Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mothering Daughtering

In the last few weeks abuse allegations against a popular former QF family have been aired by one of their many daughters. I've been reading the daughter's blog and the reactions by many former homeschoolers to the news.

It's triggering, it's disturbing, to many people, including me. I don't know what to thing as I've had interactions with the father in the past at NLQ and sort of liked the guy. But... no one can deny that his child is in pain, the kind of deep soul-fracturing emotional pain that calls out for justice, for acknowledgement, for recognition.

Over the years in the survivors out of extreme Christianity movements I've seen similar things play out, grown children coming to confess the memories and pain of abuse that parents unknowingly inflicted on those children, thinking they were doing the absolute best for those kids.

What this family did after the accusations was akin to pouring high test gasoline on a smoldering campside fire, causing it to spiral out of control in an explosive fashion. They defended themselves in a pod cast and attacked the accuser. Instead of being concerned with the obvious pain and distress of their daughter and seeking to do what they needed to do to ease her pain they came out with guns blazing to destroy her, beat her down emotionally. Which strengthens in my mind her original allegations.

I don't know what the truth is in this situation, who's lying, who's truthful, but I do know one thing is so very true, the pain of the daughter is real. She needs support, encouragement, love and healing. That is what this family needs to be focused on right now, healing that pain, not defending themselves. Her pain is genuine. That matters.

No one is a perfect parent, just like no one is a perfect child. We all just try the best we can. While I'm sure those parents did lots of wrong things, we all do, I'm just as sure they did some things right. Only time will tell. I hope they all find a way to love each other, heal the abuse, forgive and move past this.

But I do find it interesting that some of the young mothers in the survivor movement talk about their mothering in the same intense obsession way that those of us that were in the movement as young mothers once did. They are convinced that theirs is the only right way to raise children, speaking with unbending conviction and lobbing stones at those that don't praise them or line up with their vision of motherhood.

Yeah, get back to me thirty years from now when your children are grown and tell me then how you did, if your methods worked out so well. If you've launched successful adults that support themselves and aren't serial killers then I might consider your methods as good. But not before then.

I've raised my kids, they are all fully supporting educated adults with good lives, with loves and careers and lives. Even my eldest daughter I sometimes struggle with. I consider that success, not if my child is wise or can read by two or sits quietly when I require it. The end product. Don't you dare lecture me on my methods when my end results have been good and you're still slogging along in early motherhood. Your ideas are meaningless at this point to me.

I've been a daughter, I've been a mother and none of it is easy. I've learned there is no one fool proof way to raise children. Each is different and each family is different.

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