To Stand Up and Speak: The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blog Network

by Melissa Permission to Live My sister was the one who introduced me to No Longer Quivering. She didn’t actually mean to, she told me she was reading a website called Quivering Daughters, and when I googled it I found No Longer Quivering instead. I wanted to make sure that this was a good thing for a Christian to read, and so I looked around for what the conservative Christian community was saying about the website, and read that the founder of the site was a raving atheist and a lesbian. Of course neither claim was true, I believe at that point Vyckie Garrison was only questioning her faith, and even though she now considers herself an atheist, I have never experienced to her to … [Read more...]

Submission and Prison Cells: Part 2

by Melissa Permission to Live Click here for Part One Let me start by saying a sincere “I am sorry” to “Yellowbunnys” (whoever she was, and wherever she is now) and to all the other women I shamed that day. I was wrong. I was arrogant. I was hurtful. It is painful for me to even read what I believed then, much less how I judged others and tried to force them to believe it too. At the time I wrote that, I was barely getting past Post-Partum Depression with my first baby, and was about to be hit with a second wave of it after the birth of my second. I struggled to fulfill my self-imposed idea of perfection, but believed that any and all of the seeming problems with … [Read more...]

Submission and Prison Cells: Part 1

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by Melissa Permission To Live Almost five years ago, I was a devout conservative Christian. I had been married over two years, had a toddler Ms Action running around and a baby Ms Drama due in a few months. I loved my spouse beyond what I had ever thought love was when we first got married, and I still dutifully tried to keep the house immaculate and dinner on the table by the time he walked in the door. I read lots of books on marriage and childrearing, and I gave some of them away too. I remember in particular giving away copies of “To Train up a Child” and “Be Fruitful and Multiply”. I did my best to live up to the ideas I found in the Bible, the Christian books and magazines I … [Read more...]

Raised Quiverfull: Questioning, Q. 2

by Libby Anne Raised Quiverfull Introduction — Questioning Summary Please be sure to click the above links to see an introduction to and explanation of this project, which involves a panel of nine young adults who were raised in Quiverfull families and have since questioned and left that ideology answering questions about their experiences.     What first made you question the beliefs you were raised with? Was this initial questioning a frightening or liberating experience? Joe: I can’t put a finger on one experience that made me question my beliefs.  When I mention my beliefs, I must say that I have rejected everything from quiverful and … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 9: Starting a New Life

by Permission to Live This 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 … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 8: Coming Out, Bit by Bit

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by Permission to Live  This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction. It was getting harder and harder for my spouse to put on a masculine facade when we went out. At home, after all, he was able to just be himself. It was also starting to feel awkward referring to him as a “he.” The pronouns just didn’t fit anymore. Other people started to notice too. When we went down to visit family over the summer we had several different family members ask if my spouse was gay. Apparently being a feminine male-presenting person attracts attention. The summer of 2011 was significant in another way too. I had arranged to meet up with … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 7: Charting a New Course

by Permission to Live This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction. It had been a year since my spouse had come out to me. It felt like it had been much longer. So much had changed and yet nothing had changed. We still hadn’t decided how Christianity tied in with our changing reality: I was leaning further and further away from the idea of God but my spouse still believed. We felt like there were no real answers anymore. Life was not as black and white as people wanted it to be. My spouse was talking more and more about transitioning and I felt like there was no one-size-fits-all in gender identity. Maybe my spouse would become … [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 5: The Beauty of Acceptance

by Permission to Live This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction. It was the end of 2010. I was starting to question the existence of God while my spouse was as Christian as ever. Sometimes I did not understand how he could keep believing in a God who had made him this way and then said that he couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t understand how it was god-honoring for a person to live their life “the way god wanted them too” while being miserable and secretly hoping that they would get into an accident somehow that would force the removal of the hormone producing organs that caused them so much mental anguish. The … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 4: When It Doesn’t Add Up

by Permission to Live This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction. I had always been under the impression that LGBTQ people were a new phenomenon. That the population of gay and transgender people had really taken off during the modern age those “godless” sixties. And that before it had become “cool” to be gay, virtually no one was. But that wasn’t making sense anymore. Even today, being queer continues to unleash considerable bias and discrimination. Kids are still routinely getting kicked out of their homes for admitting they are gay or trans. I couldn’t see any benefit to coming out as LGBTQ unless that really was … [Read more...]


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