Brave New Life: Part 7: The Journey Continues

This post is part of a series, to start with the introduction click here.It feels a little silly to write the last planned post of this series when I stopped adding to it over a year ago! But It still feels incomplete to me, and so here I am.Relating to non-affirming friends and family when coming out isn't a race. It's more like a marathon. It's exhausting, it takes endurance and persistence. I purposely choose to live a distance away from them because I know how much interaction I can handle. Sometimes I feel guilty for not living closer, so I could be more available for siblings, or so my kids could more easily experience aunts, uncles and grandparents. But I know that the fantasy … [Read more...]

Finally Heard? The Duggar Aftermath

 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...]

Re-Post: Lies we tell ourselves about abuse

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: I’m Not Afraid Anymore

This post was originally published November 2010. I had spent years trying to put on a good face, hide any issues I might have because it could be a "bad witness" to the redemption of Christ. This was one of the first times I talked openly about depression, and shortly after that got into counseling for the first time. 2011 ended up being a huge year of growth for me. I struggle with depression.There are several dark years in my Teens. Years where I didn’t want to get up out of bed, where I had a hard time smiling, where I thought about suicide and planned how I could end my pain forever. At some point, I discovered several food sensitivities as well as low thyroid and was able to ma … [Read more...]

Breaking the Silence

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”

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...]