Adventures in Recovery ~ What About the Kids?

by Calulu Don't know about anyone else but one of the biggest regrets I have is that I raised my kids in the madness that was my old cult church. They didn't ask to be part of that. We, Jim and I, drug them into it with all the best intentions. My two kids ended up being hostages to fortune during our years at Possum Creek Christian Fellowship. We started attending when Laura was 4 years old and Andy was 7 and left when they were 15 and 18 years old. A long stretch of young impressionable years. Since it's been about five years since we left Andy and Laura have finally felt safe enough, distant enough from the dysfunction to share with me what happened to them, how they feel about religion … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Doing the Math

by SierraTurning eighteen was magical. Suddenly, all the job applications I seemed to be throwing down an empty chute were bounced back with interest. Sven had already landed a job at Wal-Mart in his town. Now it was my turn. I nervously sat through my job interview, not daring to hope that I might actually be on my way to earning money. When they called back with an offer, I could hardly contain my excitement.Not only did I have a job, I had a real driver's license. No longer did I need the supervision of an adult driver. I could take myself anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted. The freedom was intoxicating, and I found myself driving everywhere at the slightest excuse.Now that I was … [Read more...]

Justice Is No Lady: Chapter 8 ~ Backlash

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyPart Two: The Legal AftermathI fled to the farm where I grew up and spent several weeks just trying to get the fuzz out of my head. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed Abi with failure to thrive. I supplemented her with formula but continued to breastfeed, because for once I had the luxury of breastfeeding by my own lights, and I intended to enjoy it. I moved six kids, 9 years old and under, in with my mom and dad, who were absolute angels about it.  I do not remember either of them complaining even once.What were Tess’s long-term plans? Did I want separation? Divorce? Neither? Was God angry with me … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Waiting

by SierraI loved driving. I'd always known I would. As a child, I collected Hot Wheels cars until they numbered in the hundreds. When I was twelve, my mother decided to teach me to drive in case my father's rage spilled over completely and I needed to escape. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. The car felt huge and seemed to move so much faster when my hands were on the wheel. I crowed with pride as I successfully navigated the winding roads of our rural neighborhood, passing a UPS truck with wide eyes and short breath.As I grew older, I periodically stowed away money for a car. At my bakery job, I thought I might finally have a chance when I amassed $1,000 – a year's savings. A … [Read more...]

Family Driven Faith ~ Part 2: It Is Good to Be Free

A Former Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor’s Perspective on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by Bruce Gerencser As an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor I taught that the Bible clearly defined the roles of men (husbands), women (wives), and children. (a hierarchy) The Bible was clear; the husband is the head of the home and the wife is commanded to submit to the authority and rule of her husband. Like the pastor in the church, the husband is the final authority in the home. It matters not if he is worthy of such responsibility. A husband is disobedient to God if he refuses to be the head of the home. The wife, if she refuses to submit to her husband’s authority, is a Jez … [Read more...]

Adventures in Recovery: You Gotta Serve Somebody

On Schisms and Authorityby CaluluI was working recently on a large graphic design job when it struck me about the differences in the way authority looks inside of the Fundamentalist Patriarchal culture and from the outside.It was one of those design projects for a larger firm and I was working as an independent contractor. A design project where I was given the basic elements the client wanted in the design but not much else. Punt, pass or run with the ball, it was my call. My idea for the project really jelled quickly as I was working with those basic elements, I had a very good idea going in a totally different direction than was suggested at the meeting. I quickly worked up two or t … [Read more...]

A Wise Woman

[Note: For NLQ readers who have not yet joined the forum, here's a small taste of what you're missing ~ :)]by Kari Because I must be some kind of masochist, I was browsing over at the No Greater Joy site today. I came across Debi Pearl's article "A Wise Woman Builds Her House," dated May 5, 2001. After rolling my eyes repeatedly, I decided to write my own version. Mrs. Pearl's words are in black, mine are in red. A wise woman doesn’t take anything for granted. She is thankful to be loved and seeks to make herself more lovely. A wise woman doesn’t take anything for granted. She knows she is worthy of love and seeks to remember her true worth.A wise woman doesn’t allow herself to be a liabi … [Read more...]

Crushing Daisies ~ Ways in Which Patriarchal Fundamentalism Harms Its Children ~ Part 2: The Little House on the Prairie Fashion Club

by DaisyWhen we were Quiverfull, our family wasn’t nearly so extreme as some regarding dress standards, but we did insist on longish dresses and hair for the girls for several years.This wasn’t all religious nonsense: those Osh Kosh pinnies were tough as hell and could be passed on through all the girls in the family and still look as though they’d hardly been worn. And, despite how my girls remember it, they were actually in fashion at the time. I wasn’t  just sewing our own stuff (although I did that too), Osh Kosh pinnies were bought off the rack in Myer and Target by regular folk as well as fundies like us. However, I’ll admit that we kept it up for longer than was appropriate. And we … [Read more...]

Family Driven Faith ~ Part 1: God's Highest Calling

A Former Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor's Perspective on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by Bruce Gerencser For seven months in 2004 our family attended a vibrant, growing church in Central Ohio. We thought we had finally found a church to call home. One Sunday, after the morning service, Polly (my wife) was talking with a group of women who were trying to get to know her a bit better. One of the women asked Polly what she did during the day and she, without a moment’s hesitation, said “I work.” In a split second everything changed.  You see, in this church, none of the women worked outside the home. The pastor taught that it was a violation of God’s divine order for women to work … [Read more...]

Adventures in Recovery ~ Souvenirs From The Circus

by CaluluRemember when you were a kid and would go to the circus or the carnival? Sure, there were elephants and chimps, usually crapping everywhere. The air was scented with cotton candy, popcorn and the smell of animals. I remember the games, balloons, darts, tossing things. Besides the lion tamers and the freak show part of the carnival there were usually fortune tellers, people that would look at your palm or into a cheap hunk of round glass and predict you'd meet a tall, dark and handsome stranger. It was exciting and thrilling, wasn't it, when you were a kid?When I was a member of Possum Creek Christian Fellowship we used to have something like that, but we called it a … [Read more...]