The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


2 Comments

Glenn Close, Cults and Me

glenn-close on polygamist daughter

A story was released this morning that the beautiful and talented actor Glenn Close grew up in a religious cult. During her interview that appears in The Hollywood Reporter she declined going into details about her upbringing in the cult. She briefly mentioned it as she spoke about her father and his work in Africa.  Ms. Close did not go into details about the cult because it wasn’t the proper time and place to discuss that part of her upbringing.

What I loved most about her comments were those surrounding forgiveness. In her words “I always thought, the way life works, the burden of forgiveness is on the child,” she says. “That’s the way it goes. Forgiveness is probably the most revolutionary concept there is right now in our world. Because without forgiveness, you just perpetuate what has been before. You [have to] say, ‘It’s going to stop with me.’ ”

That is precisely how I feel about my childhood in a cult. The beliefs that were ingrained in me, and the experiences of my childhood, profoundly affected my ability to have trusting and loving relationships as an adult.  Like Ms. Close, I did not have professional therapy to help me work through my childhood beliefs.  Apparently some of us have an innate ability to listen to our own healing process – at least that is what I have been told.

I like to think that we all have the ability to heal ourselves when we have the proper tools.

Every one of us has the ability to choose whether we see ourselves as victims of the past, or be victorious over it. Every one of us has the ability to see the past as a learning experience and move forward. Every one of us has the ability to free ourselves from the guilt, shame and blame with the power of forgiveness. Every one of us has the ability to view our painful story through the eyes of love and acceptance.  Every one of us has the capacity to live a fulfilling and joy filled life.   All of it is ultimately up to each of us.

Choosing to leave the past and all of its pain behind begins with recognizing that it stops with you.

I am thrilled that Glenn Close found the wherewithal to give us a glimpse into the extreme religious cult she came from and its impact on her life. She is one more voice in the forest of voices that needs to come forth if we are to create a more loving and less fearful world.


Leave a comment

Love Notes

I recently received a love note from my friend and soul sister Kristyn Decker. (I only use this term for very special people I feel infinitely connected to – sorry, I am not any version of LDS aka Mormon, and I am not your sister in Christ, so please don’t assume that you can call me sister – it’s one of my pet peeves, quite possibly the only one to be honest.)  On a funny little side note, Kristyn and I discovered we were almost sister wives in the alternate reality I chose to leave.

“Though I’m several years older than Victoria, she and I were raised in the same polygamist group, yet in different states.

I left polygamy and my husband a few months before I turned 50, and began writing many vignettes about my life, and then published Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies in April 2012.

Victoria and I met on line via our similar goals, as we were becoming published authors, advocates, leaders and educators in behalf of those who are still in, and leaving polygamy as well as other religious fear based dogma. Having the pleasure of Victoria’s company at our house for a few days was a gift from the Universe. We traded books and became re-acquainted. We each found another soul sister who emulated the process of creating an abundant life through love, light and joy.

While reading her book, I realized she had superbly described the spiritual process of my departure from polygamy as if she’d interviewed me for weeks on end. All that I hadn’t and couldn’t define—through her wisdom and insight she was able to. She spoke of the true principles that can guide human beings from the confines of religious dogma to discovering and honoring their own souls.

I know Victoria’s talents and gifts are true. She inspires me every day because of her consistent positive attitude and compassionate way she guides and teaches others to do the same.

Namaste, Victoria! Thanks for sharing you gifts with those who are receptive and ready to receive them.

Love,

Kristyn Decker”

And by the way, Kristyn’s book is fabulous for anyone who wants to know what it is really like be in a polygamist marriage. One that she chose of her own free will, well, as free as it could be with religious beliefs behind it. You can learn more about Kristyn, her work and her book at http://fiftyyearsinpolygamy.com/


Leave a comment

What I Think about Polygamy Now

What do I really think about polygamy? Well that has changed over the years from thinking it was something God expected of me, to seeing it as a religious abuse and a human rights abuse against women and everything in between.

Having multiple sex partners and making lots of love sounds fabulous in theory, yet in reality I believe it is sadly missing the most crucial elements for genuine joy. It is important to understand that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness is an emotion that can be generated in the belief that we are happy. It is generated by the perception of our choices and actions. Some people are perfectly happy in their misery, not realizing that joy is accessible. Joy is a state of being and occurs when we are fulfilled within ourselves and we no longer live our lives by the beliefs and expectations of anyone or anything else outside of ourselves. It is the result of our heart working to its full potential in alignment with our own inner truth.

Back to polygamy. Polygamy stems from a time in our human history when women were owned and collected by men and traded along with other livestock to build the kingdoms of men. King Solomon had hundreds of wives because he was a king with a very wealthy kingdom. Men gave him their daughters to earn favor with the king and in the hopes that their daughters would have a better life.

What does that have to do with today’s polygamy? Polygamy, now (except where polyamory is practiced – the newest hip term for open relationships, and a few ancient cultures where polyandry is practiced) only exists in cultures and belief systems where women are still recognized as being worth less than men and is justified by religion, otherwise recognized as religiously coerced polygyny. Some argue that it should be a person’s choice and yet any choice based in coercion, when there is a proverbial gun held at your head, isn’t really a free-will choice. It is a choice based in fear and is among the fear-based beliefs I often speak of.

Taking it a step further and assuming it is a choice based in freedom, there are still other issues to consider. It is nearly impossible to have a relationship that is balanced in the masculine and feminine when the numbers are lopsided. In a world where we are attempting to create balance and equality, polygamy simply does not make sense. The more women in the relationship the more masculine and authoritarian the man in the relationship is. That is why extremely authoritarian men are drawn to this form of relationship. The practice of polygyny also causes an imbalance among men. Men who are the most desirable attract the most women, leaving ordinary men without partners. Studies have shown that this imbalance increases violence in men and more hatred toward women. Precisely the opposite of the masculine/feminine balance and mutual respect so many of us are working to create.

And one more thought for consideration. Polygamy is heart breaking, or at the very least prevents the heart from working to its full potential. Women must guard their heart and cannot allow themselves to fully and completely love and connect with their husbands, simply because it hurts too much, and lovemaking lacks the creation of love. It also prevents men from opening up their heart and giving to their full ability out of the fear propagating jealousy and resentment between their wives. And yet, this is sold as love and beauty. What kind of love is it when we intentionally block our hearts from loving and creating to their greatest capacity?

In all honesty I don’t think polygamy can work until the world finally recognizes, once and for all, that men and women are equal. That if men can have more than one wife, women should be allowed the same courtesy, and that love can and should be given openly and freely without fear, coercion or jealousy.  It is certainly not my cup of tea, but in a perfect world it just might work. In a perfect world!