Friday, June 5, 2009

Who is Ruth?

I've never had a blog before.
Who is Ruth? I hope when I'm done with the blog someday I'll be able to answer that question. I'm blogging for therapy's sake. (If my dad new I was in therapy he'd disown me all over again!) I'm new to the internet.
I was homeschooled for ten years giving me my primary education. I am in school now doing what I always wanted to do. It was the school therapist that told me I should write this journal. I am rambling. Like almost all QF families, my family homeschooled their kids. I have many feelings about this. I got a better education that some I know in that lifestyle. My mom taught junior high school math before father and she became Gothardites. My father was in Campus Teams, which is now the IBLP, that Gothard founded. In 1980 my older brother (A) was born. His Irish twin came ten months later (this is brother B). Father and Mom waited a grand 13 months before welcoming the next blessing (brother C). I was born in 1984. I was the first girl obviously. I was followed by brothers D to F and they were followed by sisters A, B, and C. If you're counting, that made me one of ten for most of my life. When sister C was nine, my parents had one last child that was born prematurely and passed away.

My mom's family wasn't fundamentalist or literalist. They went to a nondenominational church for holidays. Mom said she never read the Bible until she met my father. My father's family were methodists. My father's history would identify him and my family and I'm not ready for that.

I am the oldest sister which meant I helped raise my siblings. My first memory is my mom lecturing me to always put others first. I think I wanted to be playing with my brothers outside and she had needed help with my little brothers. I was only four years old but I remember it in detail. She called me in from outside and told me I was getting "too big to play with the boys". She handed me a dirty diaper to throw away and I gagged. That made me cry. Crying was unacceptable in that house. Crying meant a lecture from mother or a spanking from father. My mother never did the spankings. You didn't cry because it wasn't appropriate worship of your Creator to frown upon your life by crying. I was taught that life was a precious gift and work was how you repaid our Father for blessing you with your life. Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last. JOY. I hate that word now. I know you're saying I'm ungrateful but I don't think I am. That word has been tainted and I hate it. JOY meant never having any for your self. That could be an entry of its own.


  1. I am so glad that you started a blog. I think your therapist was right to recommend it. I followed you over here from TWOP and I am fascinated by your story. I just wanted to say that I DO NOT think that you are ungrateful just because you now hate the word JOY. I believe that I would hate it too if it was constantly associated with bad experiences. I want to hug that little four year old and tell her "you go run and play, baby girl". Your childhood was robbed from you and you have every right to be upset about that. It is ok to mourn the loss. Just know that you can be a good person and put yourself first sometimes.


  2. What Pam said. I hate to sound as knowitall as any dogmatic preacher, but that's not showing God's love, that's emotional abuse. I didn't even grow up QF or Gothard (youngest of two in a nondenominational Christian house), and yet your words chilled me in their similarity to the unspoken message that underlay the abusive treatment I got: that I deserve everything heaped on me as a consequence of just being born. To hell with that. Children should be brought up in love, NOT fear, appealing to their better natures, not controlling them through shame. You didn't deserve that, nor did I or countless others. Peace.

  3. Just found your blog. I was banned from the TWOP discussion of the Duggars for God knows what insane reason. I have read tons on Christian cults. Your posts are very interesting. Please keep writing.

  4. Wow, Ruth, the whole JOY thing affected my life in a profound way. A very negatively profound way. God has spent the past 6 years trying to teach me differently. It took (what seemed) all His might to get me to walk away from that whole JOY thing and learn how to take care of myself. Once I learn to take care of myself (still an ongoing process, I assure you, at least for me), I have more to give to others. The JOY thing still goes through my head on a weekly basis. It seemed so good, so right. But for me, it became death- a self starvation that led to such a horrible place that God has been kind enough to finally lead me out of. If you are always putting others first, there will never be any time to take care of your own needs. (Read: the simple responsibility God has given each of us to tend to our own stuff so we're not burdens on others if we can help it.) Where did that JOY thing even come from? Frankly, after all this time, I regularly question if I'll ever be free of the guilt of that one. So sad I passed it on to my kids.

  5. Ruth,

    I have just found your blog through your posts on NLQ (which I came back to after a long absence). As a child of a very dysfunctional family who found IBL during my late teen years I am enthralled by your (dare I use the word) testimony.

    So much of what you have said rings true. I was also accused of defrauding by a leader in our group when I was 19. (While all the while avoiding the advances of his sons and flirtation by him). I don't know if I have ever really thought of all of the implications of this on my life (I stopped going to conferences a few years after I got married) but reading your posts have made me realize that there have, in fact, been consequences.

    Thank you for sharing your story.


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