Saturday, July 31, 2010

Update

I just got back to a computer for the first time since Monday. I'm sorry I didn't check in sooner but the week went crazy late, late Monday night. It's a long story but I want to set a few other things straight first.

An anonymous poster replied here and said I was stupid for ever agreeing to this employment in the first place. I don't argue, now, that I was stupid for agreeing to work for basically nothing. There's no excuse for being so naive, I guess. I can just say that at the time I agreed to nanny for this family, I thought this was the only thing I could do with the constraints I had. I looked hard for work. I filled out about 45 applications and most of the places wouldn't even give me an interview because, at the time I applied, I had a cast on my leg, no car, and no place lined up to live for the summer. I had even applied at a nanny agency and they didn't return my follow-up calls because of the cast. Jack and Jill's job came about through schools sources and therefore I thought they were more legit than it ended up being (employment wise). I don't think arguing about what I should've done is very productive at this point - I was about to be homeless for three months and I was injured - I took shelter over money. And for most of the summer the arrangement was great. I got to see a dad who really loves his children and that was great for me. I had a taste of what it's like to live above the poverty level and in a home where a everyone was an individual.

--
On Monday, after I posted my last post, there was a knock on my door. Jill was standing there with an envelope. She set the envelope on my dresser and said that they wouldn't need my services in the morning and that I had three days to pack up and leave. Because I didn't take the boys out on Monday afternoon, I had missed one of the boys' lessons and, in Jill's mind, didn't fulfil my obligations. She turned and walked out of the room. A few minutes later, when I was on the phone with Harris trying to figure out what was going on and what I was going to do, there was another knock on the door and before I could answer it, Jack came in and grabbed the envelope and said I wasn't going anywhere and to try to have a good sleep because the boys would need me in the morning. Harris overheard this and said he was coming over, so I went downstairs to wait for him.

Downstairs was in chaos. Jack and Jill were fighting - bad. It was ugly. I started to sneak out the front door when Jill saw me and told me I should be packing but that was quickly followed by Jack telling me she was crazy. I just went outside to wait for Harris. Harris arrived and asked what I wanted to do. He had brought a friend of ours, another dorm mate who was back.

I saw one of the boys' lights go on upstairs and told Harris I should go back in and check on him. Harris and the friend didn't want me going into the fight alone so they stepped into the foyer. Jill went nuts. I tried going up the stairs to check on *Fred and she blocked me. She kept thrusting that envelope in my face. I feel bad about what I did, leaving the boys and the house, but I really don't like confrontation and I needed to get out, so I left. The guy Harris brought along has family locally and they let me stay the night in their guest room. The next morning, Jack called and said that he and the boys were leaving and he wanted to see me before the left. I still had all my stuff in their house so I said I'd meet him if I could bring the lady I was staying with along.

Tuesday, I met Jack and he handed me a key for a hotel room and some money for food and sundries. He said he was really sorry for how things had worked out and that he wasn't concerned about the $400. He also told me to call the doctor friend we had seen who had arranged for me to get the evaluation I needed for no cost through friends of his. The good news is that my ankle and knee were just badly sprained and maybe the miniscus of my knee has a small tear. The tear may have been there all along though so it's not a big deal unless it starts locking or popping. It's not doing either now.

On Tuesday night, I went back to the house and packed up my stuff. Luckily, I didn't have much that was mine with me.

I miss the boys. I'm glad I got to say goodbye to them and that they're okay. They're going on a vacation with their dad to see their paternal grandparents.

I don't know what's going on with Jill. I'm worried about her because up until the last week I really didn't have a reason to suspect she was like she is. Hindsight is 20/20 and there were small things that I now see but nothing that would've made me guess it would end this way.

What happens from here is that I go back to school and think about what I've learned. The room is paid up through the day before the dorms open up. I'm okay. Just processing.

102 comments:

  1. Wow.

    Jack sounds like a very nice man, and Jill is obviously nutso.

    If Jack left, then there must have been problems going on besides their disagreement about this.

    I'm sorry you've had to go through this, but I'm glad you're going to have a place to stay until school starts.

    I'd also suggest trying to get a job during the school year, so that you can save up a little for next summer. You won't be in a cast, and you'll have more time to search, so it won't be that hard now.

    Good luck!

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  2. Good to hear you are somewhere safe and that, with lessons learned, you can put this experience behind you.
    Don't kick yourself for anything you did around this job. You were in a tight spot and took an opportunity that provided you with shelter and food, two very real necessities. Now you know next time, if it happens, to also ask for some money to bank.
    Its unfortunate the job ended so poorly but at least YOU can hold your head up high, knowing you did right by the children (and that little girl whose running towards traffic caused your injury).
    I'm glad the injury is not too serious and that you're up and on our feet again.
    Take care of yourself. You did good! annie

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  3. I was afraid that something like this must have happened. I'm glad that Jack made sure you were taken care of, he does sound like a nice man. I also completely agree that something is going on in their marriage, my husband and I would have never acted like that even if we did disagree about what to do in such a situation. I'm even wondering if Jill was jealous of you or worried about having you around Jack. Either way, at least it's over and your're cared for.

    I agree, I'd try to get a part-time job next year. Especially if you can find something that will be able to go full-time in the summer. I know that at my university also, there were super cheap apartments available in the summer. They'd sit empty otherwise. So one summer (granted, 22 years ago) I rented an apartment for $300 for the whole summer. Either that or if you didn't live in a dorm you could stay in the same place over the summer, but it's probably too late for that it sounds like. I'm glad you knee is basically okay, clearly Jill overreacted and all you needed was a couple days of rest.

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  4. Good luck Ruth! Just chalk this whole thing up to a life experience. I hope you enjoy the hotel! (Not that I'm saying it's a swanky hotel or anything, it just must feel different to essentially be living in a hotel!). I'm glad to hear your knee is not too bad, and I hope it heals quickly.

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  5. Judging by Jill's action, I honestly have to wonder how stable that woman is. There's definitely something wrong going on with her (imo).

    Ruth, I am so sorry you had to go through all that. :-( I honestly wish there was something I could to to help you out (is there?). *HUGS*
    There. I hope that virtual hug helped you feel better. Hang in there; things will get better for you. *more hugs*

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  6. Good for you! I agree with everyone else that it sounds like the problem was between them and had very little to do with you or your choices, in the end. I am glad Jack has done the right thing by you. I am glad that you have a place to stay. Take care of yourself and rest up - this has certainly been enough chaos and worry for a while!

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  7. Wow totally effing crazy. I do think it probably had something to do with Jill being jealous of your relationship with the kids, and jealous of any affection the husband had toward you. And- obviously there were marital problems.
    It really annoys me when women act so catty... but then I have the tendency to do the same thing when I feel my "place" in someones life is being threatened.

    So glad you got to say bye to the boys, glad you're not homeless and glad you can leave with your head held high.

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  8. The thing about experience, and its' the thing that is so hard, is that you get experience, by, well, having experiences.

    Next time you will do better - because you know better.

    I'm sorry Ruth. I'm glad you've landed on your feet.

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  9. I'm so sorry this happened to you. You were in a tight spot when you accepted the job, and I thought the other person was out of line for saying you deserved this because you shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place. I'm glad you have friends like Harris to help, and I'm glad school will be starting for you again soon. I'm sure you'll be able to make better arrangements next summer.

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  10. Oh, wow, Ruth. How crazy (and mildly reminiscent of the end of a nannying job I had a few years ago). I'm very glad that you have friends who will help you out of that kind of a mess.

    I'm glad that Jack, at least, is trying to make sure you're taken care of and has his kids at heart. Jill seemed more focused on her own convenience, besides whatever other issues she had.

    I hope you enjoy your "break" until school begins again, that your knee and ankle heal without issue, and that you have a chance to work through the school year. Depending on the job, you may be able to get experience in a potential career field (I work at the library, and hope to go on to grad school for library science so I can be a real live librarian).

    If you have already considered being an RA, see if your school has summer RAs. My school tends to have a handful of summer students and multiple groups that use the campus (most of which as housing while they do mission work in the area), and it's a good way to see if you have the knack for the basic duties. One of the perks is that you have a dorm room to use through the summer, rather than finding separate housing and a job.

    Take care, dear, and enjoy whatever break you have.

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  11. i am glad everything got resolved, even if in a really weird confrontation. Ruth, don't beat up your self about Jill, I am sure the people responsible for her will take care of it and try to get her help if needed. Think about yourself that's all that matters in this case.

    Good luck honey.

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  12. Whew Ruth...dodged a swift kick there!

    I do not know if this is feasible for you, Ruth...but I "tutored" junior college students in a variety of basic classes...for a little over minimum wage...all through college.

    My jobs came via a college grant program. You might check and see if something similar exists at your school.

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  13. Hey Ruth,

    If you want to take a live-in position in the future, I've used this website. www.greataupair.com. I met a very nice family in England that way and lived with them for several months. You can list salary requirements and it will give you some options to choose from.

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  14. I agree with those who recommend you find a job during the school year so that you will not be in the same position next summer.

    The good news is that you had a "life experience" this summer. Not one you'll want to repeat, but you've learned through this.

    Keeping a positive attitude can be difficult, but you're doing a great job with it.

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  15. Sweetheart, I'm so sorry this ended up so badly for you. But I agree with Teigen, next time see if you can use your nannying skills as an opportunity for study and travel. Most UK agencies just want some experience, good English and a driving licence...

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  16. "And for most of the summer the arrangement was great. I got to see a dad who really loves his children and that was great for me. I had a taste of what it's like to live above the poverty level and in a home where a everyone was an individual."

    Ruth, What you wrote here moved me very much. I admire your ability to see the good in such a terrible situation, even as you're aware that you were treated badly. I wish I could be as open to seeing the positive in things. Don't lose this attitude even as you learn to negotiate the world better. It will definitely take you places.

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  17. Well, at least you're out and don't have to deal with the tension in the house anymore. That's good. When I read about Jill's behaviour, my first thought was maybe she's on drugs or something. I don't know. Although my mom acts like that, and she's not on drugs, just bipolar or schizophrenic or something (she's been diagnosed with a mental illness, which remains untreated, but she hasn't been properly tested to see what it is. Plus she's good at hiding a lot of her delusions).

    I'm glad you're taken care of for the rest of your summer break. The only thing I would do, because I'm paranoid that way, is switch hotel rooms or have them re-set the key if it's magnetic, or something. But like I said, I'm paranoid. Maybe I get it from my mother. ;o)

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  18. Nobody should call you dumb for taking the situation... sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. But also know when to get out as you have done.

    Just recently exited an eerily similar employment situation myself with a decent man whose wife was crazy and did not want to pay.

    Good for you. stay strong Ruth.

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  19. Wow. Sounds like Jill has soem ongoing problems, and she and Jack probably had some ongoing relationship problems. Make me wonder if this "vacation" is really just a way for the two of them to get away from one another. Also makes me wonder if Jill was jealous of having another (younger, probably prettier) woman in the house.

    Did you ever read The Nanny Diaries? You should!

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  20. Wow.

    I am so, so sorry you had to go through that. Some people are a puzzle that cannot be solved. There's clearly a lot going on with her and in that marriage that you'll never figure out and it's not your problem anymore.
    I'm just glad you're safe!

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  21. Ruth, I'm sorry to hear that your job ended on a difficult/tense note. I'm glad that you have your basic needs met until school starts.

    I know you get a lot of unsolicited advice (including from me :) ), so use your own judgment about the following. As someone who needed expensive surgery for a symptomatic meniscus tear, I'd encourage you to get and keep medical records from the gratis exams you've gotten. When I got my surgery, the insurance company wanted info about how I'd injured my knee before they'd approve the procedure. I know that an injury on the job would have led to questions about whether the insurance company would cover the surgery (given that they would have wanted to receive the money from worker's comp). In fact, my meniscus was just slightly malformed and prone to tears from daily wear and tear, so I had no injury story to tell. You, however, might want some documentation. Most of all, I hope that your injury heals completely and without complications.

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  22. I'm glad Jack is a nice, normal person. Sorry about Jill. Missing one lesson after several months of faithful service is just a dumb excuse for putting somebody out on the street -- especially when you were injured protecting her child. That infuriates me.

    I'm glad you have a place to go and I'm glad you stood up for yourself. Don't kick yourself for taking the job. You did the right thing in the situation you had to deal with, I think. Honestly, the power differential on your ex-employers side gives them the responsibility to avoid treating you in an abusive manner. That goes even before the hiring. You didn't do anything wrong.

    Also, I would have left the house at that point too. It just goes to show how dedicated you are that you wanted to make sure the kids were okay.

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  23. Glad you're back Ruth. Jack sounds like a good man. It's too bad he's married to such an ice queen, harpie, bitch.

    Enjoy the time off, and get your head straight for school :)

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  24. Ruth, you're a talented writer and could easily get a five figure advance for a book about the Gothard cult, plus royalties that could keep you financially self-sufficient for years. Get a book called "How to Write A Book Proposal" by Michael Larsen. Do exactly what it says. Submit the proposal to agents. Start with whoever the agent was for the memoir "Jesus Land." This is what your father lives in mortal terror of. You should make his nightmare come true. Think of all the good you'd do in the world. The Duggars have put this sweet, shiny face on the ATI cult. You can expose the truth.

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  25. Eh Ruth-don't let the naysayers get you down. In life we make the best choices we can based on the knowledge we have at the time, the options in front of us, and our own personal baggage. Sometimes it works out great, sometimes you look back and say-well that was an epic fail. Good or bad you learn from your choices and you don't get anywhere in life by not doing anything. Mark this one down in the book of life experiences, learn from it, and move on.

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  26. Ruth,

    Check your email. I just wanted to say I'm happy that Jack did the right thing and that you've got a place to stay.

    The others are right about Jill. She's probably got a very complex home life and you did a good job looking out for her kids. If nothing else, this will make an interesting chapter in whatever you hopefully write in the future.

    Now, a bit of advice from a ten year college student. Does this hotel have a free breakfast? Donuts? Free bottled water and tea bags? If so, stock up! Those little shampoo bottles? If you remove all signs of soap/shampoo/body wash bottles from the bathrooms, some times you'll get an entire new set when housekeeping comes around. If you leave a small tip (I know money is tight) you can leave little notes asking for more. You'd be surprised how much you can eek out of those free toiletries. I used to get those from my entire family and I rarely bought shampoo/conditioner when I was school.

    When I travel for work, I take them and donate them to a woman's shelter.

    Try to get a ride to the library and stock up on reading material. Then I'd suggest getting a cool drink and heading for the pool, if the hotel has one. If nothing else, you can sit around and read and rest up for school.

    I'm glad Harris was there for you. He seems like a good friend. Will he be moving back into the dorm this year?

    I know we've talked about class load and work study, but see how you adjust this year and make sure your grades are strong. I think working the library would be awesome experience for you. But I know you need time to study as well.

    Don't be afraid to do the student loan thing. It's not a sin to take out a bit for books and food. I don't think you eat enough and I worry.

    God, that sounds like my mother....

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  27. Don't kick your yourself, as we learn from our experiences. Remember, when you took the job you made the best decision based on all of the information you had at that time. Each experience helps you grow and change. The universe (or god, if you like) keeps presenting the same thing to us to help us grow and change. Instead of thinking of it as all bad thank the universe that you had an amazing lesson and how many changes you will make in the next time. And who knows, maybe Jack and Jill will soon part and Jack will need some babysitting help when he has the kids ;-) -NDC

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  28. Oh! I have to ask. What was in the envelop? Did you ever take it/open it? Curiosity killed the cat.

    I'm also waiting for Darth Pater to chime in about how you had shelter before you forsook you man folk and burn the barn down (or whatever the fire and brimstone they like to toss about). I wonder is someone has muzzled Daddy Darth.

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  29. Wow! That sounded soooo uncomfortable. Glad that Jack was kind enough to get you a room. I must say I think Harris is a 'keeper'!!

    Now deep breaths and get ready for school. Hang in there, Ruth.

    Jean

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  30. I agree with anonymous@4:37. Harris definitely sounds like a keeper!

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  31. I am glad things ultimately worked out well for you, but uff da. What a mess. Take some time to rest and regroup!

    Something I don't think anyone has mentioned that you may want to consider is working a restaurant job. It's hard work, but the potential for good tips is very good, and with all the experience you have handling a full house of different personalities, you'd be great! I made very good money waiting tables and bartending when I was in college and after when I needed a little extra cash, not to mention the half price meals. It's not a library, but you'd be surprised how much you learn! ;-)

    Good luck, Ruth. I am so proud of how far you've come.

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  32. As everyone else wrote, don't beat yourself up over taking the job. It sounds like you have learned a lot from it, even if it wasn't what you expected to learn. I think everyone has a job like this at some point. Just do what you do best: take what you can from it and keep on moving forward.

    I also agree with getting a job in a library. Your college library usually will give you some time to do homework, and those jobs are usually very flexible about giving time off when you have a big assignment due.

    I also would check into public library jobs. Most libraries have part-time jobs as shelvers. It is a good way to get your foot in the door at a library. Many librarians got into the field as shelvers and then worked their way up ladder. Some libraries will give benefits to part-time employees, though that is changing in the economy.

    Don't be afraid to think outside the box and explore outside of your comfort zone. It's a scary prospect, but it may turn out to be very profitable.

    I'm so glad that you are okay. I can't wait to read about your graduation someday. You absolutely will do it. :)

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  33. My mouth was hanging open as I read your update!
    I have to agree with Holly. I know you have your reasons for not wanting to right a book... but I hope you will reconsider.
    As for Jill and the whole blow-up, please don't in ANY way be hard on yourself for how things turned out. It doesn't sound like you are, but I have had too many close encounters with crazy people, and they have a way of getting under your skin and making you wonder if you are the crazy one, or if there was something you could have done to prevent their blowup. Anyway, if you start thinking over what happened and question how you handled things with them--DON'T. Just know that when someone acts like that, it is no one's fault but their own. If one thing didn't push them over the edge, something else would have.

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  34. Right on, Ruth. Amazing life experience you got there.

    I agree with others that you can't try to take responsibility for the situation that developed. The conflict between Jack and Jill was going to emerge, no matter what you did. That was something they had going on, and they made it all by themselves, IMO.

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  35. I'm glad you're out, and have shelter until you can get back into the dorms. Live and learn, on the unorthodox job situation, I guess.

    And to the people who slammed Ruth for taking this job in the first place? You are aware we're in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, right? Jobs really aren't all that easily come by right now, and I can see how somebody in Ruth's situation could end up in the position she did.

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  36. Jill seems like a really awful person and she basically exploited you. I've worked as a babysitter and nanny for years and never heard of a person as terrible.

    I am glad her you are okay now. I hope you will find a better job. In the mean time see if you can access social services (soup kitchen or food pantry) until you move back into the dorms.

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  37. This really sounds fake, like a soap opera or a bad romance novel. I almost expect to read next that Jack has put Jill in an insane asylum and the two of you have fallen in love....

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  38. I'm afraid I must nix Susan's Jane Eyre-style wistful comment. Though Jack may remain a big brother type of friend, I think Harris is the keeper in the romance department. (smile).

    Lots of love and prayers and the very best wishes to you, Ruth. Your courage and tenacity are inspiring!

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  39. I'm sorry you had to learn that lesson the hard way. As a former nanny, I wholeheartedly suggest you've now earned the right to read "The Nanny Diaries".

    I hope the new school year provides you many opportunities to learn, grow and continue to carve out your place in the world.

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  40. Darlin, this is just a live and learn situation, the kind that EVERYONE goes through (including the jerky commenters who seem to feel the need to take you to task). It all worked out well in the end, and my bet is that Jack would give you a great reference for next time. Jill is obviously a total whackado, and you're well rid of her.

    And yes, a round of applause for our Hero Harris! And another one for you for coming through another difficult time with flying colors!

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  41. While there may have been certain appealing aspects of this job (experiencing a decent standard of living, seeing positive father/child interactions, nice kids, etc), I'm glad you're out of there, Ruth. Perhaps this uncerimonious exit was a blessing in disguise. The absolute last thing I should think you would need at this point in your life is to be in the middle of a dysfunctional family situation.

    When I was in my early 20s, I took a job at a local restaurant. It was the worst employment experience of my life. Lousy hours, petty bosses and I hated the work. It just wasn't my thing at all. Barely made enough money to fuel my thirsty Buick and it really was a summer wasted for me, employment-wise. I had the chance to work full time in the school's photo lab and turned it down. I should have taken it but hey, we live, we learn. The next job opportunity that came my way turned into a 25 year career in aviation, so a mis-step in job execution isn't the end of the world.

    The one thing I wish I would have done is finish school. Because of my choice not to work in the photo lab I was running out of money and had to work.. had no better options (or so I thought). I do encourage you to stay with your schooling if at all possible. Finish now and you don't have to go back and try to do it later. It's one more feather in your cap of independence. Yeah, I did use the "I" word, for all of you patriarchal, "raise your daughters to be perpetual dependents" types out there.

    Blessings,

    Jim K.

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  42. and hey--while you are hanging out in the motel until the dorms open, write some more installments about your escape! You left us at a critical point with your "courtship." :)

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  43. You've all given Ruth too much credit.

    She may have done the right thing in trying to protect that little girl, but it certainly didn't fall under the realm of her responsibilities. She made a choice, and it led to her being unable to fulfill the duties of her job. Yet she's once again turned this into a "Ruth as victim" story.

    She didn't "save" herself when she was asked to leave. She fell back into stereotypes and expected Harris to rescue her.

    And we only have Ruth's version as to how the nanny job really was. Maybe the family has been looking for an excuse to rid of her and this gave them an opportunity.

    As for the advice Cynthia gave you about the hotel? Show a little class. It's WRONG and very, very tacky to latch onto every freebie you can get your hands on. Just because you're poor that doesn't mean you can't adopt a bit of class.

    As to whether or not I believe any of this? I don't really care whether it's true or not. The fact that you have a "tip jar" and are constantly in a state of need does not lend much credibility to your tales.

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  44. I am posting anonymously for once - I work in a college library as full-time staff, and student jobs there are pretty coveted and hard-to-get, but the secret is, first, to be as complete with your scheduling information as possible, second, to say that you'll be interested in working there in the future as well as in the present semester (since it takes a couple of weeks for training to even work), third, to emphasize that you're punctual and organized, and fourth, to check back and ask if you can chat with the hiring coordinator. It's a nice sit-down job except for shelving, it's quiet, it's low-stress, and you do in fact get to do your homework most of the time as long as you don't blow off work to do it.

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  45. Ah, Anonymous from 8:44 a.m....what a sad little life you must lead. Posting asshole screeds under cover of anonymity...now THERE'S class!

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  46. I won't take offense at being called classless by Mr. Anonymous. I travel constantly and know that that the hotel room cost factors in the cost of those items. And since I'm paying for it and not using it (I use shampoo/conditioner that can only be purchased from salons), yes I will take it, especially since it's going to a woman's shelter.

    But I'm sure that since Annon is pushing women toward such shelters, he probably doesn't want to support that kind of project.

    Ruth should take advantage of everything she can to make it through school. Free breakfasts, freebies on campus, everything. She's on a super tight budget and there's nothing wrong with finding out where free things are in order to supplement her budget.

    As for making sure a little girl didn't run into traffic not being her responsibility, you are a moron. I have no children and frankly can't stand the little ankle bitters but it is ALWAYS an adult's job to protect the weak, the young and the elderly from harm. It's called be a compassionate human. Ruth absolutely did the right thing for that little girl.

    I will credit annon for actually being literate. This is a nice change from the normal SOTDRT.

    Rock on Ruth! Great advice two posts up about library jobs. Have a great two weeks and I hope you get to do some rec reading!

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  47. Anonymous at 8:44AM

    She fell back into stereotypes and expected Harris to rescue her.

    The alternative being what, you Asshole? Had Ruth had turned to a girlfriend for assistance...you'd have nothing to say. Here's a clue...friends help one another, regardless of gender.

    Also, permit me to point out that Jack immediately stepped up to his OBLIGATIONS...hardly a rescue.

    She may have done the right thing in trying to protect that little girl, but it certainly didn't fall under the realm of her responsibilities. She made a choice, and it led to her being unable to fulfill the duties of her job.

    Besides the mind-numbing idiocy of this sentiment, please note that Jack seems to disagree here, and was apparently happy to make some minor adjustments to new circumstances for the whopping remaining two weeks.

    Uhm...finally Anonymous Asshole, if you knew anything about the hotel business, you would know there are no freebies. Those soap bars and little bottles of shampoo are figured into the daily charge, under the assumption that must be replaced daily, whether or not the items actually get used. Do some research, you ignorant buffoon!

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  48. First off, I didn't expect Harris to "rescue me". I called a very good friend (regardless of his sex) who decided to come over (like friends do) to help someone handle a sticky situation. I'm sorry you don't have friends who would help you in the same fashion.

    Additionally, I have never said that it was my employers fault OR RESPONSIBILITY to pay for the medical bills resulting from my injury. Before you put words in my mouth, perhaps you should read what I've written.

    As for any "soap opera" drama - you are disgusting. I have no feelings for Jack, beyond thinking he's a decent person going through a difficult spot in his marriage with two beautiful boys. I also have only sympathy for Jill. I hope she and Jack will find this to be just a speed bump in an otherwise happy marriage.

    I'm not addressing the tip jar. If you're a long time reader, you know why it's there and the angst I've had over it. If you don't like it or this blog, then please don't read here.

    I'm very happy that people find my life so dramatic or "fake". That means that their lives are drama free and that they're 100% responsibile and make the best choices 100% of the time. Also, it hurts to find out that the person making these anonymous comments used to use this blog to drive traffic to her own blog. When I didn't identify myself to her, she started badgering others to give up my identity. Having grown up in a similar environment (but now quite the same) you would think she'd be more understanding of the journey. *I don't have IP capabilities but I can use my brain and see who is here when comments are left (via location).

    ----------
    Thank you for the library advice, above. I *do* have a very part time gig lined up at the campus library starting in September. That scholarship that I lost may be reinstated and it's part of the arrangement.:)

    Writing a book would be difficult right now but I would definitely consider it at a later date.

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  49. Ruth,

    I'm happy that you'll get to do some work in the library. I hope you get the scholarship reinstated and things work out.

    I'm glad you realize the agenda behind some of the poster's rants. If people didn't feel the need for drama, then shows like "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" wouldn't exist. Some people feed off drama and turmoil and when their own lives are boring, they'll either create drama or find someone else who has it.

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  50. The fact that you have a "tip jar" and are constantly in a state of need does not lend much credibility to your tales.

    I might point out to you that this "state of need" is part and parcel of the patriarchal culture of the cult-like ATI movement Ruth was raised in.

    Family support, job experience, education, all have been systematically withheld with the intention of turning her into an obedient wife with no choice but to be utterly dependent on a man of her father's choosing.

    Have you ever established an independent adult life from scratch?

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  51. Ruth,

    I think it's commendable that you allow open discourse and varied opinions on your blog.

    I am very glad to discover that I was wrong in thinking you were expecting Jack and Jill to pay for your medical expenses related to your injury. I appreciate your clearing that up, and very sincerely apologize for thinking you were attempting to hold them financially liable.

    I think much more highly of you now, I'm glad to see you accepting responsibility for your actions. Again, I apologize for assuming the worst.

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  52. Holly said...
    "Ruth, you're a talented writer and could easily get a five figure advance for a book about the Gothard cult, plus royalties that could keep you financially self-sufficient for years. Get a book called "How to Write A Book Proposal" by Michael Larsen. Do exactly what it says. Submit the proposal to agents. Start with whoever the agent was for the memoir "Jesus Land." This is what your father lives in mortal terror of. You should make his nightmare come true. Think of all the good you'd do in the world. The Duggars have put this sweet, shiny face on the ATI cult. You can expose the truth."


    Like Ruth, I also come from an abusive past. Many people who were abused (if they've had thepary/emotional support and healed a bit) come to a point where they are no longer angry with the people who abused them. They have no vendetta, and they have no desire to expose them. Writing a book at the moment would be hard without exposing herself or family. Imagine going on a book tour under the name "Ruth" and using anonymous names in her book, as if no one from fundie land would know the difference. If Ruth chooses to write a book in the future, I doubt it will be for money and revenge. But maybe I should stop speaking for her. lol.

    I'm not trying to burst your bubble or anything, but simply offering a different point of view. Ruth, what do you think?

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  53. I like Harris.

    -Jenny

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  54. Anonymous @ 8:44- You, sir/ma'am, are an idiot. What's so wrong about calling a friend when in need? Helping each other out is what friends do. I advise you to shut your talking device and take your virulence elsewhere; preferably a dark, deserted canyon where no one will be able to hear you.

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  55. Some of the commenters here remind me of my extremely physically and verbally abusive mother... whenever bad things happen or someone makes a bad decision or ANYTHING less than ideal happens, there's no "Chin up, kid, it will get better." No "Live and learn, I guess. Hang in there." No encouragement or support. Just berating and tearing down and telling someone no matter what bad things happen, it was entirely their fault and they deserve every piece of pain they have. I sincerely hope you people don't have children, because you are the most ill-equipped type of people to raise them up.

    Ruth needs encouragement. If you don't want to give money, don't. If you don't like what she has to say, don't read it. What are you possibly gaining from berating, tearing down, judging, and behaving as though you've never made single mistake in your life? Because only the perfect have the right to point to the faults of others. Then again, a truly perfect person wouldn't do such a mean-spirited thing. Ah, what a paradox.

    Ruth, don't listen to the idiots. I read a log of blogs on varying subjects and they're EVERYWHERE. I've even read babyloss blogs where commenters have told the blogger they must have done something that caused them to lose the pregnancy! You can't avoid these kinds of jackasses, so just see them as what they are... sad, hostile people who gain some kind of joy, for whatever reason, by pointing fingers at others and holding themselves up as faultless.

    PS - and how sad that you have never had any friends that were able to call to come rescue you in a tight spot. I have many times, both male and female. In fact, I called a male friend last night when I had a flat on a busy road. I have been the rescuer myself a number of times for friends too, from giving rides to last minute babysitting to being there in a crisis. It's the beauty of friendship... another pair of shoulders there, willing to bear the burden with you. I'm sorry you don't have that. Then again, with your attitude, I'm not surprised.

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  56. We can't get through a post without an ATI troll spewing their B.S. Ah, well...at least it's mildly entertaining. They are really obvious though aren't they? Yawn..move on troll.

    Good Luck with your new school year, Ruth.

    New Year, New Possibilities :)
    Sue

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  57. Not A Fundie: I can see where you thought I was suggesting that Ruth write a book to get revenge, but that isn't what I meant. She has a talent. She could perform a useful service for society (exposing the Gothard/ATI cult that is currently being given a happy, fuzzy face by the Duggars) using that talent and make enough money to make herself financially self-sufficient all at once. It's certainly an option worthy of consideration. Of course she'd have to out herself when publishing a book, but the beauty of WIDESPREAD outing, (as opposed to the very limited-exposure sort of outing that would occur on this blog, for example, should she go that route) is that it brings scrutiny. Her father would be scrutinized by virtually everyone in his community. Blessing would be far more likely to grow up without the sort of abuse Ruth endured, simply because so many more people would be watching. Much more accountability would be present. As I said, just an option, but one she should consider for sure.

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  58. I'm glad that you'll be able to work in the campus library, Ruth. I'm entering my senior year and have worked in the library every year so far, and I love it. It helps that I'm at a tiny college, so the staff is more likely to hang on to students they like (like me and three others -- new student employees fill in whatever gaps are left after we set up our schedules). And, if nothing else, you should be able to get a lot of reading assignments done unless you have a very busy shift -- even with a specific "library job", I still had over half of each shift to do homework.

    And, as I've spent a few summers working in hotel housekeeping (the training is very quick, it's a mentally easy job, it pays reasonably, and usually you end up with most of the afternoon and evening free), use whatever toiletries or other "disposable" items are in the room without fear. Don't be afraid to "save" soap, coffee packets, or tea bags -- most hotels tend to have at least a case in the storage room in addition to what the housekeeping staff has access to. Towels and bedding are obviously off-limits (you'd get charged extra for those), but use what's available and don't feel bad if you need a few extra bottles of shampoo or lotion.
    Also, see if the hotel has free razors, toothbrushes, or any other small items you will use (either now or in the future) rather than purchasing them. Take full advantage of the continental breakfasts -- if there's only food for a few hours in the morning, go down to eat and take fruit or cereal or muffins back to the room to eat through the day. Likewise for juice or milk.
    It helps, of course, to be friendly with the staff -- if the breakfast person knows that you're in a tough spot, he or she might hold on to items that are close to expiring for you rather than throwing them out. The housekeepers will be more than happy to only re-make your bed and replace towels and take out trash every day (and space out replacing bedding, as this saves them a good ten minutes or more -- but you'd have to leave a note or call the front desk to make that happen.

    Again, take care, Ruth!

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  59. Ruth, hang in there. I know it's tough now for you, but it WILL get better; things always do, even if it might not seem like it at first. You are a very strong person; I have full faith you will be able to handle whatever comes your way. :-)

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  60. You said he handed you a key to a hotel room? Yeah, he's been nice but just the same, please go to the front desk and either ask them to reprogram the key code or switch you to a different room for your safety. He may have a key too.

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  61. Ruth, as far as working at your school, don't limit yourself to just the library. It might well be worth your time to introduce yourself to people in the alumni office, development/advancement/fund-raising office, and the admissions office during the two weeks before you move back on campus. Most such offices will have opportunities for student employment, and in my experience tend to be staffed by understanding, supportive people.

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  62. The story of Ruth's life has gone from not quite plausible to absurd.

    By her own account she's an impoverished, sickly and quite accident-prone woman who casts herself in this victim light? And that's her good side.

    The bad side, is that people like Ruth lack the ability to see that they are the awkward and unstable party, and cast blame on others.

    Ruth, you may or may not have had a traumatic childhood. That's subjective, and it's hardly productive wallowing in what you see as your miserable past. You're 26 years old, stop acting like a child!

    The saddest part is that I think Ruth may actually believe the rubbish she posts. It's unhealthy for her and those of you who are supporting her nonsense are enabling her in a very negative manner.

    I have read what you wrote about Jack and Jill. I would LOVE to hear their side of the story. I'm sure it would be quite different than yours.

    Try the truth, my dear. It might be good for you.

    ;)

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  63. Wow...the new troll can actually form complete sentences. This can't be the product of a SOTDRT education. Perhaps someone from the Gotthard mothership that was actually educated in a ... school?

    Troll, unless you know Ruth personally, you have no idea what her truth is. And unless you have walked in her shoes (aka lived in her household) you still have no idea what she's lived through.

    I don't think recounting her life counts as playing the victim. I find her quite introspective. I do hope these posters are enabling her -- enabling her to break free of the mind-control of her family's cult.

    If you don't believe her, then why do you visit this blog? Unless your agenda is to cast doubt on people who dare to shed light on the cult.

    Go away troll. But please know I'm happy that someone in the cult knows proper grammar.

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  64. Hello Ruth,

    It must be frustrating to have so many anonymous posters!
    I discovered your blog while reading the Free Jinger forum. I became curious about your story and have been reading your entries, here and on other sites.
    I don't "know" you well enough to figure out what I believe or don't believe about your life. I'm not saying I don't believe you, I'm just shocked by your life story. I believe it is easier to ignore or excuse abuse than it is to face up to the fact that these things really can happen.
    For those who automatically dismiss your stories, I'd like to remind them that life can sometimes be far stranger than fiction.
    I'm glad your safe and hoping you are okay, financially and emotionally. I worry that you are just now learning lessons that most of us learned at a much younger age. I'm so sorry that you were not given the opportunity to grow up at a normal rate. Please, to those who are critical, try to put this in perspective. Ruth was denied the very core of what what makes us strong individuals. She is learning now, so let's be patient?
    A bit of kindness would be nice, too.
    As I said, I am not sure what I think (not does it matter, except to me!) but I tend to think the best of people until proven otherwise.
    Ruth, my words of advice are simple. Remain strong, you've done a great job. Don't take the internet people too seriously. The nicest to the meanest person who posts here should not change your mind.
    You're a free person. And the life you lead will be the one you choose.
    Mary

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  65. Indeed Troll...why are you here? Don't be shy...tell us why you read this blog.

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  66. I would also like to know why the troll reads this blog. Really, what do you get out of just being an anonymous jerk? Is that how you vent your anger about your own life? You don't have to believe her...but why be so vicious? What are you afraid of? What are you mad about?

    Ruth, when you said it was someone who used to use your blog to drive traffic to her own, and that she had a similar upbringing, a name came to mind. Someone who used to post all the time but hasn't in awhile (non-anonymously). If it is who I think it is, I am surprised. But she hasn't been on FJ for awhile, either.

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  67. The bad side, is that people like Ruth lack the ability to see that they are the awkward and unstable party, and cast blame on others.

    Awkward, perhaps - But what indicates to you that Ruth is unstable?

    Or did you just throw that out there as a generic smear?

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  68. I'm with you, Cynthia; I'm torn between wanting to blow up at the troll for being, well, a TROLL, and wanting to thank him (because it MUST be a male) for proper grammar and punctuation. Decisions, decisions...

    Oh, to hell with it: TROLL! SERIOUSLY, THIS IS THE WAY YOU CHOOSE TO SPEND YOUR TIME??? If you don't believe her, GO AWAY.

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  69. Walk very far and very fast away from this family or I fear "Jack" will be calling about how his wife "doesn't understand him." Glad you are out of there and ok though!

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  70. Oh, it is definitely a generic smear, DaveL...and one, I will point out, that has always been leveled at women who stand up against their abusers. SOP

    These days, the tactic is so easily debunked that I'm guessing the Troll is one of these older abusive types who didn't get the memo...or possibly Jill.

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  71. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that it's best to err on the side of caution regarding Jack. Maybe I'm not as paranoid as I thought...

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  72. Lainey,
    I don't think you're being paranoid.
    Caution is very reasonable in this situation.
    Ruth, I hope you're feeling better.
    Please let us know how you're doing when you have time.

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  73. Lainey - I'm pretty sure I know who it is too. Some people are just pissed at the world, I guess.

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  74. /whistle

    A lot of strong opinions on here.

    First, I wouldn't worry about Jack and Jill and the boys. I'm sure you're very sensitive to the way parents treat their children but I'm sure things will work out and they'll be fine. Parents fight sometimes. /shrugs Trying to check on a boy who's mother is obviously angry with you is a bit like messing with a wasp nest but live and learn I suppose. :)

    Second, I hope you don't blame yourself for any of this. Every one of us has had a bad employer at one point or another but most of us have been fortunate enough that we didn't live with them and had some other safety nets available so they were limited in how much drama they could bring into our lives.

    I wouldn't keep in contact with them in the future. Perhaps a letter thanking them both if you really feel the need. But honestly I would just try to move on mentally as quickly as possible. :)

    P.s. Ignore the comment about you seeking help from the opposite sex. It was a good idea to just get out of there and you called someone who could help you do that. Nothing wrong with that.

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  75. Yikes. Crazy comes in all forms, doesn't it?

    That must have been horribly uncomfortable and sad and scary.

    Here's hoping things will stabilize for you soon!

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  76. Meh. A troll. How original.

    Ruth, criticism always follows trail blazers.
    Don't allow one or two voices sneer their way into stopping the telling of your story.
    For every one troll, there are a dozen more people cheering you on.

    Im hope you are doing okay.

    -Jenny

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  77. To anonymous:
    Just this past few months, my dog was diagnosed with leukemia, my grandma died, my mom had her 3rd knee replacement, and I had to drop all my classes to care for her. Shit happens. Sometimes all at once. If I wrote a blog, it would be a ridiculous, depressing story, because I've been hit by everything lately. It's definitely possible that Ruth could have hit her rough patch too. I don't have a hard time believing she had leg issues, re-injured her leg, and worked for a bitchy lady. That stuff happens every day. While I respect that you question Ruth's truth, just try to keep an open mind. I don't sit and read her blog and think "this is 100% truth", because everyone has a different truth and different take on situations. But I do enjoy her posts and hope that she can overcome her obstacles. If you are who everyone says you are, then you know about abuse and how life can definitely have its ups and downs. Anyone who is abused (and I don't just mean ATI/QF people) deserves a time to tell their story, with support. Sometimes you don't get justice on this earth (abuser going to jail etc.), and the only thing you can do is tell your story and comfort those who have suffered similar circumstances.

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  78. I also forgot to add to my post above that I had to go to the ER just for myself 3 times in 4 months. Ovarian cyst, kidney stone, concussion. I thought the ER might post me on a secret list for hypochondriacs hah. But all of these things were real. I am lucky to have insurance, but a lot of people don't and injuries disrupt everything. Just another thought I wanted to add.

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  79. Ruth, you know, many people lock their blogs down against anonymous comments. I don't think it's silencing debate to do so, even if it means I have to go get an OpenID. People have a right to have every opinion in the world; that doesn't mean it's censorship not to invite them into your living room to have them; the same rule holds for blogs. Not everyone (as you have found this week!) is prepared to engage with topics honestly or reasonably.

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  80. If you don't want to close your comments to thhe anonymouses, maybe you can put one of those widgets on your blog that lets everyone know the posters generic location.... ie poduck, arkansas or that they came here via Jane Doe's blog.

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  81. I like Sam's idea. It might dissuade trolls from posting if they knew you'd know where they were posting from.

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  82. I have a pretty good guess at who the troll in question is. She's a narcissist, fond of tearing Ruth down in front of people who don't keep up with this blog. When you visit her own blog, you're struck by a picture of her own face so big you have to scroll past it to see any text.

    I'm glad Harris was there for you, Ruth. It sounds like there is a lot going on beneath the surface of that marriage, and I'm hesitant to place all the blame on Jill's shoulders. For all we know, Jack could be a hopeless philanderer whom Jill can't trust around other women. Or he could be really cutting when speaking to her and put up a veneer of niceness with people outside his family. Or she could just be a bitch. But please, let's not take their relationship at face value.

    -Anne

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  83. Anonymous Anne at 11:26 is probably the same person that left a very mean comment on the blog she is referring to.
    You clearly have some issues and I suggest that you take your private fights somewhere else and don't diagnose people you don't know.

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  84. Anonymous Version 2.0August 3, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    Talking about "diagnosing people you don't know", "Anonymous Anne" isn't the only one doing it (if she IS doing it). How about the people on this blog quit "diagnosing" Jack and Jill (why not Hanzel and Gretel, or Ike and Tina) for that matter and shut the hello up. Quit picking on posters you don't agree with and calling them trolls.

    Seems to me that some people here are no different than the cultists Ruth left behind. Apparently, if one doesn't participate in "groupthink" and echo the same sentiments as your typical know-it-all 20 year-old, then one gets attacked by volassa raptors...err, I mean "posters." Some of you posters give "mean girls" a run for their money. Take your bad selves and blank off. Thanks.

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  85. Uhm...a little discrimination, plz?

    Trolls who seek to hamstring a brave young woman who is struggling to build an adult life w/o the basic tools the rest of us were given...education, work experience, family support, etc...are rightly called out on their BS.

    Other speculations are appropriate in that Ruth has less in the way of life experience, and should protect herself. My own sense is that concerns about Jack are a little over the top, BUT...my guess is that Anonymous Version 2.0 would be the first to blame Ruth if something bad did happen.

    Stuff your criticisms, Anonymous Version 2.0...we'll call out the trolls as we damn well see fit, starting with YOU.

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  86. This is starting to become some RR cult and I don't blame Ruth for that. If somebody doesn't agree with every comment here, then it's a troll??

    For your information (I am Anonymous 2.0) I believe RR is telling her story, I have sent her money on more than one occasion and I feel horrible that she was exploited as an unpaid nanny this summer. I wish her the best.

    I still think we could stay on the subject here and not start accusing another blogger of being a mean stalker with a mental illness.
    If anonymous 1.0 has an issue with some other blogger, I suggest that she can discuss it on that blog and not bring her fights here.

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  87. ::engages in good faith::.

    A personal blog is not a scientific paper or journalistic publication; generally, personal attacks are considered as rude as they would be in a conversation, not as rude as they would be if they were letters to the editor or speculation about a tv character. I certainly hope that we aren't jumping all over people whose opinions wouldn't be rude if they were said out loud at a dinner party, but I think we can agree that no one would walk up to a woman at a dinner party and tell her she always needs to be rescued by a man and is probably having an affair with an employer. I admit that this particularly tugs at my sentiments because the average personal blog is locked down against anonymous comments, because the average blogger understands that people on the internet are sometimes jerks for no good reason - it gives some people a thrill. I've not seen anything that we've jumped all over that could be construed as constructive, with the exception of us getting all righteous about labor law - a stance, I would note, that Ruth hasn't posted any opinion on.

    I do agree that Ruth doesn't need us to troop around the internet on quests for vengeance against other bloggers - she hasn't asked for such a thing, and we're not Free Republic.

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  88. I started the Troll comments. I have encouraged Ruth to let the blog remain open to all posters, but when someone comes on as anonymous and does a "hit and run" post that does nothing but attack, it's fair game to be labeled a troll.

    People can say "wow, I grew up in ATI and this wasn't my experience". But the people who refuse to post with a consistent name and who offer nothing but deconstructive comments don't deserve my consideration.

    I post everything under my google account. Why can't these people have the courage of their convictions and come out from hiding?

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  89. What Cynthia said.

    If you're gonna say it, have the courage to identify yourself. You don't have to use your real name, after all.

    I think closing a blog to anonymous comments is reasonable. In publishing, even positive letters to the editor have to include identifying information if they are to be considered for publication.

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  90. I post under my google account as well. On other blogs I've posted as anonymous because I don't have an account to use. So it's not just about trying to be anonymous. Of course, I am not a troll. Even if I did doubt Ruth, I'd never be so rude as to post nasty comments. I think that she should seek out workers comp if she needs it, as I've said. That was a good point too that it was an illegal eviction, I wish I'd have thought of that myself.

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  91. Ruth is a grown-up and a smart cookie, and I think she can protect herself against drive-by idiots while leaving the anonymous option open for current and former ATI-ers in her situation, for whom it might not be safe or at least wise to comment under an identity. Even registering an account under a pseudonym can be terrifying to those in abusive or patriarchal environments.

    Ruth, I don't care what kind of sheltered life you led, you did what I and anyone I know would have done if we were about to become homeless -- accepted employment, and made it last the majority of the summer to boot. Whatever environmental limitations you came into adulthood with, I'd say you've licked the majority of them. Truth is, most of us don't know what the heck we're doing from one phase of life to the next; we're all just winging it. I know you're continuing to work on the baggage from childhood, and you should really should be proud of yourself -- you're doing great!

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  92. *rolls her eyes at 2.0s rant*

    I find it curious that the last person I can recall being so angry over the support shown to Ruth on her blog is Darth Daddy.

    We may not always agree with each other in the comments but general folks are quite decent.
    The exception to the rule would be Ruths family, ATIA-er, and random trolls...folks like 2.0 who jump in with the hand slapping to dumb down the conversation.

    How lame.

    Ruth, if you do go to using a more filtered comments set up, Ill get an ID.

    -Jenny

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  93. i'm sorry you had to get into the middle of their marital dispute. obviously, their marriage had issues and it really wasn't your fault that any of this happened. it's hard to work for a non-communicative couple (or industry!) but that's often how it is in real life. i've had jobs where one person told me one thing and another told me the opposite and i was expected to make both of them happy... yeah, leaving is about the only thing you can do when you get caught up in that sort of situation. i also don't believe there was anything you could really do to foresee that without being excessively nosey.

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  94. A CULT?!?!?! LMAO, honey, you obviously don't know what a cult REALLY is.

    No, some of us just think people who always have to be negative and try to bring down those who are already struggling are just losers. That's all. Maybe we can call ourselves "The Cult of the Decent Human Beings"?

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  95. Yeah...it is comments like this:

    This is starting to become some RR cult and I don't blame Ruth for that.

    ...that inspire the snarky responses, Version 2.0.

    I confess to being uncomfortable with the kneejerk psych evals of Jack-Jill.

    But if the plan is to waltz in here, post insulting, mean-spirited, negative attacks on Ruth for the sole purpose of undermining her confidence and progress...it is troll behavior and it gets called out.

    If our responses are what constitute an incipient "cult" mindset...then standing up for ANY reason reflects cult mentality... by your lights.

    Ease off. And I do get that I used provocative, offensive language...and will do better in the future.

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  96. Ruth,
    Years ago when my children were small, I had occasions to hire a person to help with my children. Most of the time, it was because I needed to work. The only time I did not pay the person was the one time we went on a one week vacation and brought a young girl that we knew well. We paid for a plane ticket and for admission to a theme park. we also gave her spending money as we would have our own child. But she was only 16 and therefore, she was a child. We also got made legal arrangements to obtain healthcare for her if it was needed.

    We never had the sort of drama that you had, but there was always tension. Many of the folks did a fine job and cared for my children in good conscience, but differences seemed always to occur. I think it is the nature of the kind of work it is. You are caring for someone else's children. That said, I think that Jill needs to do some self-work.

    In the final analysis, you were in a tough situation and the set up mostly got you through the summer. Chalk it up to experience. See if you can get state medical coverage. Look at various housing options so that you do not have a housing issue in the summers. Look into a part time job during the school year for some extra cushion moneywise.

    It is time for the next adventure

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  97. Hey Ruth, last year wasn't your first year of school, was it? What did you do last summer?

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  98. Lainey, yes, last year WAS her first year of school....she was a freshman..granted a 25 yo freshman, but a freshman, nonetheless.

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  99. Just an idea and probably a bad one considering the problems you have with your leg, however, I want to suggest to you that you might also look into waitress jobs where you are tipped. I worked my way through 4 years of University this way, paying for my tuition, car expenses, room and board and only left school with $10,000 in student loan debt. I'd say that's pretty good without scholarships. (note this was in the 80s) My point being that while a library job is good consistant work, a weekend waitress job in addition isnt a bad idea. That is if you're physically capable. Best of luck to you.

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  100. Ruth,

    Just checking in, hoping everything's ok. :o)

    And, something my mom told me in college:

    "Sometimes the jobs you have are more valuable because you learn you DON'T want to do that job anymore."

    I pass that on to you. Sometimes what you're good at isn't what you want to do.

    I wish you many many good things! Hope all is going well!

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  101. It's late, I know that, but my two cents if you read this:

    You're not naive, you're inexperienced. There is a difference. You're not going to know everything - you never will - and given your upbringing, it wouldn't be surprising if you were a little behind in the School of Cynicism.

    Without being too armchair pop psychologist, it does sound as though Jack is a good guy, and there is something else going on in their marriage. Is Jill a total whacknut? Hard to say. It does sound as though she wasn't being rational at the time though, and hadn't been thinking rationally for a little while. Maybe because of marriage stresses unknown.

    I agree that a friend is a friend, regardless of gender. I've always had more guy friends than girls, and it's never bothered me. People who have problems with cross-gender friendships are projecting their own problems and insecurities onto them.

    In the end, this is no doubt something that you've learned from. Count me as one of your supporters offering you a hug and encouragement. You're not perfect, but then again, neither am I. :)

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