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Coconut Flan

Boyer Sisters Part 6: Two Left Limping Along

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Tired
Coconut Flan

Continued from here:

 

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Jhamishwat

One thing that I'm sure has been said here before is that the teenage/young adult years are confusing as heck. You're trying to figure yourself out and what you believe about life, and doing it in an environment that suppresses your expression is bound to cause issues. I strayed away from my Christian faith for awhile (though for an opposite reason--fundamentalists made me question my beliefs when they were hateful toward me, I didn't become one of them or grow up as one), and dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts (still do but I have coping mechanisms now), but in the fundie world, it's all explained as "pray" (and do nothing else) and wait for a husband to give you the fulfillment of being a wife and mother. So I can certainly see why Jessica in particular is struggling after her breakup. But not every guy God brings to you is the one, and most fundies don't seem to accept that. 

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catlady

@nokidsmom asked at the end of the last thread--Brigid got married in October 2016, and according to her recent blog post, her son is about 3 months old.  

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Carm_88

Brigid has been married long enough that they should have adjusted. I can get Jessica wondering the "what ifs" about her ex, but still at some point you have to move on. Also, I think Jessica and Charlotte better move on with their own lives. Instead of continuing to dwell on what used to be. 

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Feministe9000

They have definitely been floundering since Brigid left. And I think that it’s for lack of stimulation, being home all the time, limited control over her own life, number to her never changing scenery or circumstances, that kind of incapacitates Jessica from moving on and still brooding over her breakup, with the guy, not with her sister trio, which of course is a massive issue all on its own. 

But we all go through breakups right? It takes us sometimes a long time to move on, even if we don’t get over it, even if we won’t be the same again, we usually do move on in some way, that takes our life to a new step/circumstance/feeling of growth, maturation? 

Jessica doesn’t get to do that. It is very sad, that she can’t really grow from this, not in the ways most of us here could, or have the potential to at the very least. She can’t move on, she’s trapped with Charlotte, watchingBrigid liveout her dreams. 

I know, she could just leave. But we all know that won’t happen. 

Edited by Feministe9000

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catlady

Well, in theory she could leave, but her parents have hobbled her so badly that she may not have the ability to do so. If she leaves, she needs someplace to live. Maybe she has a friend who would let her move in, but assuming she does, then she needs steady income. The snake oil gig won’t provide that, so she needs a regular job. And transportation to get there. Even an incredibly basic exit will require a lot of planning, cash, and stress. Sure, In the long run she’d be fine, but it’s that first hurdle of walking out the door—if she goes today, where does she sleep tonight and what does she eat tomorrow?  For most of us, we can do that because we have education, experience, social contacts, life skills, and bank accounts. But poor Jessica, at 22/23, has far less of those things than she should because her parents never let her acquire them. 

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EowynW
53 minutes ago, catlady said:

Well, in theory she could leave, but her parents have hobbled her so badly that she may not have the ability to do so. If she leaves, she needs someplace to live. Maybe she has a friend who would let her move in, but assuming she does, then she needs steady income. The snake oil gig won’t provide that, so she needs a regular job. And transportation to get there. Even an incredibly basic exit will require a lot of planning, cash, and stress. Sure, In the long run she’d be fine, but it’s that first hurdle of walking out the door—if she goes today, where does she sleep tonight and what does she eat tomorrow?  For most of us, we can do that because we have education, experience, social contacts, life skills, and bank accounts. But poor Jessica, at 22/23, has far less of those things than she should because her parents never let her acquire them. 

This was me a few years ago. I was in their shoes. It is a heartbreaking, mind numbing, hopeless and depressing place to be in. I am so sorry for them. It's fun to snark on them but when you've lived it, you can understand how little choice they have. 

Edited by EowynW
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catlady

I do try to understand, which is why I genuinely feel badly for them. Jessica especially seems to need to get the hell out of her parents’ house and have a shot at her own life, but her parents  have refused to give her the tools to do so. 

I know I snark on her immaturity at times; but i’m also aware that she, like Sarah Maxwell, wasn’t given anywhere near enough options growing up, so her current lot in life is not of her own making. Most of us here would like to see Jessica and Charlotte take some college classes and get regular jobs. They have some genuine talents that are languishing in their SAHD existence. 

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Sobeknofret
1 hour ago, catlady said:

if she goes today, where does she sleep tonight and what does she eat tomorrow?  For most of us, we can do that because we have education, experience, social contacts, life skills, and bank accounts. But poor Jessica, at 22/23, has far less of those things than she should because her parents never let her acquire them. 

This is why I think her parents should be slapped silly, despite the fact that I'm a pacifist. They've  completely wrecked the lives of Jessica and Charlotte, and left them to flounder on their own. Those poor girls. My heart breaks thinking of what could have been for two bright, talented young women.

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refugee
4 hours ago, EowynW said:

This was me a few years ago. I was in their shoes. It is a heartbreaking, mind numbing, hopeless and depressing place to be in. I am so sorry for them. It's fun to snark on them but when you've lived it, you can understand how little choice they have. 

So glad you got out. I feel for the girls. In their culture, the only way out for a sahd is marriage. Jessica may be looking at her prospects and thinking about the possibility of being the unmarried daughter with the failed romance who nurses her parents in their old age to the end and inherits the house, where she lives on as a faded flower.

It’s a common theme in the old books the VF crowd used to love, written in the 1800s.

And now many of the VF families have daughters in their 20s and 30s (and 40s now?) who have been caught in this trap by their upbringing, in which the *only* aim was marriage and motherhood.

What can you do when your culture gives you one target, and one shot, and someone else is controlling the trigger?

I wonder if their mom ever rues her choices, feels bewildered and let down, and blames herself for not being contented? (Which doesn’t help the young women at all, unless the parents have the gumption to ditch their sunk costs and walk away.)

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EowynW

Yes I remember reading those VF. I trashed all of mine as soon as I left. I got out by marriage. My husband and I left everything about that life the day we drove away from the church on our wedding day. We are the lucky ones. 

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refugee
11 minutes ago, EowynW said:

Yes I remember reading those VF. I trashed all of mine as soon as I left. I got out by marriage. My husband and I left everything about that life the day we drove away from the church on our wedding day. We are the lucky ones. 

Because this question is so personal, feel free not to answer. Do you still have contact with siblings? Are you able to have a relationship with your families of origin with healthy boundaries, or have you had to cut contact?

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EowynW
58 minutes ago, refugee said:

Because this question is so personal, feel free not to answer. Do you still have contact with siblings? Are you able to have a relationship with your families of origin with healthy boundaries, or have you had to cut contact?

No it's fine. Yes, I have a great relationship with both my siblings. One is married to a sweet but immature jerk of a fundie preacher ( :( ) and one is engaged to a fundie girl who is already saying no birth control, bring on all the babies. *eye roll* I love my siblings and they are constantly asking me questions about marriage, life & love. And I'm learning how to quietly and kindly present my life as an Christian egalitarian feminist, without sounding accusatory and like they are all wrong. It's working, I can see it in both of them  I hope they will one day break completely free. I think deep down, they think about things.

My parents, well, they are still fundie, and they do not regret anything about how they raised us. They love us, but it's a tricky line to walk some days. We keep very quiet about our shifts right now, since it's barely been 2 years and we are still working through a lot, but even the things we have let slip we still have to carefully work through. My mother is sad, I think, that I didn't turn out to be a homemaker who desires to be a mother and stay at home mom, but we all try to get along. The hardest part is feeling alone, like my mother isn't in my corner. 2 years ago I got married, move out, went on my own for the first time in my 29 years, and I cannot call her when things are hard, both in my life, marriage, with the finances, etc. because she views everything through that hardcore submissive fundie wife lens, and it feels impossible to have a freeing, authentic conversation that isn't rooted in those beliefs. 

We, sadly, for the current time, live only ten minutes from Mr. EW's IBLP Fundie parents and his hardcore fundie yet Calvinist pastor brother. Now THAT is a riot. :D I share about some of the encounters with them over on the fundie encounters threads. That side of the family has been more difficult so far.  

I hope that was a good enough answer. There's a lot that my husband & I are still trying to work through. I feel like our upbringing will affect us our whole life.  My late teens and all my 20s were wasted, and I feel so sad to watch the Boyer sisters have to go through the same thing. 

 

Edited by EowynW
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Jeronimo

Well, they’ve gone very quiet.

I was just looking back at old posts on the blog and really missing the ‘what I made’ series where they would share their sewing projects. Brigid’s were always the best of course. 

Back then they didn’t have the same sadness and desperation in their faces. The smiles were not as forced. 

The old posts about hope chests are particularly telling that there was never any plan for them other than marriage. None whatsoever. Husbands are their only way to leave home. 

 

 

Edited by Jeronimo

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browngrl

I'm wondering if it is not time to share the Sarah Maxwell "poor Sarah" moniker with these two. From the outside it looks like those girls are depressed. I don't think they have accepted the downgrade in their lifestyle since their father's financial circumstances changed and I think they feel that marriage is the only way out (which might be the case given their fundie ways) and I don't think either of them is remotely over Brigit leaving. More and more I find myself pitying them because they both seem so lost.

They are both young and in the secular world could go out and get a trade/job/education to get out of this rut but what avenues are open to them in their world without a husband or without breaking ties to their fundie family. 

I don't know if the parents read this site but if they do here is my advice to them: get your daughters to a counsellor/doctor who can make a professional judgement on whether they are clinically depressed or not. If they don't have a medical issue, then encourage and support them to widen their horizons - be it in the form of education, a job (not a job working for daddy - their own job), learning a trade, traveling etc.

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usedbicycle

I always struggle with really confusing feelings when it comes to pitying the victims of patriarchy. While women in patriarchal families are victims, they also suffer from a superiority complex that helps keep them there. They think they know better, eat better, pray better, love better (ha), and I just can't deal with the obnoxiousness. 

I'm one of those who left, and part of that decision was understanding that I wasn't morally superior to people on the "outside". I'm very lucky to have met people who gently knocked me off of my self-righteous pedestal, but to be super honest, I still struggle with being judgemental of others. It's what that "character quality" crap does to you. It makes you believe no one else has true moral character and they are just spineless, pleasure-seeking animals.

I have those conflicting feelings towards my mother, who birthed and raised way too many children, worked way too hard in the home and suffered daily humiliations from my father. On the other hand, she is one of the most judgemental people I know. She cannot get past superficial traits to get to know a person, such as tattoos or hairstyle or the way a person dates. The same applies to most of the women, my sisters included, who remained the most dedicated to the lifestyle. 

I guess my point is that I would respect the Boyers sisters more if 1) They addressed the changes in their lives a little more openly and humbly, and 2) They demonstrated more respect for other lifestyles. Most of their posts are super prescriptive with clear do's and dont's. While their parents are to blame for 90% of that attitude, their relative freedom to surf online and work little jobs outside the home should be enough to make them question some of that.

 

 

Edited by usedbicycle
grammar

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Mommit

They just announced on their b-well blog that they're re-branding again. I wonder if they mean they aren't selling essential oils anymore, or what. I think floundering is the word that fits them the best. They need to pick a direction and go with it! Of course, as we all know, their choices are somewhat limited. They don't have to be, though, and that's what is so sad and frustrating about them.

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ChunkyBarbie

Preaching to the choir, but I think they would be so much happier and fulfilled if they had a purpose over than waiting for a husband to find them. They can deny it all they want, but their religion and lifestyle has hobbled them. At their ages I was in college. It was a wonderful time! I learned a lot, had a lot of fun, participated in many worthwhile activities and events, and met so many good people, including my husband. All that unsheltering and I still turned out to be a good and successful person, mother and wife. 

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Jeronimo

It’s really interesting to me that Brigid’s latest post on her blog specifically says that she and Gabe don’t wish to share the name of their son online.

 Buuut J and C gave that away weeks ago in their Thanksgiving post. 

Perhaps a lack of communication there? I can’t wait to see the clothes Brigid makes for him! I hope she posts details of some.

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NachosFlandersStyle

She could go out today and get a basic cashier job, but it might still take her six months to save enough to put down deposit and first month's rent on an apartment (depending on what rents are like in her area?) furnish it, and move in. Much longer if she needs to buy a car. And after that it'd still be a struggle to cover bills every month. She'd need to be full-time, probably, and checking groceries or pushing a broom full-time is both mind-numbing and physically painful in a way that a desk job isn't. It probably doesn't seem worth it when you have the option, much less the pressure, to live with Mom and Dad indefinitely, for free. Now that's as much a criticism of wages in this country as it is of her family's lifestyle-- but if she just had an associate's degree she might be able to find a much better-paying job that would make the decision to move out very easy.

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acheronbeach
6 hours ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

She could go out today and get a basic cashier job, but it might still take her six months to save enough to put down deposit and first month's rent on an apartment (depending on what rents are like in her area?) furnish it, and move in. Much longer if she needs to buy a car. And after that it'd still be a struggle to cover bills every month. She'd need to be full-time, probably, and checking groceries or pushing a broom full-time is both mind-numbing and physically painful in a way that a desk job isn't. It probably doesn't seem worth it when you have the option, much less the pressure, to live with Mom and Dad indefinitely, for free. Now that's as much a criticism of wages in this country as it is of her family's lifestyle-- but if she just had an associate's degree she might be able to find a much better-paying job that would make the decision to move out very easy.

Is the area they live in very pricey?  I have a friend who escaped fundiedom who moved to a rural town, works at a convenience store, and furnished her place almost entirely with Craigslist, Kijiji and the Sally Ann.  

That said, when she managed that the minimum wage in Ontario was $10.25 CDN/hr.  I've got no clue what the minimum wage is in the States but I've read that in some states it's ridiculously low.  

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dramallama
1 hour ago, acheronbeach said:

Is the area they live in very pricey?  I have a friend who escaped fundiedom who moved to a rural town, works at a convenience store, and furnished her place almost entirely with Craigslist, Kijiji and the Sally Ann.  

That said, when she managed that the minimum wage in Ontario was $10.25 CDN/hr.  I've got no clue what the minimum wage is in the States but I've read that in some states it's ridiculously low.  

Ohio's minimum wage is $8.30/hr.

Edited by dramallama
Apparently it increased by $0.15/hr on 1/1/18, edited to correct

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Carm_88

I don't think Jessica and Charlotte want to leave. They're unfulfilled and depressed, but they don't want to leave. They either don't realize that the fundie life is not for them or they don't want to admit it. 

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refugee
2 hours ago, Carm_88 said:

I don't think Jessica and Charlotte want to leave. They're unfulfilled and depressed, but they don't want to leave. They either don't realize that the fundie life is not for them or they don't want to admit it. 

Or they’re so completely brainwashed they can’t imagine anything else. The world outside is “evil” and leaving the fundie bubble might feel to them somehow like a kind of death.

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Pianokeeper

If they stay, they get to feel special -- they are more beautiful, more virtuous, more honorable than others. In their own minds. 

They get to be princesses of their tiny, like-minded kingdoms, and I have neither admiration nor sympathy. 

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