Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

To my brothers and sisters


I’ve been reading different blogs today and my mind got caught thinking about siblings. They’re special people. They are like you, but not quite. You teach them and they teach you. I can’t express how thankful I am that I had siblings, and yet I’m also terrified by what will happen to most of them.

When I left the movement, I didn’t actually “leave”. I’ve been more or less kicked out, shunned. That’s what they do to you if you act crazy (read: like mentally sane people). Shunning means that nobody is allowed to care about you anymore. Acknowledge your existence in any way. For my family I was never alive. I never existed, I don’t exist at the moment, and I will never exist anymore.

My siblings have been told that I was possessed by sin and some demon, that it was never really me, that I was bad all along, a form of living devil who snuck into the family to break it. MY siblings aren’t allowed to talk to me anymore. If they saw me on the street, and I walked up to them and said hello, they’d have to ignore me and walk by.

It hurts me very much that I don’t really know how they are, what they are doing, what they are thinking and feeling. I wish I could be there and talk to them, but that’s just not possible. Even if I wanted to, I moved far away and I don’t think I could go back there without freaking out.

You might have recognized that I like to avoid talking about them. I really don’t want to hurt them in any way and for some reason I’m afraid somebody will be able to tell who they are if I give out too many stories about them. I really don’t care if you know me, but my siblings I want to keep safe, away from anger, hate and bad things. I wish I could keep them away from the movement, where I know they will never be allowed to be who they are.

I wish I could tell my brothers that women aren’t sinful devils. That a wife’s love is worth so much more than her blind obedience and service. That they don’t have to be patriarchical fathers, father who scare their kids with every word, who will never have their full trust. Fathers who are feared by kids and wife, not respected.

I wish I could tell my sisters that they are beautiful little princesses who deserve so much better than a man who merely accepts them for their dutiful service. That they can be who they want to be without being considered sluts. That there is so much more to life that being a wife to a tyrant and a mother to kids who will go through the same misery they did.

The reason why I didn’t leave but needed to be kicked out is because I threw scenes that were so unacceptable for my father that he considered my presence a danger to my siblings. And it’s good that way. I don’t think I could ever forgive myself leaving them hanging there just to protect myself.

Daughters in the movement are always little mothers. You can’t quite explain the relationship you have with your siblings. You were the one teaching them, helping them, kissing them, reading stories, putting band aids on their outchies, lecturing them, disciplining them. But I loved them, even if it was exhausting, even if it was asking too much of me at a young age.

Here’s a confession: Deep deep inside of me, I honestly hope that by some wink of destiny, they come here reading this blog one day and just know who I am and that I’m talking to them. And that they’ll email me and we can just talk and see each other again and be siblings again like we’re supposed to be. I know it’s so unlikely, but a girl can dream.

I’m smiling cause you’re my siblings.

I’m laughing cause you can’t change that.

6 thoughts on “To my brothers and sisters

  1. Love you kid. I know how tough it is. I really do.

  2. Oh god. I so get this!

    “Daughters in the movement are always little mothers. You can’t quite explain the relationship you have with your siblings.” – YES. It’s so hard for an outsider to understand! I have siblings who feel like I abandoned them because of what happened, like I was their little mom and then I left.

    I’m still allowed to go home. I tell my sisters that they can be anything they want to be, at least when my parents are out of earshot. My brothers…it’s too late for some of them. To them, I am both fallen and a woman.

    A word of encouragement, though. To your siblings, you are an escape route. If one of them suddenly realizes that something is wrong with what they’ve been taught or with their situation, they WILL come to you. I know that because it has happened with me. And I tell you, there is no more fulfilling feeling! So have hope! Your very existence outside of the movement is an infinite help to your siblings. 🙂

    • How great you’re still in contact with your siblings! I would do the same if I could but I think my parents knew I’d do that and that’s why they cut all contact with me.
      I’m hoping that my sisters remember enough names where they can go to when they want contact with me. When I left, I told everyone I could trust in the environment how they could find me (phone numbers and such). I do know that for some of my brothers, it is in fact too late too. And I’m thinking the oldest of my sisters is very into the movement and against my way as well. But you never know, she’s still young and unmarried from what I hear so she might change her mind…

      • I have a little girl. It was up in the air whether I would be allowed to still visit home until my parents heard that I was pregnant. That little girl is my token to being allowed to see my siblings, because my parents know that if they cut me off they cut themselves off from her as well.

      • Oh, and I got married before I had my little girl, married against my parents’ wishes, yes, but it’s not like I’m a single mother. I wonder how my parents would have responded in THAT case!

  3. This had me in tears. How sad that they are so afraid that the Truth will set your siblings FREE! I pray God will help your siblings find you that they may know true freedom in Christ! God bless you!

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