Thursday, April 1, 2010

Am I real?

Posting about my leg set off alarm bells for some people. Reading my blog with a critical mind, I can see how it looks and I don't blame people for their doubt. It seems like I just got over the throat sugery and now it's a broken leg. Right. I haven't been around the internet long enough to know about all the scamming that happens so I guess it's common for people who are scamming to use injuries or illness to try to get money. I don't ever want people to think that's why I posted about my leg. This is what I was afraid of when I put up the tip jar. It complicates things because people stop believing you if there's a financial incentive. This is my blog for venting and getting out all the things that were wrong for me with ATI and fundamentalism ala Bill Gothard. That's what is important.

This is the repost of what I said at Freejinger.
I'm not offended at all. If I read my story and the lack of wanting to "come out" I'd be wondering if the blogger was real. I don't know what to say. It's okay if you doubt me and the truth of my blog. That's what I tell people to do don't I? You should have reasons to follow or trust the people your expected to follow or trust. If you want to read my blog then you're welcome to, if you don't want to read my blog don't read it. That's why I don't advertise it. I'm not the only person who grew up in ATI with a blog. Some people had great experiences and you should read them too and then form your opinion on this breed of fundamentalism.

The tip jar was what I knew would make people suspect and I'm taking it down because it's not what the blog was about.

There is something that was brought up in freejinger that made me wonder about blogger. Is there a way to block certain commenters on blogger? I don't really like my dad, if it's always him, getting his digs in but I didn't know I could screen his comments or block him. I know I can set comments to a setting where I have to screen them all before allowing them but that seems like a lot of work and I'm not online often enough to keep comments flowing. Is there a better way?


  1. I completely understand why you took the jar down, Ruth, but I wish you hadn't felt it necessary (especially on your birthday, of all days!!!). Accidents happen, people get sick, that's life. Color me naive, but it never even occurred to me that you could be lying.

    The important thing is for you to be comfortable with what you're doing, and if that's what you need, then that's what you should do. We think you're pretty darn terrific no matter what. ;-)

  2. Don't let one cynic ruin the goodwill you experience with this blog. I gave you a $2 tip because I like what you write. You don't owe me any proof of your existence. Millions of people pay more for gossip magazines in the grocery store without checking for verifcation of the reporters credentials. It's de rigueur for the blogosphere to question blogs. People were suspicious of Emily, if you recall. She's real and we all wish she wasn't. :)

    Giving up your identity doesn't mean people will believe you. There are bloggers who divulge their most intimate details online and get shafted for doing it. Every person who gets remotely popular gets this kind of attention eventually. It's the reality of the internet. You can't please em' all so don't try.


  3. I second what Amber says. I'll add a motion: put the tip jar back up. Who cares what one person on FJ says? You've spent your whole life trying to make people happy and like you. Excuse my language. Fuck that!

    I've received enough verification through e-mail to know you are who you say you are. You knew my family including details that you wouldn't know if you weren't ex-ATI and who I think you are. I hope you never expose yourself cuz you're making a lot of people nervous with your anonymity.

    The dirty secret of ATI parents is that they read Vyckie's site. Their shame is that they have to wonder if Ruth could be their daughter. Ruth is beautiful because she is every ATI daughter who ever wanted to speak out.

  4. Ruth, I've never commented, but I read your blog regularly, along with FJ, Discovery message boards, TWOP, NLQ, you get the idea lol.
    Put your tip jar back up girl. Most of us believe you, and admire what you are doing more than you will ever know. You don't need to be admonished one ounce for what you are doing, especially after everything you have been through.

  5. I think you should put it back up... If people want to tip you, that's their choice. Whether you have the tip jar or not there'll always be people saying you're fake, particularly those you are accusing. As another commenter say, if you come out one day, there'll always be people saying you do that for the money you'd get from interviews. You are denouncing a cult, an organization that has too much success and provides tools and legitimation for family abuse. Of course there'll be people trying to put you down. Don't listen to them that's all. People take responsibility when they give money to people they don't know be it on the internet (maybe you're bying a trip to Barbados !) or on the street (maybe they'll buy drugs !).

  6. Her paypal is still there, just the button is gone, for those who want to give her a little Happy Birthday treat.

  7. Ruth, please put the tip jar back up.I wanted to be able to buy you a book when I could.

    I give money to people on the street - they might not be on the level, but it's my choice.

    Anon - how to we get on to the paypal? I don't know the address.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Please don't post my paypal address. I'm on my way to class and I'll discuss this more later. I appreciate the feedback. I'm hearing that people want the paypal donation back up but I don't want it to jeopardize the message. I am hearing you all and reading the e-mail ( <--not the paypal addy.

  10. I would imagine you should be able to block certain IPs.

    I wish I could help ya out. I blog on wordpress though.

    Good luck.

  11. I believe you Ruth. I say put the tip jar back up- if people want to donate that is their choice, if they don't believe you they don't have to read your blog- now do they?

  12. People who are scamming via their blogs generally come right out and say, "gimme gimme gimme". Ruth, you don't do that and I do believe you are real. Just sent you a little something for your laptop fund, or buy yourself a chocolate easter bunny.

  13. Put the tip jar back up! If people don't believe you, then they can go elsewhere. You aren't forcing anyone to give money. It's our choice. Don't let negative folks get you down, just block their IP's. :)

  14. Sorry, Ruth,
    Shouldn't have asked for the paypal - that was thoughtless of me :(

  15. Dear Ruth, don't let cynical a-holes dictate to you one way or another. Don't take this the wrong way, but you don't have to "please" people all the time, Ruth. Some are just cynical jerks who can't stand others being happy or working on healing and recovery. They want others to be as miserable as they are. They are people that I call "professional victims."

    There is nothing wrong in giving and nothing wrong in receiving; they are all part of the cycle and part of the universe. Nothing happens without giving and receiving. When you are in a better place some day (financially), you will give back too. You already give a lot to all of us in ways other than financial.

    Geez, I can't stand cynical jerks who have to ruin it for everyone. I wish that you wouldn't have taken your tip jar down. Of course, this is totally up to you as it's your blog. My point is that you certainly don't have to cater to the squeaky wheel that wants all the grease.

    Put your tip jar up and let people decide for themselves whether or not to donate financially. Like someone else said, people pay money for all sorts of things. If people want to give you a few bucks here and there because they want to, it's their own choice.

    To the person at Free Jinger who has issues with an abuse victim getting a few bucks here and there to pay for a few basic necessities of life, all I can say to you is "Get a life." I'm a 47 year-old woman with a family with kids as old as Ruth is (and younger) and I'll be darned that I can't give to someone if I feel like it.

  16. Everybody who adds to the tip jar is aware of the risk. If I put money in and learn later on that your blog was a fiendish plot to... something, that was still my own choice to make. As for the things that have happened to you recently: reading the FreeJinger thread, I was amused to see other people posting their own disaster lists. Things really can happen that close together.

    I'm nervous about saying this next thing because I know that the focus of this blog is you and your wellbeing, and any decisions are entirely yours to make, but here goes. You said a while ago that your dad could leave uncensored, unblocked comments so both sides of the story would be available. If you're concerned about credibility, I'd say that's still the way to go. Censorship rings plenty of alarm bells of its own. (I must be clear, though, that I'm not suggesting you keep him uncensored if it risks your own sanity).

    Long story short, there is no way to *know* that you're genuine without facts that would expose you and your family, and on the gossip-hardened internet, anything could be labelled fake. It's a problem for anyone who writes about serious issues. As you say, people are entitled to question, but please don't let that put you off telling the truth. If someone wants to claim the blog's a fake, it's up to them, not you, to provide proof.

  17. I believe you, Ruth. I also think you should put the tip jar back up. If some people want to be skeptical, let them be. This blog is about you, not them.

  18. Ruth,
    Be true to yourself. We readers asked for the tip jar not the other way round.
    We are all here because we believe in you and your life choices.
    It just sounds like your Dad or someother controlling SOB who wants to undercut your new independence.
    Hell, a tip jar, swagbucks, and an Amazon ad; you must be raking in the dollars ;)


  19. Happy Birthday, Ruth! (guess I'll have to inform my ex BIL that his b'day is a hoax, sigh!)(rolls eyes).

    I agree with the others, if you are comfortable, put the tip jar back up. You aren't forcing anyone to give money. Some people gets their kicks out of being nasty and shit disturbers. Whatever.

    I believe you and I believe in you, Ruth. Now have a wonderful b'day & treat yourself.

    Take care.


  20. Accidents happen close together?! All the time. Am I the only one to hear the old wives tale that bad things come in threes? LOL

    Ruth, you are awesome. Do whatever you want. Your true cyberfriends will support you whatever you choose.

    I would love it if you bring your tip jar back, plus I TOTALLY SUPPORT YOUR DECISION TO BLOCK YOUR DADS IP ADDRESS. If you want to, that is. =)

    From what I read, this blog isn't here to convince anyone of anything. It isn't here to debate with anyone. If I remember correctly, your therapist suggested you start this blog as an avenue of healing FOR YOURSELF!

    So do what works for you. Screw public opinion, including mine. You have the right to do what's best for you. You really do.

  21. I put the tip jar back up by request.

    Now people are saying it creates more drama to take it down and it makes me look like I'm guilty. I really feel like I can't win so I'm not going to worry about it. Like tipping your server, it's optional. Don't tip if you don't like the service. I'm sorry if this sounds brusque but it's been a long day and I'm human. I don't know what else to say or do.

    Thank you for the support and also thank you to the cynics for helping me realize how my blog might appear to outsiders.

  22. Ruth!

    I hope that you have a wonderful birthday! I admire you and am praying for you as you walk down this road. I was raised in IBLP as well and although my journey hasn't been exactly the same it brings back so many memories. For all of those of you out there that are saying that Ruth must be taking this to the extreme, I can say that I know of so many families in turmoil because of Mr. G's teachings. It has ruined many a happy home. After spending 13 years in ATI I firmly believe that it is a cult and will continue to do so. My family has been afflicted in so many ways. But by the grace of God we are free and rejoicing in Him. He loves us and brought us out of it although I still pray daily for those afflicted. May God be with you Ruth. I pray for you daily. Have a Happy Birthday!

  23. Some people are suspicious, and some people are suspicious with cause. Luckily, this is America and anyone can do what they like. I'd like to be able to tip you when I can, because even if (which I doubt) you're telling a story, you're telling a good story. I've seen blogs that live on the drama-rama *cough* Emily *cough*, they aren't quite like this.


  24. Can accidents or illnesses happen close together? To those who doubt you have had a couple of medical issues doubters have no clue at all. I have been to the ER 3 times in the past 6 months, much to the dismay of my insurance carrier. Things like this DO happen. I, for one, believe you Ruth. And I know you were only blogging about things that were going on in your life. Also you do not need to make your full name, address, phone number, and any other identifying info public. For your safety, you should keep that info off the net. You sure don't want some wackadoo deciding to do whatever it is wackadoo's do. (that is my middle-aged Mom advice for you).

    I know it's a couple of days early but Happy Easter!

  25. Ruth,

    There will always be cynics out there. Don't let them dampen the joy and therapy you get from this blog. Don't let the blog drain more than it gives you. You don't owe anyone anything. You've given us your story and people will either believe it or not.

    Your readers pretty much asked you to put up a tip jar. We wanted a way to contribute to your life as much as you are giving to us. Please don't take away the joy we get from passing on our blessings to you. Who ever said that giving is cyclical was so right. Everyone has a point in life when they are needy. Everyone has a point where they can afford to pay it forward and help someone else out. I hated Christmas because I wanted to send you a gift card and had no way to help. It takes away from us when we can't decide when to send you a little pick me up.

    I know you aren't getting rich off your tip jar. If you were going to scam us, you have the ability to do so on a massive scale, not the little bit you get from time to time. Don't let a few people ruin this for everyone. People will give or they won't. You never point the jar out. You never ask for money.

    I know you let us know about your foot because you'd been gone a while and last time, we freaked out. I appreciate knowing that you've had a bad break. It makes me feel like less a freak for my recent string of bad luck.

    You can't spend your life worrying about what people think of you. You tell a compelling story. If you are making it up, then you need to get through school so you can write fiction full time because you are GOOD.

    Until then, try to ignore those who attack your character. You've got better things to worry about (like daddy darth and the fundie brigade). You can probably turn on IP logging in your control panel. Then you can monitor the crazy posts and see what IP range he's using. Then you can decide to ban each address or a range. I'd suggest each addy because you can get a huge group of people if he's using a major service like comcast or verizon.

    It's up to you whether you let daddy darth post. I think you should zap posts that bug you versus banning him. Every time he posts, it just reinforces that you speak the truth. I don't know what's going on at Cult Headquarters, but someone needs to put a muzzle on your dad. He's not helping the cause out any when he rants like a crazy man on caffeine.

    Lastly, Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! Go get some Daiquiri Ice and celebrate living FREE!


    (oh, btw, could you actually post your swagbucks link occasionally? I had some people sign up under you and I had to dig forever to find your link. Just a suggestion).

  26. *hugs!*

    Freejinger has gone a lot more suspicious and a lot more mean lately, I wouldn't worry about it.

  27. *kicks blogspot*

    I had this awesome comment to you that got deleted when my cat jumped on my keyboard and caused the browser to go backward.

    *Sigh* Let's see if I can recreate it.


    You don't need this drama on your birthday. Not cool!

    Now, I've been there, done that with being on a message board with a member faking a lot of drama for emotional and financial attention. It sucked, and it still pains me to think about it (mostly because that particular person claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse, and I was getting out of an abusive relationship at the time and shared a lot of personal info to someone who never existed).


    I learned a lot from that experience. I now have warning bells that I look out for.

    But I will say with 100% certainty that you do not set off any warning bells whatsoever. For one, you've never asked for money....I will also say that I care about what you have to say, and about you. I want to be able to be here as one of those faceless people on the internet who is here to support you.

    As for the tip jar? I'm not sure what to say to you. People will always accuse others of being fake. I think this is because we just don't trust anyone anymore. In the past few years, we've had a couple of very famous authors (best sellers, and people who wind up on Opera) who have admitted to lying and making up their "true" stories.

    A thought I had, and you can ignore it, is that if you don't want to have the tip jar in the sidebar, you could stick it in a update, and just direct people to it who want to donate.

    Anyways, go out and enjoy your birthday! I wish I could send you a truckload of cupcakes, give you a big hug and a cat/dog/bunny if it would make you feel better.

    Take care *hugs*

  28. OK...I stumbled upon this blog last week. Since then I have read all of your blogs. You have more grace than most people half your age. You have more courage than I will have me entire lifetime.

    You have not asked for money. You have explained your circumstances, you are having a hard time right now. If I chose to give you money then that's my decision. Don't worry about what others have to say. You have come through so much don't let this stop you.

    Have a wonderful birthday

  29. Oh, and here's some more unsolicited advice (well information).

    IP banning isn't what it used to be. Back in the old days of the internet, you were given a specific address by your ISP, and you always used it.

    Then the ISPs decided to use dynamic IP addresses, and while you can sometimes pinpoint a specific range, all someone needs to do to get a new IP address (within the range-which is based on your physical location-like your city) is reset your router.

    IP addresses are now assigned to you as you connect to a router. It can be much more difficult to ban a specific person. But if you don't care about banning everyone using a certain ISP in the area of your father, then you'll be good. I just hope I don't live in that area so I'll be able to continue to post comments!

    But, it also won't guarantee a ban. Subnet and masks can throw off IP bans. So do those people who use anonymous routers to get around the internet (it is possible to detect these, but it's kind of a pain in the butt-but I can help you set that up if the fundie brigade decides to stoop that low).

    It gets even more complicated when you start looking at IPv4 addresses versus IPv6 (don't ask about 5, we don't talk about it ;), haha). Fortunately, IPv6 still isn't widely used.....But that's probably more technical detail then you ever cared to know....

  30. Darlin', you're in the process of doing what every twenty-something does: you're figuring out how to trust your own judgment. Your situation is compounded by an upbringing that never allowed for the beginnings of the process, a start that requires a recognition of individuality, of learning who you are and what makes you tick.

    I highly recommend (and if I recall correctly, it's been suggested in other comments) that you get a copy of "The Gift of Fear." It's not intended to render you spooked and untrusting; it teaches you to trust your own instincts. You've already got the foundations in place, and now all you need to do is bring them to the surface.

    You're strong, you're amazing, you... may possibly be an accident magnet. ;-D But if that's the biggest problem you have, you're going to be a massive success in life. So thank you, very much, for allowing us to participate in your journey.

    And, again, a very VERY happy birthday. You deserve it. :-)

  31. I think you have two choices if you want to maintain the integrity of the message, as you said you want to. One is to take away the tip jar. But if you really want to keep the donate button, just keep your posts focused on the message of your life growing up in a quiverfull family. Just don't mention any problems that are unrelated to that message on this blog. Maybe you could write about those in your personal journal.

    Unfortunatley, as long as the tip jar is there any random reports of problems/expenses will seem like a ploy for cash to some people.

    Or you could just not care about it either way. You seem to have a lot of support here no matter what you do.

  32. Hey! Anonymous! Who made the comment "Or you could just not care about it either way. You seem to have a lot of support here no matter what you do."

    Allow me to be the first to be suspicious of your "caring" rationale. We, her readers, are asking for the privilege to render aid. So, anon of "two choices," you have two of your own: you can either look away or go away. The rest of us are here for Ruth.

  33. Lol, Anonymous could try not to police content on a blog so as to assuage some random people on the internet who probs weren't using the tip jar anyways, you know, whatever.

  34. I spent the first 40 years of my life worrying about what other people thought and trying to make people happy. I can tell you now what a complete and utter waste of time that was for me. Live your life the way you want. It will attract people who want to be your friend just because they want to be your friend. And it will repel people who want you to do things their way. No matter what you do, different people will interpret the same action in different ways.


  35. You may not know this, but bad things always happen in 3's. I always buy multi-packs of sympathy cards, because when one person dies, two will follow. (I know it's morbid, but it's true. Every time.) Weren't you sick recently, too? That would make the leg thing #3 (or else the fact that there are 2 breaks counts.) It may not be Biblical prophecy, but it's never failed me (and I'm a total optimist!)

    I would love to give you advice on the blocking of your dad, but not savvy enough. I think someone above did a pretty good job. But I kind of enjoy seeing him being tortured and watching him crumble, if that's any consolation. ;-)

    I know you're real. Either real or so unbelievably talented you deserve a book deal anyway. 6 of one, half a dozen of another.

    Please keep writing, and ignore the haters. That's why blogger invented the delete button. And for every nasty comment, you get about 50 supportive ones, so hopefully that makes up for it a little bit. You have a lot of support because You Deserve It.

    <3 <3 <3

  36. I believe you Ruth and more importantly I believe IN you! Keep writing! I love reading your stories and I admire your strength and courage.

    Things happen in 3's is a wives tale that seems to hold true in my life as well. 3 births, 3 deaths, 3 happy occasions, 3 sad, etc. In the past 6 weeks I've been to the ER for one reason, diagnosed with an autoimmune illness that completely turns my life upside down (separate from ER visit) and turned 40. I couldn't help but thinking the gods were poking at me! But since then some good things have happened as well. Spring is here, a friend adopted her foster child and we may not owe as much tax $ as we originally expected. That's the ebb and flow of life.

    I like what one poster above said, that we buy magazines to read for entertainment, whether it be gossip mags or advice mags, and we don't question the validity of their writers. I view this blog as your book or magazine in which we the viewers get to follow you along on your amazing journey. I say leave the tip jar! Plus, it gives us the chance to send a little birthday gift ;-)

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Re: blocking "Dad's" comments

    First priority, IMO, is to take the action that most serves your own well-being: if taking steps to block those addresses makes you stronger and helps you recognize your own internal power--then by all means, take action.

    But, personally, I like "Dad's" comments. I'm working to separate my spirituality from my fundy upbringing myself (although I'm middle aged--spent the last 20 years being a heathen) and reading his posts gives me a reality check. When I have any anxiety about the God of my childhood being the True God, "Dad" posts something sounding like some of the voices in my past and I just start laughing.

    The obvious schizophrenic and violent nature of his religiosity reminds me as clearly and immediately as nothing else does that any God espousing those values cannot possibly be the God whose majestic creation inspires my breathless awe, whose unspeakable wasteful Love embraces even me in my blackest depressions.

    The cognitive dissonance between "Dad's" comments and the God of my own experience snaps me out my religious anxieties in a heartbeat (so totally NOT his intention but it's amazing how grace works!) I pray for "Dad" daily. Anyone who however inadvertently has such a beneficial effect on my life deserves all the help and healing I can send his way.

    But, Ruth, you take the path that is most healing for you--blocking, not blocking but ignoring, not blocking and responding, whatever--and I will be most supportive. This blog is YOUR healing journey, not mine, and we all want to see you take whatever step propels that journey!

    Much love to you!

  39. It's possible to block somebody's IP address, but it doesn't take much work to bypass the block, and even if they can't figure out how to bypass it, they can always log in from a different Internet connection.

  40. I'm anonymous that said she could choose not to care either way. I didn't mean anything bad by my comment at all. Really. I was just saying that if she doesn't want people to think she's fake, she should take down the tip jar or leave it up and stop posting about accidents or whatever. Or she could choose to not worry about what other people think. Geez. Some people here are too emotionally involved in this blog.

  41. Anon(the one who is being a complete jerk),

    Let me tell you something. The reason why we are emotionally involved is because we see in Ruth what could happen to ANY woman involved in a cult that caters to men. I've been down that road(kingdom of 12) so I know a bit of what she's talking about. What it appears like to me is that you are giving "christian" advice. I use quotes because no true Christian would be caught dead being so outright cruel to someone while covering as "godly advice".
    Take a long walk off a short pier, okay?
    Now that I've said that. Ruth, I have no doubt you're real. Maybe it's because I have been around so many emotionally abused girls from groups like this I know what to look for. Maybe it's because of the fact I was in a cult to, so I know what to look for. Either way, keep your chin up. Folks who don't say their names and chose to be "Anon" are nothing but cowards who thrive on causing drama.
    Oh, and about the accidents and such: don't feel bad. It is only by grace that I myself haven't had to be in the hospital lately(only because I stay inside, trust me).

  42. I was just reading this, and for the most part I find what you are writing about to be very inspirational. However, saying that tipping a server is optional is hugely offensive. Servers in most states make LESS than minimum wage. Sometimes even less than half of minimum wage for their hourly. Every server should recieve at least 15% of your final bill ammount. After all, they DID work for you, and trust me as someone who has done it, it is not easy work. It certainly isn't worth the $2-3 some of us make in hourly wages.

  43. I see the tip jar is still up, so there's no real purpose for this comment, but just for the record:
    For those of us who grew up in ATI or similar situations; we know you're real. There are twinges of reality that ring true and couldn't have been fabricated.
    Although nowhere near as bad as your childhood was mine was no cake walk. Reading through it today has brought up alternating emotions of sadness at remembering it all and thankfulness for the fact that it wasn't as bad as it could have been.


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