Sunday, June 30, 2013

A plea

Apparently, because of the suspicions of some people, there are some things I need to discuss in this post. I have to say that I've always understood the doubt that some people have about my identity. I understand the draw of a good mystery- it's fun to try to solve puzzles and figure out things. I get it. I also get that by choosing to remain sort of anonymous, I would experience some who doubted my story. Some people have said that *their* experiences with ATI don't equal mine. Some people have said that they grew up in large, religious families and that they didn't have the same experiences. Some people have even wrote in saying that they know Gothard and he doesn't encourage the ideals I claim he encourages or that their QF families are loving. Some have even questioned the string of bad luck I've had and the manner in which I've dealt with it. All of those are fair. I have never claimed that my life is the norm or that ATI doesn't work for any family or that religious fundamentalism can't be lived well. I have always prefaced this blog with the disclaimer that these are my rememberances and experiences and that they may not be representatives of the whole. I also have repeatedly stated that I understand the critical nature of some for my choice to stay anonymous. The internet is a strange place- people, anyone really, could make up their life and post it for all to see. They can dramatize their experiences and drag people into a saga that is entirely of their own making. I've personally seen examples of bloggers who create empires out of playing off the sympathy of others and make hundreds of thousands of dollar a year doing so. They try to sell their life and their lifestyle. What I've also noticed is that, if that's the goal of the blog, they rarely hide their identity. In fact, they seem to get off on the notoriety that the internet can bring. Why am I saying all this- I guess because, the way I see it, you don't need to be anonymous to scam people on the internet- so it frustrates me that people accuse me of "scamming" because I want to remain anonymous to a certain degree. In actuallity, being completely transparent about my family name might have garnered me a CNN interview and they were willing to help me pay for certain things. The book fell apart because the publisher wanted me to make it more about Gothard and out my brothers for their participation in the organization- rather than being my story, they wanted it to be a tell all, "inside look" at ATI. I couldn't do it. As much as I dislike the organization and the ideas that QF and ATI hold up, I also know that there are very large families that are dependent on the money that their association with the organization has and while I want to hold certain people responsible and prevent them from hurting other girls- I can't have my nieces and nephews go hungry so that I can get royalties from a book. I can't destroy my mother like that. I can't destroy my brothers and sisters like that- and I WON'T put young children in poverty or the stress that would come from outing my family. YES! The way my mom and dad did it was completely wrong and I see other families "doing it wrong", but I also know that my brothers and sisters are a new generation of ATI/Homeschooling/fundamentalist families and, so far, they haven't had the abuses that we experienced. As much as it is easy to blame ATI, I guess it was really more about my father and his personal power trip than a faith. I got off track. Some people have recently decided that just reading my blog and voicing their suspicions wasn't enough. When I posted that I was hospitalized recently and that I'd moved cross country for a job, they took that as a challenge to "out Ruth". The family that figured out where I was staying at the KOA was a mixed blessing- I love them dearly and they have done nothing to harm me. I talk to them frequently now and have plans to see them when they come to Chicago on their summer vacation. But, and I've told them this, that they found me creeped me out a little bit. It scared me. As little information as I was sharing and all they had to do was drive through a parking lot in a campground and look for a single lady with a California license plate. With good intentions, it was that easy. So, what about a person with bad intentions? What could they do? I made the mistake of sharing a bit of information with someone on another community. They offered me some things for my apartment. It was generous. I had a hard time meeting up with them when originally planned because life has been crazy. They weren't the only ones. I had to pull out of a couple planned meetings because of work getting in the way. But, this one person took it very, very personal and because I had told her where I worked, she showed up at work. It's worth noting that she didn't bring the item she was going to donate to my apartment- she just showed up unannounced and started asking for "Ruth or Mary". The girl working the information desk had no idea who she was asking about and we have a policy requiring that people sign in if they can't show a student ID. This reader got very upset. Ironic, right? I was called down and found a lady standing there in a very foul mood. She then demanded to see my driver's license. Needless to say, this really, really freaked me out. I showed her my license and explained that my middle name is the name I blogged by. She huffed and made a comment about how I "looked pretty good for someone who had surgery". I had to go into a private room and cry for a while. I love all of my readers and, yes, at some point, I would love to get together for a "welcome to Chicago" party. To the "Crock pot reader" and the other readers I've met or plan to meet- I still want to meet you, so don't think this is my way of saying "Thanks, but no thanks!". It's not. But, please...I'm begging those of you on a mission to prove me wrong or right- please don't come to my job. If I shared where I work with you, then please don't make me regret that. Please don't come to my job and appear out of nowhere demanding to speak to me. It makes me look unprofessional and I NEED THIS JOB. I'm doing my best to fit in and keep my job. I'm a very shy person by nature. I am very self-conscious. It takes me a long time to trust people. If I don't jump at the chance to meet you, it's not you- it's me! With that said, if you want to explain something, then just leave a comment and I will do my best to explain it. One commenter said something to the effect of "Ruth doesn't seem to follow through with the ideas of help- why hasn't she applied for medicaid or financial help from the government..." Please don't assume. I have tried to apply for everything and anything. As it is, I'm a single, female with no dependents and no family. I also have no physical disabilities and I work- even if I haven't made much. I was denied medicaid (govt. health insurance for those reading overseas) and food stamps/AFDC. If I had a couple of kids and was pregnant, then I would be eligible, but I don't and I don't think having a kid for money is a good reason to have a child. :) I also tried going to some of the groups recommended for mental health care and ran into residency issues. One group did get me some help, so thank you to the Synagogue/Jewish =care group for helping out with that. I check almost every recommendation. To those who doubt me: Please don't assume that because my life isn't working out as you imagine that I'm not looking into solutions. Thank you. To those who doubt me: please feel free not to donate or read or invest in my story. I get it, I really do. My life isn't worth stressing you out. To those who have supported me, thank you for your support and thank you for your love and kind words. I appreciate it. I also can't wait to meet some of you- but, just not at work. :) On another note: I can't wait for my first paycheck from this job! Monday can't come soon enough. After paying my rent, getting groceries, car insurance, and other stuff, I'll have enough to make the hospital payment and have money for gas and utilities. :) No extras and no fluff, but it feels good to know that most of the big stuff will be taken care of. It's kind of funny though- I have this great job and I'll still be paycheck to paycheck. Thank God for hospitals who work with you on payments. 90 days until insurance kicks in. *crosses fingers*