Millipede: Part 5

by Millipede Peevish men, wives who watched every word and worse they really embraced the submission beliefs. The wives would gripe very rarely about their husbands and the work and if they did they were sure to say that they weren't in disagreement with the system, ,merely letting off a little steam.The women were just as much true believers. This isn't as I first thought/hoped in that Patriarchy can be a humane system for women. Instead I realized that there will always be those who for varying reasons, become ardent followers of movements which harm them. There are women who will accept or even come to love degradation if it comes approval and "love". Look at people in … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 4

by Calulu When we last left this story every couple in our little circle of friends from church had been exposed as having at least one cheater.  Things don't get any better~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Months pass , everything, everyone continues in a warped state of stalemate. Tom has been dumped by Alice but doesn't come home to Tina. He moves on to a series of girlfriends picked up in karaoke bars after he starts spending all his night time hours at karaoke. He starts drinking heavily before moving on to smoking reefer. All the while singing really bad songs from the early and mid 60s every night at the local karaoke bars.Tina serenely states that he will come … [Read more...]

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...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 1: A Secret Revealed

by Permission to LiveThis post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.As many of you know, my spouse and I got married young after a short parent-supervised courtship. We began our marriage “the right way” according to everything we believed. We had obeyed our parents and stayed pure from emotional relationships or sexual activity, so when we got married neither of us had ever been intimate with any other person. We were wholeheartedly committed to our Christian beliefs at that time, feeling certain that birth control was wrong in almost any circumstance and that men should be the family leaders and women should be submissive. My hus … [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 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...]

Authoritarian Parenting and Emotional Repression

by LatebloomerI have a lot of respect for my dad. He's thoughtful and generous to all of us. His constant reading makes him an interesting and well-informed conversationalist. He makes his life decisions very carefully, yet never looks down on me for making different decisions than him. Instead, he tells me all the time that he loves and misses me, and that he's proud of who I've become. I feel so lucky to have him as my dad.Unfortunately, we have not always gotten along so well. Less than ten years ago, our relationship had been almost completely destroyed thanks to the authoritarian parenting techniques of the fundamentalist Christian homeschooling culture. Authoritarian parenting … [Read more...]

Sexuality: the Elephant in the Room

by LatebloomerMy mom walked into my bedroom and handed me a heavy biology textbook. "Read chapter 13," she told me, breathless and blushing. Then she rushed out. I opened to the appropriate chapter: "The Reproductive System". That was my entire sex education; I was 17 years old.I think we can all agree: sex education should probably be done by people who have said the word "sex" out loud at least once in their lives.My parents' denial of sexuality couldn't stop puberty, and couldn't stop our curiosity about sex. Instead, their attitude clearly showed us kids that we could never go to our parents with any questions or concerns that were related to our sexuality or genitals. For … [Read more...]

Homeschooled Girls and Trash Cans: The Social Isolation of Homeschooling

by LatebloomerWhat do homeschooled girls and trash cans have in common? They both only leave the house once a week. This joke was well-received among homeschooled youth because it rang true for so many of us. For almost all of my teen years, church was the only social activity that I engaged in, the only time during the whole week that I might have a chance to interact with people who were not my immediate family. Making friends in that context, especially as a shy teen girl, seems daunting. However, I had an even greater obstacle to deal with: I was not allowed to participate in youth group.My parents were absolutely terrified of teenage rebellion. Thanks to various … [Read more...]

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...]