Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I saw my therapist today and 9/11 came up. I was seventeen on that morning. We had one television in our house and it was never on. I think because of that and the imposed isolation we grew up in, I didn't hear about the hijackings until three o'clock that afternoon. I was starting to prepare dinner with my sister when my older brother walked in the door with his wife. They're weren't tearful or upset. They matter-of-factly said that "Muslims were killing Americans." My mom hustled my younger siblings into the basement like we were personally under attack. Today that seems absurd to me. He didn't say that the World Trade Center or Pentagon had been hit or that hijackers took over planes and flew them into strategic locations. He said that we (meaning white Christians) were under attack by "Muslims"...and we believed him. There was a family in town that was Persian, but probably Christian, and my other brother said "we should watch out for the Xs". As if this family we'd known all our lives was suddenly going to burst through our front door with guns. My father was typically fired up about what had happened even with his lack of correct information. He made us all gather to pray (in the basement). He asked God to forgive his family for being so sinful and forgiveness for the world's tolerance which led to "this deed". We prayed for an hour with dinner forgotten until one of my sisters started whining in hunger. My father was on the phone the rest of the night. He didn't talk about solidarity as a nation of people that were hurting. No, the message was about how great the need was for things like ATI and ALERT-like training. He was convinced this was the beginning of the end.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blanket training

TWOP has been discussing blanket training lately. My mom didn't do it with me or my older siblings but she did it with my younger siblings. I remember Luke and Matt having an especially rough time of it. In my house, it worked the way I'm about to describe it but this varies household-to-household. I think it probably depends on how quick the parents are to adopt the "spare the rod" ethic.

Matt and Luke were placed on their own blankets. One thing people don't hear is that those blankets aren't big. They're not supposed to be bigger than a bath towel or crib quilt. Each child had their own to reduce the temptation to play together. I was told that playing together during blanket time wouldn't encourage self control and I never understood that because that's when we exercise the most self-control (in dealing with others, right?). If the boys went off the blanket, they were slapped on the hands or feet. Whatever body part went off first. If they cried they had to sit for added minutes on the blanket. My mom started when the kids were starting to crawl so ages depended on how mobile the child was. Matt was very mobile so he got the worst in blanket training. We also weren't supposed to talk to the child who was in training.

What is worse than the child's experience is the mother has to deny impulses that I think come naturally. If the child cries to be comforted during training time there's no out to pick him up because "you're giving in" to the child's lack of self control. Moms turn off the natural instinct which leads to more problems and disconnects between mother and child. It also encourages leaving your child alone more often than not. I can't explain how but it does. I've seen moms forget about the baby on the blanket.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Questions from TWOP PMs

Do QF families name their kids all the same letter most of the time? What is the age spread in your family?

Us girls all start with "R". My parents were a little more creative than the Duggars. We are, in birth order (nicknames); Eli, Sam, Joe-Jay, Ruth, Caleb, Matt, Luke, Becca, Rachel, and Rani. There's 16 years between Eli and Rani. She's turning 13 in two weeks.

Have any of your other siblings left that life like you?
Yes. Two have left (me included) and one is very close to it.


Father refused to speak to me today. When I went to visit them last month, I took a People magazine for the plane. I guess I left it in the schoolroom. When my mom pulled out the materials for homeschooling to start this week, she found the People magazine. My father accused me of bringing "indecent" materials and "sin" into the house.

This really hurts my feelings because I was very careful not to offend him and he knew it. I wore a skirt everyday and didn't talk to the little kids about why I left. I kept any talk of school to the bare minimum. I participated in Bible study and fellowship (even though it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do). I kept my mouth shut when Mr. X (a member of their fellowship) gave my a lecture about my sinful ways! I guess nothing I do is good enough and never will be again. It's the most grating feeling to go from being the cherished, loved, "example of womanhood" to being the outcast.