Friday, June 17, 2011

Ruth, Where are you?

I'm sorry this blog hasn't had much activity for the last two months. After the proposal and finals, I had to start that process of deciding what I was doing for the summer and I made the decision to return to Arkansas for a visit with my brother. That led to family drama (of course). Harris was with me for the first week and certain family members got to/wanted to meet him.

Now I'm back where I belong and I can say that with much contentment. Going back and seeing that life that I left was hard but really necessary. I will blog more about it as I process it.

While I was away from the blog, there were some commenters who felt that I didn't care (as they said in e-mail comments) about a commenter who asked me for advice on leaving an abusive environment. I want to make one thing very clear. I am not an abuse professional and while I hope one day to help people like me, I am still going through this process and I'm figuring it out as I go. I'm not qualified to give advice. What I can do is support another woman's choice and say that I wish her the best. If you are leaving an abusive, oppressive environment, then PLEASE contact someone who can give you better resources: Call 911 or find a safe place. Get out. I would love to be able to help but I honestly don't know what you need or how to help you. I told my story to help people see that there was a chance to escape patriarchy and forced marriage but if I don't know you personally, I can't do much more than offer you hope and a hand of friendship. Which brings me to the other point that should be made - I don't check this blog often enough for anyone to depend on me. I feel horrible about not responding to someone who needed help but I can't go back and change that and I can't promise I will do better next time because I can't promise I'll always be online or checking in.

Thank you and I'm sorry I dropped the ball.


  1. Ruth, don't feel bad. An abusive marriage is not the same thing as an abusive childhood. I'm so sorry that someone asked for help and advice and felt it wasn't forthcoming, BUT anybody who is smart enough to find your blog is smart enough to Google domestic violence and find help.

  2. Holy moly- don't feel badly about this. This isn't a game, people; this is a person's life. Didn't you (Ruth) write a long time ago that this blog was a part of your counseling journey? You owe nothing to nobody. You've provided a powerful story, and by reading it, one can easily get the steps necessary to leave a similar situation. I'm actually glad you didn't try to help, or get more involved in someone else's situation. You still have your own healing to do- it's not TV or a movie. You don't "get over it," get the guy, dust off your hands and then the screen fades to black. You still have so much more to go, and adding co-dependncy (or aiding someone else's co-dependency) to your list of things to "get over" will hurt and drain you in the end.

    Keep going, Ruth! Be well.

  3. @Clarateaches is exactly right. This is your blog, and you can update it as you choose (or choose not to). You haven't dropped the ball by continuing with your life - you don't owe us anything.

    I do have to thank you, though. In part, your blog has inspired me to start telling my own (however very different) story. Thank you for helping give me the courage to see that I can write the truth without having to please anyone. It's been so freeing.

  4. Agree with the above- Please don't feel bad. A blog is normally not the proper place to ask for help, just a place for ideas. I know a lot of blogs have little disclaimers saying they are not professionals (mostly on fitness and health blogs) maybe you should have one too? I wouldn't think you needed one- since this is your personal story not you dispensing advice or anything- but just so there aren't any more mix-ups.

    I'm glad you're back and I'm glad you're doing well! Please don't feel pushed to write your story by anyone, I know I tend to forget this is a healing tool for you- not a finished story that I'm waiting on the next chapter. An "I'm okay and doing great" every so often would be nice though =P

    I hope you and Harris are having a great summer together!

  5. Hi Ruth! I just wanted to comment since I read through your blog over the past few days -- someone linked me to it in a conversation about QF, etc., and it's been eye-opening to read your perspective. I think you are a remarkable woman and wish you all the best. I hope your future brings more healthy relationships, a beautiful marriage, academic success, and lots of love, happiness, and peace for you.

  6. I just stayed up way to late reading all your posts, thank you for sharing. I did a little research into Gothard and found this post :

    bit long but loved the ending points:
    "Two thousand years ago, Paul warned the believers at Colossi to beware of those who would deprive them of the freedom in Christ and cheat them of their reward through unnecessary regulations. These regulations, Paul said, had the appearance of false humility but were really nothing other than the striving of the flesh. "Therefore," wrote Paul, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations...according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. (Col. 2:20-23)"

    It isn't easy to break free of all the lies you have been telling yourself - but it is so worth it.

  7. ::waves:: Hope your summer is going well!

  8. Dear Ruth,

    I have just stumbled onto your blog in the last couple of days and spent the same amount of time reading it from the beginning.

    You are a beautiful soul. You are a real person with a real, down to earth essence that just speaks to my own heart. You are humble, graceful and genuine. You said that when you left your home, your skills in composition were poor. Well, let me tell you that after reading through this, I can say you've made up for lost time. I wish I could be as graceful in my writing and convey my feelings as clearly as you do.

    Your description of your father, and the posting of the letter from "Adam" remind me so much of my ex-husband. We were married for 18 years and had five children before I finally divorced him, knowing that he was never God's best for me and after finally realizing that God did not want me to be unhappy and have my children witness the way their father was raising them and treating me. It's been nearly nine years since I left him with my children.

    The healing has been a long process and I am just beginning to delve into the church's role in the abuse perpetuated by him and their condoning of the whole patiarcial ideal. While not as overt as you have described, spiritual abuse of women is a much too common theme in many churches. I used to think that church leadership has no clue as to how to deal with abuse amongst their congregations, however, I am beginning to realize that this same leadership actually perpetuates it. That realization has been like a slap in the face.

    Your blog has done alot to bring peace to me, knowing that there are those who can articulate what happened to them at the hands of Christians who were supposed to love them unconditionally. It's helps to settle some things for me. I thank you for that, thank you for sharing....for putting it "out there" for us. I'm so glad you ae working your way through and making peace with what has happened, making a life for yourself and choosing to be happy...knowing that God won't strike you dead forwantng that. What freedom comes with it!

    I hope to read more in the future.

  9. Ruth-
    I just stumbled across your blog, and I'm sitting at work, bawling and laughing and bawling, and generally not working, but I can't stop reading. My family was in ATI for several years. I feel like I could write pages and pages of the craziness-it's like an old wound has opened up. I just want to tell you though, that I am so happy for you that you found the strength to question, and to leave, and to find happiness outside of that cult. Thank you for writing this blog. My heart is overflowing for you and what you've gone through. I wish you all the happiness and peace and love that you deserve, and the kind that you can only find by doing what you know in your heart is right.

  10. Yay! So happy that your life is all your own now. Wishing you all the best, every day, everything you need to be loved and cared for.


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