by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Broken Circles
Editor’s note: More of the harsher rhetoric of the Pearls from the 1990s. In this lengthy piece we’re quoting Michael lays the blame for all the children out of control firmly at the feet of women who divorce their husbands. This is pretty awful in so many ways. All the boxes of Pearl fears are checked, drinking, addiction, sexual molestation of children, lesbian duplex/apartment living, poverty..and how did Mom go from living with another man to rushing out to date? Typical Pearl lack of logic or editing.
The names and some details have been changed to protect the guilty, but the events are true. Ruth is five years old. Her mother just recently left her daddy because he drinks too much. The home life was not good, but it wasn’t all bad. It was a small circle that included a warm house, a mama and a daddy, some siblings, and a sense of security. The older siblings were doing well in school, and even though mama and daddy yelled a lot, it was still home. Now little Ruth lives in an apartment with her mommy, although she spends at least three nights a week at home with Daddy. Mommy said she didn’t want Daddy to mess them up, so she left him, but she’s lonesome and needs to go out, so she asks Daddy to keep the kids more all the time.
If someone asked little Ruth where she lives she would look confused, stare off into space, and finally answer, “With mommy at the apartment.” Now her life revolves in two part circles. She has two places to live, she has two authorities, which often disagree, but she no longer has a sense of security—that has been replaced with fear.
Mommy now has a friend. He lives at the apartment with them. He is a strange man and Ruth is uncomfortable around him. She doesn’t understand why, but in her tiny, broken circle she no longer feels at home.
Mommy had a date and a babysitter came. Mommy didn’t come home until real late and Ruth did not wake up for school. Daddy called, but older brother was afraid to tell him why they weren’t at school. The next day all the kids went to stay at Daddy’s house. The house is different now. Less furniture, messy, it smells funny, but it’s more familiar than the apartment, so it’s better. Daddy’s friends came over. Mommy doesn’t like Daddy’s friends. They drink a lot, and one friend wants to hold Ruth, and she is afraid. So much fear, so much uncertainty, so much turmoil.
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