Sunday, February 28, 2010

Abuse comment

This came from the comments section of Part 8.
Anonymous said...
Question to Ruth:

Are you parents still practicing the same child-rearing today?

If so, have you ever reported them to child protective services?

If they haven't changed their ways, they are surely treating your at-home siblings the same way

I don't have much time to go into details, but this deserves a response.

Obviously, I'm not in the home so I couldn't say with certainty either way. I do know a few facts that change the dynamic of life in the house. One is that my dad is getting to be older and less physical. Second, with the exception of Blessing, the kids still at home are all over 13. I'll try to remember to post later, but by that age, the discipline strategies change and become more about self-discipline (thankfully). Third, with regard to the dynamic, that house is way less chaotic than it was when I was five. When I was five, there were seven kids in that house under the age of ten. Four, my dad now has too many eyes on him (between me and one of my older brothers) to try anything too horrific. I think the abuses my sisters face are more likely to be emotional abuses and, while no less scary (perhaps they're scarier), that's harder to prove to child services.


  1. I think that it is hard for those who have not lived through your experience to understand how un-clear these things can be. You could call child services, but what would that do? Upset your parents and siblings and probably not a whole lot more.

    Thankfully parents do age, and it does actually change them. And even uber-conservative parents can become softer when dealing with their youngest children. It is good to hear that that seems to be the case with your family as well.

  2. As a child I know that we (my twin sister and I)never called child services because it would be so painful to our little sister who was not being hit. We were scared about what would happen to her. We had heard many scary stories about foster care and so felt that was no guarantee it would be any better and maybe worse. That is one abused teens perspective.

    I did try to tell a counselor once about the emotional and verbal abuse, but he just told me "Well now, I met your mom and she doesn't seem that bad to me."

    But I will tell what really helped, that people (even people unable to do anything about it) did believe us- friends and mostly, each other. Having a sibling who supported me kept me as sane as I was.

    So I think just the fact that Ruth will always be here for any sibs that come to her makes a world of difference! (((Ruth)))

  3. Ruth, I understand your perspective here. I've spent years of my adult life wrestling with this very question while my younger "Gothard gap" siblings remained at home under the control and influence of a hard-core QF/ATI parent.

    In my case I never heard anything first-hand, and was always reluctant to report abuse that I had not personally witnessed. And I assumed once they were old enough my siblings would jump at the chance to escape, where I and other sane members of the family would be able to support and encourage them in the healing and recovery process.

    However, it seems the parent in question has succeeded so far in poisoning their minds against the rest of the family (all now ardently anti-ATI/QF). They are now in their mid- to late-teens, and as far as I can tell are all fully devoted followers of the ATI/QF life.

    In retrospect, the state probably wouldn't have ever done anything about the situation anyway. No doubt my siblings would have denied any allegations (out of fear or allegiance, does it really matter?), and I just don't see this kind of situation making its way to the top of the CPS stack of case files.

    Still, if I had to do it over again I wish I had kept records and filed reports over the years. Maybe it would have done some good. Then again, maybe it would have only made home life even harder for my siblings. Regardless, I sometimes think I would feel better knowing I at least tried to do something.

    It's a long road you're on, but it requires traveling if you're going to heal. Surround yourself with a community of believers who care more about loving than judging. I wish you strength and courage on your journey.

  4. Ruth, that makes sense. It seems that a lot of parents mellow as they age, especially if they see more than 1 of their kids not follow the path they want them to.

  5. Ruth, your blog has touched many women in an Internet community dedicated to parenting with grace and mercy and to recovery from this kind of toxic paradigm. Please, come and visit us You will find there are many women there who have walked this road to healing and wholeness. We are 'pulling for you'.


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