Monday, July 15, 2013

Leaving story up...the rest isn't worth it.

Thank you to all who have expressed support and help during my move. I regret that I couldn't provide some of you with the feeling of "proving" my identity to your standards. Some people came up with the wrong conclusions and for that I am sorry. I've been accused of being many different people and that's not true at all. I do apologize for any hurt feelings and any problems this has caused the freejinger or ex-ATI universe. I pray that all will find peace and that someday I will have the courage to state my identity loud and proud. For now, that's not possible. This blog gave me the courage to get this new job and to move to a new place and I'll never regret having it for that reason. I will never regret the connections I've made. I just think that for the sake of everyone, it's time to move on. I'm leaving up the posts about my life because there's nothing to be ashamed of. Comments on some of the last posts are being removed because some people were leaving nasty comments or deleting comments themselves. I realize this won't stop the conversation but I don't have the emotional capacity to handle the accusations or the false claims at the moment. I have a job that I need to keep up and I need to concentrate on being healthy. Editing to add (mainly because a friend/reader suggested it): my identity has been proven to people I meet in real life. I realize that failing to share it with ALL of you is the main reason for all of this doubt. I accept the responsibility for the speculation. It was a great four years and I love those of you I've met in person or spoke to along the way by phone or email. I hope we can still communicate. Ruth

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*

Monday, June 24, 2013


My last post generated some debate. I will try and answer as best I can. I realize 9 days was a quick work turn around but I don't get the comments saying no doctor would allow a person to return to work in 9 days. The surgeon I had at the hospital encouraged me to return to work at my own comfort but recommended a week of no work, a week of very light duty or no lifting, and then full duty as tolerated. I took a few days to recuperate but I honestly started to feel bored. The incisions are pretty small and the whole surgery was laproscopic. I feel better now than I have physically in a while. So...I am not sure what the implication is. I have shared my identity with certain people I have grown to trust and I think the feelings are reciprocated. But...the thing is...everyone has different standards of "she should tell someone " or "she would be authenticated". Who do I tell? If I were to satisfy every query, I am afraid the list of people requiring my info would be long. Because, I would have to tell someone you trust and he trusts and she trusts and they trust and you can start to see how that goes. I don't know. If you think my last post was a request for money, then let me tell you it wasn't. I had people expressing their worry and telling me to let them know what was up. So I did.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

10 Things I Am Good At, 10 things I love

Ok. I'm hearing you, all. I received multiple emails and requests in comments to do this. If it does nothing more than refocus my thoughts for a few minutes, then it's probably worth it. Before I do it, though, I may have found a lead to a low cost therapist until my insurance kicks in. I called one of the religious organizations that offers help to no/low income families and explained my situation. They're seeing what they can do and have promised to call me back by tonight. What I keep understanding is that until I'm here 30 days, there are limitations to care. Here goes... 10 Things I Am Good At: 1. I'm good at baking. I'm told I make a mean cupcake. 2. I'm an above average dancer. 3. I can hike like no one's business. :) If there's ever a zombie apocolypse, I think I could live in the wild for a few weeks - mental health excluded, I might survive. 4. I think I write fairly well. 5. I am good at finding books and documents that are hard to find. I don't know why it is or how it is- like, I don't have google-fu, but I can track things like a bloodhound. 6. I am good with kids- even if I'm not sure I want them- I seem to get along well with them and keep them happy. 7. I can do weird hairstyles and braids that other people struggle with. It's my gift. :/ 8. If I look at a picture, I can paint it. Yeah. That's really all I could come up with in my current mental state. 10 Things I Love. 1. Ellie - she's a fun, cute, happy little girl. :) 2. Mountains - I love the air and the sunshine and the intensity of the climb with the reward of the view. 3. Baklava- who doedsn't? 4. Libraries - I love the smell of books and the quiet, small places. 5. Documentaries- I was so sheltered growing up. I like learning or watching documentaries showing other cultures. 6. Sunshine- these gray days are gloomy. 7. Music - I need to get a new iPod. I use to listen to music and fall asleep to music. I somehow lost the iPod on the move. 8. .... Again, stuck at 8. Thanks, guys! For all of the help and suggestions. Gotta go to work.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

welcome to the midwest...

...have a tornado! Yes. I was in all of the mess yesterday. That was scary. I got a late start yesterday leaving Cheyenne. By the time I broke camp and got on the road it was almost noon (something out of character for me). It was gray and over cast as I headed east on 80. About 2:00 I stopped for a bite and all hell started to break lose. It started raining very hard and there were lightning hits that made the hair on your arms stand up. I got back on the road and the next thing I knew there was hail. Either a piece of hail or debris kicked up by a truck or wind broke my windshield. So I pulled off to a gas and repair station to get it fixed. The air alert sirens went off and we took cover in time. The tornado touched down less than a mile away. I heard it destroyed a building. I decided to use my depleting funds for a room because there was no way I wad camping last night! All night we had warnings and bad weather. Windshield should be ready in ten and I will head east again. Keep me in your thoughts. All I could think of yesterday was that there would be some in my family that would say God wad trying to tell me something with the tornado. For the first time, I laughed at that idea and didn't get the nagging feeling that they could be right because, as scary as it was, a tornado in tornado country is just statistics - not a divine interception.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I want to thank everyone for the ideas they had regarding teaching in a foreign country.  I called several of the places mentioned and there are several things I need to do before that's a possibility.  One thing is directly related to my childhood- immunizations.  When I finally enrolled in a community college, after being homeschooled, I had to provide proof of *some* vaccinations and take a TB test.   But, that was about the extent of the requirements.  For a job like this, it will take at least several months for me to catch up on the immunizations I missed as a kid and now need.   Some of them have to be given months apart.  Without insurance, I'm going to have to use the health department and try to arrange time off work that fits the health department's hours.  Things like this really irritate me- it seems like I can't escape the ramifications of my childhood no matter how far away I get.  Interestingly, I did have SOME immunizations when I was a newborn, they just never finished the series.  Now I have to start all over. 

I did get a promotion to head waitress at one job, so that's a small pay bump.  Yay!  I found a trailer park that has a trailer for sale and I'm about $3000 away from having what I need for the down.  That would be great.  I think I can get a loan for the rest and manage those payments.  *crosses fingers*  If I really scrimp, I can do that in a few months.  The owner said that he's willing to hold it for me so long as I cover the space it's sitting on.  I'm hoping that if I pay the stall fees reliably, that will convince him I'm serious about buying it.  :)  So, that's a step in the right direction.

I promised I'd tell you about my nieces birthday!
I can't believe she turned one.  In some ways, all of the drama with my sister seems like it was years ago!  At the same time, I can't believe that Miss Ellie is one!  She is just precious and her moms are doing a wonderful job.  She's loved and truly being allowed to bloom.  She has a few words and just took a wobbly little step this past weekend.  At her birthday party, there were at least 30 family members who clearly worship her.  :)  She had her own little cake that she demolished and her moms filled a fenced in area of the living room with plastic balls so that she, and her little friends, could have a private ball pit.  I'm just so happy for her.  To some extent, I owe all of you a big thank you in helping me help Rachel during that crazy time.  Whether you made a donation or gave advice, you had a hand in protecting my sister and getting my niece out of that lifestyle.  When people say that sites like FreeJinger don't do any good in the world, we can point to Ellie. 
OH! Ellie's parents are also thinking of adding another baby to their home.  They decided that they want one more so that they can give Ellie a sibling.  Wouldn't that be cool?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Follow up questions.

I have a night off.  YAY!

I don't really have a post in mind of this, but there are some back questions to be asked.  Sometimes, I feel like, between this blog or Freejinger, or just having discussions with people via email, that I've already answered a question.  Then, a reader will point out that I haven't and I feel like I need to respond. 

I guess, some of this will be like an extended cut of "what happened" after my last series entry in "how I left". 

Basically, the day I walked out of that courtroom, I walked out with what woud become my adopted temporary family.   As always, protecting the privacy of everyone involved is important because, as I've said before, I want other people in ATI (and there were a few families and growing, in the area, at last check) community to be able to run where I did without fear.  I want to keep that door open for my sisters or for others who had heard about my leaving. 

I basically lived with another family until I got my bearings under me.  And, since I was such a newb to life "on the outside", it took me a long time to learn things most people take for granted.   Being out alone was truly a scary prospect for me.   From birth to that point, I hadn't been allowed alone in my room, let alone out in a store or in a mall or elsewhere.  Add, to that base fear, the fear that my parents would go rogue and sweep me away to a retraining camp or park me with another ATI family for re-indoctrination and I couldn't go to the supermarket without panic.  Taking off the style of clothes I'd worn for so long took a long, and slow, adjustment period.  Luckily, my temporary family let me lead the way and they never forced me to make a stand.  I wore dresses for a while because they were comfortable and I still had a belief that God wanted women to wear dresses.  The one thing I did, immediately, was stop playing music and I started listening to outside music.  Nothing really exciting to most, but...well, for example, one of the first movies I saw had the song "The Way You Look Tonight" played at a fox trot and I thought, "wow!  How innovative!"  Then, I listened to some country music and that was my gateway to pop music. 

Have I ever considered moving to Nebraska?  Well, maybe.   I mean, the obstacle now is that I barely make enough to function.  Being able to up and move to ANYWHERE seems impossible.  My degree is useless, probably more useless in Wyoming or whereever the oil boom is.  If I can't make it here, where prices are lower than most places, how can I move? 

I think, in order to move forward, I really need to deal with my emotional problems and get that depression under control.  Then, just get a stable base- small apartment or another trailer to operate from.  I'm working on it.  :)