The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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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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The Difference between Spiritual Abuse and Religious Abuse

What is the difference between spiritual abuse and religious abuse?

Many people go through life believing that religion and spirituality are the same.  Religion has claimed ownership of the word “faith” as though it is synonymous with dogma.  In reality, religion and spirituality are two completely different experiences. They can, and do, exist without each other.  In this awareness we can recognize that spiritual abuse and religious abuse are separate experiences.

Religious abuse is attributed to abuse that affects individuals physically.  It is generally recognized as physical or sexual abuse that is justified by religious dogma or exercised by religious opportunists.  Religious abuse is connected to human rights abuses. It affects the physical reality of those who are abused as well as those who are perpetuating the abuse.  The physical and emotional trauma caused by religious abuse requires a lifetime of understanding, healing and acceptance.

Spiritual abuse is much more subtle and more difficult to detect than religious abuse.  Similar to emotional abuse, it leaves no physical scars, yet causes a lifetime of fear, depression, mistrust and lack of fulfillment.  Spiritual abuse is found within the religious and organizational beliefs, rather than physical actions.  Spiritual abuse prevents individuals from achieving a true connection to God and accessing genuine spirituality. Through the fear-based teachings of religion, many are unable to access their own true divine worth and potential.  Unlike religious abuse, which affects the physical experience of those affected by the abuse, spiritual abuse causes trauma to the soul.  It affects our life experience, as well as our perception of our eternal experience.  Unlike religious abuse, most individuals who are perpetuating spiritual abuse are completely unaware of the role that they are playing, because they themselves are affected by the abuse.

We cannot truly heal spiritual abuse and religious abuse with the same beliefs that abused us. Recovering from spiritual abuse requires that we first recognize its existence and where it stems from. Learning how to diagnose the fears that have controlled our lives and how to work through them, can be a long and painful process.  Yet that process is well worth the effort.  It requires that we recognize our fears, understand them, and learn to love them.  The process then becomes a tremendously rewarding and liberating experience.  It brings us to understand our true divine worth, our true connection to ourselves and a deeper knowing of Spirit. It brings an inner peace and joy that truly is heaven on earth.


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Arranged Marriage and Sex Trafficking

Curious about the connection between arranged marriage and sex trafficking in today’s world I posted this question on my social media networks. “Is arranged marriage a form of sex trafficking?”  The responses were varied and quite thought provoking.

The institute of marriage was created thousands of years ago as a contract between families. Daughters were traded and bartered with as chattel as part of the marriage agreement and virgins brought a high price. Girls who had lost their virginity, by whatever means, held no value.  In some societies even today, girls are murdered by their families for their loss of virginity.

In ancient times men gifted their daughters to kings and emperors to become wives and concubines, adding to their harems as men collected women like trophies. Gifting their daughters ensured favor in the eyes of the kings and gave young girls an opportunity at a better quality of life, or so it was presumed.

As humanity evolved, marriage became less about ownership and more about business. Sons and daughters were both pawns in their parent’s negotiations to ensure the peaceful existence between kingdoms and the wellbeing of family fortunes and family reputations.

Eventually marriage became about love, which only occurred in the western world in the beginning of the last century. Some argue that love is not a good requisite for marriage and often leads to divorce as love wanes and negative perceptions and judgments take over.

Arranged marriages still exist throughout the world and the reasoning behind it varies from culture to culture. In some cultures the families present all of the benefits of various potential suitors to their children. The decision regarding the marriage arrangement is made by both families as they come to agreement and the children are an active part of the decision making process.

In other cultures arranged marriages are nothing short of sex trafficking. In one particular culture girls are often betrothed at birth and given to men for their pleasure as young as four years old. They are subjected to hiding their bodies in shame for their entire lives, fully controlled by the men who own them, and treated as little more than sex slaves. Other cultures are similar, in that the bartering of girls is common, as men trade their daughters as favors to other men. And there are cultures where men and women take their young daughters to a religious leader for assignment, in the belief that he is spiritually guided. These forms of arranged marriage are not about family kingdoms, reputations, stability or love. This is about sex and control.

This form of sex trafficking is overlooked here in America because it is justified by religion. In America, anything and everything has been justified by religious belief and overlooked because we have become so religiously sensitive. We seem to forget that this is not about adults and their personal relationship choices in their relationship with God. It is about children being manipulated and abused by a system where religious rights supersede human rights.