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...]

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...]

Cult of Personality – Adventures in Recovery

by CaluluA few weeks ago I took my daughter out for an celebratory lunch at her favorite Greek restaurant. She's gotten acceptance letters from all of the colleges she's applied to plus we really needed to touch base, take a time out together from the busy of our lives. Over sovlaki and hummus she started talking about what she would say to our former pastor Patrick if she ran into him again. She had run into him an few months ago and had been so surprised she'd just hurriedly muttered out pleasantries before leaving him as rapidly as a man with his pants on fire would run for the lawn sprinklers.I had to ask her what she would say to Patrick if they were face to face. She blurted … [Read more...]

Forming Boundaries Late in Life

by LatebloomerDo any of these sound like you?I have to always say yes to others, or else I am selfish. I have to always hide my hurt, or else I am unloving. I have to treat other people as faultless, or else I am holding a grudge. I have to keep my wants and needs to myself, or else I am a burden to others.People who experienced authoritarian parents tend to turn into adults with poor boundaries. They were trained for it their whole lives and can't imagine another way of doing things. However, it's an extremely unsatisfying and unsustainable way to live, don't you think? But most importantly, it's actually not what a loving person is like! For me, when I was in that mindset, … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Emotional Incest: The Bottom Line

by Sierra[Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.]My last two posts, and indeed all my thinking on the subject has led me to some conclusions about the ways that Christian Patriarchy and purity culture enable and even celebrate emotional incest. The following are the cliff notes:Christian patriarchy turns marriage from a relationship to an institution, effectively reversing the historical trend from business partnerships and heir insurance to bonds between two free agents based on love. Evangelical culture … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest Part 3: Daddy’s Girl

by Libby Anne[Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.]In Part 1 I looked at the definition of emotional incest and in Part 2 I looked at how integral emotional incest is to Christian Patriarchy, but in this segment I want to look at how easy it can be for even ordinary families to be sucked into (admittedly, less intense) patterns of emotional incest.I recently came upon an article called “Princesses, Princes, Daughters, and Dads: Against Emotional Incest.” The author explains his own experiences as the father … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest: The Mama’s Boy and the Other Woman

by SierraI have already written about the ways that growing up in fundamentalist-evangelical culture made me especially vulnerable to covert incest from my father. There is a flip side to the father-daughter craze in Christian patriarchy, though. I am here to bring you two stories: and one of them isn’t about me!In what would have been my high school years, a miracle happened. Sven, my best friend from my early childhood, came back to my church. We were fourteen. We had been estranged for about three years while his family lived in another state. But we quickly reconnected (not least due to my idealistic hopes that we could pick up where we left off, and some aggressive b … [Read more...]

Snipped! Part 4 The Freedom of Divorce

 by Incongruous CircumspectionSeven years old was a big year for me. It was at this point that Mama and Dad’s relationship boiled over and broke apart. Dad left and went to live by himself, leaving my siblings and I alone with Mama. At this point in my life, the alone time with Mama wasn’t too bad. She hadn’t learned yet, to take her immature “lashing out,” and reconcile it with her interpretation of the Bible. She was just solidly abusive and then excitingly adventurous.At one point, Dad did try to come back and give the marriage another chance. I remember being asked to dry the dishes one evening. Dad had pulled our old black and white television from its corner, to the mid … [Read more...]


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