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