The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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Catholic Comparison

Today’s snippet from Fly, Fly Away: From the Prisons of Polygamy and Patriarchy to the Freedom of Deep Truth.

In my childhood religion we believed that no one could forgive us except for God. We were stuck with our sins until the great and terrible day of judgment in the afterlife when all of humanity would be called before God and their eternal fate determined in one fail swoop. We laughed at the crazy Catholics who actually believed that a man behind a magic curtain like the Wizard of Oz could absolve them of their sins. They were free to sin as much as they wanted and then magically get to start all over again as if nothing had ever happened. The ecclesiastical white out made everything okay. I admit there was a little jealousy that they got to live guilt free, while I had to carry the guilt with me for eternity. All they had to do was believe and confess while I had to work my butt off every day for God’s acceptance of me. We didn’t just have to believe in Jesus as our savior, we had to be perfect like Jesus. Through perfection, we got to be more than saved, we were exalted. Guilt for our sins was the price we paid for making it to the top of heaven.

This was my perceptive as a teenager after being exposed to some Catholic kids in the public school my parents finally broke down and allowed me to attend. This was among the many evils of the world my parents didn’t want me to be exposed to.

Open minds can become changed minds!

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Laying On Of Hands

I’m still working on the final edits of my book Fly, Fly Away.  Every time I pick it up and start working on it I have to relive the memories that came with it.

Why am I writing this book?  The answer is two-fold. People ask me all the time what it was like growing up the way that I did.  This book goes into detail about life in the cult, how we lived, what we believe, and why we believed, and it shares the trauma to my mind, body, heart and spirit that resulted from it.  That’s the surface reason for writing my story.  The deeper and bigger purpose for it is to help others work through their own pain story.

We all have a pain story, it’s simply a matter of processing the story and how we use it to empower ourselves and others.

Here is today’s snippet:

As I grew, life become increasingly complicated and more complex, and I became more exposed to the reality of the way things were. I knew that men had the priesthood power to lay their hands on me to heal my sorrows and mend my wounds, but I had not concept of how to resolve how I felt when they hit me, hurt me and touched me. I had always been told that the only place I would be safe from the temptations of Satan was in the company of men with the priesthood. Yet the company of men became the least safe place for me. Men began to take notice of me, no longer in my own home but throughout the community as well. I had been told from a very young age that my body was a private temple, but it became apparent to me that not everyone understood or agreed with what that meant. The laying on of hands that men were endowed with as part of their priesthood rightfulness was intended to be used in performing miracles and bring healing to their families. For me it took on an entirely different meaning altogether.

Unfortunately, men in the community seemed to think that little girl’s were personal property and I was constantly having to protect myself from their wandering hands and eyes, not always successfully.  The end result was a my own life over death choice, a choice I made by running away from home.

When I left there was no help to turn to and no resources. I had no choice to figure it out on my own and self-therapy.  That self-therapy is now what I teach to others as I help them process their own pain story.

Now there are resources for those who leave and a new one just came into my awareness.  This new non-profit organization is the work-of heart of several young women who left polygamist cults like mine and are dedicated to helping others who are finding courage to leave or who have been exiled. Check it out at www.HopeAfterPolygamy.org.  I’m so proud of these young women and the work they are doing to make the transition as painless and powerful as possible.

Until next time, be Fearless and Free!

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Women Are Responsible?

I’m working on the final edit of Fly, Fly Away before sending if off for proofreading and publication.  This particular chapter has been difficult to word and work from loving and non-judgmental perspective because so much of it is so far from where I now stand.

The purpose of this book isn’t to judge the lifestyle and belief system of my childhood. Rather it is to teach what I experienced and why I needed to find my own truth, following the will of my soul, rather than the religion created by men in the understanding of their own truth. It is to inspire readers to search within themselves for their own truth and understanding, and perhaps see a bit of themselves in the story of this little girl in search of greater love.

… While it wasn’t said in so many words, the message that women are responsible for men’s irresponsible behavior, and women are to blame for the sins of men, was unmistakably implied. As women we had the great burden of controlling men’s thoughts and actions because they could not resist our temptations. In the Old Testament women were taught to dress in modest apparel, with no jewelry or costly array but to adorn themselves with good works and suppression. There it was in ancient history – a good and godly woman keeps her mouth shut, mind closed and her body unadorned.

On the flip-side of this dichotomy was the belief that men were more powerful, intelligent and self-directed than women, so much so, that women were not intelligent and responsible enough for their own decisions. We were so lacking in wisdom and intellect that we could not navigate this life, or the next, without a man’s guidance and control.

This dichotomy, among many others, made me question whether any of it was true, and yet, because I always been told to never question, I assumed it must be true, even when it felt like a direct assault to my very being…

This belief that women are responsible for men’s behavior still plays out in cultures all over the world. What women choose to wear in their own comfort as a reflection of who they are, is in no way responsible for how men choose to act. We are growing up, slowly, and beginning to understand that no person is responsible for another person’s behavior.

Until next time, be Fearless & Free!

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