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What Brought You to Free Jinger?


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I had a really traumatic overly-religious upbringing, and I spend too much of my free time following cults and fundamentalists online.  I'm bringing up my own kids without organized religion, and I tell them repeatedly that that is my greatest gift to them.

Before I heard of the Duggars, I was disgusted and spellbound by the courtship movement.  There but for the grace of God go I.  Luckily I'm an old and left home before "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" came out, or I'm sure my father would have gotten sucked into it.  

My parents were what you guys would probably call "fundie lite."  It didn't feel light at all to me growing up.  My father believes he is a faith healer,and he speaks in tongues around the house, can't talk about anything but God, reads the Bible for several hours a day and thinks anyone who doesn't is completely wrong, believes in demons, etc.., etc..  When I had meningitis as a college student, he said to me with disgust and hatred, "Obviously you have no faith, or you'd have been healed by now."  

This upbringing was horrific and scarred me in a lot of ways, but I got off easy compared with others as at least I wasn't home-schooled.  Left home as soon as I could and didn't look back.  I'm estranged from my family and have virtually no contact with them.

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I googled "Sarah Jane Romantic History" because she took down her blog at one point, and I was wondering what the fuck was going on. I lurked for a while, and now here I am.

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To be honest, I've been lurking for so long that I'm not entirely sure how I got here.

I first got the weird vibe when Josh and Anna started courting and it became clear that the Duggars had some really really overly strict dating rules and that took me to the internet, I'd also been lurking around the "without pity" type websites (mainly the Gosselins) and a certain facebook page and the name "Free Jinger" kept popping up.

Every so often, when a new season/special aired, I'd have a read here of the summaries (sometimes we don't get them, sometimes I cant bear to watch them) and now I've finally got round to signing up.

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I first found FJ back in the early spring, before all of the crazy mess with Josh Duggar came to the media's attention.  For a long time I've harbored a weird fascination with the Duggars, and at that time they more prominent on TLC than ever with Jill and Jessa's weddings. And when I say fascination, I mean it in the "car crash you can't look away from" sense. I was becoming more and more interested in finding out exactly what they were about. If I remember correctly, I stumbled onto this website from google (I was trying to find out what happened to the Fake Josh Duggar instagram that I had discovered soon before it was shut down). Like many new people, I spent the majority of the time lurking in the Quiverfull of Duggars thread. More recently, I've been reading up on the Rodrigues family, but it really is quite the undertaking! I haven't really posted much since I joined about a month ago, mostly because I've been trying to hang back and take it all in first (and because for some reason I'm really nervous about posting). 

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I found FJ in October 2014, after a trip to the US where I caught an episode of 19KaC on tv and read an article about Jill and Jessa on People magazine. I got interested on them, watched the tv show and lurked for months and months till finally joining in April. 

 

@housetyrell - nice icon and username! :pb_biggrin:  

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I googled "Sarah Jane Romantic History" because she took down her blog at one point, and I was wondering what the fuck was going on. I lurked for a while, and now here I am.

@FrumperSeamstress  You and I did exactly the same thing. I worry about her. :\

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I'd been kinda watching the Duggars for several years in an off an on trainwreck  fascination. But over 2 or 3 weeks there were several FJ links posted at Libby Anne's LJF..one on the Pearls and one about Jana and the music/jewelry box..

 

I lurked through the AM stuff before actually joining..

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I started lurking around the time Jubilee Duggar was miscarried... so... a long time ago. I found FJ because I tried to Google something I had seen about how the Duggar kids really felt about the addition/loss of a sibling (I just couldn't seem to believe that all of them would be that genuinely surprised/upset that their 40 something mother with a paper thin womb miscarried).

I didn't join until recently because I was in huge denial that I was actually very interested in fundie life... but I ended up making an account in order to clarify something in one of the Joshley Madison threads. I tried to go back to lurking.. but every now and then when I'm feeling bored or in the mood to be angry.. I'll jump in.

Currently Zsuzsanna and the Anderson clan is taking up most of my free time. I sent their Leadership Tips to my headship so he could make room for me to be a proper help meet... but he wasn't into it ;) 

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  • 1 month later...

I promised myself that this would be the week that I finally start posting, so here goes! I came here due to a combination of interests, but it was Game of Thrones that set the wheels in motion.

Hear me out: I got really into Game of Thrones in late 2012, steadily got through all the books and seasons, so when Season 4 finished airing in June 2014, I had... no weird hobbies to obsess about. Enter: the Duggars. I had always been a bit fascinated with their show, but it was around then that I realized so much of it is commercial-free on Youtube, and I hate commercials.

Meanwhile, I had always been pretty into the stay-at-home mommy blogs (more Mormon than fundie). I also inhaled everything Libby Anne wrote. The fundie blogs are still such a voyeuristic, guilty pleasure of mine.

From watching Duggars and googling them alongside the other odd things I'd heard ("Duggars Pearls," "Duggars countenance," "Duggars Financial Freedom"), I found myself here and became a near-daily lurker pretty quickly. I finally registered toward the beginning of Joshgate but didn't feel I had much to contribute during that time, so here I am now!

So, thanks for being a slow writer, George R.R. Martin! 

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I've been lurking for ages and ages and ages, by way of TWOP and later, Duggars Without Pity.  I was raised in a very liberal mainline Protestant denomination, by liberal, feminist parents.  I have never lived an even remotely fundie life, but the fundie universe has always fascinated me.  I finally joined awhile back, and have posted a few times here and there.  I'm a Degreed Law Professional (not practicing anymore, though) in the midwest.  I'm posting here because I've got a serious case of the feels.

I separated from my husband last year, who relapsed into active alcoholism shortly after we married.  As someone who was raised with liberal, feminist values, I never could have imagined I would put up with the crap I endured for several years.  It gave me a new layer of empathy and respect for people who leave fundamentalism.  Over the past few years, as my soon-to-be-former-husband's emotional abuse and manipulation worsened, I would often come here to read. And as I grew stronger emotionally, and more and more ready to GTFO, the empowerment and awesomeness that exists here was one of many things that reminded me of who I really am, and how to live a life I wanted to live.  It took me years to get my sense of self back.  I cannot even imagine the strength required to throw off fundamentalism when it is all you have ever known.  

So to those of you who have left fundamentalism behind, I bow down. To all of you who post here (especially in QFoS and QFoD, where I spend most of my time reading), I thank you.  This place DOES make a real difference in the lives of real people.  My children and I (and even our dog) are much, much happier now.  Plus, my new boyfriend lives in Rockford.  You better believe I am on constant high alert for possible Duggar sightings when I visit him.

:my_heart:

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  • 3 weeks later...

My mother got sucked into QF, thanks to a certain 1985 book, and we lived on a farm in Nebraska. I was spanked on a near daily basis, but was a wholly unbreakable kid. I stole every "forbidden" book from the local public library I could, reading history, sci-fi, fantasy, and other "godless" literature.

After being maneuvered into a courtship with a very lovely girl, whom I honestly did like, I basically saw that my whole life was being railroaded into this horrible future (poor girl wasn't very well educated either, having basically been told that she didn't need a superb education to be married and making babies - her own mother told her this). I had a total melt-down, mentally, before we were officially engaged. I would later be told that this was a  "panic attack".

After having a WWIII-level screaming argument with my abusive mother, my father had to physically pull us apart after it came to blows. Things never did get repaired, and my father basically offered me an out away from our family. Although the man did give me my freedom, he did allow my mother to basically be wholly abusive and tyrannical towards me and my siblings (none of whom I have a good relationship with even to this day).

I took a barely-working old VW Bug on a one-way trip away from that hot mess, down into Oklahoma, where we had some distant family friends and such. That poor car's engine died before I reached the home of the person I would be staying with (the engine sprayed oil all into the back compartment, totally overheated, and died on the side of the road...)

On "The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt" she escaped from her bunker into a sunny-happy-joy-joy fun world of comedy and adventure... all I got was being told by a therapist was that I had severe depression, PTSD, and anxiety.

Oh, and I was so sheltered as a kid I didn't even know basic life stuff, like what car insurance was; how to apply for a job; etc.

Things started to work out. I did tech support for AOL for several years, met my future wife online in a random chat room (this is before online dating was vogue). Basically have done only dead-end call center jobs, due to a lack of a HS diploma. She was in another state at the time, so I flew out to meet her. It was love. She made the decision to leave her big city and move to ass-backwards bible-belt Oklahoma because I had AOL stock worth $$$$. I paid off all her debts, we got an apt, and got married in Vegas (total blast on our honeymoon).

Then word came to me that my family was departing Nebraska, and coming to live in Oklahoma. The pastor of the church had molested my younger sister (and the jackass got away with it to, because for some reason my mother didn't do anything about it?!?!) And my older sister had somebody try and rape her.

Screw THAT. I cashed out all my AOL stock, we decided to move to upstate NY because wifey has family here... we broke the lease on our apartment and I basically had to flee my family again. No way in HELL am I going to be even in the same state as them.

My life has never been what it should be. I feel robbed of my entire young adult life, especially my childhood. I have emotional issues, a lot of anger at obvious things ... my wife understands, which means the world to me.

I actually was awake with insomnia one night, and flipped by TLC and caught a replay of the original "On the road" special with the damn Duggars. I remember staring intently at the screen when Michelle explained her family as "Christian, with rigid structure" blah blah. I remember being very suspicious of this family, but I dismissed it as "No, it can't be. No way a Quiverfull family would be on TV..."

Then they got a full-time series! I remember watching the first few episodes and blurting out to my wife: "Why the FUCK is this family on TV?!" And it pissed me off bad that TLC was basically sugar-coating what they really were.

I wish I had known about you guys sooner, I would've loved to snark and bash these idiots - would've been cathartic as hell. Oh well ... I'm here now. I make no false claims to have been a long time lurker - you guys are wholly new to me. I have read tons of past posts, though, to bring myself up to speed... I cannot really remember HOW I even stumbled across this?! Some internet rabbit hole I fell down, and when I read the "who are we" I was like: YES! My own people!

I have been recently diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease. The Mito in my cells fails to properly convert food into energy. Basically... I am not going to live to a ripe old age. I will most likely (unless a breakthrough in research occurs) die of organ failure at some point. I have been forced out of work, because basically I am wholly lacking of energy on any given day - sometimes just laying on the sofa, with a chatroom open on my iPhone is about as good as it gets. So if you see me idling in the chatroom all day long: That is why.

I've made my peace with my past as much as I can. I am actually FB friends with my ex-courtship first love (she is still ensconced in Nebraska, with her 10 kiddos - we talk all the time, and I gently try and get her to see what I saw, and why I fled ... she's incapable of seeing it at this point. Luckily her husband genuinely loves and cares for her... at least as far as I can tell...)

My passion for drawing as a kid has actually been my one enduring joy in life: I am a professional digital artist. Starving artist, but I can honestly claim to have sold and received commissions. =)

Oh, and I am a HUGE videogame fan. I have like +15,000 video games in my collection. =)

I have an sporadically-active retro gaming blog ... I have a Steam account, and I live-stream games. If anybody here shares in my hobbies I'd love to share. =)

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I was initially sucked in many years ago by the Duggar family shows out of curiosity into how a family with so many kids functions, then slowly started to realize what a freak show the family was and how really screwed up the parents are for raising their kids the way they do.  I think the first hypocrisy was them making money from a TV show while not allowing their kids to watch TV.  Eventually they were making me sick, then the scandals hit and now I can't turn away (although I didn't watch the 3 part counting on or plan to watch further shows, so as not to support them) it is so much of a train wreck.  I never looked up anything about them until the first scandal and through online tabloid news or pickles I heard of this site.  I've never posted here before or on Pickles page, her page is quick to get to, but I much prefer the often more intelligent things I see on FJ.   

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'd wandered over to FJ a few times (I believe from TWoP, which I also lurked), just reading occasionally and finding the information eye-opening and interesting, and then sort of forgot about it for a few years.  Then Alecia Pennington put the "help me prove it" video out, and I immediately thought of FJ.  Been lurking steadily since then.  I mostly follow the Penningtons, Maxwells, Rodriguezes and Sparkling Lauren.  Of course I occasionally check in on the Duggars, as well.

My best friend was raised JW, and I know some of the impact that has had on her.  Whenever these kinds of folks come up in the news and people are talking about it, I make sure to mention some of this stuff along with examples and links if folks are interested - a lot of people really aren't aware of it, so when an opportunity to spread awareness comes, I take it.  FJ has been a valuable resource in that regard. 

I finally registered to post a link in a recent thread about an abusive Success Academy teacher over in Wide World of Snark.  Those schools make the news fairly often, for all the wrong reasons.

Edited by CryCheeble
Edited for a missing paragraph break.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I found this site while trying to figure out whether Razing Ruth was real or not, and have ghosted here on and off ever since.  I grew up in a fairly conservative home school environment (nothing really that extreme) but I have friends who are full-up caught in the Patriarchy movement, and it's been a multi-year study to understand their world and how it continues to affect them, and to reset some of the screwed up stuff I accidentally picked up from my parents' HSLD propaganda and literature.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/28/2015 at 4:08 PM, NakedKnees said:

So, thanks for being a slow writer, George R.R. Martin! 

Very talented gentleman! 

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I honestly don't recall. My mom watched 19KaC episodes, from the Jubilee miscarriage to the daughters' weddings. I thought nothing of them until I learned about the molestation scandals and Googled the family more. That may have led me to FJ, but I'm pretty sure I saw a Sparkling Lauren thread here first.

There was a YouTube channel dedicated to showing gay dads and their kids. I saw Daniel Valur with his parents and somehow ended up Googling them, which in turn led me to FJ and Lauren's horrifying blog. I lurked for months and loved the hilarious, insightful remarks so much I wanted to join myself. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been watching Duggars programming since their one hour specials because I have a sick fascination with weird families (thank God for Discovery/TLC, amiright?). I have always accidentally fallen into what I call "fundie spirals" where I accidentally spend many, many hours on the internet reading about different fundie families, mostly discovered through Tumblrs and Redditors. I've been aware of FreeJinger for quite some time but just this weekend I finally decided to jump and join. We'll see how this goes. 

Edited by dazed-and-delusional
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  • 2 months later...

I used to read Jezebel years ago and found FJ from there. Then I got busy and stopped reading online sites. Then the first Duggar scandal came out & reminded me about this site. I tend to read a lot & say little online cause I don't want to appear uninformed. 

Right now I find the Duggars boring because nothing changes with them. They hold to the same rigid, misogynistic views they started with. Confession, I've never watched a full episode because I couldn't stand DQ's voice, the fake piety & Boob's hair or huge ego.

I find others more interesting, like Lori, the Rods, the Naugler's (scary parents) the PP & his nasty wife. There is so much to explore here & so much snark to laugh at. But I worry about some of them killing their kids for Godly reasons or screwing them up for life.

My family has 6 kids, strict Catholic, but now half of us are atheists or agnostics. Only 1 is very religious & crazy (young earth believer.) My parents used to scare us so we never admitted not going to church as adults, having pre-marital sex & other stuff. Now they are old, 80s, and it doesn't matter. They still go to church but never mention us going. So I realize they are actually sane & reasonable about it.

 

 

 

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I followed Pickles on FB for a couple of years, then when the Josh scandals hit there was an influx on her page of new people and leghumpers.  Slowly the good posters & comments that I enjoyed started to disappear (or maybe harder to find?) amongst the 'junk' posts.  I had read FJ off and on (hadn't registered), but decided it was a good time to do so.  
I rarely look at Pickle's anymore, and rarely look at the Duggar threads anymore (until yesterday  :pb_smile:)

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  • 1 month later...

I've found Free Jinger after watching an Interview with an ATI escapee, unfortunately I don't remember her name, and after watching "Bringing Up Bates" on Italian television.

This family with 19 kids (I've heard of the Duggars before but did not did too much into it) seemed very strange to me after I saw that all the girls were wearing only skirts and the "Don't kiss before the wedding" thing...

I started informing myself about Christian (Protestant) fundamentalism in the USA, but I'm more familiar with conservative Catholics in Italy.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Welcome again,  @BrandoBarks.  We are an international board and have a couple of Italians and several people from Germany here already so you are not alone. :)

Edited by Palimpsest
realized you were German. :)
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Thank you @Palimpsest :-)

I started browsing through the various sections as you suggested and it's so morbidly interesting and addicting. Or as some here say "I went down the rabbit hole" :-D

Thanks again !

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Same thing that brought a lot of people here, young Josh Duggar.  I started perusing the rest of FJ and thought it would be cool to join up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't remember exactly how I found the website. I'm sure I was curious about ATI or something and this page was on one of the google results pages. I've come back every so often to see what yall are talking about. I probably won't post a whole lot, but I do lurk.

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