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