it make sense that she was missing a “daddy” in her life & then she met “assertive” Dale who fit what was missing (whether she realized it or not)? And how does being raised as “nonreligious” protect you from a cult? What if your child needs spirituality & has been denied it, therefore goes out to seek it?

  • Jimi

    Laura, your story was so touching. I hope you find more and more happiness.

  • Liz

    Laura, from the time I started reading your blog, I could not advert my eyes from the screen. You are a very, very strong woman. And, even though I do not know you, I feel as if you are a good friend to me now. Writing this blog, and about your stories and the details you included are nothing less than courageous.
    Your story has touched and moved me in so many ways, I kind of wished that you would make a book including many more stories. That could be used as an example of how boyfriends/husbands can be controlling and abusive.
    I was always told not to let a man control me growing up, but no one bothered to mention some of the examples of what they do to control. If I would have read this about a year ago, I doubt that I would have gone through my horrible relationship.
    Any who, I am glad you are happy. And I hope you find much more happiness. You moved away from a very horrible relationship, you married the man of your dreams, if anything is possible, GIRL GO GET YOUR KIDS!
    Thank you for everything.:)

  • http://nonais.org Esbee

    Wow- I have read so many stories of those escaping QF/patriarchy/Gothard and other legalist religions…no wonder so many of them become atheist or just give up on God…
    It is like being beat continuously with stuffed animal toys stuffed with razor blades…if someone were to give you a gift of a cute stuffed puppy you would cringe.

    But in reading all these stories very few mention the true enemy who takes the word of God and twists it…the devil who has come to kill steal and destroy and loves religion becz it is his favorite thing to use to bring hurt and confusion.

    So here it is for what it is worth (and I guess I am doing this for myself as well, as I am still not always convinced and need to hear it often! ) ….
    Jesus loves you -very much- He accepts you just as you are, hurting, confused. lost. . If you were the only person on earth He still would have gone all the way to the cross- just for you. His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He understands your deepest hurts and loudest cries. He even accepts you cussing him out (sometimes that is our deepest prayer.)
    Jeremiah 29:11—11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    God bless!

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