Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Personal Update

I haven't posted about my crappy home school marriage for some time, and in this event at least, no news is good news. =)

I don't have much time this morning, as I have an appointment with my (our) EMDR therapist this morning. This therapy, at least at this point, is helping both of us so much on a personal level, and this in turn has resulted in much more love, empathy, affection, conversation and even fun activities for us as a couple.

We are each of us still in the early stages of our therapy. (I was trying to push forward and just get the whole thing over with, but I learned real quick that this is a bad idea. =) At this stage, we are trying to stabilize our emotions and, for us at least with our individual therapist, this means focusing on good memories and the positive associations we have made with them in our minds.

My husband has been reading much recently on the internet about missionary boarding school abuses, and to my surprise and happiness, he is not freaking out about it. He has also started reading a memoir of a boarding school student who suffered heinous abuse in a missionary boarding school, and although he is not that far into the book, that hasn't really affected his mood in a negative way either. So far, so good.

I know from personal experience, that when therapy does begin to gently peel back the skin of a bad memory, in order to clean out the wound and bring healing there, it will be very personally unsettling. I am gaining confidence that we will make it through that together, based on the days/weeks of good will and mutual support that we are building up now. I am hoping it turns out this way, but only time will tell.

Conclusion: so far, so good. EMDR seems to be helping us as individuals, and with that personal stability we are relating better as a couple. Stay tuned for future updates as they occur.

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Apology for Doing/Saying Nothing

To all the defrauded daughters and sacrificed sons of patriarchal home schools, I apologize for doing and saying nothing on your behalf.

I deeply and sincerely regret not speaking up for you when I had the chance. It might have made no difference in your parents' lives and the way they treated you, but at the very least it would have been one (more?) outside voice validating you as a person. I know how powerful that is, as a suffering child, to have someone say to (or even merely about) your parents "this is wrong!"

As a home school parent and a libertarian, I tend to be live-and-let-live about all strange (to me) doctrines and practices. You want to eat only organic? Fine by me. You can't go out unless you have make-up and high heels? Dress however you feel like dressing. Your dream is to build your own house in and live off the grid? Build away. Diversity is a good thing, I would tell myself. Live and let live.

I had the same cavalier attitude about religion and philosophy, but now that I have seem up close how it destroys lives, I am ashamed of my silent tolerance of religious craziness in the home school community. Yes, I mean the whole "keep women ignorant and pregnant, silent at church and hard-pressed at home, hidden away under Daddy's watchful eye until/unless Daddy can add a new member to the family cult" subculture known as "quiverfull", "biblical patriarchy" or "movement home schoolers".

I regret saying nothing to those parents who were falling under it's spell. In fact I went out of my way to avoid them, to my shame.

I regret every time I saw a women in a head covering and a long dress at a home school meeting and ignored her. I regret not looking to befriend her so she could see a better life in someone else. I might have been able to say, at least once, that the path she was on was a dead end, dangerous, with ravening wolves pretending to be shepherds flanking both sides of the journey.

I regret not whispering in a teen's ear as they passed by me in a vendor hall that YOU DESERVE BETTER.

I regret not standing up in a crowded lecture hall to heckle a speaker promoting this patriarchal garbage. Some one should "speak truth to power"! I regret that it was not me.

An apology is so lame, but at this point, it's all I have to offer. This is probably my last year home schooling, and it's been years since I went to a convention or attended a support group meeting. I am not a voice in the home school community, like Karen Campbell. I have no real personal experience as a daughter of patriarchy, like Hillary McFarland or even as a former parent of patriarchy like Vickye Garrison.

So, if by chance a mom, son or daughter of patriarchy ever lands on my blog, know that I very much regret not doing or saying anything to stop the madness. I should have stood up for you, and I did not. Please check out the above links, and send them to anyone you know still caught in the religious destruction that is the Movement. Maybe some of these kind people will be able to help.

Mea culpa.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sandra Said It

Sandra has a great post up on her blog today, Chronicles of Christian Heretic. I am posting the link for your learning pleasure. Enjoy. =)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reply on a friend's blog

I tried to leave this as a response to (blog removed by author) but google kept saying it was too large. (Great place for a "that's what she said" joke, no? ;-) So I am posting it here and I will try to post a link on C.'s blog, to this one.

I want to make it plain that while I disagree with C.'s desire to outlaw home schooling, I am glad she is out there telling her story. It is an important story and needs to be told. As a daughter of home schooling, I believe all of us who have promoted home schooling should embrace her and learn from her life.

Hi Crystal! Nice to know you are out there. Enjoy your daughter and make the years together happy ones. My daughter has many good memories of our home schooling years.

I strongly disagree that home schooling is never a good scenario! But C. already knows that.

My daughter also learned to read at 3 or 4, and according to her home schooling is the best part of her growing up. The fundamentalist parenting is the part that sucked! Being able to learn at her own pace, and having so much freedom (something movement home schoolers deny their kids, I must add)to read, create, and daydream is something she treasures. If she wasn't home schooled, she wouldn't be the thriving university student she is today.

Those four years of private Japanese lessons gave her the foundation that she is using to build a career as an Air Force officer. She is also a prolific artist, which she does for joy and no other reason. Home schooling gave her that.

The problems in her life were a result of our fundamentalist religion and personal dysfunction, problems that would have existed apart from home schooling. Bad parenting is not exclusively a home school issue, but it is far more oppressive in a home school setting! It is devastating in an movement home school family like C. experienced. (((hugs to C.)))

Home school parents have a greater responsibility to get it right, and the lies being promoted in home school communities about how golly gee swell it is to be a fundamentalist need to be challenged, and challenged loudly and persistently!

On the other side of things though, just as C. was suicidal and depressed because of her family's home schooling, there are teens whose public school experiences are horrendous. These students deserve the freedom to leave that bad situation. I know several teens who are much, much happier home schooling, a few of whom might possible have succeeded at suicide if they had not been allowed the freedom to leave public school.

There needs to be freedom with accountability for all (public, private and home schools) in order for all to thrive.

I do think stories like C.'s should be loudly proclaimed in our society, and I would love to see the result more cooperation between local public schools and home schools, including more oversight of home schools.

Home school conventions are full of snake oil salesman promising perfect families to those who drink the Kool-Aid, and children are hurting because of it. Someone (many someones) need to stand up and loudly point out that they are lying, and tell the truth- children are crushed by the perfectionist demands, ending up suicidal, hating themselves, socially inept, and sometimes poorly educated in addition. Truth needs to be told!

I hope every home school parent who reads here will become a regular reader on C.s blog. Her story is important, and I know she would love to know she is having a positive impact on the lives of home school families.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Getting Better....

My hand is healing up, and so I hope to be back to personal blogging soon. I can't spend a whole lot of time typing yet, but I am bursting to share good news with the people who care- and to let you know how very precious your love is to me!

Things are working out very well with this therapist, in spite of the bad session we had when my therapist was in "relationship/communications therapist" mode instead of "EMDR therapist" mode. She was extremely apologetic when I explained to her how I felt after that session, and has recommitted her mind to being a personal therapist and not a couples therapist. I can and do trust her, and that is one good thing I have to report.

Another: EMDR works and is working, but a word of caution- don't try to rush through any of the steps! I had a hairy scary day last week because I wanted to hurry and get this process over with, and my therapist wisely let me be in charge of the process. I must admit it was not the best decision on my part, but experience is a great teacher. I am a humble tigger now, more than willing to take her advise about how to proceed and at what pace, and not eager to "get it over with" anymore. LOL

A third, only one minor PTSD episode on my husband's part since I last posted. I am so proud of the way I handled it, walking away, not trying to convince him to be reasonable or kind or well...anything. The bad part of that is that at the time, I was totally emotionally detached from him- good for my well being at the moment, bad for our marriage. But once he did get out of it, and humbled himself, my compassion and good will recovered fairly quickly. I do love the man, he is one of the best friends I have ever had. As long as he remembers that *I* am the best friend he has ever had, we'll be fine. ;)

Fourth good thing, my daughter is doing great! We are still praying about a scholarship that should be hers but might have disappeared in this horrendous economy, so that is a delayed hope. BUT I know God will provide in some way or another. She is loving college, loving her life, and she had a date last night with a guy who sounds like he walked out of a Dee Henderson novel. I am so happy for her!

My son is also making some serious progress in life, growing and maturing in love, learning and liberty. I am pleased as punch with him. He just applied for a job, on his own initiative, and though there is serious competition, I think he has a good chance. n_n The school year starts tomorrow, and he has goals, ambitions, dreams- all the things a healthy happy teenager should have. When I was his age I had hopelessness, addictions and heartache. It delights me that my son will never know that kind of pain! =D

I also adore his girlfriend, who could be labeled in many, many ways depending on the one assigning labels- compassionate, consistent, open-hearted, eager learner, morally upright, straight edge, intelligent, guileless- those are some of the labels I would assign. She is not a Christian, but then she is not against it either. If she ever does become a Christ follower, it will be only because she has had a living encounter with a Living God. I like that. :) I pray for that. That would be just like God to work out, too.

Even my little dog is doing well this week! Her back problems seem to have cleared up and she is back to spreading joy and enthusiasm every where she goes in an effort to get someone- anyone- to throw her toy. If successful, she just as enthusiastically tries to get them to DO IT AGAIN! LOL

So I will follow her lead, and jump up from the computer with my best smile, and go see what joy I can wring out of the day. Peace and good will to all. SS

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sharing What I am Reading Today

What do you think it means to be created in the image of God? This is my number one reason for rejecting (more, despising) the doctrine of the "total depravity of man". I am created "in his image" and God is pure goodness! An image is a reflection of something. If man is totally depraved, then God must also be totally depraved. And I KNOW THAT IS A LIE!

Secondly, reality is the handiwork of God, and reality does not bear witness that man is totally depraved. Yes, the history of humanity is full of wars, slavery and every form of wickedness. But it is also a history filled with champions of freedom, gentleness, sacrificial love, good-hearted people- humanity even before Christianity was never all wicked.

Yes, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But no, we are not worthless, heartless people at our core. Cornelius(Acts 10), Nathaniel(John 1), Obadiah (1 Kings 18)are three pre-resurrection people who were commended for good hearts and good works. A totally depraved person would by definition be incapable of good,

Well, my hand hurts so I'll stop typing now. Here's the statement that warmed my heart:
Obviously, we are not in God’s image in terms of height or weight or skin color. God is spirit, uncreated, and we are created of matter. Still, God has made humanity in his own image, which means that there are essential ways in which he has made us to be like him. We are self-aware, we can communicate, plan, think creatively, design and build, solve problems, and be a force for good in our world. And we can love.

I added the bold type, fyi. Here's the link it came from:
Why Were You Born?. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Temporary Slowdown

I'm taking some time off to let my wrist/hand heal. I do have more (good news) to add about my marriage and family, but i am typing with one hand so it will be a week or two until I can update my blog. Peace and good will to all, SS