Wednesday, January 13, 2010

NLQ and Questions

Very soon, I hope, you'll see part 1 of my story on NLQ. Hopefully, I'll also be able to post the articles here.

School has started so I'm a little busier than I was over the holidays. If I don't respond to you immediately, that's why.

Why did you wait until you were older to start going to a university? Aren't you a little old?
I'm older than most, as a Freshman. I'll write an article about the situation soon but the shortest answer is that I had to wait until I was old enough to not use my father's income on my FAFSA. Then, I had to go back and do some make-up work to prepare myself for a university curriculum. I graduated from a "school of the dining room table" and even though my skills weren't too far behind (mom was a teacher before marrying dad), I needed catching up in science and other subjects that we weren't taught. It's been a long road.

Your innervoice is like a teenager but you claim to be in your twenties. Grow up and stop whining about your life.
This isn't really a question but I want to address it. You're right. I probably sound like a teenager in some ways and in some ways I act like it. It must be hard for people to understand the way I was raised. In many ways, I am very mature. I was mothering other children when I was very young. In other ways, worldly/cultural ways, I'm experiencing things for the first time. Your first college experience is your first college experience no matter how old you are. Living on little income is a right of passage for most people (or so I have heard). If I said it was a barrel of monkies, I'd be lying, but I do like my life right now. If I seem to be whining, I apologize.


  1. You are NOT whining! That is a troll whose sole purpose in life is to make others miserable. You are doing awonderful job getting your life on track & I, for one, thoroughly enjoy your blogs. Keep up the good work. Things work out eventually.


  2. I agree! I don't think you sound like you're whining OR like you're immature. People are curious about your life; we want to hear your perspective. Please keep blogging as well. I am in awe of the strength you must have to possess to be pretty much on your own in the world and keep moving forward. Best wishes to you!

  3. In addition, given what we've seen on 18K&C, part of the Gothard lifestyle is designed to pretty much keep girls and women in a childlike position longer. If you're never allowed to take control of your life, how can you become an adult? So, yes, of COURSE you sound like an adolescent-for you, this IS your adolescence.

    And FWIW, I don't think you sound immature at all. You seem a lot more mature than many of the college students I work with, who still expect Mommy and Daddy to rescue them.

  4. Hi Ruth,
    I've read your blog for a while and never commented until now. I have to add my voice to the others - you are not whining. You are dealing with a culture you were taught to fear as a young child. I'm sure that you're facing things, some that you couldn't anticipate before, and without the support of family.

    I look forward to reading your story on NLQ and admire your independence and confidence in yourself.

  5. Definitely not whining Ruth! Keep posting as you do and ignore the nasty little trolls that have so little personality that they have to drop nasty comments to boost their day.

  6. WHINING??? Someone accused you of WHINING???

    Came over from the link on NLQ and just finished reading your archives. Your writing in no way shape or form resembles "whining." On the contrary: you are taking more responsibility for your life and your future than 50% of the people I know who were "raised normally."

    You have demonstrated such incredible strength, especially when confronted by whichever family member felt it necessary to comment. Your determination, your courage, and your obvious gift for words are going to take you very very far in this world. I feel privileged to be able to read about your journey, and wish you nothing but the very best as you continue forward.

  7. I don't think you are whining either!!
    This is your blog to voice whatever thoughts and feelings you have.

    I didn't go into college until i was older either but I found that there are people of every age their, from fresh out of high school to grandparents. :)

  8. Hi Ruth. I know school must have you busy, but just know that there are many out there in cyberspace who enjoy reading your blog.

    YOU ARE NOT A WHINER! Who said that? Someone incapable of compassion and understand for all you have been through. I applaud you for trying to accomplish your dreams all on your own, AND being kind enough to share your journey with strangers.

    Hope the new semester treats you well and I will be checking back soon.

  9. Whinging? Puh-lease! I was a little surprised to find out how young you are, because your voice is so mature and thoughtful.

  10. First time poster, long time reader. Ruth, although I am from a much less conservative subculture, I can tell you that the majority of my peers (including myself!) didn't really have any of the "normal" adolescent acting-out (individuation) until our 20's. Largely because of the church-induced shame put upon us until OUT of denominational education. You aren't whining. You aren't abnormal. You are individuating. It is an amazing and liberating process and you are an amazing woman. Keep on keepin' on, girl!

  11. Ruth,

    I don't know how old you are, but based on the posts of yours I've read, I would guess you to be about my age (25). I would also assume that you are sensible, responsible, and mature for your age. As someone who was in college at the "traditional" age not too long ago, I can say that many 18-22 year-olds who live away at school are still completely financially dependent on mommy and daddy, not just for tuition, books, and living expenses, but for pizza and beer money, too. The fact that you are financially independent tells me you are far from acting like a teenager. I'm saddened that anyone has accused you of whining. I have a lot of respect for you and wish you the best!


  12. Well,
    I was going to say that you weren't whining, but everyone beat me to it! But I'll say it again! You're not whining! You've gone through hell and have the scars to prove it.

  13. Long time reader, first time poster.

    Nevermind the trolls that want to bring you down. You're no whiner, and it's a testament to your maturity and fortitude that you've done all that you've done. Good for you.

    Your posts on the $1000 a month blog are spot-on, and I think that you bring a lot of insight to a culture and condition most of us don't personally know about. Keep you chin up, and keep on smilin'.

  14. you go girl. Kick butt and ask questions later.

  15. There are people who troll the net and leave mean and cruel messages for the thrill they get out of it. There are plenty of those people in the world, unfortunately. "Meeting them" is part of your journey, and learning to ignore them is the goal :) We all get to learn that one. Your courage is beyond what most people can conjure up for themselves. You have our respect!

  16. I have to reiterate what everyone else said (not whining!), but also, why shouldn't someone whine on a personal blog? Or rather, why should someone reading it get to decide what you say and how you say it? So if you ever do feel like whining, which you haven't done yet, go right ahead.


  17. No Ruth, you are not a whiner. You are an intelligent, strong woman who I commend. The poster is just a low life who has nothing better to do than ruin peoples lives. Keep strong.

  18. Ruth,

    I have just recently found your blog and I have to say that whining is the last thing that I think that you are doing. I applaud your courage to "put yourself out there" and share your life with everyone. Please keep up the blog and ignore the "haters"

  19. Ruth,
    I'm loving following your story and I agree with the others, you do not sound immature at all, far from it.

  20. Ruth, addressing that rude comment without any defensiveness proves to me that you are more grown up than you think you are.

    Coming from an ultra conservative, though not QF, background, I can say it leaves us with a sense of not quite belonging anywhere. I did not feel deprived in my childhood, but I most certainly felt unprepared for my adulthood. This has also been the experience of my Aunts who have also left their conservative backgrounds behind. Once you take off the dress, or the hairstyle, or the covering, or whatever it is that sets you apart, the outsider looking at your life can no longer distinguish why you understand few references to pop culture and modern day life.

    If it is of any comfort though, those of us who understand each other recognize each other immediately. And that is very nice.

  21. Ruth, you do NOT sound like a whiney teenager. In fact, considering your education to date, your writing stile is remarkably mature and sophisticated.

    BTW, when your story is on NLQ, can you post a link here? Thank you!

  22. To Ruth's well-known troll(s): what Ruth is doing is not "whining." It's known as speaking one's mind, something you do not permit from your women, as evidenced by your previous posts on this blog. You would be best served by ceasing your abuse, since Ruth becomes stronger every day she is away from your controlling, abusive influence.

    Ruth: I'm back in school after over 20 years in the working world. As someone else said, at your age (25-ish?), you're far closer in age to the "normal" student than I, who has been mistaken for a parent more than once. That's fine with me. What you're doing is amazing compared to an old lady who is financially able returning to college.

    I've been rooting for you since your early posts on TWOP and continue to wish you nothing but the best, although the road will be bumpy at times (that's life). Join a support group in your area and as much as it hurts, avoid your family and other cult members for the time being, or find a "safe" intermediary who can at least inform you how your mother (whom I also worry about), baby sibling and any sisters in similar danger are faring. Frankly, your father and brother frighten me and I'm a strong, independent, take-no-crap-from-anyone woman.

    Blessings <3


  23. Ruth,

    I too had to wait to go back to school until my parents could no longer "claim" me. I was a 25 year old freshman living in the dorms, so I know what you are going through. Whiner, you are not. I think that you are an amazingly brave young lady that has gone through so much. You should be so proud of yourself!

  24. Hi Ruth,

    Your blog is well-written and fascinating. I think it's great that you are speaking out about struggles that you have experienced being raised in a fundamentalist patriarchal household. I had a question for you- a simple one, but I'm still curious. has leaving the ATI movement affected your fashion choices at all? Are you enjoying the wonderful world of pants, knee-length skirts and modern haircuts? Also I wonder about how it was for you to move into the role of a self-supporting woman with a job- this is something I often think of when I look at the Duggar girls and wonder if any of them will be able to get out (if that's what they want).
    Thanks so much for your blog. You are very brave to be sharing your story, and I hope you inspire others who want to heal from difficult religious pasts to do so.

  25. There are many derogatory phrases that are used to silence and muzzle the feminine voice and/or the voice of dissent. These are 'roadblocks' to equitable bilateral communication and examples of psychological violence. The perspective and opinion of the opponent and/or the woman is invalidated through re-labelling her communication negatively and dismissing it:

    gossiping (from the ancient word 'Godsib' or God-sibling, meaning a close woman friend - note the despising and devaluing of close, nurturing woman-to-woman friendships - and the suspicion of such)
    ranting and raving
    carrying on
    chin wagging
    hen pecking
    feel sorry for herself
    having a boo hoo
    turning on the tears / waterworks
    going on and on about it
    being a shrew
    having a 'critical spirit'
    carrying on

    and we could go on.

    These terms tend not to be applied:
    giving wise counsel
    giving a personal account of events
    providing a perspective /opinion

    The use of negative spin to de-value another's voice and perspective is not new and not exclusive to religious bullies. It is a common tool of manipulation. Other bullies use the same tired old techniques. How ironice they demand 'honour' and 'respect' from those they systematically dishonour and devalue.


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