Carefully Scripted Lives – The Real Reality of the Duggar Family "Blessings"

by Libby Anne I can’t say how often I’ve heard ordinary Americans defend Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their popular TLC television show, 19 Kids and Counting. “I wouldn’t choose to have nineteen kids,” they say, “but if they can manage it, who am I to question their choice?” “The kids look happy and healthy,” they say, “look how polite and well mannered they are.” I hear these comments and I just have to sigh.First of all, I want to point out that I would have concerns about the Duggars even if they were your ordinary family plus seventeen extra children. For one thing, there is no way any two parents can give nineteen children the individual attention and time they need. It’s just no … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 9 – Terrorists, Far and Near

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbySeptember 11, 2001. This dark day united all Americans in horror, in terror, and in pain.With at least one exception: Nate Willoughby.I found out that our country had been attacked using our own commercial aircraft when my mother called me from town and said, “Turn on the news.” Her tone of voice suggested the worst of the worst of the worst: so awful that you didn’t ask “what channel?” because it didn’t matter what channel. The president had been assassinated. There was some horrific, unthinkable natural disaster, probably in Virginia. Something so bad she couldn’t say it.I hung up, t … [Read more...]

Family Man, Family Leader: In Conclusion

by LivingForEternityThe other day my husband came to me and confessed that sharing our story was just very painful for him to the point of tears. Out of love and respect for him I am submitting by not continuing to tell what we have been through. He did not ask me not to, but the last thing I want to do is hurt someone that I love so much. However, I would like to share where we are now, as how we got here really doesn’t matter. We choose to live from today and not let our past dictate who we are.We no longer have an identity created by our marriage or our children. His identity is not bound to whether or not he is a perfect “leader” of his home. Mine is not tied to being the “perfect” wi … [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...]

Tea Party Family Values and the World's Greatest Freak Show

On fundamentalist counterculture & juvenile black market adoption fantasies ... by Vyckie Garrison @ No Longer QuiveringDo you remember when it first dawned on you that your relatives are all a bunch of crackpots and weirdos?  Seems like I was around 8 or 9 — my mother worked all night in the casinos and slept most of the day, leaving me alone to protect my naïve older sister from the depraved advances of Mom's alcoholic boyfriends and worry about my big brother's drug addiction. I couldn't count on my grandparents to help — they were too preoccupied with their own divorce, dating, and remarriage dramas."Holy sugar," I thought to myself, "these people are seriously messed up!" … [Read more...]

My Courtship Story ~ Part 8: Courtship Is Not The Answer

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveLooking back, I like many things about our story. I love that we were very honest about our needs and desires as we understood them at the time. I can imagine it would be more difficult to fall in love with someone and then find out afterwards they don’t want children and you do. I can see the benefits of being straightforward and asking the tough questions right away.On the other hand, there were things that we could not talk about as well. Religious questions weren’t really that relevant, because we were so enmeshed in our families, we hardly had any beliefs that were truly ours, they were all dictated by our families. There are other tough issues that c … [Read more...]

My Courtship Story ~ Part 7: I Do

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveWe spent most of our time together at our family homes, so we also spent a lot of our time together trying to evade family. Since we were engaged we were allowed to go on short excursions alone to public places. So we ran errands for the wedding, like picking up my wedding dress after the alterations were finished, or running to the mall to pick out "Hunk"’s wedding band. When we were around my house, we went for lots of walks together, and I even took him up to my secret spot on the garage roof where we could be alone.At the end of June (about 3 weeks out from the wedding) I went on another trip with "Hunk" and his family. We all flew out to spend a week … [Read more...]

My Courtship Story ~ Part 6: The Countdown

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveHunk and I and our parents set the wedding date that same night. He was going to graduate school (3 hours away) that August, and we both knew that we did not want to risk our parents nixing a wedding before next summer. A wedding over Christmas or spring break sounded complicated, and we both knew that he would be distracted from his schoolwork driving down to see me. Secretly I felt that I would go insane if I had to go days and days without seeing him. After a few calls to family members who lived some distance away, we settled on a date in July, eight short weeks away.I now had a ring on my finger, and people who knew me at violin classes were shocked, … [Read more...]

My Courtship Story ~ Part 5: Will You Marry Me?

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveTwo days later, I was allowed to drive over to “Hunk’s” house for the first time (with a sister along) and when I got there we went for a walk around the block alone (his family was a bit more liberal than mine). I had explained to my Dad that it felt very awkward to not be able to touch at all, and he had approved of us holding hands and promised to give “Hunk” a call to give him permission to do so.So we held hands as we walked, and I told “Hunk” about a dream I’d had where he had told me “well, this has been nice, but you’re not the one for me.” He replied with a shocked look “How could those words come out of my mouth!?” We walked in silence for a few … [Read more...]

My Courtship Story ~ Part 4: The Singing Again

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveWe had a good time talking and getting more comfortable being around each other that first day of our courtship. And best of all we were able to see each other again the very next day at Greek class. It was kind of nice to be officially courting, because now we could get down to business and talk in more depth about our beliefs and what we were hoping for in a marriage relationship and children.That Monday after Greek class (while my sisters hung around and waited for me to be ready to leave) we even talked a little bit about ideas for a wedding. Before I left that night “Hunk” gave me a letter to open the next day (he called it “sad Tuesday”) since we wou … [Read more...]


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