Friday, October 29, 2010

Ask and you shall receive.

My friend Cynthia said - Hope school is going well. I'd love an RA and a Harris update. I'll put something in the tip jar shortly just to piss off readers like feltspirit. I proudly support smart women getting an education.

The RA job is going well. I am working out the kinks as I go along. My residents seem to be learning the difference between a personal emergency and an "OMG! Involve the RA emergency.", so that's fantastic. :) It was a good job for me to take for a few purely selfish reasons. #1: It has forced me to be very social -something I didn't do last year because I was so afraid of my own personality. Now I have to be visible. I've made friends I probably wouldn't have made without the RA position. #2: It's showing me that I can be nurturing without becoming a doormat. I'm learning to set limits ~ a skill set I didn't have.

Harris and I are enjoying each other and enjoying our relationship. We are having an issue with my purity hang-ups but we work through them as they arise and Harris is being very patient and understanding. I want to keep that stuff private and I hope you all understand. Other than that, we're moving along. I imagine I could spend the rest of my life with him and be very happy. He's a good man. We love doing things together but we also enjoy allowing the other time to be with friends and pursue the things we maybe don't enjoy doing together. One example: Harris loves the outdoors and he likes to hike, but he's not into exploring a new trail in the same way I am. So, I've gone back to hiking solo on occasion. While I'm hiking, he's out with friends on the lake (something I could take or leave). Fishing doesn't excite me.

I'm going to his family's house for Thanksgiving.

Many people asked - Will you continue to post your story at NLQ?
That's really Vyckie's decision. I would hope she would continue to post it. But, I don't have control over when the stories make it up over there. I don't think any of the contributors do. Usually, Vyckie receives the stories via e-mail or copies/pastes them from the writer's blog. I haven't spoken with Vyckie (my fault) in several days so I'm not sure if there's something I don't know about or if this is still fall out from the Angel/Vyckie problem. Why are so many people asking this question?

Jennifer L asked - Why don't you ever post pictures? I could believe your story better if there was some evidence to support what you're saying.

I understand your skepticism. Pictures, in my opinion, wouldn't prove anything. I won't put up pictures of my childhood because it would out me and my family. My siblings didn't ask me to write this blog and I won't sacrifice their privacy to gain someone's approval. Unfortunately, my parents never took individual pictures of us as a regular practice. When we had pictures taken, it was a group shot. Also, I didn't leave home with a photo album. Any pictures that do exist of me in the QF-way are in my parent's home. I'm not likely going to call and ask them to mail me a few. Current pictures are another story. I have considered spicing up the posts with pics of my current life - not necessarily my face. Then I realized how quickly that would lead to people figuring out where I am and then who I am and that could lead to the disclosure of facts I've been wanting to keep secure. You just never know. The final reason I don't post pictures is because, beyond my story, I still wonder why so many people care about my life. :) LOL I don't say that to be mean or imply that I don't appreciate the concerns...I'm just a boring person who struggles with self-esteem. Do you really want to see pictures of my breakfast or of my dorm room?

Ambivalent Ego said - Hey Ruth, I was wondering how your brother was doing? The one who has kinda posted here before, answered some questions?He has been on my mind lately. I hope all is well with him. :-)
Your question is freaking me out a little because he's not doing so well. Do you know us?


  1. Please dont be freaked out. I suppose its the equivalent of the Christian "The Spirit moved me..." I get vibes when people come to mind sometimes, thats all.
    Not sure how to explain it.

    Im really sorry that I freaked you out and I do hope your brother is okay.

    For what its worth, I do not know who you are and I dont seek to find out.

  2. People need to realize that it's not safe for Ruth to post pictures and stuff like that. There is no need for her to "prove" anything; if you don't want to believe her story, move on. It's not about YOU. It is about her and I applaud her for the courageous things she has done.

  3. You have nothing to prove! That is ridiculous.

    Anyone who has been through anything close to your abusive family experience gets it. We recognize the truth all too easily. It feels eerily familiar, even though we are all different people from different families. Creepy, huh?

    As for others, who cares? No one can convince a skeptic of anything. They will just shake their heads at any "evidence" life might provide them and explain it away somehow. Don't bother with them.

    I don't have any picture of my childhood either, nor am I about to ask. I totally get that point.

    As for pictures of you today, guard your privacy! Let us all imagine you as we will, at least up until they get Drew Barrymore to play your role in the Lifetime TV movie! =D

  4. I don't know why people think pictures prove anything. People could take any picture and claim it's them even if it's not.

  5. I am a conservative Christian who is old fashioned. My husband is very respectful and loving towards me. He is the leader in our home, but would never make a decision without my input. He very much cares about what I think and is a very loving father.
    We are teaching our daughters about purity in relationships (and no, we do believe in arranging marriages or being too involved with themselves and their boyfriends). We want our daughters to respect themselves and their bodies and not freely give their bodies and hearts to men who are not serious enough to be married first. It makes me sad that you seem to be throwing out everything having to do with Christian faith. Your parents made some very serious mistakes, especially your abusive father, but not absolutely everything they taught you was wrong.
    Please don't let the world pull you completely from Christ and His offer of salvation to those who will follow His humble example.
    Love in Christ

  6. From someone who was raised to believe that sex before marriage was almost a mortal sin - and ended up having sex before marriage, then marrying that man - when you've had that so ingrained into your psyche, the experience is nearly devastating. BUT I've also come to realize that far worse things can happen. And I'm kind of deducing from "purity hang-ups" that you're talking less about sex and probably more "normal" couple things like kissing, cuddling, etc. Could be wrong though.

    I think what I'm trying to say, particularly in light of Shoshannah's comment, is that you have overcome so much trauma in your life. Rushing into physical intimacy - be it "all the way" sex or just kissing - could be traumatic for you at first. But I don't think it's throwing away everything to do with Christianity (as if giving away your heart or body is an unforgivable sin, or something that you'll never be able to move beyond). And I don't think that learning to open up and be vulnerable emotionally and physically with a human being that truly cares about you is a bad thing to try to do.

    Just my two cents.

  7. Hey Shoshannah

    Who says she is throwing everything out that has to do with christian faith?

    That is very presumputious to think she is. Where you put it in your line of thought leads us to believe you think just because she has a boyfriend and working through purity stuff it has to do with her throwing out her values.

    What are you in her backseat? or are you in her dorm?

    Would it occur to you someone would have to work through just even the basics of relationships when one was not even allowed to look at a boy?

    Shame on you!

    You obviously have no clue what it is like to work through abuse...and you know what?

    I hope you never have to because you would have to come back and profusely apologize for your narrow minded, very limited view point , LOve in Christ or whatever dish out.

    Oh and by the way , Ya I believe in God and all but would never lay such a guilt trip on her, you yes, because you speak in ignorance.

    Shame on you.

  8. Being 4.5 years post-fundamentalist now, I gotta say I'm pretty sick of hearing that a girl who has sex necessarily "gives away" something that the boy she has sex with "takes." I've had sex (with the man I intend to marry) and I'm still in full possession of myself and my dignity, thanks. If somebody wants to judge me by what's between my legs, I'll just have to judge them by what's not between their ears.

    I totally get the purity hang-ups. And no, they don't necessarily have to do with having sex or anything approaching it. Holding hands was anathema in my group.

  9. Ruth can answer for herself (obviously), but you can count me as another one who doesn't see any evidence that Ruth is throwing out everything to do with the Christian faith. Where are you getting the idea that she might be?

  10. Agreed. I didn't think that Ruth was throwing out her values.

  11. Cranberry Cottage, it is YOU who have made arrogant assumptions about me. You do not know me at all. It must be difficult to live with so much anger, though. I can safely assume that. Yes, I have been abused and knocked to the ground many times by my father when I was growing up. Shame on you!
    I am not referring only to the letter I commented on, but rather other things Ruth has said about her faith in other things she has written. I do not have to defend that.

  12. nonprophetmessage: I will say it again, you need to respect yourself more. Your letter speaks for itself.

  13. Just because someone has sex with someone they love does not mean they do not have respect for themselves, it is sad that you think that.

    I have been reading your blog for a few days now, and all's I can really think is "wow" you have lived through so much and gotten so far, I'm proud of you

  14. Shoshanna,

    Angry? Yes.
    Angry at christians like you who stand and point a finger.

    Do you really think that re-iterating the fact of your beliefs that somehow it will show Ruth that she needs to get on the right path? Your path?

    Let her walk through her life without folks like you telling her she is doing it wrong. Do you not think that there is not enough grace/mercy in Jesus that she needs you to tell her? This is between her and God not you.

    Seems to me the Pharasee's did the same thing.

  15. I think the reason some are bristling, Shoshannah, is because Ruth did not ask for advice in regard to the 'purity issues' in her life.
    In fact, she mentioned how its a private thing.

    That kind of unasked for advice is reminiscent of the fundie lifestyle that teaches that single women are too stupid to know how to handle romantic relationships.
    Given the numbers of us here who do not embrace such a lifestyle, Im sure you can understand the resistance to such advice.

    Common decency is to leave it alone as she says its private.
    I dont blame her. I wouldnt want to discuss that kind of personal biz with a bunch of internet strangers.

  16. I just want to throw in the viewpoint that if she does decide that Christianity isn't right for her, that's not "wrong," no matter what some might say. Ruth, live your life the way you see fit.

    I think that the request for pictures, while misguided, comes from some people wanting to know more about your personality, Ruth, or getting a picture in their heads of who they're reading here. I'm not talking about the ones who want you to prove anything, just the curious about YOU. While I can understand your desire for privacy, there are other ways to give us an idea of what you're like. My next question is one. :o)

    Shadowspring's comment got me thinking about a fun question: Ruth, if there were a movie made, someday, about your life, who would you choose to play you? Never mind about the likelihood of that happening--I can assure you, it's something many people have thought about for their own lives, just for fun. ;o)

  17. Kudos to you, Ruth, for sharing what you do with us. Wait til the end to share pics with us, for whatever reasons you please.

    I'm gonna rant now: Shoshannah, why in God's name SHOULDN'T she want to throw out Christianity?! Look at her upbringing! She was raised not to have a relationship with her Creator, but to fear the wrath put upon her by a patriarchal a**hole of a "father". Where did she learn of God's love? The parables explaining to love ALL? Ruth's a smart woman, if she wants to discover Christianity again for the first time, at her own pace, I'm all for it. If she wants to become a Buddhist nun because that's the faith she feels drawn to, bring it on. Ruth suffered SPIRITUAL ABUSE!! A twisted view of God, salvation, and self.

    Also, she's working through purity issues. Good for her. It may involve body issues, something she's stated before. Oh, and MY daughter will be raised to repect herself as well. But her value as a woman will not end with whether or not she has a hymen on her wedding night. How exactly would a girl be "not respecting herself" because she has sex? The thought that virginity is a gift supposes that a woman is still chattel and her worth is still tied as though she was a heifer. /rant done

    Do as you wish, Ruth. I like you, and would like to think that if I ever got a chance to meet you, I'd treat you to a beer/glass of wine/ cocktail.

  18. Shoshannah, I respect myself so much more than I ever did when I lived by your rules. It's you who lives in the sad, sad world where sex equals disrespect and women are forever "giving themselves away" to men who use them. My post does speak for itself, and it doesn't say what you think it says.

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  20. Ruth,

    1. Follow your own intuition and what feels right in your OWN heart.

    2. Don't argue with stupid people.


  21. Everyone,

    Although I understand your anger toward Shoshanna because of your own perspectives on life and your genuine protective instincts toward Ruth, please understand that she didn't seem to be speaking to Ruth in that way to be hurtful or judgemental. I am a spiritually abused woman from a very conservative (though not fundie) christian church (even though I am not a professing Christian anymore), and for anyone who doesn't know, many Christians are taught to fear strongly the loss of specifically Christian faith. Most are taught that if you are not a Christian you are going to hell to burn in agony for eternity upon death. So although I do not believe that anymore and I know that some of you don't either, I think that from the tenor of Shoshanna's message she is attempting to express a genuine concern for Ruth. Although we do not agree with her message regarding purity and salvation, we should have hearts that are open enough to understand the sentiment behind that message, which seems to be one of concern and worry for another human being.We might not agree with the mainstream Christian message, but that does not mean that no Christians are good people with good intentions...

    Shoshanna, I know we do not have the same belief system, but am I correctly assessing your first post by labeling it one of concern for Ruth's wellbeing?

  22. nonprophetmessage - you've got it in a nutshell. No one can ever tell me I don't respect women because I don't consider the whole of their worth to be tied up in their sexual history or that I don't respect myself because I don't think I'm such a loathsome creature that intimacy with me makes a woman forever tainted.

  23. Me

    Alot of Spiritual abuse comes in the form of 'caring' for one another.

    I myself am not limited in my own view point to not realize she may have intended her comment to come from that vantage point but...jeez louise, when one stands back and says what she says about her salvation message, that gets my goat.

    Caring or not, Ruth is not asking to be saved here, and too many people think they need to interject.

    It says in scripture He has called us by name...he stands at the door and knocks....I think JESUS or GOD is big enough to do his own bidding.

    I just hope people would realize this, trying to be nice and kind or not.

  24. Cranberry cottage-

    LOL, I understand what you are saying. It can be a huge pain to deal with people who behave that way sometimes... I have people praying for my immortal soul all the time, and it gets old. I'm just saying that we can't jump on everyone who expresses a mainstram Christian perspective... When we do that, WE make our perspective look bad... Like we are all angry, belligerent, and combative. That is perhaps worse than they look when they voice their ill-informed opinions.

  25. Me is a big hairy concern troll. Stop worrying about how others react to ignorance and stupidity, because you come off as just as ignorant and stupid.

  26. "Caaaaan you feeeeeeeeeeeeelll, the loooooooooooooove tonight...."

    Ruth, you are doing fantastic. I am happy that you have found a nice guy and are moving forward with your life.

  27. Wow! How can so much hatred come from a simple comment directed towards Ruth? A few of you have been kind and honest in your questions towards me, but others are spitting hatred in their ignorant attack towards me. I thought blogs were for discussion and opposing points of view should be welcomed. Perhaps it's you who are narrow?
    Jesus was perfect, gentle, humble and kind. I am not always these things and I am sorry. I do not mean to judge anyone. I am certainly in no position to do that. God bless you all. I truly mean that. I do not know if I will be back. I stayed awake last night thinking and praying about all of this and perhaps we are too different.

  28. @L.J. Utter - Very well said! I agree with everything you wrote.

  29. You don't mean to judge others, and yet you have called others immoral, loose, spiteful, hateful, ignorant...

  30. Hey Ruth, I'm glad to hear that the RA job is teaching you how to be nurturing without being a doormat. That is something I am personally working on and I understand how important it is.

    General comment: I am very uncomfortable with people discussing sex here right after Ruth said it was very personal to her. Lets keep some things private.

  31. Judge not lest ye be judged. Does that ring a bell, Shoshannah?

    Let Ruth live the life she needs to live in order to heal. If that includes rejecting the twisted cult that she was taught to believe was Christianity, and realizing she needs a faith that isn't attached to the labels of God and Jesus, so be it. What is important is that Ruth recovers in a healthy way; that there are still issues is an indication her abuses ran deep and will take a long time to heal.

    I just want to add that being sanctimonious about your belief system as it pertains to Ruth is not productive. You do what's best for you and let Ruth do the same. Thanks.

  32. Ruth, just want to support you by letting you know you are far from alone when it comes to recovering from fundamentalist teachings about sexuality. Don't let anyone else tell you what's right and wrong for you.

    On a related topic, finally saw the disturbing movie The Magdalene Sisters, a true story of what happens when a society gets too obsessed with women's sexual purity. Maybe some of the other posters would be interested since this topic has been discussed above. (Hope I don't incur anyone's wrath from straying off topic)

  33. Yay that you are spending time with Harris' family!!! Make sure you watch the Macy's Parade and eat lots of turkey. Enjoy yourself!!!!

  34. Shoshanna

    Understanding now that your father knocked you around I take that statement back about you not knowing about working through abuse.

    Obviously working through abuse is a very personal thing with a million different tentacles of emotion and pain to work through.

    You maybe have worked on your own issues and stayed the course in which you believe is best, but assuming others working through their own trauma and staying the course as you have, is a wrong assumption.

    Me assuming because of your statement you had no abuse issues, and painting a rosey picture of your marriage/family, led me to assume that.

    I assumed wrong and we all know what assuming does: It makes an ass out of you and me.

    That said, we, like you say are here, and it is okay to have a difference of opinion. Mine is different than yours.

    Discussion is good.

    I am apologizing for assuming you knew nothing of abuse, and in that it obviously struck a chord.

    Oh, and saying Shame on you.

    But I still think it is okay having a difference of opinion. Although my delivery of that opinion was not called for. I apologize.
    Just to set the record straight...I never said anything about hate, equating anger and hate I might be wrong but those are two different emotions.

  35. I didn't get either anger or hatred from the posters who disagreed with Shoshanna's POV. I can only speak for myself, but I was more offended regarding the tone of her post (my way or the highway) and in taking offense, became very defensive about Ruth and the multiple abuses from which she is trying to recover.

    Ruth is a smart lady and will make the choice that is best for her. I know I will personally respect any choice she makes regarding religion, whether she remains in a Christian sect of some kind, becomes a Buddhist or an atheist. Whatever her decision, I am confident it was made with more thought than many of us have given to the subject, myself included.

  36. Why does sexual intimacy have to be an either/or between self-respect and self-loathing? Many people from all walks of life find sexual intimacy important because it is a sign of trust, a way to be closer to your partner, and how you start a traditional family. That seems to be a shared perspective. To say that someone has no dignity or self-respect because they feel differently about the particulars demeans everyone. Also, to say someone is worth no more than their virginity is pretty narrow. What about all the other things they have to offer their partner? What about their love, understanding, parenting (where applicable), compassion, support and talents? Why is being a virgin more important than being a good sister or supportive friend? Do people really begin and end with virginity? I don't think so. People have a lot to give and it's good and okay to appreciate them for all they are-- regardless of how you feel about intimacy! We are all much more than virgins or non-virgins and it's not really becoming to get all freaked out about it.

    I...frankly don't even want to touch on what this might mean vis-a-vis Ruth because that's private and I'm not comfortable speculating that way about pretty much anyone. This is just something that came to my mind reading through the comments and I felt like maybe I should put it out there.

  37. 'We are all much more than virgins or non-virgins'

    ^ Thanks, you saved me a long speech. :D

    Ruth, good on you for refusing to become an internet celebrity. Sure, we hope your day-to-day life is going well, but there's no way you owe us visual aids or private details. Considering the environment you came from, I'm glad you protect your privacy well.

  38. What I want to know, Shoshannah, is why is it any of your business? Why is a woman's personal life the worlds business? Why is she slut slammed, but the men excused? Its so sad that you preach and practice woman hatred when you are a woman yourself.

  39. Pictures would do no one any good as way of "evidence". You could copy and paste photos from anywhere. It would mean nothing.

  40. Ruth you say in this post that you had a hard time being social because you were afraid of your personality.


    I've never heard anyone say it so eloquently before, but I too have spent a lot of years with superficial friendships (or none at all) because of fear of my personality! I'm so glad you're finding that RA-ing and blogging are helping! I find blogging also to be a great release of who I actually am!

    I just wanted to say that I've been reading you for a while now and I find you inspirational in that you jumped into a brand new life without a big security net, and you seem to be doing just fine! Good for you, Ruth! I'll keep reading, and know that you and your family are in my prayers!


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