Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

About me

My name is Lisa.

I’m 23.

I grew up in a christian fundamentalist family.

I am not a fundamentalist any more.

I’m quite uneducated and don’t know much about “normal life” – yet.

I write to share my thoughts, seek advice, give some too.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

You can read my story here. Please note that in my story, all names are changed to protect my family, friends and the people involved. When necessary, I will also change the setting of a certain situation (e.g. state, hometown etc) to make sure none of it can bring problems unto my family. Though I don’t have contact with them anymore, I do not want to bring more grief than necessary. I still honor and respect my parents.


20 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I have spent the entire evening reading your blog and checking out the links you provided. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your stories- please keep writing! As a “broken daughter” myself it brings so much relief to know that there are others out there who were raised in extreme patriarchal households, that are pulling themselves out of the fog and learning to navigate a different world.

    Good luck in your healing. Thank you for sharing your life. You are not alone out there!


    • Hey Lorraine! Thanks for your comment! I can’t tell you how much I appriciate you reading my entire blog hehe.
      It’s so good to get in touch with people who understand my ex-lifestyle and know about the struggles of leaving.
      I love to hear about other people’s way out too, you’re welcome to share whatever whenever! 🙂

  2. Lisa – I love your blog! You seem to be dealing with what happened in your past with a lot of grace. I hope you’re living life to its fullest now and enjoying “normal life”! I too was raised in a Christian fundamentalist homeschooling family that embraced patriarchy, though my upbringing was nowhere as extreme as yours. Still, it takes time to rethink everything and come out of it and realize that the normal world can be a great place. So kudos!

    • Well it’s been a bit over a year for me outside of the movement and I was lucky enough to have friends and people who were worldly and helped me with the things a movement member just can’t do on his or her own. For example going to the movies… I wasn’t allowed to! I had to learn how to buy tickets and all that… I mean people had to be there and show me because I was so embaressed not to know where to go. Hah I could write a series of posts about the awkwardness of the normal world! Would be quite entertaining I think…

      • Haha, should have read here before posting questions on your story segment… So just a year. Wow. I’ve been out for five years now. I have to say, even though I had it easier than you, getting used to being in the real world was indeed a challenge. Places like movie theaters scared me. Heck, even restaurants scared me! All those choices! And I was SO socially awkward because I didn’t know anything. My parents sent me to college (the importance of an education, even for girls, was one thing that the patriarchy never drilled out of them, even though they taught me I wasn’t supposed to have a career or work at all once I was married), and I have to say, going to college in handmade dresses and two braids? I was the very definition of out of place. If some (fairly normal) evangelical girls hadn’t taken me under their wing, I don’t know what I would have done!

  3. Hi, I just found your blog thru a post someone linked to on Facebook. I’m 24 and I moved out of my parents’ house last July and got completely cut off from the rest of my siblings (one is married, so he talks to me) and parents. I’m blogging about my new life and dealing with my old too.

    Anyways…just thought I’d say Hi and let you know there’s another survivor out here. 🙂

  4. i-i-i. it’s been so interesting to read your blog!! I left a little over two years ago over a relationship with my now-husband that my parents vehemently disapproved of. I, also, have been cut off from my family for the most part, although a few of the older children (well, in their 20s!) still talk with me and my parents contact me once in a while. You’ve inspired me to write more about my story. It’s been so great to read yours (and you left it unfinished!).

    • Yes I left it unfinished for now because to be honest, I didn’t want to “face” that next part yet, especially with something else happening in my life that I’m writing a post about today.
      It’s great your siblings keep in touch with you! I’m hoping mine will too once they are old enough!

  5. You know, one of the best things that a girl/woman can have is a good, close, loving relationship with her dad. It’s wrong that you were robbed of that. I think that’s the major huge thing wrong with this assumption that men are made to be leaders. They aren’t. Some are, and so are some women. But when ALL men are told they must lead … well, there is nothing more screamy, touchy, and tyrannical than a person who has been placed in a leadership position that their natural temperament doesn’t qualify them for. The simple fact is that any man or woman who is a natural leader embues the people around them with calm and confidence. Someone who is not meant to be a leader but who is forced to be one anyway is insecure, touchy, constantly looking for threats, and generally acts like a big, scary *sshole. I haven’t been through what you’ve been through with men being told that their genitals make them leaders, but I’ve seen men with lots of money and no talent for leadership turn into crazed despots when their money put them in leadership positions they were not qualified for in temperament. They are literally out of their minds and the nastiest people I’ve ever encountered. I could not imagine LIVING with or being raised by any of them. You’re a very strong, heroic person to have come out of that.

  6. I was also raised in a fundamentalist family, and I completely understand the struggles with functioning in the real world. Thankfully, I got to go to college, but despite being good at my lessons, I was clueless about day to day functioning in so many ways. I didn’t know how to buy movie tickets either, until I got out of college…and I was so nervous ordering at restaurants, at going anywhere by myself, etc. I’m still self-conscious just walking through Wal-Mart! I’ve had to have people show me so many things about, just, normal life!
    I also know the heartache of having to leave one’s family behind.
    I’m so glad that you have found freedom from that.

  7. Hallo,

    ich hab heute Nachmittag deinen kompletten Blog gelesen. Ich weiß nicht, ob es dir was ausmacht, dass ich auf Deutsch schreibe, ich hoffe nicht! Wie du in einem deiner Posts geschrieben hast, für Europäer hört sich deine Geschichte fast surreal an. Ich hab eine Frage, du hast mal vor Monaten nach Musiktipps, etc. gefragt, hast du dich auch mit Malerei beschäftigt? Ich weiß, es ist nicht unbedingt das, was man braucht um heutzutage “normal” zu sein… es würde mich einfach interessieren.

    Falls du dich fragst wie ich auf deinen Blog gekommen bin, ich studiere Politikwissenschaften und habe mich über die Tea Party Bewegung informiert, bin dann über die Duggars und einem Forum, das kräftig über sie ablästert, zu deinem Blog gekommen. Sehr interessant fand ich, dass du zweisprachig bist, ich bin es nämlich auch, meine Mutter ist Belgierin, ich lebe aber in Deutschland.

    Der Tod deiner Schwester tut mir sehr leid! Ich hoffe, dass du viele Freunde hast, die sich um dich kümmern und für dich da sind!

    Ich wünsch dir nur das Allerbeste!


  8. Hey there Lisa,
    Interesting blog. There is so much I would love to comment on, but I am afraid it would take too long. I’ll try and keep it short.
    The QF movement is ungodly.
    Full stop.
    The people who are at the head of it will have a lot to answer for when they stand before God. The version of “headship” that they present is quite possibly the least Biblical interpretation possible. I understand how it has developed, but it simply is not right. The fact that so much emphasis is put on the authority of the father while he is not expected to submit to authority himself is completely wrong. Headship is about service, about feet washing, about totally giving of oneself without always trying to get.
    Since you say you are “uneducated” and still trying to figure out what you believe, then I guess my suggestion would be to start reading other Christian materials about marriage, family and the Christian life. Some church history would also help a lot.
    “Sacred Parenting” by Gary Thomas is an excellent book. In his approach, he is about as far from the Pearl’s as you can think of. The book is not a “how to” book, but rather how God uses the parenting experience to shape our walk. I recommend it because the author is humble and puts more emphasis on a parent’s response as opposed to a child’s behaviour (which is how it should be.) He also has a book called Sacred Marriage. I have not read it myself, but given his parenting one, it’s probably also good.
    “Strengthening Your Marriage” by Wayne A. Mack is excellent. He goes through every Bible passage on marriage that you can think of, and even some you might not think about. It is well-balanced.
    For the Christian life, I recommend pretty much anything by Jerry Bridges. His writing is humble, while still tackling tough things in the Christian’s life.

    Here is an article from The Gospel Coalition on When You Should Flee Your Church

    From 9Marks on Consistent Complementarianism
    (problems that arise when men want to be in authority, but not under authority)

    Tim Challies also has a great blog

    Good authors? R.C. Sproul, Spurgeon, Bridges (as mentioned already) Dr. Kloosterman, G.C. Berkouwer (though I do admit, his writing is not really for the layman, it is more for the heavyweight), Bonhoeffer, Boettner, Calvin, Luther, A.W. Pink… the list is potentially huge. If you ever want more, just feel free to email (rootles at

  9. Lisa…. thank you for your blog. I read your story and some of the other blog posts yesterday and today. You are a really amazing person. I was raised fundamental, but not nearly as strict as you, and it’s really difficult to even imagine what you’ve been through and how well you’re doing in spite of it! Although I’ve been out of the movement (I really like that term of yours) for half my life now at 24, I still am in the process of discovering who I am and being okay with it.

    Thank you for your voice and sharing your experiences. I’ll be following your blog regularly now!

  10. Thank you for sharing your story!

  11. Thank you for sharing your story. You have been through a lot. You are in my prayers.

  12. I’ve spent the last four hours reading your blog after stumbling upon it accidentally. I cried and I want to send you a hug.

    I was personally raised in a moderately conservative mainstream Christian family, but I had some friends with an upbringing a lot like yours. It makes me so angry and yet so incredibly sad and helpless to hear some of the stories they’ve shared with me over the years.

    Now, as a teacher, I see teenagers every day who are the victims of abuse and neglect of various kinds – often quite a bit more subtle than what you described in your family, but certainly enough to cause ongoing damage. I might not be able to make a difference in other ways, but my own small contribution is making sure my precious students know how loved, valued, unique and capable they are, even if they only hear it from me.

    Wherever your journey leads you, I hope and pray that you find peace.

    • Thanks for your comment! I believe that the ‘extend’ of abuse is not a good measure for the pain felt. Whether it is physical violence, overbearing religious teachings, or psychological mistreatment (no matter if the mother keeps telling the girl she’s too fat or the father telling his boy he is a wimp), the damage done depends on so many factors apart from the extend.
      Thanks for being a great teacher for your students! I’m sure you are making a difference!

  13. I came across this site today. I am a Christian father who has recently had my oldest daughter, 19, leave our house without notice, she won’t communicate with any of us. I want to understand what is going on so our relationship can be repaired. I love her and what has happened is tearing me up. Would some ladies from this site be willing to field some questions and provide feedback? I would appreciate it.

  14. Hello Lisa,

    I’ve found your blog by chance. I’ve started reading your story and wasn’t able to stop. You write so well! I cried and wanted to hug you but I’m also full of admiration for your strength, intelligence, analyse, curiosity and sense of freedom. You are an inspiration for me. I’m sure you will be brillant in your studies. I wish you all the best.

    I’m sorry for my english: I’m learning…

  15. I’ve been reading your story, and have read everything up to part 20. I can’t get anything past that, or maybe you haven’t finished it? I find it quite interesting, and would love to read more.

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