Friday, February 26, 2010

Mail Call

E-mail questions answered and then a brief update on life. If I'm posting the question, it's because I've received the same question multiple times. Wow! I guess that means I have an FAQ. :)

I don't have a paypal account, but I want to send you gift cards I got from swagbucks/gifts I won't use/stores. Do you have an address where you would be comfortable with me sending things to?
Your friendship and understanding is all my heart needs from you. My goal in starting this blog was to help me process my childhood and move on with my life. It's helping me do that. My goal was never to profit monetarily. I am overwhelmed with the offers to help. I truly am! With full disclosure as the goal, the tip jar has taken care of paying off a $120 bill from the hospital and purchased me two books I needed for class, plus one book I wanted for leisure reading. Any more funds that come in will be put towards finding a good laptop at a reduced rate and that will take a while to save up for. All of you who have donated: THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP. It is humbling and generous and I will get individual thank yous out to all of you as time permits.

As of right now, I don't know how I could receive gift cards without exposing my address and name. I'm open to options if anyone has a suggestion. But let me repeat, I did not start the blog with the intention of getting help and it's not something that I expect. I'm only addressing this because this is a constant question on the comments and in e-mail. It's a difficult decision because I never want this blog to get sucked into the problem where people start doubting my story because I am accepting your generosity. Your friendship is gift enough for me!

Did your parents do blanket training? Were you physically abused?
I did a post about blanket training. QF/ATI familes are like normal, non-fundamentalist familes in the sense that there were fads and trends were tried. From what I understand, blanket training has fallen out of favor and been replaced with something new. Remarkably, I credit the Duggar's show with the decline of blanket training within ATI families. There was such a public backlash to it that I think ATI parents started to listen to some of the criticism.

Was I physically abused? I struggle with this question and it's a frequent therapy topic. I think I'll make this question "Part 8" of my story and give it the full answer it deserves.

How is Blessing? Do you get to talk to your mom?
Blessing seems to be doing well. I get reports from certain family members and acquaintances. I have spoken to my mom twice since the birth and both times my dad was listening in.

Did you have a prayer closet like the Duggars?
Yes. Our prayer "closet" was a little nook off our garage/laundry room that was supposed to house the water heater and shelving. It was only 40" by 60". I know because I had to measure it once as a geometry lesson and it's stuck in my head ever since. My father re-located the water heater to the garage before my family moved into the house and before it was prayer closet (when "Kay" arrived), it was where we kept the cleaning supplies, the diaper pail, and extra dirty laundry. When it was converted to the p/c, they built a little wall desk that could fold up on hinges, flush against the wall. There was also a stool to sit on, but we usually put the stool in the hall and sat on the floor. I'll never forget that the walls were painted sky blue and my parents actually let us write on the walls with markers - but you were only allowed to write scripture or encouraging thoughts. Every year or so, the boys would be put in charge of re-painting the whole thing. In hindsight, I guess that was cool.

How big was the house?
We lived in four house as I was growing up. The first that I remember, being the one where the boys were bunked and I had my own room, was under 1100 square feet. The next house was bigger by one bedroom and a small basement (it could've been as much as 1500sf). The next house was smaller than the others, but it had an unfinished attic and basement that we fixed up to use as dorms. The house I left and my parents are still in is 2400 square feet, plus a basement.

How many of your siblings are still at home?
I'll see if I can do this without giving away too much. This is a basic breakdown on my siblings. I don't want to say which of those still at home are thinking about breaking out, if any.
Eli - Not at home (NH). Married with seven kids. ATI family.
Sam - NH. Engaged. Left ATI/QF behind.
Joseph - NH. Married with two kids. Conservative, fundamentalist.
Caleb - NH. Married. No children. ATI
Matt - Home. Engaged.
Luke - Home.
Becca - Home. Courting/Engaged.
Rachel - Home
Rani - Home
Blessing - Home


  1. Ruth,
    You always have the option of getting a PO Box at the local post office or at one of the private post offices. Then, you could give that out as your address.
    As for putting your name out there, I agree, don't. On the mailing address just have people send gift cards to 'Razing Ruth.'

    Remember, we want to help. Just be gracious and 'pay it forward' when you make it big!


  2. Ruth,

    I agree with Susan. Don't put your full name out there. Razing Ruth would probably be fine, as long as you explained to postal that it's your blog name. I don't think most people really care as long as they have something on file for their records.

    If you had a friend who was willing to be an intermediary, that would be nice too. People could mail things to a neutral party who could send/bring it to you.

    I'm good with paypal! I hope you have a bit more breathing room with the tip jar. And that you could buy a book just to read is awesome. School books are fine but I used to buy books for classes I wasn't enrolled in because they looked neat.

    It's sad that you were the first born female in your family. I'm sure you probably were over worked as a child since there were no big sisters helping. And that's a passel of younger siblings at home. I can understand your concerns better now.

    Hang in there! I hope you are feeling better and not so buried in homework.

  3. As previous poster said, a PO box would solve the problem of giving out your address.

    Also, if you are looking for a discounted computer, check every day. It's a 'One Day, One Sale' kind of techie site but the shipping is $5, no matter what you buy.

  4. Perhaps the person wishing to donate gift cards could send them to someone who reads here who could use them and then that person donate an equal (or even slightly discounted for the niceness) amount to your paypal account. annie

  5. If someone wants to send you giftcards from swagbucks they can just send you the certificate code # in an email, couldn't they?

  6. While a PO Box would be a good idea, it would still give out your location, and I don't think that is a good idea.

    Using someone as an intermediary is probably the best idea if you wish to even do this. I would be willing to do so without charge, but you have no clue who I, yeah, probably won't happen ;) (going through me that is).

  7. I probably would just stick with the tip jar. Paypal can be used without people having to sign up for an account. As long as they have a credit or debit card, they should be able to go that route. If they really want to help and don't want to use their regular credit card online, they could buy one of those credit card gift cards and pay that way. There are ways people can pay online without you having to compromise your security.

    Not to mention, you have to pay for a post office box. This money would come from your tip jar. Considering you wouldn't know if or when people would send you stuff via the post office, I wouldn't waste my money.

    The best way to keep your location a secret is to not tell it to strangers. I would also be leery of having a 3rd party help, not wanting to out them either.

    If the tip jar is doing it's job, I wouldn't mess with it. Even if you have to give up a little money through other means, your safety is worth more than a gift card someone might send. This is assuming they would send the gift card and not hate mail or something. Really, your best bet is to just stick with Paypal and educate people on how to use it safely if they want to help you.

  8. A PO Box could potentially give away your city, and therefor your college, and therefor your name (since most colleges have their current enrollment posted online). If you did this I'd recommend doing one in the middle of the nearest major metropolis with about 6 colleges.

    Also, do you have any idea what has replaced blanket training in ATI families? Somehow I doubt the new solution is "empathy with your child and gentle reprimand".

  9. I would try to stick with online things, PO Boxes can be pretty expensive and if ,like other's have said, you're not getting things on a regular basis its not worth it...

    If the person want to donate a physical giftcard you could probably call up the company and see if another one can be sent to you, you'd probably need the orignal card numbers or a scan of the receipt. I've done that before when I lost a card but, again, that seems like much more of a hassle than just sticking with online and e-mail gift certificates.

    Be careful, not everyone is as nice as they appear to be online so keep your personal info to yourself. I hope you are feeling better!!

  10. Just have people email you the numbers of the gift cards they want to give to you. If you are strapped for cash and still need other things, you could always start a blog or make it part of this one (if you're comfortable with that) that does product reviews, etc.. I started doing that when I needed but couldn't afford cloth diapers for our baby and it's provided a hundred times over in the last year! Let me know if you want some help getting into that sort of thing. :-)

  11. Ruth - could you tell us how old Becca is? If I remember correctly, you were betrothed at the age of 16 - is this the case for your sister as well?


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