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HerNameIsBuffy

Safe at Home 4: Where the thread names change, but the Arndts stay the same

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Flossie
On 11/1/2018 at 1:19 PM, Alisamer said:

I mean, at some point something HAS to change. They can't just all stay there and keep getting older and older until they die, right? 

 

James Herriot recounted a story in one of his books about three adults who appeared in his veterinary practice one day.  They were two brothers and a sister, and I think they were all at least in their 50's, but none had ever married and they all lived together in the small house they were born and raised in.  The locals all agreed that they were all a bit odd, but it wasn't surprising since their parents had never done anything to encourage them to get to know anyone outside of the family even when they were children.  They were all either home schooled or were pulled out of school at an early age.  Apparently their parents thought only the most rudimentary reading, writing, and arithmetic was necessary for what they considered a successful life.

So there they were, living and working their small farm, only going into town when necessary and making no friends and having no known interests outside of their isolated life.  The only thing that could be said was that they all seemed to like cats, and had many more than needed to keep the rodent population managable around the home.  One day they showed up at the vets office to ask him to look at a litter of kittens that had taken ill.  It turned out that most all of their other cats had died of this illness, and the litter of tiny kittens were the only ones left.  James was familiar with the illness, but there was no remedy back then for it.  It made it's way through the district every so often and cats either died or recovered.  But as he was about to tell them he couldn't help, he realized that these three stoic people were on the verge of tears and he decided to offer them the one thing he could think of.  He'd heard of a new medication, but he hadn't tried it and had no idea if it would help, or even if they could afford it.  He told them about it and they urged him to get the medication as soon as possible, they'd do whatever was necessary to pay for it.

James got the medicine and took it to them.  He got there in the evening and on some impulse he looked through the window before knocking on the door.  There sat the three siblings on a bench, side by side.  They didn't see him, they didn't move or talk to each other, they just sat there.  He realized that this had been their life since they were children.  Their parents must have felt that children should be seen and not heard, so they were put on a bench and told to stay put until bedtime.  It had never changed.  They grew into adults and kept up the habits they had had instilled in them as children.  Even when their parents died, they did the day to day chores they had been taught, but never tried to act like adults in any other fashion.  He was saddened and a little creeped out, but he knocked on the door and gave them the medicine for the kittens.  He asked them to let him know if it helped.

Some months later he arrived at work and found a note taped to the door.  It was in a childish handwriting and the spelling and grammer were poor, but the note told him that those kittens were now all grown up and doing well.

I've thought about that family at times through the years.  I wondered what it was like when there was only one left, was he or she able to ramain at home until they died and it wasn't discovered until a neighbor realized that they hadn't seen them for a couple of weeks?  Why did their parents restrict them so severely that they were never willing or able to form any kind of emotional relationships with anyone outside of the family?  Were these people naturally compliant as children and never tested their limits?  Or was their compliance imposed on them through fear and punishment, breaking their will so completely they never broke free of the bondage they were raised in?  Did their parents understand or care about the stark lonely lives their children were destined to live even after their parents were dead and gone?  Why would parents do such a thing to their children?

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HerNameIsBuffy
8 minutes ago, Flossie said:

James Herriot recounted a story in one of his books about three adults who appeared in his veterinary practice one day.  They were two brothers and a sister, and I think they were all at least in their 50's, but none had ever married and they all lived together in the small house they were born and raised in.  The locals all agreed that they were all a bit odd, but it wasn't surprising since their parents had never done anything to encourage them to get to know anyone outside of the family even when they were children.  They were all either home schooled or were pulled out of school at an early age.  Apparently their parents thought only the most rudimentary reading, writing, and arithmetic was necessary for what they considered a successful life.

So there they were, living and working their small farm, only going into town when necessary and making no friends and having no known interests outside of their isolated life.  The only thing that could be said was that they all seemed to like cats, and had many more than needed to keep the rodent population managable around the home.  One day they showed up at the vets office to ask him to look at a litter of kittens that had taken ill.  It turned out that most all of their other cats had died of this illness, and the litter of tiny kittens were the only ones left.  James was familiar with the illness, but there was no remedy back then for it.  It made it's way through the district every so often and cats either died or recovered.  But as he was about to tell them he couldn't help, he realized that these three stoic people were on the verge of tears and he decided to offer them the one thing he could think of.  He'd heard of a new medication, but he hadn't tried it and had no idea if it would help, or even if they could afford it.  He told them about it and they urged him to get the medication as soon as possible, they'd do whatever was necessary to pay for it.

James got the medicine and took it to them.  He got there in the evening and on some impulse he looked through the window before knocking on the door.  There sat the three siblings on a bench, side by side.  They didn't see him, they didn't move or talk to each other, they just sat there.  He realized that this had been their life since they were children.  Their parents must have felt that children should be seen and not heard, so they were put on a bench and told to stay put until bedtime.  It had never changed.  They grew into adults and kept up the habits they had had instilled in them as children.  Even when their parents died, they did the day to day chores they had been taught, but never tried to act like adults in any other fashion.  He was saddened and a little creeped out, but he knocked on the door and gave them the medicine for the kittens.  He asked them to let him know if it helped.

Some months later he arrived at work and found a note taped to the door.  It was in a childish handwriting and the spelling and grammer were poor, but the note told him that those kittens were now all grown up and doing well.

I've thought about that family at times through the years.  I wondered what it was like when there was only one left, was he or she able to ramain at home until they died and it wasn't discovered until a neighbor realized that they hadn't seen them for a couple of weeks?  Why did their parents restrict them so severely that they were never willing or able to form any kind of emotional relationships with anyone outside of the family?  Were these people naturally compliant as children and never tested their limits?  Or was their compliance imposed on them through fear and punishment, breaking their will so completely they never broke free of the bondage they were raised in?  Did their parents understand or care about the stark lonely lives their children were destined to live even after their parents were dead and gone?  Why would parents do such a thing to their children?

This was so moving.  I love James Herriot but don't recall this story - thanks for sharing it.

I think they'll stay in my mind for some time.

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Four is Enough

How sad is that Heriot story? And  yet it's probably completely true. I know that even with my "relatively normal" upbringing, there were things I assumed and things I did simply because I was told that way as a child... and never considered alternatives until actually challenged to do so, and encouraged to do so.

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HerNameIsBuffy
2 minutes ago, Four is Enough said:

How sad is that Heriot story? And  yet it's probably completely true. I know that even with my "relatively normal" upbringing, there were things I assumed and things I did simply because I was told that way as a child... and never considered alternatives until actually challenged to do so, and encouraged to do so.

Yeah - but at some point you mature and you'd think you'd get bored, seek out other pursuits, at least not sit silently on a bench with siblings.  I wondering if there was some disability at play.

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JenniferJuniper
22 hours ago, Briefly said:

I guess I misinterpreted things.  I was under the impression that they were not really allowed to grow up, in the way that so many fundy families raise their children.  I know that they have income and a successful business.  I was thinking more of emotional maturity levels but I see what you mean about them surviving.

Even when the parents die or become infirm - Cathy must be close to 60 by now and Rick is in his 60's - the siblings are so enmeshed they'd probably stick together under a leader, probably the oldest.  Mary would run the house like her mother, some of her brothers would help, but shopping, cooking, and cleaning would be under her rule.  She'll wear black pants in the winter, white shorts in the summer.  She may even take over stomach touching duties (ewww) during the master bedroom birthday ceremonies, although I suspect the room will be a shrine once their parents have moved on to glory.

Rick seems to think he'll live to be very old.  His parents are both still alive.  Cathy's parents died in their 70's and both had been quite ill for some time before their deaths.  But I doubt Rick has any contingency plans for the offspring after his death.  They exist for him, and if he's no longer here - whatever, kids. But they will survive, and unless something drastically changes, I believe they will stick together.  

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Four is Enough
8 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Yeah - but at some point you mature and you'd think you'd get bored, seek out other pursuits, at least not sit silently on a bench with siblings.  I wondering if there was some disability at play.

That did happen for me, but I had other, outside influences. They had nothing except each other and the curiousness bred out of them... the thought of disability occurred to me, too, but then I thought... maybe not. They were just being "good kids". Who knows? Maybe they did have conversations... "I'm bored. I'd like to do something different." "But what?" "I don't know."

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HerNameIsBuffy
21 minutes ago, JenniferJuniper said:

Rick seems to think he'll live to be very old.  His parents are both still alive.  Cathy's parents died in their 70's and both had been quite ill for some time before their deaths. 

Whatever tenuous grasp on reality Rick still has will go up in smoke if he loses Cathy.  God help him if she goes first.

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Bethella
4 hours ago, JenniferJuniper said:

Cathy must be close to 60 by now and Rick is in his 60's

Cathy is 58, Rick is 62

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Petronella
On 11/4/2018 at 4:28 AM, Flossie said:

James Herriot recounted a story in one of his books about three adults who appeared in his veterinary practice one day.  They were two brothers and a sister, and I think they were all at least in their 50's, but none had ever married and they all lived together in the small house they were born and raised in.  The locals all agreed that they were all a bit odd, but it wasn't surprising since their parents had never done anything to encourage them to get to know anyone outside of the family even when they were children.  They were all either home schooled or were pulled out of school at an early age.  Apparently their parents thought only the most rudimentary reading, writing, and arithmetic was necessary for what they considered a successful life.

So there they were, living and working their small farm, only going into town when necessary and making no friends and having no known interests outside of their isolated life.  The only thing that could be said was that they all seemed to like cats, and had many more than needed to keep the rodent population managable around the home.  One day they showed up at the vets office to ask him to look at a litter of kittens that had taken ill.  It turned out that most all of their other cats had died of this illness, and the litter of tiny kittens were the only ones left.  James was familiar with the illness, but there was no remedy back then for it.  It made it's way through the district every so often and cats either died or recovered.  But as he was about to tell them he couldn't help, he realized that these three stoic people were on the verge of tears and he decided to offer them the one thing he could think of.  He'd heard of a new medication, but he hadn't tried it and had no idea if it would help, or even if they could afford it.  He told them about it and they urged him to get the medication as soon as possible, they'd do whatever was necessary to pay for it.

James got the medicine and took it to them.  He got there in the evening and on some impulse he looked through the window before knocking on the door.  There sat the three siblings on a bench, side by side.  They didn't see him, they didn't move or talk to each other, they just sat there.  He realized that this had been their life since they were children.  Their parents must have felt that children should be seen and not heard, so they were put on a bench and told to stay put until bedtime.  It had never changed.  They grew into adults and kept up the habits they had had instilled in them as children.  Even when their parents died, they did the day to day chores they had been taught, but never tried to act like adults in any other fashion.  He was saddened and a little creeped out, but he knocked on the door and gave them the medicine for the kittens.  He asked them to let him know if it helped.

Some months later he arrived at work and found a note taped to the door.  It was in a childish handwriting and the spelling and grammer were poor, but the note told him that those kittens were now all grown up and doing well.

I've thought about that family at times through the years.  I wondered what it was like when there was only one left, was he or she able to ramain at home until they died and it wasn't discovered until a neighbor realized that they hadn't seen them for a couple of weeks?  Why did their parents restrict them so severely that they were never willing or able to form any kind of emotional relationships with anyone outside of the family?  Were these people naturally compliant as children and never tested their limits?  Or was their compliance imposed on them through fear and punishment, breaking their will so completely they never broke free of the bondage they were raised in?  Did their parents understand or care about the stark lonely lives their children were destined to live even after their parents were dead and gone?  Why would parents do such a thing to their children?

I’d love to read that, but googling has left me none the wiser. Might you remember the name of the story or book?

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VVV
32 minutes ago, Petronella said:

I’d love to read that, but googling has left me none the wiser. Might you remember the name of the story or book?

Maybe a reference to the Bramley family at this link? (scroll about a quarter of the way down) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4783738/James-Herriot-s-enchanting-account-life-pre-war-vets.html

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Petronella
11 minutes ago, VVV said:

Maybe a reference to the Bramley family at this link? (scroll about a quarter of the way down) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4783738/James-Herriot-s-enchanting-account-life-pre-war-vets.html

Aha! You’re right.

That version has been edited down, but I used the name to find the full story. Here are the relevant paragraphs:

“After twenty minutes of slithering in and out of the unseen puddles and opening a series of broken, string-tied gates, I reached the farm yard and crossed over to the back door. I was about to knock when I stopped with my hand poised. I found I was looking through the kitchen window and in the interior, dimly lit by an oil lamp, the Bramleys were sitting in a row.

They weren’t grouped round the fire but were jammed tightly on a long, high-backed wooden settle which stood against the far wall. The strange thing was the almost exact similarity of their attitudes; all four had their arms folded, chins resting on their chests, feet stretched out in front of them. The men had removed their heavy boots and were stocking-footed, but Miss Bramley wore an old pair of carpet slippers.

I stared, fascinated by the curious immobility of the group. They were not asleep, not talking or reading or listening to the radio—in fact they didn’t have one—they were just sitting.

I had never seen people just sitting before and I stood there for some minutes to see if they would make a move or do anything at all, but nothing happened. It occurred to me that this was probably a typical evening; they worked hard all day, had their meal, then they just sat till bedtime.”

 

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usedbicycle

Rick and Cathy can easily live 30 more years. They seem in really good shape. The oldest kids might be pushing 70 before their parents die. The family cannot possibly end this way, with a house full of senior citizen siblings and their frail elderly parents. 

 

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JermajestyDuggar
10 minutes ago, usedbicycle said:

Rick and Cathy can easily live 30 more years. They seem in really good shape. The oldest kids might be pushing 70 before their parents die. The family cannot possibly end this way, with a house full of senior citizen siblings and their frail elderly parents. 

 

I totally agree. And I’m always thinking that when I think of the Maxwell’s. It’s completely possible that some of these second gen fundies will be “parented” at home until they are in their 60s! Crazy.

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Wine time!
nokidsmom
5 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I totally agree. And I’m always thinking that when I think of the Maxwell’s. It’s completely possible that some of these second gen fundies will be “parented” at home until they are in their 60s! Crazy.

When I think of second generation fundies who might still be at home with Mommy and Daddy in their 50s and 60s, I think of the Maxwells and the Arndts. 

I can't imagine Rick and Cathy living into advanced old age with all 14 of their kids still around them, but right now that appears that is what might happen.   It's possible that some of the kids will launch but now I see that as being more likely with the younger kids, it might be too late for the older ones.  Stayed too long, being too responsible for able bodied parents instead of living their own lives.

 

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HerNameIsBuffy
27 minutes ago, nokidsmom said:

When I think of second generation fundies who might still be at home with Mommy and Daddy in their 50s and 60s, I think of the Maxwells and the Arndts. 

I can't imagine Rick and Cathy living into advanced old age with all 14 of their kids still around them, but right now that appears that is what might happen.   It's possible that some of the kids will launch but now I see that as being more likely with the younger kids, it might be too late for the older ones.  Stayed too long, being too responsible for able bodied parents instead of living their own lives.

 

Well, if they all stay forever they'll eventually have to make different sleeping arrangements. Once everyone is over or nearing 50 bunk beds are going to become less pleasant.

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seraaa
On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 9:22 PM, Four is Enough said:

That did happen for me, but I had other, outside influences. They had nothing except each other and the curiousness bred out of them... the thought of disability occurred to me, too, but then I thought... maybe not. They were just being "good kids". Who knows? Maybe they did have conversations... "I'm bored. I'd like to do something different." "But what?" "I don't know."

It makes me wonder if any of them might have been on the spectrum.

Not because anything glaring jumps out from that story- you can't armchair diagnose people - but because I am, and it's a lens I'm used to framing things in. And I know that, given the way it affects me, if I had been born into a family like theirs there is an incredibly high possibility I would also have found it harder to branch out.

 

(In the case of the vast majority of people we discuss here, it is much more likely that the causes are enmeshment, lack of opportunity, or believing it is not a proper or viable option to go. Especially when we're talking about entire families. But. I have a lot of half-formed and unscientific thoughts about fundamentalism and black-and-white thinking and how that might relate to autistic people. And I say 'half-formed' because I am very conscious of expressing myself incorrectly or giving a false or unhelpful impression of my people, lol)

 

Edited by seraaa

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Flossie

Yes, it's the Bramley's.  Obviously I'd gotten the story somewhat muddled, I forgot an entire brother there.  It has been over 30 years since I last read Herriot.  I should check out my library and reread them all.  I still laugh at the story of the ghost of The Raynes Monk Ghost.

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HerNameIsBuffy
20 hours ago, seraaa said:

It makes me wonder if any of them might have been on the spectrum.

My eldest son is on the spectrum and I appreciate the sensitivity you used in writing this as I am deeply sensitive to how "your people" are portrayed.  :) 

I just want to caution that while it's not breaking any rules as it was speculation about adults, we do need to be careful as there are many things that can cause certain behaviors and we can't know anything about them from Rick's blog or heavily edited old episodes of Fam Team.

Again - not a rule breaking thing but arm chair diagnostics are highly unreliable and can be really hurtful no matter how well intentioned.

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seraaa
50 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

My eldest son is on the spectrum and I appreciate the sensitivity you used in writing this as I am deeply sensitive to how "your people" are portrayed.  :) 

I just want to caution that while it's not breaking any rules as it was speculation about adults, we do need to be careful as there are many things that can cause certain behaviors and we can't know anything about them from Rick's blog or heavily edited old episodes of Fam Team.

Again - not a rule breaking thing but arm chair diagnostics are highly unreliable and can be really hurtful no matter how well intentioned.

I hear you. I honestly went back and forth about it. I agree with you about the caution re armchair-diagnosing people, and I wouldn't even get more specific than that about any individual

Edited by seraaa

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Waffle Time
catlady
On 10/30/2018 at 10:29 PM, JenniferJuniper said:

sweet pumpkin love 

Does this happen before or after drying it tenderly?  

Edited by catlady
Removed superfluous words

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JenniferJuniper

I apologize if anyone comes here to see if anything as changed.  Nothing has, at least as far as anyone knows.  It appears the Arndts have left building and have stopped providing any personal updates for a long time now.  So as far as anyone knows, three of them could have been married by now with the next generation of goofballs already on the way.

Do I think this is what's going on?  Nah.  I think Rick's just tired of people asking about the status of his now geriatric offspring.  So we're left with memes.  Here's the most recent.

Spoiler

47473924_2046965162013094_68701876561316

Soooo...the season is really about Santa Claus in his circa 1880 red suit and cap stopping by to visit with newborn blond baby Jesus? 

I'm gradually losing my ability to follow fundies.  Snark used to be fun but these days it just just feels like making fun of very mentally challenged people.  I'm melting....oh what a world!

 

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MarblesMom

And here I was, expecting an Arndt update of some sorts.   Bah, humbug.

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JermajestyDuggar

If you want a little more info from the Arndts, you’ll have to look at their photography/video page. Two Arndts were actually groomsmen in a wedding! They have friends! 

4F936571-581E-45DF-BCD2-0067A74D4C03.jpeg

And they have a family friend who is a democrat? What?! 

344FBD01-EC51-4AF8-963E-6C55190F185D.jpeg

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Waffle Time
Lisafer
28 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

If you want a little more info from the Arndts, you’ll have to look at their photography/video page. Two Arndts were actually groomsmen in a wedding! They have friends! 

4F936571-581E-45DF-BCD2-0067A74D4C03.jpeg

And they have a family friend who is a democrat? What?! 

344FBD01-EC51-4AF8-963E-6C55190F185D.jpeg

The Belleville News-Democrat is the local paper. The guy is probably straight Republican 😀

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JermajestyDuggar
1 hour ago, Lisafer said:

The Belleville News-Democrat is the local paper. The guy is probably straight Republican 😀

Omg hahaha! 🙈

Don’t mind me. Just being an idiot over here.

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