Sunday, December 23, 2012

And so this is Christmas...

Hello my friends (and enemies), Life has been really, really rough lately. I didn't get to go to Disneyland with Ellie, which, admittedly, is a third world problem and I've no right to whine about things of that nature. But, I'm also still homeless and still barely making it meet. Times like these, I can really sympathizize with QF wives/Daughters. What to do you when you weren't raised to make major life decisions or manage money (or even have an idea about economies and budgets)? How do you ever progress to an adulthood. I paid my bills and had a place to live- what I didn't have was a resettling pot or a planB. I can't live like this anymore. I've been sick again lately and this time it's definitely from my mental state and from exhaustion. My day starts at 4am. I get up, get dressed, and go to work the breakfast shift. Stay there until noon rush ends. I eat leftovers from the kitchen. Makes me want to tell people- HATE YOUR FOOD, SEND IT BACK! That way I can has their cheeseburger. About 2pm, I show up for job two. Cleaning rooms in a motel. It is far below my degree, but you do what you have to. When I"m not working, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I see Ellie. I don't do anything for myself. That's why when my dad opened up his can of Christmas ass-hat, I found myself very angry. I hate him. He wrote a note to me, enclosed in a gift, saying, "I've heard you are in need of financial guidance.....wait for it...I have enclosed some seminars..." Firts gift from dad in years and it's more emotional baggage. So, here's my letter to Santa: Dear Santa, I've never written you because my fundamental parents decided you were too worldy for them. They would've let arenic in your cookies so it's probably better you hadn't gone by our home in any case. I think this many years of not writing allows me this one, adult wish list...right? Santa, I want my fathr to snap out of the hallucination he's been in for many moons. I'm talking Chris Angle stuff, Santa. I need him to see and accept the world as what it is. I need my mother out of poverty. I realize that these are usually requests for God- but I'm covering my bases. I selfishly want ease and freedom. I want to be able to take Ellie to a store and buy something off the wrack. I want to give her a present. I want to quit one of my jobs and write my book. I want to get out there and meet new people. Basically, I want to live life. I'm doing my part to work and earn enough to live that life...but, it's hard. I need a mystery, piano coaching laundry woman to pop into my house. Do what you can do, Santa. Love, Mary

Monday, September 24, 2012

Is this the end?

Hello readers, Several years ago, I started this blog as part of my therapy. Running away from the QF/ATI lifestyle was a huge hurdle and the support you all gave to me through your emails and comments was invaluable. Then, when my sister needed help, you guys were there. In some ways, I feel like I owe all of you a huge debt of gratitude and more. You were there when I ended a relationship with a wonderful guy and most of you didn't judge me. Most of you gave me the strength to realize that life would go on - and it has. Through the ups and downs with my sister, you were there to help me see that my reactions were normal. In summation, this blog community was a life saver. I have, however, found that I post less-and-less as time goes by. Partly this is because I don't see myeslf as "that girl who left ATI" anymore. When I think about blogging here, I feel like it has to somehow apply to that experience of leaving ATI. The people who said I only blog when there's something bad are right. The problem is, everything that feels relevant to the blog involves my family and I've come to accept that my family brings nothing but drama. You can see the catch-22 I am in. If I update this blog and keep it on topic it will look like I'm just posting drama. I don't want to be that girl. However, I feel like I owe some closing answers to questions that were posted after my last two posts, so I want to do that. 1. Why did Rachel go back? - I really don't know the whole truth of it. She told me many times that life "out here" wasn't what she expected. I think her expectations were out of touch with reality but I really can't blame her for that. Immediately following my departure from that lifestyle, I had unrealistic views and expectations. I also believe in my deepest heart that she only left to insure that her daughter wouldn't stay in that lifestyle and be judged for being born out of wedlock. I think my sister felt like there was no place for her as a single mom in that circle and she's probably right. She would've been seen as damaged goods. Not that she still won't carry that burden, but - from what I hear- she has already been betrothed to a man whose wife left and took his kids along with her. She accepted, I think, because she doesn't think she can do any better. It's horribly sad but what other life is available to her if she wants to stay in that lifestyle. Since her return, I hear she's recommitted herself to QF. My only fear is that she'll reap the consequences of giving up Ellie and suffer religious abuse for it. 2. How is Ellie? - Ellie is wonderful. She's growing so fast. I saw her last weekend. Her family had a picnic and they invited me. She has such a strong personality and when I look at her, I wonder if that's what Rachel would've been like if we weren't born into the family we were born into. Ellie is happy and that's the happy ending to this story. It's not about me or my sister. It's about that cute little girl. 3. What are you doing, Ruth? - Working, working, working. Still living in the trailer but it's mine now. I bought it from the people I was renting it from. My dad would be proud (hahaha) to know I paid in cash. I'm working on buying a reliable car now. No, I'm not in library services. It turns out that my degree is pretty useless without a masters and budget issues within the state mean that libraries are downsizing, not hiring. I'm working two jobs- waitressing and retail. But it's a start, right? I'm not dating anyone. There's not enough time. I still struggle financially but what young person doesn't? Whenever I feel down on my situation, I think of Rachel and feel better. I feel like this blog has run into it's natural end. I still want to work toward the goal of shining a light on QF/ATI. And maybe that's where this blog will go- posting articles or stories that shine that light on Gothard and the QF realities? But, I think my story has reached it's end unless anyone has a question I haven't answered yet. If you're someone leaving or thinking about leaving ATI and you're reading here, I want to say that YOU CAN DO THIS. It will be hard but there are people out there to help you. Open your heart to the world and trust your instincts. - Ruth

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apology for the lengthy absense.

I'm sorry that I didn't post for so long. All hell broke loose on multiple fronts and I had some serious soul searching, as well as job searching, to do. Rachel went back to my parents' home. It was completely unexpected and emotionally devastating. The best I can say is that I'm glad Ellie is in a happy, healthy home and that my sister, if she couldn't be strong enough for herself, was strong enough to let go of her daughter. The basic description of the circumstances were that my QF brother convinced Rachel to meet him for a "talk" in Los Angeles. Rachel decided that she wanted to see him and so I managed transportation for us to go. We had lunch and all seemed like it was going great. Then, out of nowhere, Rachel started talking about wanting to go home. Not one to pass up such an opportunity, my brother bought her a ticket. I still haven't figured out her reasons for going home. Perhaps it was due to the degree of which she was unprepared for life outside of that lifestyle? Maybe because she wasn't progressing in her quest for an education in the manner she thought she should. Maybe I was a terrible roommate? I honestly don't know. What I do know is that this is the second time she's done this and I'm worn out. Being as she went back. My parents found out my exact address and contact information. I want nothing to do with them so I moved. I got a job that I don't like, but it pays for rent and groceries. As hard as it is, I'm living independently and it makes me feel good about myself. I'm working as much as possible and I was without a computer for a while. I bought a refurb laptop so I can get back online now with some regularity.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quick Q&A

Congratulations Ruth! No matter how hot it gets in that trailer, I suspect it's better than living with your parents. At least you can leave the trailer whenever you want, or change it in any way you like. Exactly. Rachel and I have had some nice evenings in this trailer and it's a piece of our lives that we'll probably remember fondly. We've been playing cards and talking most evenings. It's kind of nice. To all those who posted about ways to cool off. Thank you! We tried the buckets of cold water for our feet last night and it worked shockingly well. :) Question: Have you had any contact with Harris? Another Question: How is Ellie doing? I couldn't understand how open the adoption was from your posts (and the comments sections make my eyes swim!). I hope she and her family are doing well. I suspect she will grow up thanking Rachel for her sacrifice and I hope that she's able to have a relationship with you two and your future children as part of her lovely extended family. Contact with Harris- not much to speak of. I see him now-and-then. We parted as amicably as I would suppose any engaged couple could part. Ellie- Last we saw her, Ellie was growing nicely. She's absolutely adorable. Her family is over-joyed with the new addition and they've been great with Rachel. We get a picture at least once every ten days or so at this point. That will probably lessen with time but that's expected. The adoption is pretty open. The adoptive parents don't mind e-mailing or sending pictures and exchanging notes. We're supposed to join them for a bbq on the Fourth of July. Time will tell how close we all are in the future but for now we're focusing on making it a day at a time. Rachel is working on her future. She wants to get some higher education and we're trying to get her legally emancipated. If she had kept Ellie, this would be very easy. However, since Ellie isn't legally hers, she's going to have to go through a similar experience to mine (dad would still have to give her tax information for the FAFSA). For now, she got a part time job at a local ice cream shop and she actually enjoys it. I'm just happy she's doing well post-Ellie.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I've noticed that some people are wondering how I'm doing. Some say that I only post when I have drama in my life and I suppose that they're at least partially correct when it comes to recent posting activity. The good. I graduated. I've been looking for a job and have few prospects that are looking promising. In the meantime, I'm still working full time to bring in enough to feed my sister and I. We're living in a camper van that someone loaned us. It's not as bad as it sounds. It suits or needs perfectly. The only real issue is that it's getting hot here! The camper van has to be running gas to run the AC and gas is expensive. The bad. We're living in a camper van. The ugly. This life. However, all is not lost yet. There's always the possibility that I'll get a better paying job. Maybe someone will want to publish my blog as a book? I know I'm helping other QF/ATI girls see a light at the end of a tunnel.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The QF Life

My sister and I have been talking alot about our childhood and some of those things which, at the time, seemed completely normal to us and now seem completely silly. Just little lifestyle things, mainly. When we were folding laundry the other day, we were giggling about the fact that, as kids, we had to pre-separate the underthings from the regular laundry because one of the boys MIGHT see it. Like our days-of-the-week, flowered underwear would incite a riot of passion in our brothers? Also, as the boys got older, we handled their laundry. Which, as adults now, we're sitting here wondering why our virtue wasn't protected from seeing all the boys nasty underwear? My older brother has shared that he had to "get over" having his wife see his underwear because of all the subliminal messages of evil regarding underwear that we grew up with. We had these little hooks in the back of the closet for hanging bras (when we were finally allowed to wear them) to dry and my brother remembers the first time he saw those and he honestly wasn't sure what they were. Truly, in this day and age, only a Gothard boy would not know what a bra was. Having bed spreads is another oddity. We didn't have them growing up. Well, we had them, but they weren't ours and they didn't stay on our beds. We had sheets on our beds but the blankets were just folded up and put in a central place during the day. It never made sense. I think there was some justification that we didn't need blankets during the day and they could just be used as a place to hide and do "self-harming" things during the day, so responsible parents kept them in a central place. I don't know if this was all ATI families or just ours? But, I like having a big comfy comforter. Then we started laughing about the vitamin drink that was popular with ATI folk back in the early 90's. God that stuff was awful. I can't remember the name of it but it was brown, syrupy and cost a fortune: but, we all had to take it. Yuck! Just life in the ATI.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sleep is good.

I feel like the last few months have been a roller coaster. People had warned me about the emotional exhaustion that would happen to my sister after adoption; but, I didn't think that exhaustion would inlude me. I didn't give birth. I am exhausted, though. When I'm tired, I don't always think straight. So, with that said, I owe an entire group of people an apology.

As I said in my last post, I understand the doubt. I also made a decision a while ago that, while I understood the doubt, it was something I *chose* to deal with to keep my anonymity. I choose it. I shouldn't be upset when someone voices their cynicism or questions my credibility because I choose it. What can I say other than "I'm sorry for reacting." There's one line of my last post I wish I hadn't said.

That said, I'm human. I'm not perfect and whether I invite it or not, the constant doubt does hurt my feelings at some level. That's MY problem, though, not yours.

FreeJinger is a great place. It serves a necessary purpose for pointing out the snarkable hypocrisy in fundamentalism. I shouldn't be shocked when a few people there turn an eagle eye on my own writings. It's a little bit humbling to see that the very thing you're upset about is the very thing you've participated in. I'm sorry if I've hurt anyone with my own hurt feelings.

There are a few things I want to make clear . For whatever reason, I am having trouble with the log in screen of FJ and have had an issue for about a month.
I don't choose anonymity out of a fear of being sued. I chose anonymity because I had/have siblings at home that I worry about. For a variety of reasons, I fear that my putting my name out would send my father into a higher realm of control and damage control that might put my siblings in the path of a moving train. This is also a movement within my parents derive their livelihood. If I out our family now, then there MIGHT be financial consequences beyond the consequences they experience now. It's already bad. I don't want to make it worse. I also choose anonmity because I don't want to go into a job interview where a potential employer could now read about my therapy or my life and, legal or not, use it as an excuse not not to hire me. I've been told that employers are using google, now, too.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Here we go again.

Once again, a post on another website has started questioning whether I'm real or not. Once again, I'll say what I've said for almost four years now- it is up to every person reading this blog to decide if they trust that I am who I say I am. I won't fault anyone for having a healthy dose of skepticism about anything they read on the internet. I understand that I can't give the details that some people think would cement my "truth". I understand that my choice to be anonymous means that there will always be some people who don't believe me or my story. There's no comfortable way for me to prove to everyone that I am who I say I am.

I am, however, tired of being called a liar. I don't ask anyone to read and I don't ask anyone to donate. In fact, there's been some talk that I'm making a whole lot of money on this blog. That's not true. There's been a suggestion that there was a baby shower for Rachel. Not true. And, actually, when I think about, if I were faking this story for four years and I created a pregnant sister to get money or gifts, then wouldn't it have been more prudent to have let my sister go to her due date in some story to give people more time? As it was, I wasn't comfortable accepting gifts for her for her an adoption and, as it turned out, she gave birth before anyone could plan to do anything. She went early. That's life. I don't know what to say about the tip jar. It's there because there are some people who occasionally like to donate. If anyone thinks I'm raking in the money, then I'd be happy to show someone I've grown to trust here the real data and let them verify that this is not the case. Then I think about how ridiculous that seems and I just think it'd be easier to take the tip jar down.

My sister picking a gay couple is not a "plot point". As I stated, she didn't pick them because they were gay or as a "screw you" to the family. She chose them because they had the qualities she wanted for her child. We chose a secular agency and I was amazed by the number of gay couples on their lists. Possibly because it was a secular agency and other agencies don't allow gays to adopt? Saying that it's impossible for an ex-ATI girl to think giving her child to a gay couple is ignorant. My sister is a woman with her own thoughts. She hasn't bought into most of Gothard's principles or social beliefs for a few years- otherwise, she wouldn't have left! If you recall, one reason she wanted to give her baby up for adoption was because she didn't want it involved in patriarchy or fundamentalism. Not that a heterosexual couple would've gone to fundamentalism but there's less of a chance with Ellie's parents than with a heterosexual couple, that's for sure. Gothard wouldn't let Ellie's parents through the front door!

There are people who know my name. People I trust. They aren't coming forward because I've asked them not to. That doesn't mean it won't come out someday. In the meantime, if you think I'm lying, then don't participate. If you gave me a donation AT ANY POINT and you didn't get the thank you you wanted, then please e-mail me or post here and I will refund you. I've offered this before and I mean it. Please contact me. You deserve to be comfortable with any organization you donate to. I'll admit, and I've said it before, I'm horrible at getting thank yous done on time. That's why I usually try to do blanket thank yous here on the blog. Paypal doesn't always include an e-mail on donations and some people will ask me not to identify them. Other times, it's weeks before I get online or check paypal and by that point, I feel bad for not noticing it sooner or thanking people sooner. That's definitely something I can work on.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Posting about Ellie's adoptive parents being a homosexual couple didn't sit well with many, many people. Despite the fact that the couple were the absolute best choice for Rachel, and that's really all that matters, there were several people who were angry. I eliminated anonymous posts because it was necessary to stop the b/s comments and e-mails. Well, the emails are still coming fast and furious, but at least the public, blog comments are more managable.

I didn't share the sexual orientation of the couple to get "extra points". This isn't a game.
Rachel chose these parents for her baby because they were, on paper, the best choice. She looked at several couples and narrowed it down to this couple because they met criteria Rachel had. Those criteria were: two professionals, spiritual but not religious, didn't believe in spanking, had a supportive extended family, were okay with a semi-open adoption on the bio mom's terms, and were prepared to take a child immediately. Notice there's not a sexuality requirement. She didn't care if they were hetero or homosexual. It just happens that they were homosexual. But, you know, it wasn't a statement to our parents or to Isaiah. It was just the way it worked out. They are the best parents for Ellie.

Some have asked a legitimate question: "how does a Gothard Christian girl feel comfortable enough to choose a homosexual couple to raise her baby?" From what I understand, Rachel was just looking for the best couple. When she saw the line about them being a gay couple, she did have pause. We talked about it and she came to the conclusion that, while it was contrary to everything we'd been raised with, what we'd been raised with didn't guarantee a solid family. I know Rachel prayed about it and she felt God was telling her to follow her instinct on this one. Rachel may have been raised to believe homosexuality is wrong. But, that doesn't mean she believes it. We were also raised to believe women were supposed to be subservient to men and that adoption was not for "us". Neither of us believe those things anymore.

Basically, it's done. Ellie is doing fantastic. Rachel is feeling pretty good and she's making plans to start a new life. Are my parents happy? I don't really care, in all honesty. We've heard that they've had a bad reaction to all of this --- but, they've told both of us that they've "washed their hands of us" and that we're disowned, too. It's done.

I did get a birthday card from one of my older brothers (through the brother I'm closest to) and I honestly had to laugh at the message. He said "Happy Birthday" and reminded me that I was always getting closer to God's judgement and hell. (roll eyes) I haven't seen the card, but it's been read and described to me. I'm tempted to remind him that he, too, is closer to the same things.

Thank you for the great, supportive messages and comments. For every one bad one, we received fifteen positive, helpful messages and that's what counts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

After birth

I'm sorry that I haven't updated since last week.
It's been a rough time.
First, the good news. Baby Ellie is doing wonderful! She was released from the NICU today and is now home with her family. Leaving her, when Rachel was discharged, was immensely difficult. However, knowing that she's being loved on by so many people helped. I know that she's in a much better environment than I, or Rachel, could've given her at this point in our lives. All of the paperwork has been signed and it's time for everyone to get on with life.
Rachel is doing as well as I could have expected. She has her moments of depression but the counsellor/therapist and support group have been very helpful. She also has moments where, by looking at her, you know that she's so confident in her choice that it seems silly for anyone else to be sad about it. Physically, Rachel is doing very well. We need to start looking for a permanent place for her.

I did write that letter for Ellie (the letter her parents asked me to write). I won't re-type it for the blog (because it's her letter). I do want to share one things I thought of while writing it.

During the hospital stay, I got to see Ellie's new family. They're wonderful. As I've said before, Ellie's family isn't traditional. As some of you have asked/guessed, her parents are a same sex couple. We didn't choose them because of that one things, though. Even though Rachel wanted a couple that were far from fundamental, it wasn't their sexual orientation or their secularism that drew her to pick them. It was their family. Both parents are strongly connected to their extended family and one of the grandmother's wrote a letter to include in their family portfolio for prospective birth mothers. This grandmother talked about how, while the world was telling her otherwise, she chose to accept who her chidl was and to support her child regardless of her differences. There was something so appealing about that sort of unconditional love and I'm so glad that Ellie's new grandmother has that capacity to love. Ellie's birth parents are committed to letting Ellie be who she'll be. Both Rachel and I are drawing a lot of peace from that knowledge and hope. Additionally, when they were chosen by my sister, the birth parents invited Ellie and I into their home. When we arrived for that first home visit, we were greeted by an entire family- aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and just this incredible community of people- all ready to love the baby my sister was carrying. I have to tell you that that amount of support blew me away. I know Ellie will be raised by a village of people and that that village will be far more capable than the one I was raised in.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rachel is home

Rachel is home. The plan is to spend the next few days finalizing things and starting her support group and therapy. Ella is doing great. Thank you for the positive comments and support.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's A Girl

We have a Baby Girl. Her adoptive parents have said it would be okay for me to share her first name and statistics. They are hoping that if other woman found herself in Rachel's role, that this story might help them make the best decision for themselves and their baby.

By the time I got back to her room, Rachel's labor was progressing right along. She got to 6cm and then everything just really stalled again. The baby wouldn't go past zero station. We got her up and walked around the halls for what seemed like forever. Then, the doctor was saying that a little pitocin would help, but she'd be in bed the rest of the labor if we did that and I'm not sure if it scared her uterus into action or what but things started kicking along again.

Ella(nicknamed immediately "Ellie") was born March 27 at 1:45am. She's a little small: 4lbs 15oz, but she was long 19.5". She's beautiful. Long, long fingers and perfect little lips. She'll stay in the NICU a few days to gain some weight but she's breathing fine and is very healthy.

It was beautiful. I've seen births before but this was hard and beautiful. Rachel was really strong in her decision and as soon as little Ellie was born, she called her adoptive parents into the room to see her. I know it was horribly difficult for her - I can't even imagine- but Rachel was/is so strong. Everyone was so good to her and so cautious about her feelings and protecting her, but she didn't need it. She said this morning that she wouldn't change this. I was so prepared for the worst- for her to want to change her mind or to be unconsolable but she's handling it well.

We're both exhausted. I came down for something to eat and then I'm going to go back up and catch a nap with Rachel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Maybe baby?

Rachel is in labor. She started having bad back pain at four this morning. We called the doctor and he had us come in for a visit around nine. It wasn't Rachel's normal doctor, but he said she probably should just go home and rest. They did a non-stress test and everything was great.

We got her home and I made her a little lunch and she said she wanted to shower. While she was in the shower, she yelled for me. I will never forget the look in her eyes when I walked in. There was a little blood running down her leg. So, back into the car we went to the doctor. It was their lunch, so we ended up sitting there for a few minutes. A nurse walked by the waiting room and asked Rachel if she was okay. We told her about the shower episode and she said something about "nervous first timers". Well, when the doctor got there, he had Rachel go in and he checked her. Rachel's aminotic fluid was leaking. She was also at 2cm and 80 effaced. They sent us next door to the hospital. We've been in her room since 1pm. They've put a little pitocin in her line to try to speed things along because she wasn't progressing very well. All of this time she's spent contracting before she was supposed to and now she's going slow.

I'm excited. I don't know if I should be. The adoptive parents are talking to Rachel right now and I'm downstairs making this post. I'm scared, guys. So far she seems to be handling this in a remarkably calm and logical way. I'm freaking out. This baby is coming tonight. My niece will be here tonight and I am excited. I can't wait to meet her...and then I think about having to watch her go to the other room with her wonderful adoptive parents and I know it's going to ache. I can't even imagine the ache Rachel will feel. I'm not sure how to do this and be there for her. If this is how expectant fathers feel then they have my sympathies. It's non cake walk.

*breathe* I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Baby Shower

Ok, ok. I finally got the hint. Some of you want to have a "shower" for Rachel- to "shower her with love and opportunities". I had a very hard time accepting this because it felt a little wrong to accept gifts since she wasn't keeping the baby. I've been assured that it's common to have birth mom showers. The baby will be very well taken care of. No worries there. So what can we do for Rachel? I'm open for ideas and if those who want to host this want to host it on their blog, that's fine too.

Some have asked: Is these anything Rachel wants to do after the birth that would take her mind of things? What can we give her to look forward to?
She really wants to "live it up" at Disneyland. She has never been and she wants to experience it. She also wants a new wardrobe- to move out of modest modern. I'll leave the rest up to anyone who wants to host this. Thank you for offering.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Has Rachel chosen a family?
Yes!! I'm so proud of my sister. She found a wonderful family for this baby girl. I don't want to disclose too many specifics - it's probably not wise- but the family isn't typical and they're so far from Gothardism that it's almost comical. I have no doubt that my sister's child will be loved, provided, and cared for.

How's Rachel?
She's doing pretty well, all things considered. Emotionally, she's pretty exhausted. Physically, she's getting a basketball belly and she's ready for this to be over. She's stopped having serious contractions and she's still at 1-2cm and 70% dilation. From what I understand, that's problematic because it's enough to be concerned about a premature delivery. However, every day is one day closer to term. I could be wrong but I think she's 35 weeks today. We're definitely in the realm of healthy baby. They did an u/s for growth a few days ago and estimated that the baby was almost 4lbs.

Friday, March 16, 2012


One of the harder conversations that my sister and I needed to have happened last night. I've been dreading it, really. How do I start this?

When I left home, I knew, in my heart, that I was breaking away from my family---not just my father. I knew that, by leaving the way I did, there wasn't much chance of my going back. At the time, the urge to self-preserve trumped my fears and worries for those I was leaving behind. That's a guilt I've lived with for the last several years and it's partly why I insisted on anonymity. Being anonymous and letting my father remain anonymous in turn felt like a small way to protect the people I left behind. As it turns out, I was partially right.

Rachel and I started talking about her memories of my leaving in the middle of the night. I'd always wondered how any of my sisters slept through my furious gathering of clothes in the middle of that night. How did they not wake-up? Why did I not get caught going out the back door? As it turns out, I did wake someone up. Rachel was awake when I left. Rachel.

Last night, she poured her heart out about how it felt to be left behind by the only person in your family that you felt loved by. That broke my heart. She was just a little girl when I left and I betrayed her trust. She reminded me of one afternoon, when she'd received a particularly unjust punishment for some small thing, and I had consoled her by saying that I'd never leave her alone with dad. Then, I left her. She said that the morning after, when I had to ride in the police car to the station from our neighnors, my father had them go to the window to watch me ride past. As I've always suspected, he was telling them horrible things about me. Rachel says that my dad told them I "was in so much trouble that even the secular authorities" had to step in to "control (my) wild behavior" and that the authorities felt it wasn't "safe" for me to come home at that point. I had run away! He was painting it to look like I'd been taken away for breaking some sort of law. In any case, my dad told all of the kids that "even if I came home", they weren't to speak to me. Rachel says that when I didn't come home- dad told them; I was a whore, I was running away to be with another boy, I was garbage, and that I would be dead within a year. Those were his predictions.

What I had always feared was that my leaving made it even harder for my sisters and I was right to fear it. After I left, my dad went even more fundamental and insulary. He cut off the house phone and bought a cell phone that only he carried. He started sending the kids to every Gothard suggested camp or intervention because my sin of leaving had marked them, too. Just crazy stuff! Rachel says that this really didn't let up until within the last two years. She says she kept preaching the party line and saying she rejected my choices just to avoid angering him. Then she left, too. She said she went back because she remembered how hellish life had been for those left behind when I left. I asked her if she was afraid of what was going on since she'd left again and we both cried. The truth is: even though my father has shunned Rachel, that is no guarantee that he's "washed his hands" of her. He could be using us as examples to control those left behind- my mother, in particular. Rachel has filled me in on how "into it" the remaining sibs are and maybe they'll be okay because they seem to really be "into" living the QF life. I'm still scared. And, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I was selfish when I left Rachel. God, this sucks.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Email comment- Is Gothard greedy?

I'm sitting here in the hospital with Rachel: she's been admitted for betamethasone to mature the baby's lungs in case of early delivery. No worries, though! She's not having more contractions or anything- this is just a precaution because she was slighly more effaced at her appointment Friday. Hopefully, she'll go home tomorrow morning.

An anonymous commenter left this comment on my last post and I think it deserves a fair answer.

AnonymousMar 9, 2012 04:49 PM
I might get pilloried for saying this but in the interest of fairness, I am unaware of any credible allegations ever being made that Bill Gothard has siphoned money from his organization for his personal benefit.

You won't get pilloried. You may be debated.
What do you consider "credible" allegations? I don't think there's a debate that he's benefitted greatly off of his ministry.
His organization is audited annually by an independent accounting firm charged with opining whether or not any financial malfeasance has taken place.

How do you know this? I ask in the spirit of fairness, as well. I would love to see this accounting you speak of. Also, while it would interest me to read an audit of the ministry's finances, it really wouldn't change my base problem with the organization and the man himself. See below.
Gothard has no personal trappings of wealth which argues against the idea that he is fleecing his flock for his own benefit.

This is where I have to take issue with your argument. He doesn't have to "siphon" or pilfer money away. It doesn't have to be illegal to be ethically questionable. He benefits from his conferences and books and organization. Whether he's living in a shack or a four bedroom, ranch style- he benefits from the hardship of others and that's wrong, in my opinion. I admit- people within ATI and the QF movement give money to him of their own will, no one is holding a gun to their head. However, I've seen how these large families scrimp and save to stay debt-free and make ends meet, and how their children go without, just so that they can go to Big Sandy or a conference. I've watched my own siblings shiver because we "purposed" to use less heating oil. And, yes, Gothard used to encourage families to "do whatever it took" to "participate fully" in his ministry. Was it his fault? Perhaps, not. I mean, you would be justified in arguing that my parents got carried away, too. But, it's also maddening to think that a single, childless man would be in a position to sway families like he does.

I'm unaware of any former IBLP insiders who have ever alleged financial impropriety on the part of Gothard.

Again, it doesn't have to be "impropriety". What about just "common decency"? The man encourages people to trust in the Lord...but buy his books while you're at it. Trust in the Lord...but educate your kids using this proprietary system of teaching that he profits from. Trust in the Lord...but support all of these friends of his that he gets kickbacks from. Again, it doesn't have to be illegal to fail the sniff test.

I'd be interested in seeing any contradictory evidence. Could it be that no credible news organization has "blown the cover off Gothard's scam" because, after investigating, they have concluded that there is no scam?

Who said it was a scam?
Look, I know Gothard has a legitimate business set-up. But, so does Amway. There are many companies that play by all the tax rules and run like a real businesss. But, they're just that- a business- and no one pretends otherwise. The company that makes Tylenol doesn't guarantee that taking their medication will lead you to a heavenly kingdom or protect your family or lead to spiritual satisfaction. Tylenol says, "Hey! If you have a headache, we can alleviate some of your pain." They also put a warning on the back of the bottle telling you not to abuse the medication and to get real help if it's not working. Gothard doesn't do that. He says, "If you live by these character traits and buy my books and educate your kids with my system and conferences, you'll be more right with God." Um. Who is he to sell that?

I understand that some people disagree with his teachings. However, it seems hugely unfair to the man to make unfounded allegations concerning his financial propriety simply because of those teachings. Gothard may have a number of faults, but I don't think greed is one of them.

Have you ever had the man in your house? I have. I think it's hugely unfair to the kids who grew up in that system who had experiences like mine to suggest that, just because he doesn't drive a Porsche, that he's a swell guy. To each his own, I suppose. And, he's certainly not wanting for anything.

I am truly sympathetic to Ruth's plight and the pain caused by the actions of her father. However, I would challenge anyone to cite any of Gothard's published teachings which could be reasonably construed as endorsing Ruth's father's behavior with regard to Ruth and Rachel. It just doesn't seem fair to attribute the actions of an unloving, maniachial, control freak to Gothard merely because he purports to be a Gothard adherent.

Did you read the article? His teachings ARE questionable. His statements are hurtful and can be damaging. Not only did his teachings endorse my father's way,...the man himself endorsed my father's way privately and held it up as a standard for others to follow. As I said from the beginning, my dad was there from day one...back in the "Youth Conflict" days. The scary part is: my dad isn't the exception, he's part of the norm in this environment.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Apparently, this writer got an interview with Bill Gothard. I'm a little shocked because, from what I'd heard, Gothard hasn't been speaking to many reporters lately. Because I'm quoted in the article, I'm sure the floodgates will open on anonymous commenters. As a warning, I just wanted to let everyone know that I may have to go back to IDed comments if it gets too nasty.

I like the article. However, I know it will be dismissed out-of-hand by the very people who need to read it most. That's unfortunate. Also unfortunate, ATI and IBLP are, according to recent estimates, raking in almost $100Million dollars a year. One-hundred million dollars annually from some of the poorest people in our country. What people in the mainstream media need to show is that the Duggars are such an anomaly within ATI/QF! I would say 95% of ATI families have no where near the financial security that the Duggars have. If it weren't for TLC, the Duggars wouldn't be where they are...and not every family can have a reality show. Look at the Bates- before TLC, and even with some TLC help, they're still relying on their son to help with the bills. But, Gothard gets his cut off that family- oh, you can bet he does! That $100M came from somewhere. In my own family, some of us went without medical care just to be able to afford that Big Sandy camping trip or the Chicago seminars. Excuse my mini-rant, but Bill Gothard has a company raking in $100 Million dollars and I have a pregnant sister with an ATI education, who conceived at an ATI event, who can't provide for herself. Something's wrong with that picture.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Good, Bad, and Ugly

The good: Isaiah signed the legal documents giving away rights to the child. DNA testing will be done after the birth, but it will be done only for information purposes and to give the legal documentation MORE merit. Essentially, the way I understand it, Isaiah lawyered up and our lawyer discussed it with his lawyer. They came to an agreement that Isaiah isn't saying he fathered the child but that if he is the father, he gives up all rights to the child and places decision making rights in Rachel's hands. There's more to it than that, I'm sure, but it will work. Isaiah is sticking to his story that the baby is not his and even if the DNA proves he is, there's a stipulation that he won't have to know and his family won't know or some crap theory. So much for being a man of upstading moral fiber.

More good: The baby looks great on ultrasound. She's looking to be about 3+ lbs. And, Rachel is pretty confident about one of the couples she met.

The bad: Rachel is on bedrest. We were taking a walk the other night and she had what we thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. We waited it out and by midnight, we realized that the contractions were beginning to regulate until they were coming every 8 minutes. We called her doctor and the doctor advised us to bring her to the maternity ward to get checked out. She was dilated to a one and 20% efaced. They gave her something magnesium in an IV which made her feel horrible but stopped the contractions. Now she has to take daily oral medication. Those meds and the bedrest are making her kind of impatient and hard to please. She's at home now because she went without contractions for forty-eight hours but I was pretty worried about her. Now she's extremely bored. I checked out some DVDs from the library but their selection is poor. I may give her my computer and see about getting her an internet connection at her place. Does anyone know of a cheap alternative to cable?

The ugly: My mom and dad sent an e-mail through this blog trying to guilt her into coming back home and keeping her child FOR THEM TO RAISE. It's pathetic. Among other things, they're claiming that they'll sue her to get custody. Now we have to deal with that craziness. Rachel's attorney told me that their office will handle this but Jesus,....why can't they leave her alone?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How are you, Ruth?

I've had many, many e-mails asking me how I am doing. Thank you for your concern. I think with everything that is going on with Rachel, I haven't had much time to worry about my own problems (which seem insignificant when compared to hers). Mostly, I'm fine. I'm just tired. I go to school. Go check on Rachel. Go back to school or study. Go to work. Go to the grocery store or go make dinner w/Rachel and then go sleep. In some way, I feel like a husband. LOL I'm not complaining, though. I see what Rachel is going through and I'm even more set in my desire to not have children. I watched my mother go through several pregnancies but there was a certain detachment because I was a child and she was an adult. Now I'm adult and I'm watching another adult go through it doesn't look like fun.

If I can make it to Spring Break (which is coming up soon), I'll be okay. Next term won't be so difficult academically.

Does your sister know what she's having? Yes! A girl. She's about 32 weeks.

Has Rachel chose a family? Not, yet. She's thinking about the couples that have been presented to her and she'll be meeting with two of them next week.

Have you talked to Harris at all? I see him around and we've had casual conversations. We don't hate each other.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nothing really.

I'm a little shocked and proud of myself. :) I went in to talk to one of my profs about dropping a class and he said I was getting an A and shouldn't drop. *I* am getting an A in a science class. Ok. Really, it's an A-, but still. I've been working really hard to keep up and thought I'd barely pass with a C.

I won't be moving in with my sister. It turns out, there's too many negatives regarding financial aide and scheduling. I am starting a new job tomorrow. It's very part time. However, it'll give Rachel some spending money and I can study while I work. It's sitting in a parking booth and collecting fees for campus parking. I applied for a few waitressing jobs but my lack of experience and the number of people applying didn't work out.

Rachel is getting things figured out. She wants to enroll in a GED class so she has something to occupy her day. Ironically, if she were keeping the baby, she'd be eligible for financial aide at different schools. As it is, she'd have to get my dad to submit his information for the FAFSA and that isn't likely. He wouldn't do it when I needed it, either. I'm happy that she's at least thinking of pursuing a higher education and trying to prepare. We also got her enrolled in a birthing class because, at this point, I'm scared that she doesn't know enough about her body and what birthing is. That's something I think all fundamentalist families need to address. A woman should know how everything about her body works- not hide it or shame people for wanting to know about it. Rachel decided to do a private, open adoption through an attorney, not through an agency. When we went to meet with the agencies here, they were, by-and-large, religiously based or bent. Some even had requirements about the religion of the adoptive parents and wanted promises to raise the children in that faith. Rachel honestly would prefer that the couple NOT have strong religious ties. I can't say that I blame her. In any case, she'll start meeting with the couples who work with this attorney and are on a list next week. I like that she'll have the ability to meet the people first and even get to know them. I'm proud of Rachel every single day- I don't know if I could do what she's doing.

On the home front, dad has backed off of Rachel. He "washed his hands" of both of us. Rachel's grieving that loss and I know I've grown some because my response was, "Good! It's about time." Two years ago, hearing him say something like that would've left me in tears. Isaiah's family has also backed off now that Rachel has an attorney. I know some of you said she should just deny that she knows who the father is but that's apparently not the best way to handle it. If she did that and he could later prove paternity, then he could fight the adoption and end up with total custody of the baby. What we're planning to do is see if he'll deny his own paternity rights. It sounds like he might do that because he's still claiming this can't be his child. The DNA testing will answer that question and, yes, he's legally obligated to take one to clear OR retain his legal rights.

I spoke with a reporter who's doing a piece about the media's obsession with QF/ATI families. She's said that I'll be granted anonymity and I'm happy for that. But, I think I'm ready to start talking to people and telling my story in a more open manner. That doesn't mean I'll out myself on the blog any time soon but this crazy idolization of the QF lifestyle needs to have a counterpoint.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting Set Up

Rachel met with the adoption agency today and by next week, she'll have a place to live. Because of the situation, they want to have us both living in an apartment together. I'm going to do it because I want my sister to have the support she needs. I also know that this is going to mean me dropping a class. I was the RA here on campus and I can't do that if I'm not living here. The dorm advisor understands the situation and, luckily, we'd been training up a new RA for our floor since December (in case Harris and I had lasted and I moved out). I need to drop the class because I'm going to take the advice of someone on these blog comments who told me to try waiting tables. Maybe they were just being sarcastic, but that isn't a bad idea. Rachel and I are going to need to pick up things for the apartment and pay the uncovered expenses that the adoptive parents and the agency will eventually pick up. Rachel can't work. She's going to be busy going to doctors and seeing therapists and lawyers. I want to do this for her. However, please don't feel badly about me when I say I'm scared to death.

I think craigslist will be my new friend. :)

We're here

We're back. We're getting everything worked out.
Rachel is fine. She's tired (but, then again, so am I). It's strange seeing my sister so pregnant. Despite the circumstance, we've had a good time getting to know one another again. Now the hard stuff begins.

How did this go down? After my post asking for anyone who had resources, I was directed to call a woman's shelter in my sister's area. They got in touch with Rachel and put her in a safe place. Between my brother, and a very nice woman who reads here who had some frequent flier miles to transfer, and others, we had enough to fly me out to pick her up and drive her back here. Another reader has a sister who does family law and she's agreed to help us with the next steps probono. All we'll have to cover is filing fees and basic things. Rachel is meeting with an adoption agency today.

I feel like this is going to work out for the best.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I hate to do this; but, I need to ask for your help.
Does anyone know of ANY resources for moving her here? I've been google searching for hours and haven't found anything! We did, however, get a lucky tip here regarding the free legal aide, so I'm hoping there's someone here who knows of some resource to tap for getting her moved here and set up with an attorney, not for the adoption, to protect her from my dad and others who wish her harm. Any ideas are welcome! Thank you, in advance.

Edited: I edited this post to remove some information. We've got a plan and it's going to happen this week. My brother freed up enough credit card space to help work something out. I'll be spending today finishing up some assignments and labs (my professors were fantastic). I shared my blog with them in an e-mail and asked them to excuse my from labs. One of them is opening a lab today so I can do it before I go. Then, I'll be meeting Rachel (don't want to say more than that to keep it protected).

THANK YOU for the phone numbers of attorneys. I found one who is going to help Rachel for nothing more than the filing fees and such. She's local and a sister of someone on Freejinger. We've already spoken. Thank you, to all of you, for offers of help and offers of places to stay. I think it's going to be okay. I'll not be posting for a few days, but don't worry. For the first time, I really think this will work out. -Ruth

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Since y'all are the closest thing to friends I have, I wanted to send you best wishes for Valentine's Day.

A few questions and then a note about my sister.
May I ask a question, Ruth? Did you ever become very close with a sibling you helped to raise so that you felt the baby was your baby instead of your sibling?
Yes. That's, frankly, what kept me in my family as long as it did. My mom wasn't a hands-off mom, but the demands of ATI/Homeschooling and the demands of meeting my father's needs were so great that she just couldn't get around to meeting all of our emotional needs. As the oldest girl in the family, I did feel like I was tagged as a substitute mother. Rachel and Rani will always feel less like my sisters and more like my children. Rebekka and I were close enough in age that I didn't have to take on an emotional role in her early childhood. Rachel and Rani were handed off to me almost exclusively. That's also why I have such a deep-seeded need to protect the two of them.

How can we help?
Your emotional support is worth more than anything!
Any tips I have received since the first Rachel post has gone to Rachel. I have noticed that people here are saying they left something for me- thank you, but Rachel needs this so much more than I do. Please don't feel like you have to tip me.

How is Rachel? Did she decide on adoption?
Rachel is feeling well, physically. She had an anatomy scan on Thursday and found out that she's having a girl! My brother's boss went with her and said that it seemed like the ultrasound actually resolved Rachel in her decision to place for adoption. I spoke to Rachel later and she confirmed that. Rachel isn't choosing adoption because she has to (I know some people are concerned about that). She's, at this point, choosing adoption because she's seeing a bigger picture. Rachel is, emotionally, where I was several years ago. She's just left a place where she wasn't treated like an adult or expected to make any adult decisions. She's just left a headspace where she wasn't allowed to; choose her own clothes, go out of the house alone (EVER!), listen to a radio, watch a television, or do anything without asking my father for his authorization. While she could physically care for a child (change diapers, nurse, or whatever), she has very real concerns about meeting the emotional needs of a child when she's really needing care herself. She's wanting to grow up first and find someone to share her life with before having a family. She trusted someone she shouldn't have and, from what I hear, didn't realize what they were doing was what would get her pregnant (as far off as that sounds). She's trying to do the best she can for her and this baby.

We have managed to secure basic legal aide for her for free. This law office is working to find a lawyer specializing in open adoption for her. Rachel really does NOT want to go through an agency. She's spoke with several and everything near her has a large religious component. One even told her that she was a cultist and that they would ensure her baby was "raised in the light". As you might imagine, this scared the crap out of Rachel. She wants the baby to end up with a good family, with a strong support system, and no fundmentalist leanings of any sort. So there we are.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Men or boys?

Before I start getting into this post, I want to thank those who have donated something for Rachel. I transferred the money to my brother today and he will get it to Rachel. Rachel also wants to thank you. She plans to use the money for some more modern maternity clothes. Also, thank you for the legal references. Rachel and my brother went to the Social Services offices and contacted the free legal aid office that someone had listed here or at freejinger. They were able to help answer her questions and draft a letter to Isaiah's family telling them that she plans to put the baby up for adoption and seeking Isaiah's confirmation(?) that the baby "can't be his" (even though we all know it is).

This brings me to my rant. I hope every ATI family reads this post and sees this lifestyle and "ministry" as the sham that it is. In this situation, we have an ADULT MALE (by law) acting like a child! A spoiled, pampered child who, because of fear from his parents or fear of being cast out of this "ministry", won't own up to his responsibilities. I have no doubt that Isaiah is scared. You know what? My sister is terrified and she can't hide this pregnancy as he can. She's living it while he goes about his merry way. Word on the street is that he's hurriedly began courting another young woman. I feel sorry for her. She'll never know that "the one God had for her" had someone else. Courtship can work, I suppose. But treating grown men and women like foolish children is ridiculous because it allows them to face the responsibility as children do ("let mommy and daddy fix this"). What crap!

I'm actually glad his family isn't owning this for one reason: Rachel deserves far better and so does her child! God forgive them- because I won't.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I didn't mean to go dark for several days after my last post. I spent most of the weekend on the phone (thank goodness for phone cards!).

Rachel is reading here and at FreeJinger when she can. She's very appreciative of the prayers, thoughts, and advice that people have offered. This is a very scary time for her and every bit of positive advice helps. Thank you.

Although Rachel would make a wonderful mother and although she really wants this baby, I think she's leaning toward adoption and I couldn't be more proud of her. She's just concerned about what she'll be able to offer this little one and it's been something she's thought about since she found out she was pregnant. Between my brother and I, we're going to try and get her to see an attorney to see what we need to do to get Isaiah to either sign his rights away or outright deny paternity legally. The other option that's been discussed is having her move out here so that she can get some space. I just don't know how that will work, but it's a possibility. There seem to be more agencies in my area than hers. From what we're understanding, this would take care of her medical expenses and her worries about supporting the baby with little education and some things she needs to work through. Of course, if she changes her mind, I would understand and I say this to the blog because we'd like to hear it if you have adoption experience.

I think our first step needs to be getting Rachel healthy and ready for this. Thank you for your help.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crumbling, crumbling

"My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same." - Job 4:8

The brother who I am closest to called me last night. Among other things, he spoke about my sister, "Rachel". She's the sister who tried to leave before and went back. Well, as it turns out, she's pregnant (very pregnant) by the son (let's call him Isaiah) of another ATI family. My first thought was to wonder when they had the opportunity to hook up!?! ATI girls aren't allowed much, if any, time alone with boys and Isaiah's family doesn't live close to mine. Doing the math; the only possibility we can arrive at is that the conception occured during an ATI regional conference! Holy moly! You can bet heads are going to roll for this one.

She's due April 24th, which makes her about 28 weeks along. She's terrified and understandably so. Isaiah's family is claiming it can't be their son who got her pregnant. Of course, their "child",...their 21 year old, god-fearing son wouldn't have broken the purity promise he made to his parents and God. Because, we all know that 21 year old boys never think of sex! Right? So, it's my sister who's lying about her "promiscuity" (one man before marriage equals promiscuity in ATI) and she'll have to prove paternity.

Isaiah's family's actions are horrible. But what's worse are my father's actions! I know, no one is at all surprised that he didn't handle this well. He is livid. His legacy is falling apart. His quiver full of righteous soldiers are straying from the intended target. Rather than support my sister in her claims and attempt to, you know, help her - he's playing the blame game and has decided that my mother is the one to blame!!!!!!!!!!!!! She didn't "keep better control of her daughters."

So Rachel has been turned out of his house and my mother is now banned from speaking to her, too. All I want to say to my dad is, "You reap what you sew!"

Really? What part of Christian parenting suggests that you should abandon your children in their greatest time of need? I understand, in a limited way, that my dad felt I was a threat to the family's beliefs. But, shouldn't he be embracing my sister's situation? She's bringing forth one of God's blessings! Or, does that only count when two white, Christian Gothard followers marry? The hypocrisy is so evident. If Rachel were married, then my parents and Isaiah's parents would be crowing about this blessing from God. Both families are staunchly pro-life and have attended rallies wherein they crucify women who choose abortion - but when it's their own children who are involved, they don't support life and support my sister's decision to go forth with this pregnancy. They kick her out and call her a whore. REAL. F-ING. NICE.

If there's any positive to this situation, it's that Rachel is out. She, like myself, found a second family to offer her the love and support thath should've come from her church and her biological family. She's moved in with my brother's boss and wife. They've helped her get state issued insurance, a part time job, and are helping her negotiate this stressful time. These people are truly amazing and are true Christians.

Please keep my sister in your thoughts and prayers. And, if anyone knows of a good family attorney in Northwest Arkansas, can you please e-mail me the name and number. I think Rachel needs to get an attorney and pursue holding Isaiah responsible. I'm assuming she'll need an attorney to do that? Do any of my readers have experience with this sort of situation?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Science Labs = Boogeyman

I'm sorry for not updating. School started up again and I had to change a few classes. Now I'm stuck, for the time being, with two science labs. (cue the ominous music) Seriously, I *love* the sciences, but these classes are killing me. I took some very basic, remedial style classes before coming here so that I'd be prepared for the basics. It still didn't help me erase 12 years of homeschooling "science" from my head. University level science courses require a different level of thinking and looking at the world. I'll get through it; I'll just be spending more time with my head in a book and less time on the internet. And, as a word of advice for anyone thinking of taking two labs in one quarter/semester: Don't! I'm not a med student for a reason. :)

I haven't heard from my father or mother in weeks. I spoke to my brother, though, and apparently I'm enemy number one. The sister that tried leaving about a year ago has left again. She left with a boy and it's all my fault or something. I hope she's okay and if she reads this- I hope she contacts me.

I guess the point of this post was to say that I'm still alive- just busy. Thanks for all of the inquiries and concern.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Playing with the layout.

Hello! I've been playing with the layout on the blog (hence the frequent changing).

Well, I have to start focusing on school here soon, so I may not get to post as much. I think we've seen the last of my father for a while (although, I can't guarantee it). He went pretty bezerk over e-mail today and I blocked his e-mail address. Before you ask, "yes!" I did get to talk to my mother, first.

I did something I haven't ever really done while talking to her. I asked her if all of this was worth it? It's something I've been wanting to ask her for a very long time. I don't want to betray her trust by sharing her answer here- but, I do want to say I'm afraid for her and I think she's a little too far gone to leave. Having the last baby, my sister, "Blessing", essentially trapped her. And, truthfully, she still loves my dad very much. I'm glad she has that love. I just wish she knew how much she's given up to stand by him. Mom, if you're reading this, I love you! I wish you could understand that I didn't leave you. It wasn't YOU (to use dad's cap system) that I was running from. I was running from what dad had planned for me. As you said on the phone, I disappointed you- but, you disappointed me, too! You wouldn't or couldn't see how terrified I was by what you claim was "the plan God had for me". How could it be his plan? How could something that I didn't feel in my heart be God's plan for me? Isn't that what you told us girls growing up? That God would speak to us and that you and dad would be there to protect us from someone with wrong intentions? What happened to that, mom? I told you, in no uncertain terms, that I didn't want to marry him: that I wasn't ready for that life. You asked me if it was just because I didn't like him and the answer is that I truly don't know. If you were asking if I would've stayed in our faith had I been attracted to that guy, then I can only answer "I don't know." To this day, I don't know what I want and part of that *is* your fault, mom! You didn't raise me to make my own decisions and know that I'm making them, I'm constantly questioning myself because despite dad's claim that I'm some over-confident, stubborn brat, I'm really just a young woman who doesn't have the self-esteem to make a choice! And, when I do make choices, I question them over-and-over again.
Mom, what legacy do you want to give us girls? Do you really want us to have free will and live as God commands? Or, are we supposed to do what you did and keep sweet?
I just want you to know I love you. If you're reading this, I will always love you.

To everyone else,
I'm sorry this became a letter to my mom. Our conversation was cut short today and I think this will be the only way I can communicate with her.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thanks and more questions for my father.

I would like to offer a special "thank you" to Michael Mock, Stacie, Anita, and Caroline. I'm overwhelmed. I don't even know what to say except "thank you".

I would also like to thank everyone who has been so kind in the last several weeks worth of comments. Your support has meant the world to me. My life has been very lonely...and then I log on here and read the wonderful words of wisdom being left for me.

My father has been e-mailing me in a frenzy for the last several hours. One request he had was for me to put his answers in a post rather than have him comment in comments because he claims he's having difficulty with the comment section. (?) However, I want to tell him here-and-now that: if he wants dedicated blog posts, then maybe he should create his own blog? Truly, dad! Why not? Then you could "educate us", as you claim to want to, and you wouldn't have to wait for me. In fact, if you're so proud of your life and the way you raised me, then why did you threaten me with legal action if I ever spoke your name on this blog? Also, dad, I would really like to speak to mom. I'm worried about the silence on her end and would really cherish a conversation with her.

I've tried to go back and find the comments he is referring to (those will be formatted in quotes). His answers, sent to me via several e-mails, are bolded.


Anonymous said...
By doing what? Emotionally blackmailing her into a shadow of the person she was created to be? What?

We are not blackmailing. If you are you a parent sir or madam if you are you would know that GOD asks parents to train up their children in the way that they should go.

Sandra said...
re: "holiest of commandments"

does Got Hard Dad somehow think "holy" (however he determines that) trumps "greatest" per Jesus himself? As in "37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment.39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

I don't know about Got Hard but I don't see that Jesus mentions anything about parents in there at all.

January 4, 2012 12:56 PM
Anonymous said...

By doing what? Emotionally blackmailing her into a shadow of the person she was created to be? What?

Sandra said...
BTW, Ruth, just wondering if Got Hard speaks in all caps like that in real life or just in writing?

GOD deserves to be stood out. We praise HIM by showing respect for HIS name.

Anonymous said...
So how does GothardDad explain all those OTHER Christian families leading happy servant lives outside of ATI?

Any one can pretend at showing a happy face. there are few who will be happy with their fate in HIS KINGDOM. Christians are happy people who know that they serve GOD in HIS plan. There are as we know people who profess a love for GOD and still choose to work against him and will be unhappy when faced with the judgement of the LORD who sees all.

I'm not sure who he was speaking to here because he didn't quote anyone specifically.
I think it's, possibly, meant for Cat.
Closness to OUR GOD and CREATOR depends on your obedeancec in the walk with HIM. Your feelings of a being so powerful as HIM is nice yet not the best judgement of a relationship. The example here is that I love my children closely to my heart but if they disobey the WORD of GOD I can't love them in heaven as they won't be there for me to love. I pray that you find obedience and peace through HIM that breathes into you.

What I find so (sadly) hilarious is how these patriarchalist fathers don't realize that the more they defend themselves and condemn those who don't submit to their authority, the more they reveal how thoroughly self-serving their pet submission dogmas are. Basically, their "sheltering" game is to claim their own spiritual and legal rights in order to deny those same rights to their wives and children.

This man who speaks ill of me knows me not but judges just as the LORD says we should not judge. Let he who is without sin cast the first stones so it goes. Fathers heed the call to shelter their children to grow to be there authentic self as GOD created them. What rights did i take from ****(Ruth) or her mother? Please tell me sir what you think you know about my home.

And here's another thing worth noting: Dad is very adept at utilizing the "honor your father and mother" command, yet seems not to have grasped the "provoke not your children to wrath" command, which is given directly to him.

Andrew is trying to confuse us who truly read the WORD. Children are as to parents as parents are to God. God does not to provoke us to wrath if we follow him but we are provoked when we err and swerve from that PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT HE PROSCRIBES FOR US. Keep reading Andrew and you will see the real message being fathers should not be unreasonable. PROVOKE NOT YOUR CHILDREN TO WRATH BUT BRING THEM UP IN DISCIPLINE AND INSTRUCTION IN THE LORD!
Your children are burdened by the lies and deceit you have proffered them via the heresies preached by Bill Gothard. How does a unmarried man who lived with his mother till she died, have the knowledge and the reason to teach married couple and children the right way? He doesn't. He's a charlatan who has laughed all the way to the bank. Same as Doug Phillips. I feel sorry that you have the need to be uplifted in the same manner as Christ, because Dad, you aren't Christ, nor will you ever attain the self less love and compassion that he taught.

Amal you are the liar and charlatan! Do you know the men you talk about no you do not and still you speek about them with venon that makes you easy to ignore. I don't have to abort my children to know that abortion is wrong nor do I have to have a degree in religion to follow our LORD. Bill Gothard doesn't need a marriage to know respect in human conditions and that which the Bible is clear on: Lo Children ARE A HERITAGE OF THE LORD!

What do you mean when you say your lifestyle was "set before you by the Holiest of Holies?" Did the Almighty drop by one afternoon and explain His model for holy marriages? If not, where did you first hear about the QF system? What persuaded you to try it?

Michael Mock
Every man on this earth has the WORD before him as a way of life. His model is clear to anyone who prays on the WORD. I was set upon this "Quiverfull" system as you call it when I prayed on a scripture that a trusted friendly advisor pointed out to me Psalsms 127:3. I saw how wise this council was and purposed to follow it to it's divine end and was blessed with eleven children on earth and one alrady with the LORD. When you trust you give this all to GOD.

Have you ever considered that maybe the Almighty doesn't extend that call to everyone? That maybe it's something He wanted for you, but not for everyone else - and maybe not even all of your children?

Asked and answerd. Pray on your lack of faith.
As an atheist (ex-evangelical) I feel

I will pray for your soul that you are saved before it is to late. It does not surprize me that our daughters blog attracts such trash.
Steve Bahnor said...
Hey Darth Daddy,
You see that paypal link on the sidebar? You really wanna' show your support for Ruth, start there. Your daughter is doing the do, so to speak, so get off your high horse and do your part by doing what most dads do. Pitch in and help your child realize her dreams without strings!

A fool and his money are soon parted says the WORD of the LORD. Your silly valueless morals make you blind to our commiting to give all our children a payed for life until they marry GODS CHOSEN ONE for them makes this the sillyest thing I have read all day. Do you give money to addicts sir.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dad posted

My father responded to a few commenters.
gotharddad said...
I pray for all be they of any race or creed for the love of THE LORD OUR GOD sees us for who we are and what we value over all. Through HIM is is I who ask for the blessings and courage to face this in the NAME OF THE FATHER.
To Deana. You do not know your Bible as well as you profess because if you did the holiest of commandments would stick out to you and show you that "RUTH" is dishonoring one of God's most holy. Inscribed by GOD himself and asked as the first promise is HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER. Important to the point of repetition in Ephesians. This is a trust of faith to honor them in all times in disagrement and agreements. RUTH will not be whole until she can get back to the basic trust in GODS WORD. We love our daughter so loving parents have expectations she has not met as GOD loves us with expectations.

To Michael Mock. The way I live was set before me by the HOLIEST OF HOLIES. GOD requires it for them that will enjoy eternity in HIS precense. My life is good. What life do you have without trust in HIM? I have followed a program of faith to be debtless this makes me happy. My spirit is replenished by the walk I have with my Savior. I have a holy, GOD fearing wife sanctioned by the covenants of the Bible who has walked with me for most of my life. We know no divorce because we believe in the covenant of marriage therefore I am fulfilled and happy. Our children living in our honor are happy. The very small sadness we feel is about "Ruth" and our son who chose this life of worldiness and they were raised in the same way as the kids who stayed and returned to us whole so we keep praying that they too will return to live God's promise.

Quiverful isn't a lifestyle for those who pray upon the scripture which is why it will never be for everyone. Choosing to allow God to be in control of the opening and closing of the womb is a calling that you respond to with right spirit and heart or one that you ignore because of your own desires and needs which don't coincide with the Bible. We don't judge others for not having the faith to walk in the LORDS TRUST but we pray for them to find the strength to open themselves and give it to GOD. Speaking man to man you should try it and watch how your life opens.

Man and woman were created different for HIS PURPOSES and you fight still to be equals in yolk. Purpose to find HIS PURPOSE.

He also sent me an e-mail.
I and your mother prayed to know if we were to respond to your friends on the internet. We believe that GOD is working through you to allow us to show the other side to your speetious, unfounded words against HIS PLAN and we must respond to show the other side. GOD is using YOU ****(Ruth). I am proud to be a Gothard Dad which we believe was as you say passive agressive way to identify me. Pray about your soul and the souls of those you try to bring from Christ's pure love and we will keep praying for you. You will post this we know so post also that we love you all ways and our love is shown best by making you be in charge of your choices. Our offer is still on the table about coming home and going to school of our choice. You could be such a witness for the power of choosing GODS PURPOSE to women if you have the courage to submit to HIS PLAN for you and we will help you come HOME. A family in partnership of faith will even host you if you do not want to live under my roof for the time. Your readers and you should see how accomdating we are being to you.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

I wanted to make a separate post from the "Notes from Dad" post.
I've read every comment regarding my broken engagement and I want to send out a "Thank You" to everyone who wrote in. Your words of wisdom were much needed and your perspective was appreciated. I purposefully withheld from writing/blogging/communicating with you all for a few weeks because I didn't know if I could handle re-living the break-up everyday. As it is/was, it didn't matter - not reliving it and analyzing it is impossible.

The truth is that I don't know where to go from here. Despite firmly believing in my head that my life's happiness isn't wrapped up in a man, my heart still clings to that childhood belief. When you grow up hearing, and continue to hear (through family), that you can't be a full woman without a husband and a family, not having either (especially at my age) makes me feel like I've failed.

My dad's right in certain respects. My life hasn't been a resounding endorsement of living life the way I do. Let's face truth- I am an adult who really can't support myself financially. Despite trying as hard as I have, my goal of getting a college degree is taking longer than most and I'm in a constant state of financial struggle. It's discouraging. More honesty- when I thought I would be getting married to Harris, I dared to imagine a certain amount of security that now seems like it will never happen. It's easy for me to see why people return to, or can't leave, a quiverful home. There's no safety net.

It does feel like God is punishing me. I hate to say that because, for the last few years, I've tried to stay open to the idea of God being a loving entity. Now I just don't know anymore. That's not to say my personal decisions haven't been responsible for a majorty of my life challenges, but I just wonder when that whole "God will never give you more than you can handle" becomes nothing more than a bumper sticker? I am at the end of my rope. If God exists, then why is this life I'm running towards more difficult than just capitulating?

2012 is here and it's hard to see a positive. Before anyone asks, the answer is "Yes! I am back with my therapist." I'm not suicidal...I'm just tired. I'm taking medication for depression- another double-edged-sword. Medications are expensive and they were forbidden in my childhood. They were seen as a sign of weakness. Every horrible forecast of despair that I'd been told would happen if I abandoned the ATI/QF plan has come to pass. My only consolation is that I also see non-ATI/QF/Christian people who seem very happy, unbroken, and unmedicated, too! Maybe there is hope. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong. Ha! Maybe I haven't found that life for me, yet?

Thank you, my readers, for helping me see past this break-up. Thank you for being there to listen. I wish all of you a wonderful 2012.

Notes from Father

Some of you called it. My dad couldn't resist weighing in on my break-up with Harris. He e-mailed me using this blog's e-mail and we had a short correspondence. He "dared" me to post it on this blog and "give him an audience". What he doesn't understand is that this doesn't make him look particularly favourable. However, I suspect he's channelling VF/ATI/QF people here to read (just based on traffic reports).

DAD: you asked for it. Our exchange. Also, dad, if you want your chance to voice your opinions, this is your post. You stated in your e-mails that you wished people would talk to people like you, people who know "the reality" of living a "Godly, Bible based" lifestyle. You said you think this blog is giving people a false message. So here you go, Dad! If you want the chance to answer questions yourself, I have made it so you can answer them. Use the name I x-ed out of our conversation so *I* know it's you and I'll leave the answers up for all to read.

We are praying for you this Christmas eve daughter. You need the grace and forgivness of GOD for only HE and HE alone can give you the solice you suffer for at this time. Marriage is a GODGIVEN COVENANT and only HE knows who HE has made for your heart and this is the enevitable end that we knew you would face as soon as you left my umbrella of protection. ****(Harris) was the fruit of your lustful heart when only prayerful silence can show the one GOD has for you. You walked away from that love bound through HIM and into the arms of another man. You have sinned my daughter and only repententing to the CREATOR can help you now. We invite your back. Your mother and I have prayed about asking you to come home and be an example in CHRIST. We will forgive you for everything that you have done including the pain you caused our family. You won't have to struggle financially or look for love in the damaged world. Our gift to you for Christmas is prayer and forgiveness. Love through HIM who gives us strength, Father.
The pain I feel is magnified by your e-mail. Why does your love always include strings? It would've been an amazing gift to simply let me know that you care. The best gift of all would've been to open an e-mail from you with three words- "I love you." That would have told me you truly felt my pain. Dad, Harris was a good man...he just wasn't the right man for me at this time. I don't need your forgiveness, dad. I need your support and your love. I think far too much has happened for me to return to your home. I appreciate the offer.

Its always thus with you, daughter. You want what only GOD can give but you deny HIM and only GOD gives the love you need. Our church family would like to sponsor you even to enroll you in a college of our choosing. We will pray with you to be who GOD wants you to be. Your life is lacking and you know it's true my daughter for GOD has told us all through these tragic life trials you have faced since you started this blog of lies that you will never have the sweetness of GOD'S PLAN until you submit to the life you were born to live instead of the illnesses injuries and, suffering you get from your worldly life. Your blog is keeping our lifestyle in a negative place when you know people live this life happily. I know you support homosexuals having a choice in their lifestle then you tell us we're wrong to ask them to submit to God's authority but you won't let us live quietly in peace with our choices that are sanction IN HIM. Give GOD a voice or give a strong household a voice instead of mocking them and us. Your a hipocritical girl the reality be you will not allow a GODLY man to impact this story you tell. I can't comment without your say. I will show you this is the life for you if you just allow God a voice.
And what if I came home, dad? What would life be like? This college of your choice would be where? Would you choose my major? Can't you see that my life my be horrible, but also understand that at least it's *my life*? Have your voice, dad! Respond to my blog using the name ********** and I will leave it for all you read. I'm not afraid of God's voice or yours. Just know they are not the one-and-the-same, dad.

That's where it ended.
Time will tell.