Q: (actual quote) ”oh how i wish you guys would stop busting up every single story on this site into parts. i almost hate starting to read anything because i know Part 2 on down to Part 22 won’t come out forever and i’ll forget about it by then anyway.”
A: The purpose of No Longer Quivering, as well as all the blogs in the Spiritual Abuse Survivors network, is to be “a gathering place for women escaping and healing from spiritual abuse.” Nowhere on this site will you find a disclaimer stating that the stories shared here are “for entertainment purposes only.”
There are many reasons why survivors share our stories in segments, here are a few of them, in no particular order:
* The stories shared at NLQ are deeply personal and often painful to discuss. Most of us cannot handle writing it all out in one sitting because we’re dealing with the sort of PTSD-like symptoms that arise from what has been officially recognized as “Religious Trauma Syndrome.” Writing about these abusive experiences involves remembering and re-living the most painful times of our lives. Sorting through the abuse is something most of us can only handle in small doses.
* A huge part of the healing process comes from sharing our experiences and receiving immediate feedback (via comments from fellow-spiritual abuse survivors) which often are insightful and encouraging. When a segment is posted, and comments start coming in, the most common feeling for NLQ writers is: “Hey – I am not alone and I’m not crazy after all! Others have gone through this too, and they understand.” Spiritual abuse involves every part of our beings: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual – writing in parts allows us to focus on one particular aspect – to unpack and process that one point and hopefully, put it to rest in our own minds.
* From a practical standpoint, none of us are in a position to sit at the keyboard and type out the whole story. We all have Real Life to deal with, and that often involves …
raising a quiver full of children – bringing our kids out of strict fundamentalism means they will have mega-issues to address: schooling options, making friends, realistic sex education, teen rebellion (which was stifled and is likely to surface the first chance they get), rethinking all of our QF-biased decisions from sleepovers to vaccinations, the list is endless …
lots and lots of self-care because our Quiverfull ideals led us to neglect and martyr ourselves to the detriment of our health and well-being
health issues – we can finally consult with medical doctors!
playing catch-up on our education, social networks, employment, etc.
mending broken relationships with friends and family
watching all the Disney movies and listening to contemporary music which we missed out on in the fundamentalist bubble
divorce court and child-custody disputes
therapy and family counseling
applying for gov’t. assistance which we’ve previously refused even though we totally qualify and could really use the extra help
shopping, going to movies, taking vacations, buying a pair of jeans, cutting and styling our hair, reading fiction, eating white bread and Cap’t Crunch, …
actually living and enjoying our lives – something we’ve missed out on for decades
* Many of us devoted years and years of our lives to the Quiverfull movement – if we tried to tell about it all at once, we’d end up with a tome which few would have the time or interest to finish – thus undermining the “instant feedback” benefit of sharing in the first place.
I understand the frustration this causes for readers who are genuinely touched by the stories and concerned for the survivors. It can be maddening not knowing how it all turned out. For those who are hanging on the edge of our seats waiting for an update … yeah, the suspense sucks. But the story-telling here at No Longer Quivering is not primarily for the benefit of the readers - though we are always mindful that in sharing, we might help others to avoid the pitfalls of fundamentalism, the main purpose of writing is to allow survivors to process and heal from spiritual abuse.
Some of the writers at NLQ don’t even finish their stories – and to that I say, “Good for you!!” because it means their sharing has served its purpose and the writer is able to move on with her life sans the need to rehash the painful memories. Hooray when that happens. (✿◠‿◠)
Editor’s note: We’re always on the lookout for new writers to publish on NLQ. Owning your abuse and telling your story is one of the most freeing things you can do on your path of healing and wholeness. If you’d like to contribute please contact us at CaluluNLQ(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks!
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Vyckie Garrison started No Longer Quivering to tell the story of her “escape” from the Quiverfull movement. Over time, NLQ has developed into a valuable resource of information regarding the deceptions and dangers of the Quiverfull philosophy and lifestyle. Several more former QF adherents are now contributing their stories to NLQ and our collective voice makes these Quiverfull warnings impossible to dismiss or ignore.
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce