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...]

Breaking the Silence

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Cynthia Jeub telling her story brings up a lot for me. Memories. Memories of hiding in small dark places with my hands clamped firmly over my ears to try to block out the screams of a sibling who was being "disciplined." Being isolated, and truly having no one to tell, no one to turn to for help. Memories of fear and shame and rage. Nightmares. Dreams where it all happens over again. That sick feeling in my stomach over not being able to help, change the circumstances, sick from fear. Heart racing, waking up in a sweat. Waking up and still feeling tired after long night. Regret. That I didn't say something then. That I didn't know what was happening to me and my siblings was abusive. … [Read more...]

“When The Christian Issue Comes Home”

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A close friend called to tell me that I had a new religion in the family. After nearly 20 years as a strong atheist-identified family, my family scratched one member off the list. “Have you heard about Jessica?” she asked. “She just announced on facebook that she’s a Christian.”The new Christian, it would seem, is my sister.My sister is 12 years younger than me, and grew up loving science and being a part of her girl scout troop. She beamed with pride when she won that “Future Leader Award” in highschool.Today, though, Jessica identifies as a Christian. “I am not an atheist,” she declared in her facebook announcement. She is legally changing her name to Jael after the Biblical cha … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 6: Never the same, and that’s OK

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This post is part of a seven part series. To start with the introduction click here.We went to visit for the first time about a year after coming out, it had been almost 2 years since I had seen any of my younger siblings. It was so scary, knowing that just your existence caused so much drama makes it really nerve-wracking  to voluntarily hang out. It makes you second guess each thing you say or do, worrying that something could inadvertently offend or enrage people who have to work so hard to tolerate you. On the other hand, you just want to relax and be yourself, and not try to be something you’re not just to keep the peace. The words from my mom about love mattering more than who was r … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 5: Tolerance

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This post is part of a series, to start with the introduction, please click here.Mere weeks after the phone call that prompted the silence between me and my parents, I received a card from them for Haley and my wedding Anniversary, along with a beautiful queen size quilt. Any other time I would have been thrilled to get them, in the wake of our interaction it just made me feel confused. If they were this upset with me, and did not approve of my marriage, than why the affirmation of it with a card and gift? I couldn’t bring myself to use the quilt, it felt so dirty somehow to put a blanket on our bed when it had been sent by people who believed we were sinning every time we slept under i … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 4: An Overcast Summer

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This post is part of a series, click here to start with the introduction.The grapevine raged and the news was spreading fast. Random people who hadn’t been in touch over the last 7 years suddenly sent us long involved email lectures on how wrong we were, and how much they cared about us, and how could we do this to people who cared about us? At first we tried to respond to them, answering their questions, and explaining as best we could. But when it became clear that most of them had no actual interest in our experience, but just wanted to be a spokesperson for their idea of god, we got better at discerning which confrontations to engage with.We heard that Haley’s parents had told the … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 3: The Other Shoe Drops

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This post is part of a series, click here to start with the introduction.We’d been putting in applications for weeks and not having much luck. It wasn’t really surprising, after growing up the way I did, and then having 4 kids I had basically no resume, and Haley’s was entirely ministerial stuff and we couldn’t exactly list them as a reference. We were also in the middle of changing addresses on everything, and getting all of our other paperwork in order. I passed a local coffee shop and noticed a hiring sign in the window, so I printed out my sad little resume and dropped it off.Haley was restless and not getting any bites, we’d been talking about maybe getting her some short-term jo … [Read more...]


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