Timmy and Jill Rodrigues – The Real World Consequences of Over-Involved Parenting

Timmy and Jill Rodrigues – The Real World Consequences of Over-Involved Parenting June 10, 2020

Screen cap from the Rodrigues Instagram.

For nearly a week now I’ve sat back, thought, and cried just a little bit, once the rumors at Reddit emerged about the reality of Timmy Rodrigues life. The person posting claimed to be someone from his life in Wisconsin. What they said made everything everyone has speculated about the Rodrigues family look possible.

I try not to think about Jill, or even post about them much because their influence is rather slight. Someone said something the other day about Jill paving her own road to hell and I had to quip that she would merely redecorate hell and try to sell Satan some Plexus.

Ancient history for those not familiar with the Rods and Timmy. The Rodrigues clan is a large Quiverfull family  that seems to sum up the worst of Quiverfull. Large family without a steady income. Mommy Jill sells Plexus, one of those MLM supplement companies that has been in trouble with the Food and Drug Administration for false claims and dangerous ingredients. Good Patriarch David prints religious tracts as his ministry and the entire family travels months a year in a small RV as they go from church to church ‘ministering’. They literally beg for money to support the family instead of holding jobs like normal folks.  They call it a “ministry” Trusting God to provide should never mean attempting to shirk working.

This  year they moved to Ohio from West Virginia in the middle of a number of CPS visits over possible food insufficiency. Dad is plump, Mom is normal, and the kids are bone thin and unhealthy looking. Which we would not even know if Jill wasn’t addicted to posting every single thing they do on social media.

And then there’s Timmy. The eldest son. The first one to leave the nest, who is now back home. Timmy first attended one of the Moody Bible colleges to learn to be a bush pilot missionary.  He had to leave after a year. Jill raised a huge row over it being because the college lied about the costs. The college responded by pointing out that all costs are clearly spelled out on their website and handbook.

Then Timmy went off to a college in Wisconsin, focused on the same curriculum, that was cheaper. We know very little about his time there, except that he bought a ring at a pawn shop. He recently returned home. We’d assumed it was because COVID 19 had shuttered most school systems.

The rumors say he flunked out, which is entirely possible as we know his education  before college was the Jill Rodrigues homeschool. Jill herself was homeschooled apparently. It’s likely he did struggle with aspects of the curriculum. I’ve seen homeschooled kids struggle when they reach community college with core basics like Math and Science.

They say that there was a courtship between Timmy and this unnamed girl. A courtship unapproved of by Jill.

Is this one of the Dingus family’s daughters? Found on Reddit.

The poster went on to describe something of a ugly power struggle between Timmy and his parents without saying the root cause. Mom and Dad were furious and yelling at him. She went on to say that not only was there food insecurity in the household, but that the children were kept up to all hours of the day and night and not allowed proper rest. Followed by the fact that they were harshly disciplined ala Michael Pearl and severely beaten. Great, a baseball team sized family of children underfed, cowering in fear while exhausted. That just sounds so much like some Good Christian Parenting does it? /sarcasm.

But I want to talk about Timmy and Jill’s parenting of him specifically. Of all the kids in the Rod household Jill seems the most devoted to Timmy, to a dangerous controlling level. Worrying enmeshment and possibly even an Oedipal complex going on there. This all smacks of emotional incest.

We have seen toxic levels of control going on in so many Quiverfull families, but Jill seems to take the rotten cake with her eldest son. He’s twenty years old, fully legally an adult. He can vote, he can sign up for the military, get married, buy a gun, alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets yet is not allowed to have his own separate social media accounts unlinked from his parents.

What we have seen is Jill hanging all over him in social media. His social media accounts have a photo of him being hugged by his mother, with dear old Jill front and center in a way that seems to indicate he is nothing without her. She relentlessly promotes his actions that she picked out for him, trying now to push him as a singing star. He is allowed nothing on his own, everything has Jill front and center. Just like a narcissistic enmeshed mother.

 

Jill openly treats Timmy like an appendage of herself instead of a separate entity with thoughts, likes, and dislikes, emotions completely separate from her own. It’s like he’s another arm or leg to her, only there to reflect back the glory that she thinks is owed to her. For her the end goal of parenting is to raise good little worshipers who worship and glorify her. Just look at the posts she makes even over other’s holidays that she turns to be all about her. I fear for daughter Nurie and her upcoming wedding because of the self-promoting tendencies of her mother, and the likelihood of some disgraceful trying to upstage the bride.

 

Oh, it happens. In my own wedding it happened, even if my mother was not enmeshed, just merely deeply disturbed. She turned up at my wedding wearing a bare to the navel, and slit up the sides red satiny dress. All eyes were on her, and she gloried in it. To this day, nearly 34 years later,  my large Louisiana family speaks of my wedding as the day my mother showed up wearing that red dress. I expect, knowing the dysfunction of Jill, that at Nurie’s wedding we’re be treated to something even more inappropriate in her attempts to turn the spotlight to herself.

Her behavior is troubling in that she does not seem to realize that the entire goal of parenting is to raise fully functional adults, who operate independently of their parents, who pay bills, who work jobs, who have relationships. It’s not to glorify yourself. It’s is genuinely not about you are all. It’s about the world at large, about making sure your child is a good person, a valued member of society. If you happen to be proud of them it’s gravy, it’s extra on top of knowing you did the right thing in the best way you knew how.

Only a broken narcissist with delusions of grandeur and power would approach parenting in the enmeshed narcissistic helicopter parent manner. Making it all about them, instead of what is best for the child. This is how we end up with young adults that cannot “adult”, broken and struggling with simple things like boundaries, relationships, careers and in every facet of their lives.

All kids go through an Oedipal phase of being enamored by the opposite sex parent, but they usually grow out of it by six years old, not twenty. Enmeshed parenting with someone with narcissistic tendencies prolongs that stage and pretty much wreaks havoc once the child starts to assert some independence and step away from the enmeshing parent. Like it looks like Timmy attempted before being forced home, to be a satellite in the orbit of his mother. A mother that spends money on makeup and hair dye instead of feeding or parenting her children.

Poor Timmy. He is trapped now, the escape is going to be nearly impossible unless he breaks with the family. Everything said on Reddit by the friend sounds like Timmy had started to wake up, realize that his life with his parents wasn’t ideal, and take at least a few steps away during his time in Spokane, Washington and Appleton, Wisconsin. Jill likely shut it all down once she realized her power over him was slipping. It’s going to be so hard for him to escape now that he’s back home without a plan.

Poor those other raggamuffin-looking children. At least with the others she does not seem quite so over invested emotionally like she does with Timmy. Except for with poor Nurie and her upcoming nuptials. I feel so bad for all those kids. Some counselor is going to be able to build their summer home on the billable hours that family could generate.

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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