Unwrapping the Onion: Part 9: Starting a New Life

by Permission to LiveThis post is the final post in a series. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.It’s the spring of 2012 now, and we’ve moved to a new home in a new city and are making new friends and starting over. We’ve officially left the ministry and are making new career plans. My spouse has begun transition and she has been able to go by her new name and female pronouns publicly now after using them at home for months. Only now there is no second guessing over what she can wear when we go out. There is no tripping over which name to use. It’s only been a few months, but she has said “I’m so happy!” with enough frequency that it has actually gotten downright … [Read more...]

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Who Was That Masked Man: Part 2

anger

by CaluluWhen we last left off Tom was in love with another woman and defiant to criticism. Says he has a right to be happy, he feels no sorrow for the affair and he's not going to stop. God approves, according to Tom even though the Bible clearly states otherwise. I responded by doing the bad thing, doing what any good fundigelical pearl clutcher feels obligated to do, I go to our mutual Pastor. Now Pastor already knows and says he is going to 'deal' with the feckless frolicking fornicators. He goes to both to confront them and gets mixed responses, Alice still swears there was no actual sex going on and tells the Pastor this is no ones business.Tom tells Pastor pretty much the same … [Read more...]

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Who Was That Masked Man? Part 1

by CaluluThis is a new series that I'm starting. I actually started writing about my history with the one person that impacted me the most during my days at the old church. I'm flip, I'm sarcastic in this series but mostly I am processing what happened to me because it seems like a plot straight out of the recently cancelled series GCB (Good Christian Bitches). After telling my therapist years ago about this man I was encouraged to write it all down. I did and if I didn't laugh and poke fun I'd be crying right now. It was the most corrosive relationship I've ever been in and I didn't even have the common sense to run from it. I've changed names and some small details because until … [Read more...]

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Unwrapping the Onion: Part 6: Talk of Transition

This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.Even though we had hoped that it would be enough for my spouse to simply be more authentic to his feminine self, it seemed that the idea of transition was coming up more and more. My spouse talked about how frustrating it was to have this battle raging in his head every single day, his brain telling him again and again that he was really a woman. He told me how the idea of becoming an old man terrified him. It was bad enough being trapped in the body of a young man, but to be old and helpless and cared for by people who would treat him as a guy was dreadful to him. Sometimes he cried, all … [Read more...]

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Quiverfull and the Introvert: Where Do You Get Your Energy?

by Barbie Getzreal"Where do you get your energy?!"This is a question which is frequently asked of Quiverfull moms by amazed and admiring onlookers who cannot imagine being able to keep up with the exponential demands of "biblical womanhood" including: perpetual pregnancy, child-bearing, adopting sibling groups, breastfeeding, baby wearing, chronic sleep deprivation, raising half a dozen or more closely-spaced, "stair-step" children, homeschooling - year round through chronic illness, child-training, character training, tomato-staking, discipling children, homemaking, penny-pinching, organic gardening, baking from scratch, once-a-month cooking, homesteading, sewing modest clothing, s … [Read more...]

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A Tomboy in Christian Patriarchy

by LatebloomerI was not the type of daughter that my mother wanted. I was a tomboy.My hair was very short and I preferred blue clothes. I wanted to run faster and climb higher than anyone. I wasn't afraid of slimy frogs and worms, and I could kill a spider without batting an eye. I looked with confusion and disdain at the passive little girls with their hair-bows, sitting and talking about clothes and boys. If I had known the term "badass" back then, I would have applied it to myself with pride.When I was young, my mom was more tolerant of this. After all, in the early days, there were mostly boys in my age group in our small homeschooling community. So I was free to run wild … [Read more...]

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Sex Confessions and the Single Fundy: Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu(or be careful who you tell your secrets to..)Bless me Father for I have sinned... told you I'd been raised Catholic. One of the big rituals from my days in Catholic school was the time of confession. At first I found it frightening, going into that big wooden closet-like structure, sitting down with only a metal grill separating you from a priest. You usually couldn't make out exactly which Father was hearing your confession.It was always awkward, trying to scare up a list of all the bad stuff you'd done that week. I was a shy bookish young girl and nervously squirmed in the confessional trying to come up with my wrong doings, only to sometimes whisper out stuff I … [Read more...]

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Good Intentions, Bad Fruit

by LatebloomerI heard the stories so many times as I was growing up, the reasons for my parents' decision to pull me out of public school halfway through first grade and start to homeschool me. I heard how I cried every day when my mom dropped me off at school. I heard how I was bored in class because I had learned to read at age 3, long before going to kindergarten. I heard how my teacher was wasting classroom time on political issues by having the class write a letter about saving some whales. I heard how the teacher hurt my feelings badly by insulting my quiet speaking voice during a presentation. I heard how I had the problem boy as my seatmate because I was the best behaved student. … [Read more...]

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The Piano: Adventures in Recovery

by CaluluReading through the many different stories at NLQ of how we were enmeshed in the unhealthy lifestyle that is patriarchy, fundamentalism, quiverful, dominionism, evangelism, name your ism, has led me to wonder why we all so readily embraced that which was so clearly illogical and dangerous. There must be something in us that went off in that direction that's significantly different than the average person that likes regular movies and beer plus other forbidden things in our old religious lives.This isn't about those that were raised in the life. Growing up to emulate your parents is perfectly understandable, be your parent Charlie Manson or Billy Graham. I'm talking about … [Read more...]

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Justice is No Lady: Chapter 10 My Right to Be Heard

By Tess WilloughbyNate got another partner almost immediately. He found her on a Christian dating site. Patty had money from her millionaire father and a big house paid for by the government salary of her estranged husband. Nate had told me that remarriage for me was unbiblical, but he found a loophole in Scripture and told the children that he and Patty were already married in God’s eyes. God having spoken, Nate moved into Patty’s house and put our marital home up for rent.Nate wrote me a letter warning that if I did not “come to terms” (give him full custody of the children), he would hold a big yard sale and sell off everything in the house that belonged to me and the kids. He had … [Read more...]

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