Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ambivalent Egoist

The Ambivalent Egoist asked, in a previous post, if I would continue to "support" NLQ. What she is referring to, for those who didn't know, is the latest FJ/NLQ forum wars and the family issues between Angel and Vyckie (moderator at NLQ). I wrote an entire post on FJ addressing the issue and my position on it. However, I would like to summarize something here, because there seems to be some confusion amongst people who have been e-mailing me privately. Misconception number one - I owe all of my blog traffic to Vyckie and therefore have some sort of obligation to her. This is not true. I owe *some* of my blog traffic to Vyckie. Mostly, however, my blog has traffic has increased by word of mouth and a few other means. I don't promote my blog, really. If anything, and this is no slight on Vyckie or NLQ, NLQ takes traffic from my blog because my stories are reposted there - no one has to come here to read them. I'm fine with this. I don't really care about the numbers. The thought that I "owe" Vyckie suggests that she's done something for me that wouldn't have happened without NLQ or Vyckie herself. This gets tricky. In some respects, NLQ has meant a lot to me because it's a gathering place for people who have lived in this system and decided not to continue. It's been great having Vyckie to turn to when I had questions about why my mom might have made the choices she did. However, and I have said this to Vyckie, given the accusation that she suggested Princess Jo start a "doubters thread" about me on QF - I have also had my feelings hurt. Because, whether she did or didn't do that, it makes me feel manipulated. Either a woman I trusted enough to disclose my identity to, after the fact, started the stressor that resulted in me giving up information I wasn't totally comfortable giving - OR- I am now being put in the position I was in most of my life ("Who can I trust?", "Am I trusting the RIGHT person?", "Is there anyone trustworthy out there?") by someone (Princess Jo) who has walked this road, too, and knows what an issue trust is. Neither of those is good.

I will never understand why grown women, with similar backgrounds and heartaches, put each other in such positions.

Misconception number 2: I have had a falling out with NLQ.
Not true. NLQ is an organization of women. Can you have a falling out with a support group? I haven't even had a "falling out" with Vyckie. Which brings me to the next misconception...

Misconception number 3: I have to chose a side in the Angel/Vyckie debate because chosing Vyckie means choosing to side with the Empire (darth daddy, star wars referrence intended).
I don't have to choose. None of us is perfect in family relationships. This problem that Vyckie and Angel are having is, really, none of our business. That either party put this stuff on the net and therefore opened themselves up to our opinions is up for debate. Vyckie claims Angel okayed every post made. Angel claims that's not true and she's hurt by her mom's lack of concern for her privacy (allegedly - I haven't spoken to Angel). The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. For that reason - I'll say - STOP E-MAILING ME ABOUT ANGEL AND/OR VYCKIE as it relates to this argument. I have nothing to do with it and, frankly, think it's ridiculous that people expect me to choose a side. I'm not choosing. It's none of my business beyond the point that it effects me. Unless you're Angel or Vyckie - it's not really your business. After this, I won't speak of it.

Other accusations are that I'm being played by Vyckie or have been played by Vyckie - to boost her site hits. I don't care about the site hits and the rest would be something between Vyckie and I. Thank you for the concern. "You're so f-ing niave, Ruth! You and the other quiverers chose your lifestyle and now you bitch about how pathetic your lives are. Grow up, whiners!" I didn't choose anything except leaving as soon as I could. As for the others on NLQ who "chose" QF for themselves and their families - I wonder if you'd be so harsh on mothers who chose the Catholic faith for their families and then learned that their chidlren were molested? Is it the mother's fault? Do you go to those communities and call them pathetic? I understand the anger towards the adults who choose this lifestyle - I struggle with it often. Still, the truth is that every situation is/was different and a person's motives are often complicated.

This site is my site. My story. Read if you want. Believe if you want. I'm not the end-all-be-all voice of QF/ATI/patriarchy. What is it they say on other websites and forums? YMMV? Have a nice day.

*Note - This post shouldn't be perceived as an attack on Ambiv. Egoist. I welcome all questions, criticisms, and support. I just want the e-mails about this situation to stop. Thank you.


  1. Hi Ruth- I was not aware that any of this was happening as I do not follow NQF or FJ regularly. I just wanted to say I am sorry you have been questioned this way and are being put in the middle of something personal between Vickie and Angel. Look forward to reading more posts.

  2. Good lord. That sounds like a lot of needless drama, and you're well out of it. Here's hoping the people involved (and the ones involving themselves) respect your wishes.

  3. I found your blog via a link from the IFB Cult Survivor group on Facebook. I found the NLQ page after I saw Vyckie on TV (episode of Secret Lives of Women). I support everyone trying to be free from religous oppression!!!

    I didn't know there were any problems :(

  4. LOL! I love your spirit Ruth. You don't have to excuse or defend or accuse or take sides in anyone else's business. I choose to stay out of other people's strife too.

    Goodness, why anyone other than the parties involved have any opinion is beyond me.

    Kudos on living your own life, Ruth! =D

  5. Ruth,

    You continue to impress me with your maturity. Kudos for not lowering yourself to the level of those bickering or slinging mud. Keep yourself above the fray and keep doing what you need to do for you.


  6. What, QF and ATI don't have enough drama swirling around them already? The survivors have to fight amongst themselves? SERIOUSLY??? And how much do you want to bet that the members of the "Empire" they left behind are pointing fingers and saying that's what happens when you leave the "umbrella of protection"?

    You are SO SMART to stay out of that mess, Ruth. You've got more than enough on your plate as it is.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. hurt people often lash out, and the whole situation over there seems very fitting with that. i hate that we often expect MORE from people who have been through this stuff and are sharing their stories than we do from observers. crazy.

    ruth, your response to the issue itself, and to be questioned about it is mature and clear.

    good for you.


  9. Ruth,

    I follow both NLQ and FJ and I have to say the whole situation has made me feel very troubled. The problems between Vyckie and Angel are private and should be left alone but Princessjo's revelation/accusation made me feel uncomfortable for you. I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and I feel sure that whatever was done was done with good intentions by all parties. Howevere I think this is a warning to all involved that deceit or underhandness in a group of survivor who have already suffered so much is just going to reinforce the harm that has been done.

    I think you have addressed this issue very maturely and sensibly and my thoughts go to Vyckie and Angel in this time of trouble.


  10. Kudos, Ruth. I wish I handled things with as much grace as you do. It might keep me out of trouble. :p

  11. Thank goodness for midterms. I had no clue any of this was going on until last night. Further, I had no clue YOU somehow got involved in whatever happened since FJ seems to have erased all the evidence.

    I'm sad that stuff like this is going on between women who are supposed to support one-another. The poster who keeps stirring the pot needs to realize that her experience is not the only way women experience abuse in the cult. To her, I hope she seeks counseling for her anger issues.

    To you, Ruth, peace.

  12. Holy Drama Batman!

    I agree with others, kudos for having and keeping proper boundries and not getting all up in the middle of a family issue.

    Hope school is going well for you.


  13. Wow. I can't believe this is going on. So sad. I don't go to FJ because it's so busy, now I think I'll definitely stay away from it.

    I've been reading this blog since you started it, and I don't doubt you. I'm sorry you've been put into the middle of this.

    Lauren H.

  14. Great post. I wish I could write with half as much clarity, warmth and candour as you. I really hope that whetever future profession you have, it lets you use and share that skill.
    I'm a lurker-type, but I was driven away from a few sites by the discussion on something so clearly none of our business.

    I like to compare internet gossip to workplace gossip sometimes - if two co-workers had a public 'domestic', would that make it ok to dedicate the next tea break to analysing their relationship and voting on a 'villian'?

    Hope school is going well and you miraculously find some time to post more soon :)

  15. I don't think I've commented here before, but I've been reading for a while now. I just wanted to say how impressed I am with your maturity and fair-mindedness. You've dealt with doubters and inexcusable nosiness with more grace than most people would muster, and it's really admirable. Good for you for staying out of this fight and stating clearly that it's no one's business but the people involved.

  16. Wow after reading all of that I am really glad I know nothing of what is going on.
    I quit reading NLQ, when she started re-formatting her site and started some book deal. Whatever.

    I can identify with you in more ways than one. Just continue to do what you do. I love reading about you, and would like to encourage you.

  17. Kudos to you. Choosing to stay out of the brouhaha is wise. Try not to let the drama worry you, and whatever you do, don't let the naysayers get you down!

    I agree that the problems are, and should remain, private between the two ladies. And you are wise to point that out and to refrain from taking sides. :-)

    FWIW, I found NLQ through your blog, and I found your blog through a friend who quoted you on FB. So .... all that traffic-driving stuff tends to be highly reciprocal.

  18. Ruth, you are responding to this with admirable maturity and class.

  19. Ruth - good response. You certainly are one of the more intelligent voices in the discussion of quiverful/patriarchy and its long term effects on individuals.

    Jim K.

  20. @ Michael It's NLQ that has been causing the problems. I'm shocked at the immaturity that has been coming from that site recently.

  21. @trugravedreamer - then what's this stuff about a post of FJ about Ruth? I'm really really confused - I only read some of the articles on NLQ, not the forums. This is totally bizarre to me.

    BTW, I'm Lauren, don't have a google account, have to use my husband's.

  22. So much drama! You're wise to stay out of it. For the record I found your blog via Twop so not all of your traffic has come via NLQ/FJ.

    You continue to amaze me!


  23. Dumb question... I know what NLQ is, but what is FJ?

  24. Chrislukas: Free Jinger

    PS-Ruth, I also found your blog through TWOP forums, not NLQ. I didn't even know what NLQ was until a few months ago.

  25. I think this adequately explains the success of shows like the "real housewives". Women love drama and when there's an absence of it in their lives, they turn to other people's drama to make up for it.

    I don't need the stress of other people's conflicts in my life. I get enough from work.

    Focus on the things that people really care about, Ruth. How school is going, your story, your whacky family and your journey. The rest is not my concern.

    Hope midterms went well. Hang in there!



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