Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

If you celebrate Christmas, then I wish you a Merry Christmas.
If you celebrate something else, then Happy Holidays.

I don't have much to do today. I've been invited to a prof's house for dinner but until then I'm just doing dorm stuff. Thank you to the person who suggested I could make a special request to stay over holidays. They're allowing me to in exchange for light housekeeping and maintenence over the break. It is weird not having the dining hall and not having the library open for computer time. I borrowed a laptop from a dorm mate. I wish I had one but that's not in the cards right now. Growing up not believing in Santa, I can't ask him for one. :o)

There were questions in the last two comment posts that I had not got the chance to respond to and wanted to.

@Margaret - The information about obstetrics was fascinating. I would suggest people go read what she has to say about modern fertility and how it applies to the QF movement. If I understand her right, she is suggesting that it's all the modern science that QFers generally speak against that has given them the ability to procreate at Michelle Duggar levels. While, at the same time, they are clinging to fertility dictates from a book written when natural processes kept women from producing such large broods.

ms0tee said...
I'm glad to hear she's doing well. I was wondering why she wasn't named an "R" name though?

I don't think my parents intended to give all of us girls an "r" name. They really liked our names, so I am told, and they were all Biblical. The boys have Biblical names but they're not "r" names. I think they named Blessing what they named her because of the situation. Her first name is a Fruit of the Spirit. (Just a note: since leaving my situation, every time I read "fruit of the spirit", I think of underwear.) Whatever I think of my parents choices, they didn't "pick a letter" and I'm happy for that.

Anonymous said...
Ruth, did you ever consider that your depression could be a result of following the wrong path?

No. My depression stems from living an isolated, controlled lifestyle with a mentally abusive parent, in a community of people who prized obedience over love.

Natalie said...
Josh and Anna's courtship always confused me a tad. I know they met at an ATI conference, but did they ever have a CONVERSATION before Josh asked to court her?

Obviously I don't know the whole story. In 'most' ATI/Gothard influenced families, kids like Josh and Anna would not have spoken alone until they were engaged. The may have spoken on the phone but a chaperone would have been nearby. E-mails aren't usually exhanged and if they are, they are monitored. Most ATI families have one e-mail account and all e-mail to the family, be it personal or not, goes through that account. Anna's family seems a little more liberal so it may have been different for her. I can say with almost 100% certainty that other than a few cursory, surface discussions to make sure their religious views and family views concurred, there wasn't any "alone time" until after the ring was put on her finger by Josh. It doesn't happen. Even after the ring, the conversations were probably limited to the phone because any other time they'd be monitored by family to make sure there was no physical display of affection (except for 'hand sex').


  1. Merry Christmas Ruth. I keep thinking about you today and wish you were closer so we could welcome you to our home for the holidays. In lieu of that, please know that you have many friends and supporters out herein cyber land.


  2. Happy holidays, Ruth! And thanks right back at you for your good wishes. You have quite a fan club out here! Be good to yourself.

  3. LOL! I concur with Ferguson's Mommy! You are a precious soul and any one who has you in their life IRL is blessed indeed.

    Great response to the person questioning the reasons for your depression! You are concise, kind and confident in your answer. Kudos to you.

    Enjoy the holidays, Ruth. You do indeed have many friends and supporters out here in cyberspace!

  4. Ruth,
    Merry Christmas! Yes, you have tons of people in cyberland supporting you.

    I got that Josh and Anna were not allowed alone time before they got married, but I was just wondering how Josh DECIDED he wanted to court Anna if he didnt know her that well, had only met her a few times in person etc. Without being able to converse with/interact with a person, on which qualities (besides physical attractiveness) do you decide that they may be a good life partner?

    I know back in the "olden days" couples didnt get time alone until the wedding, but unless you were wealthy and marrying for polticial gain/business purposes, young people would chat, interact etc at community events, church etc. Also people often married those in their community group, meaning they had been observing each other through their formative years. I am probably reading too much into this, but this is what having no school work does to me!

    I am happy to hear your little sister appears to be healthy. I hope your Mom is doing alright as well, and that she has some help with infant care. I hope you at least get to see a picture of Baby Blessing.

  5. Merry Christmas (belatedly)!

    I'm glad you were able to arrange something with the college for winter break. Not having housing is a stress you REALLY didn't need.

    I guess a "Fruit of the Spirit" name isn't too bad -- Joy and Faith and Patience are normalish names for girls. (Temperance and Meekness less so. ;) ) That, and the only other female Biblical name beginning with "R" that I can think of is "Rahab" and that's . . . just a little weird.

    I agree with the sun lamp idea. along those lines, you may consider Vitamin D supplements. Both my dad and my good friend were feeling down, got tested, found out their levels were low, and now feel better of supplements. Couldn't hurt!

    -- tatortotcassie

  6. "hand sex" lol. I assume that's referring to HOLDING hands and not the *other* 'hand sex' heathens engage in.

    Anyway that just cracked me up something awful.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Ruth, do be careful with the Vitamin D for seasonal depression. One of my doctors mega-dosed me because I take medications that are known to take calcium from bone and my vit. d levels were low. I ended up becoming TOXIC (recall Vit. D is not a water soluable vitamin) in this endeavor. Depression actually RETURNED, despite taking the Vit. D. From my personal experience, I wouldn't take more than 2000 IU a day, but only during the winter, then drop back down to the new RDA of 1200 IU.

    Anyway, the point remains that depression IS an organic imbalance of chemicals in the brain and is exacerbated by the traumas in life. The big problem I see with the women who become depressed (generally PPD) in the QF lifestyle; they are told to pray about it. Andrea Yates was told not to have any more children as her PPD became worse after the birth of each successive child. We all know how horribly that turned out.

    And the husband? He was so compassionate about her condition that he divorced her, remarried and has at least 3 children from his "new" wife.

    Hope you had a nice Christmas. All the best to your baby sister.


  8. Nancy again...

    Forgot to mention, I'm sure your therapist already has you doing this, but take an extra Vitamin B supplement; B6 helps create seratonin, which is typically lacking in those of us who suffer from chronic depression. Even if you don't suffer from depression of any kind, Vit. B helps keep your brain sharp for your studies. B12 beats caffeine while you study for finals! Unlike Vit. D., Vit. B is water soluable, so one supplement a day in addition to a multi-vitamin isn't harmful at all.

    If you're taking medications, Vit. B won't replace them, but works well with them, especially B6 and B12, which can be purchased separately if you wish.

    Forgot to wish you a Happy New Year! Best of luck to you as you carve out your place in this world. Your courage is an inspiration to me, as I'm sure it is to the vast majority of your readers. <3

  9. According to handcolored/handlettered Colonial-era family trees in our local Historical Society museum, *most* couples' first children in the 1700s farming communities of New England were "premature" - after all, "everyone knew" back then that first pregnancies only take six months, coughcough! Never mind about *bundling*, what about the haystacks? Courting couples always found a way, back when.

    The neo-traditionalists - I was raised in a Catholic version of Quiverfull, 30+ years ago, so this is all very personal to me - with their hokey sanitized versions of a "holy" and "pure" (read sex-free) past America (or Europe) are the *real* historical revisionists. Pop culture from the Good Old Days reveals that there never *were* any Good Old Days no matter how you define them.

    Tombstones and church ledgers don't lie, and if they bothered to read them they wouldn't be blase about vaccination either (I've got photos of headstones of families who had one or no children survive past toddlerhood, after birthing 5 or more, from old New England cemeteries) but as an old Danish folktale remarks humorously, it was often necessary to move dates up so that "the wedding should not fall too close to the christening"--

  10. Happy belated Christmas! I just found your blog, and the glimpses of your former life are fascinating. You are a very, very strong woman to have left, and although I don't know you, I'm proud of you. I'll be coming back and reading, and you have my support!

  11. Seasons Greetings, Ruth. I found your blog from TWOP a couple weeks ago and you've been in my mind over the Christmas break. Remember you're not alone in stepping out in this, it's a lonely time right now but time will make things better.

    I thought you might be inteterested in a site called There are many people on the bulletin boards dealing with families who are shunning them for leaving their religion. It's been helpful for me--my dad is completely unable to undenstand why I am unable to be Christian anymore, and reading the bulletin board there gives me some perspective.

    I'm also wondering if you have read the book Boundaries:When To Say Yes and How to Say No by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It talks about how many people who are Christian (especially women) think they aren't allowed to say 'no' to anything because of the JOY principle (Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last). You end up not being able to take care of yourself and resentful. It also talks about how churches can be spiritually abusive as well. That was a revelation for me.

    Just one more paragraph since this is long--my great-great grandma gave birth to 10 children and only 4 survived.

    Take care and keep strong. Kristin

  12. Wishing you a belated Merry Christmas, Ruth! Hope you had a nice time at your prof's home. I found your blog from TWoP and admire your courage to find your own path rather than blindly follow one which was prescribed for you. Hope you have a chance to see your baby sister soon and your family sends you some photos.

    Hope 2010 brings you happiness, good health and lots of love! Happy New Year!

  13. I hope you had a great Christmas and New Years eve. Thanks for answering my question earlier.

  14. I just found your blog and have been reading through all the past posts. Our family recently left a church whose leaders promote all that you have experienced. We were members there for 15 years.

    QF books are given as wedding gifts. For a while, our church practiced Bill Gothard's order of service. Women are second class citizens. "Testimonies" are given prior to the Basic Seminar coming to town to share how it benefitted each person's life. There is much talk of "spiritual gifts". And, many members send their children to training centers.

    As some have been introduced to grace and have even left the church to attend "normal Bible/Christian" churches, they are called casualities in the war against Satan from the pulpit. They are talked about as moving away from holiness. And, it's well known that they will "loose their children to the world" because they are allowing their children to participate in "youth groups".

    Those women who wear pants are reminded that wearing pants leads to wearing shorts which WILL lead to teen pregnancy and many examples are cited.

    And, just so you understand that you are not alone, many women and young ladies in this church suffer from depression. It is blamed on not identifying areas of bitterness and not accepting God's plan, etc. But, none of us know that anyone else is experiencing depression, etc. because no one can admit to having problems in their lives or families, or you will disqualify your husband from serving.

    I cry as I read your posts and am so very grateful that I've been able to walk away from the legalism and control with love for Jesus in my heart. I am struggling with hating those who taught these lies as truth from God's Word. But I refuse to be silent. I'm not at the point where I can admit by name who I am, but I am talking about my experiences, which is healthy.

    Before, talking was sinful, giving bad reports and gossip. Now, I'm just telling the truth and it feels good.

    Praying for you that you find the Jesus we were never taught about.

  15. Wow. I just started reading your blog and it's fascinating, and all very familiar. Being a Christian within a fairly conservative church movement, I'm familiar with both Gothard and quiverfull thinking. I dislike both, but especially the Gothard/Enzo legalism. I also homeschooled my 4 children, and although we were not Gothard-types, after 20 years, I finally recognized my husband's emotional/psychological abuse of me and especially our son. I fled with 4 kids in tow to the local women's shelter and am now surviving on my own.

    I'm thrilled! My faith in a loving, merciful, patient God is intact, and I have discovered more truth in the past 2 years than I ever have. He truly works out everything for good for those who are loved and called. He is SOOO unlike what Gothard and his cronies espouse.

    Anywhoo....I digress! : ) I was just reading part of your blog where you were glad your parents didn't "pick a letter" to begin all your names with. O.o I know a Gothard/QF family like that. 11 or 12 kids all named with J. I thought it was just a "thing" with them. Is there a reason behind this??

  16. Just a note on the child naming thing... I also grew up in ATI and of course all my friends were also in ATI. I never learned exactly why some families would choose a letter to name all their kids, I don't think it was a formal teaching, just something a lot of families did for fun, or as part of their own family identity or family culture. I knew one family that named their first child a name starting with "A", the second started with "B"... and so forth. Last I heard, they got all the way to letter "J". My own family had no pattern whatsoever for how myself and my nine siblings were named, except that all of them (except me, since I was born before they were Christians and in ATI) have Biblical names. That was a HUGE trend in ATI. For a while myself and some of my ATI friends had an "inside joke" that if you met a guy at an ATI conference and forgot his name, just call him "Joshua" and you'll probably be right! I love classic Biblical names, but do not intend on giving them to my kids as first names, primarily because I grew up with them being SO common, and overused. I'd rather choose something more unique and individual for my own children.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.