Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hectic week

This week was hectic. This RA position is great but it does require more work than I anticipated. It's not "hard" work. It's just more distracting than I originally thought it would be. An example - I'm in my room, working on my own paper and a resident comes in to complain that she can't work on her paper because her neighbor is too loud. I go to mediate the problem. It's remedied and I go back to my room to work on my paper. *knock knock knock* It's another resident who can't get a plug in a bathroom to work. I call maintenance and go put a note on the outlet. Back to the paper - *knock knock* - "Ruth? Can you come out here and see if Jane Doe is in her room because her parents have been calling and she's not answering and she's been feeling sick." Turns out Jane Doe is fine and just had her phone off. I'm halfway through the paper and, yes, I realize I should be writing my paper instead of writing here.

In other news, my dad is back to his old tricks. I went to my mailbox and found a bill from him. It was from his "attorney" (I say it in quotations because his attorney isn't really an attorney, but a paralegal from an online university). My dad billed me for posting my blog about my running away because it is tarnishing his reputation. I can't help but laugh at him a little. How badly would his reputation be tarnished if I outed him? So I say this to my father - your bill is a joke and I would like you to leave me alone. I won't take the bait by calling you or responding to your threat (because that's all it really is) personally. School legal counsel says your "bill" is uncollectable.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

49 Character Qualities of Ruth - 22 (I think)

I was taken back to the station. Officer Barney* and Officer Crouch* (*obviously pseudonyms) spoke to me very little on the way to the station, but the questions they did ask were sympathetic. They wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing - as a minor (technically), I was a runaway. It didn't matter that I was several weeks shy of 18, I was a minor. They made sure I understood that there was a very good chance I would be sent home with my parents anyway. I understood. I had just come to far to turn back now.

We got to the station and they led me into a room. I'd only been in there a few minutes when Officer Barney came in with the attorney the Kline's had found for me. Attorney Dana* said she'd called protective services and pulled some strings but that, unless I could prove the engagement and that it was against my will, I would likely have to go home to my parents. I'd have to emancipate myself if I couldn't prove their was abuse and that process was likely to take longer than my turning 18. Proving the engagement was pretty easy. I had a ring. When I got to the Kline's, I'd taken it off my finger and tossed it into my bag. Since my possessions were taken from me when we entered the station, the ring was retrieved and catalogued as "evidence". Then there was my journal. The journal I kept could be used as evidence. The problem was that I had left it behind. The only way to get it would be through my parents and you can imagine how asking for it might not work out. We decided to call my brother and see if he could get to our house and get it under the auspices of getting me some "modest clothing". It worked. We got my journal.

Skipping ahead a few hours, when my brother arrived at the station with the journal, my attorney decided to have my brother call Adam. Adam knew I'd ran and as soon as my brother started speaking, he launched into a verbal tirade and demanded to speak to me. He made the mistake of yelling, loud enough for us all to hear, that I was "his property" and that if I didn't start "behaving as a righteous wife should" I would be "sorry". He also added that it was my "duty to submit to him in all ways a wife should". At this, the attitude in the room changed. As soon as my brother hung up, the cops started looking for reasons to keep me from going home. The answer had been staring us in the face the whole time - Adam was not a minor. Adam was an adult who had just referred to a minor as "property", with the expectation of submission and the suggestion of abuse. My lawyer asked for an immediate sitting with the presiding judge. It was granted (small municipalities do have their advantages). It was scheduled for the next day and, after being apprised of the situation by their own attorney, through my attorney, they (my parents) agreed to let me go home with my brother and to not contacting me until after the hearing.

I didn't sleep much that night. I couldn't help but fear for everyone who had helped me get as far as I'd got. I also feared that everyone who had helped me would see that I wasn't worth it and that I should just go home. It's hard to be rational at times like those and my upbringing didn't raise me to feel worthy of help. I knew that, in the morning, I would see my parents,...see my mom and maybe my siblings and I wasn't sure if I could handle that. I had this idea in my head that I was still in this alone.

The next day, I was stunned when I approached the courtroom and saw a crowd of people. In attendance were the Klines, the two cops who had first reponded to the Kline's, Officers Barney and Crouch, a social worker, and two friends of my brother's who knew Adam. My parents were there as well, with their attorney.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Question from blog comments - How well were you prepared (by your homeschool education) for entry into college? Did you require any additional preparation/remediation before you enrolled in college/university?

I think I may have answered this in another post but now seems like as good a time as any to give it another shot.

I was most decidedly unprepared in several subjects. In Math, I was actually pretty well situated for entry into an Algebra 2 class because my mom had been a math teacher. She made sure we studied math beyond our designated home school curriculum. I like to think it was her way of preparing us for a better chance at life.

In reading, I scored very well but didn't have the depth that most children have. I *could* read, I just wasn't allowed much variety. I was also never asked to dissect anything literary. That was a skill I had to learn - I think most children learn that pretty early on. When I "graduated" homeschool, my book reports were about a page long and they were really just summaries of a story with no personal insight and no explanation of cultural signifigance.

My grammar was pretty horrendous and I'm still working on that.

History was very difficult for me because of the sanitized and re-written version I'd been raised on. I had to take several survey courses at an adult school/commuinity college to catch up to an acceptable EIGHTH grade level.

Science was largely ignored, except for what passed as a science education in our Wisdom Books. That meant starting from the basics when I left. I had to learn the proper scientific methodology and language.

It took me, literally, years of "adult" education to be able to apply to a university.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More questions

Grace asked - Do you ever want to return to your parents? Many women who have escaped abusive religious groups often do.

I think it's too late now. Returning to my parents in the role of a dependent, subservient, submissive child couldn't happen. I've changed too much and I don't believe what they believe any longer. I'd like to think that they understand that my return to that lifestyle would be impossible for me. Would I love to return to my parents home and have a relationship? Yes. Yes, I would like that very much and I pray for it to happen. There are definitely things I miss about my family. Though there was much that was bad about my life, there were good things and I miss those things. I miss watching my sisters grow and I miss being present for the big family functions. We're all growing up and, with the exception of Blessing and I, all had very close relationships. Walking out of the room my sisters and I shared was the most difficult walk of my life and to say I have zero regret or guilt over leaving them would be a lie, also.

CT asked - In your opinion (or from stories you've heard) do you think other QF families would have been willing to arrange a different marriage? Or do you believe it's normal for the children to be told they just haven't been praying right if something feels wrong to them?

I don't quite understand the first part of your question. I think you're asking if, for example, in my situation, if most QF families would have said, "Ok. You don't like Adam, let's move on to Bob!"? Like everything, I can't really answer that for every other QF family because they're all different. In ATI, there's a certain stigma attached to girls who turn down "suitable" arrangements - especially after the "courtship" has gone on so long as mine did. There's the thought that the girl can't be tamed, so to speak, if she doesn't obey her parents or follow God's, alleged, plan for her. The men/boys in ATI tend to get more leeway in choice and attraction. I saw this in play with my brothers and the lessons they were given (or shared with me later). For example, boys are told to keep their heart and eyes open for God's direction, just as girls are, but they're allowed to voice their attractions more openly than girls are. If a boy sees a girl he finds attractive, he can approach her or her family and pursue her or talk to his parents about her. If a girl sees a young man she's attracted to, she's really not supposed to indulge any thoughts of dating him or pursuing him because, as it goes, if God means for her to be with that boy, it will be revealed through prayer, her parents, or him pursuing her. Does that make sense?

It's pretty common, if not normal, for children to be told that they're not approaching a situation with a pure heart or a right spirit if they differ with their parents. But I'm not sure that's a soley QF/ATI problem. Most parents influence their children or try to get them to see things from their point of view and through the glasses of their family's values. The difference between a "common" family and an ATI family is the recourse. I would imagine that, in a "commmon" family, the child has the resources and the ability to do what they will with their lives without the fear of losing EVERYTHING to go against their parents. In alot of the families I knew (but not ALL), the cost of going against your parents was total and complete isolation and lack of support. You're not prepared to be an independent entity, to a large extent.

I hate to get on a soapbox but I fear that's where this is headed. My family encouraged females to be totally dependent on someone else. All of us kids were homeschooled and isolated within a strict community of like minded people and there's a lot of group-think pressure to conform. There's also a great deal of pressure to rat out others under the veil of "being your brother's keeper". There's just so much going against an ATI kid who wants to get out. Most kids just conform to avoid the scary prospect of doing anything else.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yon's question

Yon Gin asked - I was arranged marriage. Was not bad in long time, was scary in you begin. Why you run if you raise that way to be arranged?

I'm honored that someone from another culture is reading this blog. Yon Gin has asked questions before and she is legit (not a troll). Yon, I respect that arranged marriage has worked in other circumstances and was the predominant tradition for several eras. I know that some people are happy with their arranged marriage - I'm happy for them that it worked out.

The way *I* was raised, despite what many people think, was not to prepare for an arranged marriage. That's the duality of the ATI and patriarchy movement. When you're small and even when you're not-so-small, they tell you that JESUS has already chosen your partner. They tell you that the 'one god has for you' is waiting and praying for you and you should pray for him. They don't tell you who that person is. There's a lot of talk about saving yourelf for that person and how your parents will help you know who he is but they don't outright tell you, when you're young, that your parents will pick this person for you. They don't tell you that the talk about YOU praying about a match won't mean a hill of beans because the decision will have already been made for you. It's not the arranged marriage part that bothered me as much as the forced marriage part. I wasn't ready for ANY marriage (I'm still not) let alone marriage to someone I hated. He wasn't the sort of man I was told to wait for or give myself to but because he was a benefit to my father, I was expected to capitulate. When my parents and my faith group were talking to me about being a jewel in my husband's crown, they never told me I would have to ignore the instincts and ignore what I felt God was telling me. It's so hard for me to explain this to anyone who hasn't been there. I hope I'm explaining it right. It isn't like I had feelings for anyone else or wanted someone different and that's why I rebelled. That's not it either. I just knew it wasn't Adam who "God had for me" and I guess I didn't trust my parents enough (when it comes right down to it) to be carrying out God's will. (pause)

After I wrote that last paragraph I had to take a break because it's the first time I've put that out there so plainly. I didn't trust my parents. Even though it went against everything I'd been taught about parental authority and honoring that authority - I didn't. I wanted to with all my heart but I couldn't - I imagine it's in the same way that you can love your best friend but still turn them in for beating their child or wife. You know in your heart what is wrong and what my parents were attemptimg to do was wrong. Even my mother.

Back to the question - I was raised to trust God and give my parents authority over my life. When Adam was put before me, I just realized doing both wasn't possible. God, in my head, was telling me no.

How would you all answer Yon's question?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

More questions brought up a point that needs clarification. She ( was concerned and voiced her feelings about my posting about Harris' "proposal". She thought it was in bad taste for me to post because I said, in her words, "no". I can see where she was coming from, and had I said, "No" or "I'll think about it." I would agree that it would be in poor taste to share that with the world - it would be embarassing for the man who asked. So please allow me to clarify what happened and maybe that will make it better. Harris didn't present me with a ring, really, or get down on one knee or make some production out of it. He and I were driving back from the reunion and he asked how I felt about marriage, given my past. I said that I think I'll get married someday and he said, "Would you marry me if I asked you right now?" I asked if he was serious and he said, "I think I am." I said that I loved him and I could see myself with him forever, but not "right now". The rest of what was said is kind of private (as far as specifics and emotions we shared) but the gist was what I wrote about in my last post - that we do see ourselves together but an official "proposal/engagement" needs to wait a bit and a marriage shouldn't happen until school is finished. I hope that clarifies the situation.

Fran -Why did you post the financial question and not my question? My question was how are you planning to support yourself when your blog income dries up and no one cares about you story? Why aren't you spending your swagbucks? Why don't you give money to No Longer Quivering?
Fran, I didn't ignore your question. When I do posts like these, I do them in increments. I start a post, then click over to another page or start a conversation or do something else and then come back to finish it. The last question on my last post wasn't supposed to be the end of the post but I ran out of time and decided to go ahead and post what I had. Why did I post the answer to that question? I don't know. It's been asked a lot over the last several weeks and it was just the next question on my list. Yours was, logically, the next question and here's the answer.

This blog generates very little "income". In fact, I wouldn't even classify it as "income". With the exception of one or two larger "tips", this blog might make $40 on a good month. That includes tips and the $1 I may earn from Amazon associates. Some months, there's nothing at all. It ALL HELPS and I appreciate every single dollar that someone tips. It's still not the income generator some people imagine it is and that makes me chuckle a little. I wish it was enough to be my "income". If I could blog and make enough to live that would be fantastic but I understand that only happens for a few bloggers. The swagbucks are being saved until I can buy my own laptop because that's what I told people they would go for.

Why don't I give money to No Longer Quivering? That's a good question. I should and if I had "extra" income I would. But thank you for reminding me that I should make them a priority for charity. If anyone would like to donate to them, please do so. For those who still want to donate here, then from now on I can pledge a percentage to NLQ and have Vyckie verify my donation if it makes you feel better. Personally, I would rather you donate straight to her if you want to see money go to NLQ because why go through a middle man?

Lane asked - Do you want children? How many?
Right now I do not want children of my own but that may change as I get older. I don't see myself having more than two.

In the same area, Kevin asked - "Do you know if your siblings want as many children as your parents or the Duggars?"
I can't answer for all of them. I know one sibling is fully committed to QF and would have as many as they could. Another says they will let God decide but they've not been quick on the draw. It could be that they're having problems or that they've decided to wait or something. Two others want no children (as far as I know). The rest I have no idea. Except for the first one I mentioned, I don't see any of us having as many as my parents had. For one, my mom (and Mrs. Duggar and Mrs. Bates) seem to be extremely fertile. I don't think that sort of family size happens naturally in many cases. Also, I don't know that they'd say it publicly, but I suspect that many QF, second generation children grew up with the poverty and lack of resources that comes with being a QF kid and they may not be very excited about having their children grow up in the same environment.