Friday, November 20, 2009


I'm not going home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I'm trying to figure out what to do for that month between finals and the next quarter. I can't go home and I have little funds for travel but I'm open to ideas. I know I'm not the first to be in this position (far from home with limited means). My roommate is going home to New Jersey so I can't go with her.

This is what isn't said by ATI families. When you leave, you leave for good. It's worse than shunning in Amish traditions. An Amish adult can choose to go a different way, as long as they weren't baptized into the Amish Church, and they can still go home to visit. They're not banned or cut off. I was banned and cut off because I didn't want to be my mom or marry someone like my father. There's no autonomy. WE needs to do a special on kids who were QF or ATI and left. I have a paper to write so I can't take long on the blog but I will answer the questions I've received soon.


  1. I often spent the winter holidays alone in my college years, and I actually really enjoyed it. I used the time to catch up on my reading, and to work on projects. I had little money, so I would make things like handmade cards for use on birthdays, etc. This is also a good time to get familiar with your area -- find out what's free (or really cheap), like museums and libraries. Maybe there's a place that could use some volunteer help, such as a soup kitchen.

    I can imagine it's difficult to be alone after your upbringing, but I also think that learning to be comfortable alone is a great thing. I am very sorry that your family is so harsh, but you're going to create another kind of family, with good friends, over the coming years -- people who really appreciate you and love you.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. May I suggest volunteering at a soup kitchen or a shelter over the holidays? You'll be around a lot of nice people, and individuals who've been through some tough circumstances themselves. It may make you feel a little more positive about your own situation.

  3. I think Lauren H. suggestion of volunteering at a soup kitchen is a good one. Do you have any friends or classmates you could spend the holiday with? At my University there is often a professor/organization who hosts a dinner for students who cannot go home.

    You said that QF/ATI kids who leave cannot go home to visit- are you allowed to contact your younger siblings still living at home? What about your older siblings who have left home? I hope your Mother's pregnancy is going well, you must be worried for her. Best to you Ruth- Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. It's tough. One thing I'd suggest is to find international students on campus over the holidays. Many cannot afford to travel home for the breaks, and they often band together and form a sort of family over such times.

    Regardless, please try to be gentle with yourself. The holidays can be a real bear.

  5. It might be too late to find an internship for this holiday season but you can start planning ahead for summer or for next December (depending on how long your break is). Everyone has given you some great options for staying busy this year, stay positive, I wish you the best.

  6. I don't know where you are but I have the impression you are on the East Coast for some reason... If you were on the West Coast we would invite you over to join in with our big family!


  7. One of my college roommates always stayed on campus during holidays and summers (she had a falling out with her family.) You could try contacting Res Life or the Housing Dept and see what their policy is.

    And I like the suggestions about volunteering at a shelter/soup kitchen and buddying up with international students.

    Big hug, kiddo! It'll be rough but you'll make it through.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving, Ruth! Hope you have a nice weekend.

  9. Thank you for the ideas. Will post more when it's easier to post.

  10. Ruth,

    I just found your blog and I could kiss you!

    I am a home schooling mom who so far has successfully resisted so many of the snares that destroyed your life, but the autonomy and freedom I gave my daughter resulted in my being ostracized from the home school community. Thank you for putting into words why the whole purity ring/courtship model is so destructive and ungodly.

    If you happen to live in Charlotte,NC then please email me at
    We would love to have you to love on for the holidays!

    The courage you have to buck the family system, the courage it takes to face a brave new world each day- wow! You are amazing. I respect you so much. Anyone in your life is honored to know you.

    Huge hugs and many kudos to you! Hold your head up, young woman. And may you find good success everywhere you turn. :)

  11. i wish i had seen this sooner: you could have come with your roommate to NJ and spent it with a few other girls who know every inch of your current struggles who also weren't going home to their families cause they weren't "allowed" to.


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