Finally Heard? The Duggar Aftermath

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 We've called out abuse. We've talked about this. For years survivors of the fundamentalist christian homeschool movement have told our stories. We asked people to listen, we asked people to help, we asked for some sort of protections to get put into place for isolated homeschooled children. We've pointed out the dysfunction as one by one, the leaders of the movement covered up scandals or were toppled by them.We were called bitter. We were told that we were the only ones, that we were alone in our experience. We were admonished that while one or two homeschooling extremists might have issues, we were sensationalizing to suggest that it was more than that. We pointed out the … [Read more...]

Fight or Flight

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I noticed it the first time about six months after finally recognizing issues I had with my upbringing and  making the decision to stop spanking our kids. Ms Action plopped her bottom onto the floor and accidentally onto a hard toy in the process. She jumped up with a shriek, holding her bottom and crying. I had seen the whole thing from across the room, I knew what had happened, and that it was an accident, and that she would probably be ok, but my heart was racing, blood roared in my ears, my breathing was fast and shallow and I wanted to run. I pulled it together, and managed to comfort her, but couldn't put my finger on why I had reacted so strongly.I walked to the park with the … [Read more...]

Fundamentalist Approved Feminist Literature

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I read constantly. It was a way to find out more about the world outside my parents home, and escape from the day in day out monotony, and other than our family movie nights, some of my only entertainment.Some books that I read, were not approved. I speed-read them without my parents knowledge in the library (The Princess Diaries Series, Star Wars Sci-Fi) and later when I had access to book stores bought them and hid them in the cabinet that was mine (Leon Uris and Chiam Potok). Sometimes unapproved books made their way into our house from grandparents downsizing (Readers Digest collections) or a large box of classics a distant relative or friend dropped off for the homeschool kids, … [Read more...]

Re-Post: Lies we tell ourselves about abuse

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This post was originally published June 2011. One of the things that prompted my finally admitting my own denial, was realizing I did not want to parent the way I was parented.  I wanted to believe that how I grew up had not been harmful, I wanted so badly for my parents to be right, that I refused to think about it, refused to deal with it, and even repeated it. In the end, my desire to not hurt my kids was stronger than my desire for my parents to be right.  That is what snapped me out of the fog, and forced me to get help. (I have one more re-post after this one. To read about what prompted this, check out this post.)  We want to think the best of people. We want to tell o … [Read more...]

Re-Post: Rights of a Child

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This post was originally published August 2011. It was part of my reaction to Michael Farris' creating a "parent's rights" amendment and proposing to amend our constitution. It was a big realization for me that the parent is not sacred, that they do not always know what is best for their child, and sometimes they need help. It helped me to take a step toward freedom from the weight of my parents expectations of me, and also help me be less afraid of acknowledging my own shortcomings as a parent, and be less afraid to get help and learn more. Several months ago, my mom was spouting off against the government and Child Protective Services in a phone conversation, saying that they should never … [Read more...]

Re-post: Never Good Enough

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This post was originally published in August of 2010. It was the first time I said anything but positive things about the way I was raised. I remember being surprised that so many people responded with compassion and encouragement, I had been bracing myself for people to tell me I was being ungrateful and exaggerating, as had been my experience when I had questioned anything in the past. It was shortly after this that I spoke to my parents about what had been harmful to me in childhood, in the hopes that things would be different for my siblings. Realizing that I did not have to pretend I was perfect, and that I could possibly be good enough, was a huge breakthrough moment for me.  I … [Read more...]


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