Imagine living your whole life sheltered from the real world, never having the freedom to explore your independence. Imagine only developing the skills to keep house and raise kids and nothing else. Imagine you're taught the "umbrella of authority" that says there is a hierarchy with God at the top. Next, of course, is the husband. Then comes the wife and finally the children. Imagine the only time you leave your parents' authority is when you're taken in by your husband and must live with his authority.
Now, I want you to think about how it would feel to do that: to get married and have a child with your husband only to find out he's not who you thought he was.
What would you do? Would you leave him and take your child and start new?
Most of us would. But what if you were brought up in a cult? What if you'd been indoctrinated to believe that you have to go back to your parents' authority if you're not under your husband's authority? What if you have no life skills, no marketable skills and a special needs child?
Then you end up where M was. In her thirties, a single mother with no work experience, no skills to put on her resume, with a child who needs extra care and attention. You end up back with mom and dad.
We're not going to get into what M's real name is or where she is in the world, for privacy's sake, but that is more or less how it went down. She had the guts to leave a man who was not treating her how she deserved to be treated only to find her freedom restricted like a child when she went back to live with her parents. Well, not with them, but rather, in the storage room of their business.
Naturally, living through all of this led to questions. M began to lose her faith, and as it became more apparent that she didn't believe the same things her parents did, they treated her worse.
M's parents were followers of Bill Gothard's Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP). Make no mistake, M was raised in a cult:
Founded on the idea that the world just needed to relearn authority to cure all its ills, IBLP had homeschool training centers all over the USA. Parents would send their children in droves to learn the principals of the umbrella of protection that state women and girls must submit to men. Of course, the same old lies we see in almost every cult or religion are there as well: women must dress modestly so that men don't mess up. You go where men allow you to go, you do what men allow you to do, and you do not stray.
This is the homeschooling system that the infamous Duggar family used to educate their children, which set the stage for one of the brothers to molest his sisters.
This worldview was not conducive to a single mother thriving. M knew she had to get her and her son out.
This was no easy task with her parents tracking her every move. She also struggled to find work because she had no experience she could list. She had worked for her parents, but she couldn't exactly put the employer she was trying to escape on her resume. She struggled to find a place to live because she earned no income. She had worked for her family in exchange for accommodation in the storage room of their business.
Despite all of these obstacles, she got out anyway. She took her beautiful boy and never looked back.
She has temporary work now and has found a place to stay, but there's just one more snag. We really need your help with this one.
She has nothing. She hasn't got a bed to sleep in. She needs sheets and bedding for her and her son. She needs lightbulbs and a broom, baking sheets and hand soap. She needs all the little items we never think about that fill our homes and make them functional. She needs our help to create a safe and comfortable home for her little boy.
She did all the hard work already. She did the critical thinking and the bravery and the leg work. She broke free from indoctrination. She rescued her child and walked away from forces that had always appeared much stronger than her.
Now, I say, let's give her a break. Let's send her the basics we all take for granted so she can focus on being a mom and recovery from being in a cult. Let's show her how welcoming the apostate community can be.
Pick an item from her wishlist and send it to her. This simple gesture can change everything for this courageous little family.
If you can't fulfill any of her wishes, the final one is free: use the share buttons on this page to share it to all your social spaces.
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