Monday, October 26, 2009

Let's get real

A member of my family found my blog and raised some questions in comments about a part of my life that is very painful. I want this to be honest and sometimes the truth hurts but it might help me to "let this go" by writing it all down. Please don't judge me.

Father, I know "In Spiritual Communion" is you. Or it could be Joseph. I am airing this here because I have been in pain. I started seeing a therapist who told me that writing down what happened in my life could help me work through who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. I'm sorry that you can't understand how much it means for me to answer these questions. Before you start in on me, I tried "giving it to God" and earnest prayer. That didn't work for me and this course of therapy and writing seems to be working. It doesn't have to work for you. This isn't about you anymore. I wish it was the case that our happiness was more important to you than your reputation within the movement. As far as that goes, why would anyone in the movement be reading my blog? It's not faith promoting or ATI approved so stop being a hypocrite!

You left your family, Ruth Mary, as sure as you left your Lord and Savior by not following His WORD. You cut your hair and dress immodestly. You disobey your parents in direct opposition to the WORD.
I didn't leave my family. I still talk to and visit my family. I still pray for you and wish for your health and happiness. You left me. Maybe not physically, but when I started having doubts about the way you raised me being the best way for me and when I was so unhappy, you turned your back on me. Do you know how much that hurt me for you to act that way? Your approval was all I wanted and you yanked it out from under me and for what reason? I just wanted to do something more than what mom was doing because she was so unhappy. I know you don't believe that but she was and I have never been more sure of anything in my life but that mom was struggling to hold it together for you. How I dress doesn't change who I am. That's an excuse to make you feel better I think. The Bible doesn't say we're supposed to dress one way over another. That's your reading of a passage that most people read differently. It's about control more than you think it is.

Why have not you shared about your relationship with these adoring fans of yours? You are impure in thought and I can imagine in your actions.
I don't have fans. I don't even have that many friends thanks to the way I was raised. You taught me to distrust the world for eighteen years. Did you ever think about how that would make me relate to the world outside your cocoon?

I was sixteen when you promised me to him. You didn't ask me if I liked him or even wanted to think about getting betrothed. You announced it in bible study like it was the next day's menu. How could giving your daughter to a man she didn't know be such a lazy event for you and mom? Why didn't you care what I wanted? What choice did I have but to go along with it while I lived under your roof because the consequences were severe and I knew it. You have said I should not have accepted the offer but you did the accepting not me. I wasn't asked. You go and have camps where you tell fathers to protect their daughters' hearts but you don't teach them to know their daughters' hearts. Why do you lie to the people you teach? I heard you tell fathers to respect the right of the daughter to choose who she will accept as a marriage proposal but that's not what you did for me or the girls. Samuel was engaged three times dad. Was that God's plan?

You didn't ask me why I ran from home the night after he gave me the ring. He threatened me, father, did you know that? He told me God told him I was his property dad. Then he shoved me away when I told him that that wasn't a word I wanted my husband to be to use. He pushed me on the ground and said I had better get use to being sweet or else. I didn't want to know what or else was. That's why I ran. I'm not ashamed of what I did. I want to be happy and you know what? That's not sinful. I don't think God created me to suffer and that's what I would have been in constant suffering with him.

15 comments:

  1. God didn't create you to suffer-or to be anyone's property. There are far more churches and Christians, even conservative ones, who would call that sort of behavior abuse than ones who wouldn't.

    I find your comments very interesting, because I grew up as an "English" in a very Mennonite area, and grew up playing with Mennonite girls who were betrothed before they entered their teens. And I can't think of a single one of my friends, not even those who lived in rural farms with no electric power and drove the family buggy to town once a week, who dropped out of school at 8th grade to move in with their husband's family (although they wouldn't actually start meeting as husband and wife for several years), and so on where this would be accepted.

    And I know several Mennonite girls who did go against their family's wishes, and yet are able to have pretty decent adult relationships with them, despite leaving the church and the preordained path. It hasn't been easy for them-but they've done it.

    I hope and pray you'll find your niche and piece-and that your family will accept you as you, not as a token in their game.

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  2. I sincerely hope you do not think all conservative, dress wearing large families are like that, Ruth. We have 6 children, wear skirts, don't cut our hair, etc. But we would *never* betroth our daughters to someone without telling her, nor would we ever allow someone to shove our daughters or call them property. I do believe in submission, and raise my children much like the Duggars, but what you're describing here does not seem like what our family does or believes, nor is it what the Duggars do or believe (and yes, I know them)

    Mrs S

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  3. Oh my gosh, Ruth! I can't imagine the fear and desperation you had to face at such a young age -- become the legal slave of your husband or flee to a world you essentially knew nothing about.

    Big hug, sweetie, and if your "Spiritual Communion" stalker really cared about you and your welfare he'd have a different (far more genuinely CHRISTIAN) attitude.

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  4. Ruth, you are an amazing young woman. Please keep doing what you are doing...talk with your therapist, blog, and scream if you need to. I'm thinking positive thoughts and saying prayers that everything gets better for you.

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  5. Wow. I am so sorry you went through all of this. I hope you can find some piece. And know there are people out there that will accept you for you. You will find them, and they will love you.

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  6. That is so scary to read, and I am so sorry you had to live through that. My father was controlling too, and he wasn't even religious, just abusive (towards alcohol and myself). When my brother was diagnosed with cancer after I'd graduated college, my dad announced to the dinner table that I was staying home for twelve weeks to help take care of him. Yes, WITHOUT CONSULTING ME.

    Sometimes it doesn't matter whether your dad's a worldly drunk or a pious abstinent. Abusive and controlling personalities sing the same tune, no matter how you pitch it up or down or liberally sprinkle it with "Lord" and "WORD".

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  7. I'm tatortotcassie from the TWOP boards and I had a question about courtship I know the Duggars would never answer. I know you endured a terrible farce of a courtship but I didn't know who else to ask:

    If "you give pieces of your heart away" when you date, doesn't that imply love is finite and in limited supply? And if love is finite, then won't you eventually run out of love if you keep having more and more children? It just seems like a such a contradictory theory.

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  8. Wow, Ruth, where did you go to when you ran? That had to be difficult.

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  9. Rebekah, the night that happened, I ran to a neighbor's house. I stayed there until his car left and then I snuck back home. My dad found out the next morning when my "beloved" called and I was given a talking to.

    When I left my parent's house for good, I moved in with a former ATI family who left together and stayed with them until I was accepted into my university.

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  10. Ruth, I know what you mean about the friends. Like I've said in other comments, my family wasn't so extreme, but it was enough to make the real world a very akward place. We're the same age and if you ever come to Arkansas, I'll be your friend!

    Good for you for getting out before you got married. I wish I had seen the warning signs before I did. I know it's HARD!

    Never be afraid to be honest on here. You'll get some crazy comments like those from I'm in PR, but the online community has helped me heal in so many ways. It feels SO good to be able to freely say what I really think and have the majority of people back me up instead of tearing me down. It's actually kind of hard to get used to, but you learn that the Big Bad World your parents warned you about was not nearly as bad as they made it sound. It's a good feeling.

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  11. Ruth, I respect you so much.

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  13. Ruth,

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    To Ruth's parents: You should be ashamed of yourself. Although you feel that you have more experience than your daughter, she is NOT stupid (or as you might say in your self-pious form "lacking wisdom"). If your so called faith is real then you should realize that God doesn't have spiritual grandchildren - that we are all equals as Gods children. Your umbrella theory is lacking - You barely have an umbrella frame remaining - you care more for your own appearances and praise from your peers and self elected leaders than you do for the children that were in your care. No one in their right mind would call that responsible!

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  14. Wow.

    Your dad sounds really bitter.

    :(

    -Jenny

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  15. Not sure if you will ever see this comment as this thread is old! :D
    but so ironic your Father used the word "Fan

    "All your adoring Fans, aren't you proud of yourself now..." yikes!

    Ironic because hello?
    HE seems the one that strives in life to have "Fans"

    He seemed to be the one always thriving on other's being impressed by his actions, throwing everyone under the bus (his family's true needs - their God-given insides) just to look better...

    HE is the one that wanted, and probably has, adoring "Fans"

    You keep on keeping on.. I was in a wacky church for 1.5 years of my life.
    I went there on my own at 17 (my family had no part of it) ...and yet, 20 years later I still carry the emotional scars.

    Your story, and others that I scour the internet to read, reach me in a way no one else can. No one else "understands" ...

    You are reaching people on this blog. I know you are doing it mainly for your own sanity but wanted you to know how special you are.

    And! I am only going by your words but the "vibe" I get is so "soft" ... Meaning you don't come across angry or bitter.
    To me that shows God..

    Your Father, on the other hand,... angry, insulting, fear mongering, afraid, uneasy.. unstable! ..

    Isn't the fruit of the spirit "Peace" ?

    Why is that part of the bible missed from these folks?

    jennifer :)

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