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.


  1. I know how you feel. I was an RA for 2 years, and I loved the job, but there were days...

    My tip, which is one I would also tell the new RA's as they came in: when you have work and you aren't on duty, don't try to do it in your room. Something will happen, someone will need you. I would always do it in the library or in a friend's room in another dorm. Also, I would suggest having a place you can go every now and again for "me time". That's the one bad thing about RA life, your room is your office, not your sanctuary. So having a place you can go where you can't be bothered is something that will save your sanity.

    I'm sorry about your dad. But I guess it's a good thing that he doesn't have a real lawyer. I'm a paralegal too, and that "bill" made me laugh.

  2. Huzzahs to you, Ruth, for being able to laugh at your dad's maneuvers. How far you've come if you are able to laugh straightaway without first reacting to the power-position he used to hold in your psyche! I am so delighted for you!

    And THAT, Daddy Darth, is the saddest commentary of your life--that you, with your pretension and aspirations of power and control, become a laughingstock, not only to we who populate the internet but to the ones you worked so hard to co-opt.

    I still pray for you every day, you know, that God's grace will fall like rain into your granite heart until it cracks wide open--until the day your heart grows three sizes and you hear the Daroo Dormay sung. Until you realize that God's love comes to all "without boxes and bags", without rules and dogma, without umbrellas and hedges. Until you are so overwhelmed by the vast unfathomable reaches of God's love that you fall down weeping.

  3. Ruth's father, you are so pathetic that it's laughable! You billed Ruth for "tarnishing your repuation? Are you serious? We don't even know who you actually are, you creep. Secondly, you figured out a "quantifiable" amount for the tarnishment? That is beyond laughable!

    How much much did it cost Ruth to try to straighten up her life after years of damage that you did to her as well as your other children? How much is it STILL costing her and will continue to cost her for the rest of her life, you pathetic little prick of a man?

    You are a weak man who sold out your soul, destroyed your wife's soul, all for a limp-dick like Bill Gothard.

    You are truly sad. Some day when you are an old man, living alone, you will think about all the shitty things you did to your family your whole life. You will realize how you could have had it all: a beautiful, loving wife full of joy and love for you, children that would love you and cherish you as their father, granchildren that love and cherish you. Instead you gave all that up to follow an a-hole like Bill Gothard. Man, you messed up big time!!! Yeah, you have people with you only because you trained them to be brainless robots. Do you think they would stay with you if they had a choice??? How awesome it must feel that your wife is still with you because you're convinced her that she must stay with you and follow your sorry a*s to get into heaven? You sould like some fricking FLDS minus the multiple wives.

    One of these days, I guarantee you that you will see the error of your ways and you will finally awaken to it. Wow, what a stupid mistake you made. And what's worse is that you continue to blame everything on others, especially Ruth. What the hello is wrong with you?? Oh, why do I even ask? Go stick that umbrella of protection you carry with you 24/7 up your behind.

  4. School legal counsel says your "bill" is uncollectable." Ruth, it's definitely "uncollectable." What you should do with it though is save it and use it for the book that you should write when you finish school. How ridiculous it is for your father to send you a bill for something so stupid. Notice how he doesn't see that he did anything wrong - as usual. All he sees is what is "being done to him." That's the problem with Christian fundies (most of them) - they are all "professional victims." Everyone is always trying to "get them", is "after them." It's the tie that binds for all purposes and intents. It's "them" against the world. In all essence, the world is saying, "go blank off" because it's sick of them, but they refuse to listen and go away. The only way that they draw importance to themselves is the self-perceived "persecution."

  5. That's so funny. I mean wow. that man is really a peice of work. I wish you could black out all identifying parts and post it so I can laugh at it some more.

  6. Isn't it illegal for a paralegal to pose as an attorney? You might report that paralegal to the relevant authorities in whichever state he is in.

  7. "Uncollectable", eh? That's certainly a very charitable way to put it. Definitely keep it, though. File it away with anything else he may have sent you. If you don't already have court papers and police reports from when you ran away, see if you can get copies.

    He may eventually try to intimidate you with an actual libel lawsuit. If that happens, having that paper trail of harassment would make it rather hard for him to stand up in open court and say "Vindictive control freak? Moi?"

  8. The "character quality" that fits this post best is:

    "Creativity vs. Underachievement

    Approaching a need, a task, an idea from a new perspective (Romans 12:2)"

    Ruth, your creativity and your common sense make you so bright that you shine!

    I'm betting you're becoming one of the best RA's ever, and congrats for seeing straight through your dad's totally unsubtantiated attempt to intimidate you.


  9. Wow, being an RA is good prep for being a mom. I wasn't an RA and still found it helpful to do my work at the library--too many people to talk to and play with in the dorm. Even now I head to the library to grade papers when home gets too distracting.

  10. OUT HIM!! That would be the best thing to do. He can't sue you for that either because you are allowed to tell anyone you want your name and that of your family.

  11. He BILLED you for telling your own story???

    Gosh, Darth Pater, if you think your reputation has been sullied that much, why not sue for libel? Come on, don't be shy! Of course, your identity will be made public, as will all the reasons why your daughter is telling the truth, and that might kind of suck, and you might wind up in jail for child abuse, and you'd definitely look like an idiot in the eyes of your demented little peer group and... oh. Guess that's why you have to keep trying to be sneaky about it.


  12. Ruth, your "father" is only showing how desperate he is to maintain his own reputation. He doesn't care about anything but his image. Laugh it off as much as you can, and blow it off otherwise.

    I'll second/third/fifth the suggestions to find a new homework spot. Yes, your job as an RA is to take care of your residents, but your job as a student is to do well in class and get your assignments done. Save things that can be interrupted for your "duty" time, and take more work-intensive papers and projects to a study room. Maybe you can use an empty classroom during the day -- I'd ask an advisor or a professor for feedback. Mention that you're an RA and that you've bonded with your residents, but you need a quiet place to work.

    Take care of yourself, Ruth! That includes getting your work done. :) Take some time to breathe.

  13. Hahahahahahaha at Daddy Darth. I am laughing at you. Laughing at you until my sides hurt. Oh I wish I could stop laughing at your attempts to salvage "your reputation."

    Ruth, we're behind you 100%. You need anything, just ask.

  14. Oh dear, your dad is desperate. I've got this mental image of this 3-ft tall little man whom no one notices, jumping up and down and screaming "PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!" because nobody cares what he has to say and he can't deal with it. What will he think of next?

    My mother's mentally ill and she's always going on about suing people for things that you can't actually sue people for. She also likes to call the police and "report" things that never happened, or that nobody cares about but her. Your dad reminds me of that. He's probably got some sort of mental illness. I don't think that's an excuse to behave like that, though.

  15. what if you billed HIM for all the grief and pain he has caused you all these years.... it would be in the millions of dollars....

  16. Now that he's escalating, I'm going to post something I've been thinking about letting you know for awhile. Sadly, I have much experience with the escalating control-freak Christian parent. My mother was a lot like your father. Not a Gothardite, but the same sort of hyper-fundie rigid control freak with a deep narcissistic streak. During the years I was 19 through 28, she successfully got a Christian doctor (who I didn't know was Christian or I'd never have been using him) to break HIPAA and tell her my medical information and a bank to violate federal laws and tell her my banking information. I've been amazed at what people will do when they're approached in the spirit of "The Lord put it on my heart that you would help me. My child is a prodigal...."

    Anyway, I say all that to let you know that this sort of periodic pulling-a-control-freak-stunt isn't going to get better until you get married. Not saying you should rush into anything, but as long as your parents are your legal next of kin, you're vulnerable. (In most states it goes spouse-adult children-parents-adult siblings). In the event anything serious happens to you, your parents regain control of decision-making about your body and your life. I got medical power of attorney for a good friend before I had surgery a few years ago, and it was glorious. When my parents showed up at the hospital demanding to see me, the friend pulled rank and had the doctors and hospital answering to her and her only. I elected to only get the medical form and to just change banks and doctors. If you want the full gamut of protection, I would suggest looking for a website for gay partners or other partners in your state who are unable to marry legally and getting the same legal paperwork for yourself that they have.

  17. That's a good idea, hollygirl. If you could, please email me and tell me how you went about the power of attorney for medical things and what criteria you used to choose your representative. I would appreciate it.

  18. Donna
    I am sorry I know you were venting, but heck all your *expletives* and colourful names made me laugh my head off.

    We all should have a good laugh. Darth Daddy you hear us? We are laughing out loud.

  19. Hey Ruth,
    As someone who just did about 6 of these forms last week, I can tell you about the medical power of attorney. The form is called a Durable Power of Attorney (DPA), and it's very standard. In it, you actually choose 2 people. First, you elect a primary. Then, in the event that the primary is unable for whatever reason to act, you elect a secondary. Also, you can create guidelines for your medical treatment that must be followed (most people use this to opt out of life support or resuscitation, but it can be more than that).

    It is most common to use family members as your representatives. Mainly because your DPA stands until you officially revoke it. So, if you choose a friend and then you have a falling out, they move away, you go your separate ways, etc. and you don't amend or revoke your DPA, they could find themselves representing someone they haven't spoken to in years. Personally, and as someone in the field, I would choose your brother to be your primary. He knows your values, he's willing to stick up for you, and you have a solid relationship where you can depend on him to be there.

    DPA's are done by most lawyers. They're easy-breezy forms, but you DO want to have it done by a lawyer in your state and you want to make sure he/she is familiar with your unique situation so that the form can be tailored to be appropriate. If you have one done, keep the original in the safest place possible (safety deposit boxes are recommended), and get a copy to give to the person you designate as a primary. That way, your representative can begin acting for you right away and has more time to get the original.

  20. I don't know if I'd let your brother do it. If something happened to you and you were incapacitated, your parents may be able to brow beat him into doing what they want.

    I'd suggest Harris. I think he's probably the main person in your life that has your best interests at heart completely.

    If you do end up breaking up, you can always change things.

    Lauren H.


    You can also do just a Power of Attorney (POA) form. I haven't done one of those in forever, though, because laws in this state make DPA's more practical. But it may be that in your state and in your case a POA may be better. A lawyer (and not a paralegal like me) would know for sure.

  22. Here's why I don't think Harris would be a good choice (yet):

    Any action involving a lawyer is not going to be cheap. These things aren't bad for something you do once every 10 or so years (if that! Many people only do them twice in their lives!), but it's not something you want to have to do again in even 5 years. It's expensive. It's a hassle. It's annoying. Also, at least in my state, doing one for a specific time frame (i.e. surgery) is very different from one that free stands. The form I used to create my grandmother as my rep during my throat surgery would not stand if I tried to use it to block my parents should something major happen to me.

    Basic criteria for choosing a rep: choose someone you will be comfortable with as your rep for 10 years. If you're not comfortable making that commitment, then it's a risk to name them.

  23. Wow. I never cease to be amazed at what people will do when they're convinced they are supposed to have complete and utter control over someone else. Billing you for talking about your experiences? The only way I can imagine that your father came up with that is a mix of libel (only works if it's false!) and copyright infringement. Still, that's a huge leap of logic, and I wonder about that "paralegal."

    I used to be an RA myself, and I second the advice of the other posters. As much of a pain in the butt it is to pack up and find somewhere else to study, you'll definitely need to do it if you're to get anything done. Or, alternatively, we had these door decorations that showed if we were "available" "on-call" "studying" "sleeping" "out" etc. They were pretty cool, but you know, you have to keep changing it, and your residents and co-workers/boss have to respect it.

    Also, I'd definitely be sure your residents know that while you're totally there for them (etc HRL BS), if they need something when you're not around, they can go to one of the other RAs, too. There was a tendency in my dorm to always go to your own, even if we weren't available, and the need was maintenance-related or something.

    Glad to hear you're doing well!

  24. ha ha ha ha. he cracks me up. hysterical. poor, sad, pathetic man.

  25. YOU tarnished his reputation?????? I love it. That's exactly how these people think. It certainly couldn't be that HE did anything to tarnish his own reputation....Oh my, oh my. What is wrong with these people? I can only imagine the Judgment Seat of Christ.....or the big surprise when it turns out to be the White Throne of Judgment for them. Sad, sad, sad.

  26. One other thought. If your blog about your running away is in fact "tarnishing" his reputation--then doesn't that mean that he feels he IS outed? Go ahead and publish his name then. In a way, it sounds like he's giving you permission to do that. I have no idea who you are. I have friends in ATI, and trust me--these people's reputations are already in trouble.

  27. Hi Ruth,

    Talk to the legal aid people on campus about the power-of-attorney. It shouldn't be that expensive. Whether you pick Harris or your brother or even (for now) the Dean of Students or someone else who knows about your family background, you'll be covered just in case :-).

  28. Truth is an absolute defense against libel and slander. As your experiences are documented by police report which, actually, his charges of you being a runaway caused, you're golden.

    And the beauty part is that it's all his fault. If he'd had the decency to either respect that you were uncomfortable with the young man he'd chosen for you at any time, even if it was after you left his home in fear for your future, none of this would be going on.

    Amazing. The mind of a petty dictator is a freakish thing, no? ;)

  29. The most important criterion for a healthcare proxy/medical POA holder, speaking as someone who has had to deal with a mother almost exactly like Ruth's father, is that it be someone who REALLY UNDERSTANDS how nutty the Christian parent dictator really is. It is HARD to insert yourself into a situation where a PARENT is trying to make decisions for their ill child, regardless if the child is 4 or 24, and forcefully tell them NO, they do NOT have the legal rights here, sit down and shut up, they'll be told what you want them to know when you want them to know it. It is DAMN HARD. If the person has *any* linger notion in the back of their mind that "well, maybe I haven't heard the whole story...." they are subject to browbeating and caving-in. But if they REALLY get it, they're much less likely to knuckle under.

  30. I'm glad you are doing well Ruth. Since you set your blog comments to not accept anonymous comments, Darth Pater is upping the ante in the most pathetic way possible.

    Darth, dig deep and find what is left of your manhood and own your words. Only cowards hide behind anonymous posts.

    Ruth, do as others have suggested and do what you can to protect yourself legally from your family. They truly do not have your best interests at heart.

  31. Hmmm....Darth Daddy is starting to feel the squeeze.
    That tells me that folks in or around headquarters know about Ruth/her real identity and are raising holy eyebrows in his direction.

    Wonder if they will throw Darth Daddy under the bus to save face or stand behind his seemingly abusive parenting as the norm in Gothardism?

    *taps fingers together in anticipation*

  32. A bill?
    If you don't mind sharing, how much does he think his reputation is worth???????? LOL

  33. Ruth-- Let me put on my attorney hat for one minute and second the note above that if a paralegal is (a) providing your father (or anyone else)legal advice, (b) holding himself out as your father's attorney, (c) sending you letters, signed by him, that make legal demands, or (d) in any other way operating as or representing himself as an attorney, he is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. This is ILLEGAL in all 50 states and he can be criminally prosecuted and/or held civilly liable for doing so.

    This is particularly true if he has formal training as a paralegal. A court might be willing to give some regular Joe Schmoe who has simply watched too much Law & Order and started dispensing legal advice a slap on the wrist. But paralegals are extensively counseled on the importance of NOT engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and are expected to understand the nuances of the laws forbidding such activities in their states. So, my guess is that if your father's "attorney" were ever taken before a court for the unauthorized practice of law, he would receive significantly more serious and extensive penalties.

    Accordingly, I highly recommend that you keep all correspondence from him in a folder. Then, if you ever grow tired or frustrated of his legal demands, you can either (a) report him to the state bar wherever he lives, (b) report him to law enforcement, or (c) send him a cease and desist letter from an ACTUAL attorney noting that he is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and that you will pursue formal sanctions against him if he doesn't stop contacting you immediately. Your folder of "evidence" will come in handy if you choose to do any one of those things.

  34. ROFLMAO @ Daddy Darth's "bill"! hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. ha. Whew, that was a good one! =D

    To the legal stuff, find an attorney who understands the unique situation you are in, re:crazy dad. When we wrote up our wills to decide on legal guardians and executors of our family trust in case of our death, our attorney was great.

    We warned him my mom might challenge for custody or money, and he helped us not only choose the most airtight options (family first in our case, with minor children) but promised that he would fight no holds barred to keep our children and our money out of her hands!

    Luckily it was never needed, obviously I am STILL ALIVE, still alive, still alive. :)
    But I felt so much more secure knowing that I had a fighter in my behalf if it became necessary.

  35. Ruth, I have a question for you. A friend of mine recently showed me a facebook page titled Ruth Razing that she believed to be you. I just wanted to make sure 1) that this was you and 2) if it wasn't you were aware of its existence. Not trying to be nosey, just wanted to make sure someone out there isn't impersonating you!

  36. A paralegal can face malpractice for that "legal advice." Go on--out him! Picture, home videos, whatever!! lol What an idiot. Besides, I want to know if I guess right!

    Good advice on getting away from your room when not on duty. Don't tell a soul where you are!

  37. A good friend of mine is an RD (the professional staff who supervise RA's, though they go by many titles). Having met and/or heard about her RA's, and read your blog, I'm betting you're great :) You have written about feeling less mature than your age because of your sheltered background, but you sure sound like a responsible adult :)

    I agree about doing a power of attorney. My situation is different - I was effectively kicked out of my family when I came out, and my mother has mental health issues - but actually you can probably get a lot of information from LGBTQ resource centers re: legal stuff. I mean, since I came out I've tried to think of ways I want to limit my family's legal power - hospitalization is the main thing (I want any partner/friends to be allowed in the hospital room! I don't think my parents would make MEDICAL decisions that are against my welfare, but my worst nightmare is being stuck incapacitated in a hospital room with my mom!). Also, I want to make sure I have legal protection in place when I have kids so that my mom couldn't try to take them away because I'm raising them in the "wrong" lifestyle. I don't THINK she would, but I could imagine her making up false abuse evidence or something to get my kids away from me. So, it seems like the legal issues between you and your parents could be similar, in that they are estranged and disagree with your "lifestyle." Gay legal resource centers might give you ideas about how to protect yourself from things that might arise.

  38. I'm awfully curious how your father could threaten you when you haven't outed him yet - and could legally do so.


  39. "I'm awfully curious how your father could threaten you when you haven't outed him yet - and could legally do so."

    Logic is not a strong suit for religious control freaks; they count on intimidation, guilt and fear to wreck havoc on others. It serves them well in other capacities; they figure it will work here too.

  40. Wow. Just wow. But yes, a Durable Power of Attorney is great because in it you specify who can and who *cannot* make decisions on your behalf. So do talk to university counsel about it since in your case it could create a real mess if your family got wind of a chance to step in and ruin your life again.

    And as many people have already said, save everything! Save the envelopes things come in, too, so you have the exact dates and can prove when things were sent to you. While I know it's very tempting for us readers of your blog to urge you to "out" Daddy Darth, that's a decision only you can make; but the more actual documentation you have, the better. And you might consider keeping only a copy with you and putting the originals in a safe place -- a safe deposit box, or with an attorney -- just to make sure someone can't one day decide to sneak in and destroy the proof you have of the harassment, the paralegal's illegal practice of law without a license, etc.

    And last but definitely not least, I sure wish I'd had an RA like you when I was living in college dorms! The only RA I can remember basically ignored us and did absolutely *nothing* for us unless we were puking on the bathroom floor or something unavoidable like that. You are such a responsible young woman, I'll bet your residents are thrilled to have you there to help them out! Just don't neglect your own studies in the process, okay? We all want you to thrive and do well, including in your classwork!

  41. I'm just curious about his internet usage. Is it only children restricted from the internet?

  42. A bill? Oh, good God. I needed a laugh tonight. I'm watching "A Few Good Men." I just thought of Darth Daddy, "You can't handle the truth!"

    I'm glad you are doing well, Ruth. You've got some fans in D.C. that are thinking of you.

  43. Good luck with your mid terms Ruth!

  44. I just wanted to say I've had a good chuckle and this is the first time I've felt sad (not sorry) for your father. Maybe he does have mental problems. Talk about skewed thinking! I'll be praying that you make a wise decision on your Power of Attorney decisions. After reading this blog for awhile now, I'm sure that you will. Don't worry about perfectionism, you will do just fine. When you make a mistake, fix it if you can but either way move on. Everyone makes mistakes. You are making wise decisions for the long haul. You go girl!

  45. Hummm, begining to worry about you. Hope you are okay, just busy.

  46. Ruth,

    I think you should send your father a bill for 5 million dollars. 2.5 million for your lost childhood. 1 million for services rendered as a house slave (cooking, cleaning, party planning, laundry, and child rearing). 1 million for ADAM. And finally, 500,000 dollars for being indoctrinated into a cult at birth and being forced to wear prairie dresses.

    What a sad man your father is. I agree with others that he's starting to come unhinged at his inability to control you. I would follow the others advice to get a power of attorney and to document everything you receive. There is a device that records phone calls, as well. Many states only require that one person in the conversation know that it's being recorded (you).

    It's a shame that Oprah is going out of business because I'd love to see you expose these people on national television.

    Study hard! I know you'll be a success no matter what you do.



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