The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


Leave a comment

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!

logo-signature

 


1 Comment

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!

logo-signature

 


Leave a comment

Other Cults Like Mine, Who Knew?

As a little girl I had no idea that there were other people like us in the greater world. In my little cosmos, “The Allreds” was the only true church of God. 

There wasn’t even a real name for my religion and I never questioned why.  My prophet was Rulon Allred and when he died during my tween years, the new prophet was his brother Owen.  I knew there were other members of our organization in Utah and Mexico, but it was all kept so secret that I had no label for my system of belief. I just knew that our way was the only way and we were the only people God really loved.

After I ran away from home, I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, the only logical place I knew to go. Then I moved around the country in search of myself and my own truth. Imagine trying to explain a religion that had no name as I traveled from city to city and state to state. More than a decade later I discovered that I had been a “Fundamentalist Mormon.” Who knew? It took me a while to understand the label and it came as a great relief – I could at least answer the question of “what religion were you” without feeling like a fool.

About 10 years ago or so, I started diving deeper into my personal history and the history of my childhood religion, in a desire to understand. I wanted to make sure that my memoirs, when they were released, were as accurate as possible, based on the information I could gather. I began to discover the “other” groups I had only heard brief mention of in my younger years.

As a child I knew they were the wrong religion because they had the wrong prophet, and that was all I knew. 

In my search for greater understanding I found myself as entrenched with the story of the F.L.D.S. (Short Creek is how I knew it as a child) along with everyone else in the country. Perhaps even more because I understood the underlying dogma. I found myself visiting Colorado City (Short Creek) on several occasions, shooting footage for a documentary that sadly still sits on the cutting room floor. I met extraordinary people and heard extraordinary stories of what really went on at Y.F.Z. Ranch and still goes on today in the F.L.D.S.

Yesterday, one of those extraordinary women shared a blog post that I am forwarding on to you. Brenda is a woman of amazing courage. I’ve never met her in person but when I first met her through a Facebook group she was fresh from the farm, so to speak. She looked and sounded exactly the way you would expect, having just left her uncultured home, fortunately with kids in tow.  Since that time she has educated herself, become a prolific writer and supporter of those who are looking for life and truth outside of the F.L.D.S.

Here is her most recent blog post and an update on what really happened in the raid on Yearning For Zion Ranch and in Colorado City as Warren Jeffs fades into memory, yet not far enough. Check it out HERE.

Until next time BE FEARLESS & FREE!

Victoria Reynolds Signature