Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 9: Sparks Fly

Please note: The content contained herein does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of the NLQ blog and its administrators. by Chandra I still remember what I was doing on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. It was a gorgeous morning, crisp azure sky with nothing but the blissful autumn sunshine overhead. Not even a cloud. I pulled into the church parking lot, sunroof back and something along the lines of Green Day blaring. I arrived at the office early, unlocking the door and booted my computer, prepping to attend to the stack of projects that pastors needed completing. I glanced over the counseling schedule for the day and realized that it was going to be a light … [Read more...]

Sons of Patriarchy

by Libby Anne Yes yes, I know I said it’s about the daughters, but it’s actually about the sons too, and here’s why: Christian Patriarchy may say its about creating the perfect godly family, but, at its heart, it’s about control. Yes, that sounds kind of harsh! Let me explain. In Christian Patriarchy, parents don’t let their children grow up and leave and make their own decisions. Instead, parents seek to control their adult children. The system only works if everyone stays in their place and does as told. The moment there is an independent thought or contrary life goal, it all falls apart. Where do the sons come into this? It’s simple. I have brothers, and while things have … [Read more...]

Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 8: The Road to Freedom

Please note: The content contained herein does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of the NLQ blog and its administrators. by Chandra It wasn’t until this past year, while speaking to my counselor, that she looked me in the eye and asked of me, “Did you ever think to call 911?” Something like a tidal wave went through me. I still feel like I am picking up the pieces of that. “No,” I replied. “It never even dawned on me.” I still don’t understand the full implications of living in such a mind-controlling cult. I really don’t. It’s…indescribable really and I often feel like a blundering, clumsy writer trying to articulate it to the outside … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 10: I Am a Person, Not a Doll!

by Libby Anne It has now been some years since I left my parents’ house and shifted for myself. I think my parents were somewhat surprised that I was able to make it on my own and that I did not come home asking for help, or maybe it was just me who was surprised. I found inner sources of strength I had not known I had. At the same time, my college friends, both the original evangelical ones and new ones I had met, were a wonderful source of support, and always accepted me regardless of what I did or didn’t believe. I finished college on my own, and was extremely proud at graduation. During this time I also found someone special, and I married him not long after finishing college. … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 9: The Broken Doll

by Libby Anne Soon after this rethinking of my parents’ beliefs, I returned home from college for a semester break more worried than I have ever been in my life. What were my parents going to think about my new beliefs on evolution, the Bible, the pro-life movement, and female equality? For a few weeks I said nothing, afraid of what would happen when I did. But the longer I listened to my parents praising me for my steadfast beliefs and condemning evolution and liberal college professors the more I realized I couldn’t hide my changes in belief. And so I told them. I was used to being only praised and affirmed, so telling my parents about my changing beliefs was probably the hardest … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 8: Out of the Doll House & Into the Real World

by Libby Anne And then I left for college. College had always been one of my parents’ expectation for me, and I’ve never seen them as proud as they were at my homeschool graduation. With my parents’ approval, I chose a secular college because I wanted to witness to others and make a difference in the world. I had been taught that I was to be a culture changer, shouldn’t I start now? My parents approved of this choice because they believed I was ready. Of course, I believed my role was to be a wife and mother, but no one had appeared to seek my hand and my parents, both college educated themselves, had never shaken the idea that a college degree is important. I would graduate from … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 7: Submission & Obedience

by Libby Anne The Godly Woman recognizes that "the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man..." She willingly and joyfully submits to him in everything as she would unto Christ. What other women view as a burden and degradation, she views as an honor and a blessing. My parents believed in male headship and the umbrella of authority. They believed that the husband is the head of the wife and that the wife must submit to the husband even as the husband must love the wife. And submission meant obedience. My mother was constantly reading books like Me? Obey Him? as she strove to be a better, more submissive wife. This was difficult for my mother, for she was a very … [Read more...]

It's About the DAUGHTERS

[Note: This piece is being crossposted at No Longer Quivering as a way to introduce NLQ readers to guest writer, Libby Anne's new blog: Love, Joy, Feminism. Read Libby Anne's "The Beautiful Girlhood Doll" series here.] by Libby Anne When it comes to the multitude of problems with Christian Patriarchy, it is the position of the daughters that I am most passionate about. The patriarch has it pretty good - he’s the one who gets to call the shots. The sons usually don’t have it so bad either - they’re patriarchs in training. The mothers may spend their lives having baby after baby and they may believe that they’re to submit to the patriarch in everything, but they generally chose this … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 6: Joy & Friendship

by Libby Anne The woman of God is joyful and seeks companionship with those who share the same vision. For the daughter who has embraced the beauty of Christian girlhood, the richest friendships begin within her family, where she learns to love and honor, and first learns the joy of belonging to another. I had a lot of friends growing up, and they definitely all shared my vision. In fact, they were all exactly like me! All of my friends were white, middle class, and homeschooled, and they all shared the same religious beliefs that my parents did. This was because I only ever met other children my age at church or in a Christian homeschool co-op, and I only ever got to see a friend … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 5: Home & Hospitality

by Libby Anne   One of the defining qualities of beautiful girlhood is a love for home and hospitality. A young girl watches her mother and looks forward to the day when she, too, will have a family. While other girls are driven by wanderlust, the hospitable girl finds true contentment at home. I loved being at home, and I never wanted to be anywhere else. My home was my father’s castle, and I loved it. While some of my siblings sometimes chaffed at not being allowed to go out and do things with their friends like other children, it never bothered me one bit. I would have rather stayed home anyway. Because my parents believed work was good for children and because there was so much … [Read more...]