I've been reading the forum posts more in depth the past few days, and my love and respect for this website has only deepened. So glad I found this place!
Unlike many of you here, I was never involved in a QF/P marriage, but I was raised in a biblical patriarchy home. My parents weren't Quiverfull, but they were definitely Fundies. I was never encouraged to figure out who I was or what I wanted in life, because of course, I was going to grow up to get married, have children, be a SAHM and submit to my husband. My personality didn't mesh with this lifestyle very well. I was way too ambitious and independent, and questioned authority. I would never do anything I was told to do as a kid unless I was given a good enough reason. Didn't go over too well. I needed lots and lots of correction as a child, and much of it came in the form of physical abuse from my father.
So now I am in my early thirties, I live 2000 miles away from my parents, I am married with no kids, and my husband will have nothing to do with this QF/P crap. I consider myself really fortunate in so many ways. But I still struggle with stuff. I still have worries over leaving the movement/lifestyle, and sometimes the idea that I have worth beyond my uterus still feels foreign to me. Does this happen to anyone else? I guess I'm just wondering... how long until you start to feel free from it?
I think that's *reeeeeally* normal. It can take a really long time to undo that stuff, particularly if it's all you knew growing up. Have you considered some counselling to help you process some of the faulty thinking that often goes along with fundamentalism? My counselor has been amazing helping me to work through the black and white thinking, all or nothing stuff and trying to find myself again - and I only went into that kind of environment as a 16 year old (tho already had some stuff in my childhood that made me more vulnerable).
Post by krwordgazer on Oct 13, 2010 20:47:47 GMT -5
Welcome, Julie! It really does take time, which is difficult when so many things nowadays are instant-results, and so many people expect psychological change to be a "just get over it and move on" thing. Recovery is a years-long process, but there is real progress as you learn to rethink these things. You won't be stuck the way you feel now, for the rest of your life. And there will be people who will journey with you.
I don't think it ever completely goes away. What I do think is important is to recognize when you are doing it and make corrections for it because it will pop up in unexpected places as you go through the rest of your life. Not the big stuff, I'm sure you've worked through a lot of that thinking, just the small things, the little ways of looking at the world that we don't really even realize we do until we catch ourselves doing it.
People say, 'I'll never make the mistakes my parents made raising me' and if they mean it then they don't. But they make their own mistakes which may or may not be just as bad and don't even see it coming because they weren't looking in that direction. I see that all the time. I did it myself. It's just the way humans work, we have blind spots and while trying to avoid the rock in the road we run smack into an orange crate (my mom did this literally and never lived it down).
All this to say, that however we were raised it all goes into the big pile of who we are now, for good or bad. All we can do is try to be self-critical enough to see the orange crates sitting right in front of us while we try to avoid the rocks in the road.
"Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry of the wonderful times to come. Those who lead the country to the abyss call ruling too difficult for ordinary men."
Thanks for the responses everyone! I suppose in the grand scheme of things I really haven't been dealing with this for very long yet, and I should be a lot more patient with myself. Reading this blog, the forum, and the comments to the posts is really encouraging. It's great to know that I'm not alone in wanting to escape that movement. I've learned a lot the past couple months!
Hi Julie! Your upbringing sounds much like mine. My family is definitely patriarchal, and QF, but we weren't homeschooled, my dad worked outside of the home, my mom didn't make her own bread (at least not for very long!) and we girls wore pants (as long as they were modest! haha)
Like you, I am having a lot of trouble shaking off the influence this upbringing had on me. At least, all the bad stuff. It seems like whenever I think about the bad stuff, my mind comes up with tons of good that my parents passed on to me. Often, the good and the bad are so enmeshed it's almost impossible to separate them! Crucial for me has been to separate myself from them, not just physically, but also emotionally (which I am working on and is taking VERY long....). Conversations with my dad are still very triggering. Sometimes I hang up the phone and cry, and sometimes it's just me, seeing myself through the lenses he gave me: you are rebellious, disobedient, lack good reasoning, are making big mistakes, etc.... Actually, he says he has a lot of respect for me, but the things he told me for 24 years of my life are deeply ingrained and hard to get rid of.
I have 3 children. When I first married, I thought the only way to please God was to do what my husband wanted, and have babies immediately. After our second, we stared using bc. After our third, I know I need some time to work through stuff before we can even consider having a fourth. Using bc has become easier for me over the last three years, and standing up to nonsense, regardless of who it comes from, too.
I forgot to say: I think my parents have the best intentions and our best interest in mind. I don't think they wanted to control us and make us keep almost impossible rules just for the sake of being in control. When I consider many of the damaging things they did, I see the reasons behind them, but it doesn't take away that they were damaging. I love my parents, but I know it is important that I be my own person and find my own way in life. I think that loving parents have a hard time letting go, not just physically, but also emotionally and influentially, but if we are the ones who severe the ties, they learn to respect us. After all, most of them did the same thing with their parents.