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Coconut Flan

Andrea Mills 2: Watching Tom Appear to Lose His Mind

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Aoife

This will teach these self-centred, selfish fundie men nothing. The children don't matter, only the patriarch. If his needs can be met - and they always are - then Hallelujah! JESUS has provided, just as the bible promised. 

Who cares if the children are dirty, hungry, traumatised? Who cares if they are ignorant and uneducated? As long as Daddy is properly worshipped and spoiled, all is well.

These men make me sick.

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Dandruff
1 hour ago, louannems said:

One thing I don't understand is why didn't Andrea get her CT scan on the weekend, when she needed it.

Was that before or after the miscarriage?  I wonder if Andrea's pregnancy had something to do with the delay.

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Giraffe

There are a number of reasons for the delay. Maybe the doctors recognized she was dying and a ct scan would cause her more pain. Maybe Tom’s timeline of events doesn’t match up with how it actually happened or perhaps he misheard what a doctor said. Maybe the doctor was put off by Tom the Asshole and needed time to cool off before convincing them she was dying no scan needed. 

His cruelty to the dog and his ignoring his kids needs causes me to believe the medical professionals version of this story would be vastly different than Tom’s. 

I’m done giving him the benefit of the doubt. He’s making poor choice after poor choice and without knowing more I’m not going to condemn the medical staff he so distrusts*.
 

* I understand they/she had legitimate awful experiences with medical professionals (and yes, there are assholes & incompetent people in the medical profession, too) in the past, but with how big of an asshole he’s shown himself to be since her death, I’m just done believing him. 

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Palimpsest
11 hours ago, moreorlessnu said:

Agreed. 

It occurred to me I haven't heard the 24/7 bible verses being played throughout the house in any video since Andrea passed away. Maybe that also went by the wayside?

I think at least one of her sisters lives reasonably close. There was a video where one of her sisters was visiting. Andrea made the comment that her sister has been coming over every day because her sister "was feeling lonesome".

I think they had eased off on the 24/7 bible audio before Andrea died.  It wasn't present for last few months.  Andrea said in one video that they had mostly stopped it but she still listened to it when she was up in the night.

This is not aimed at the person I quoted at all, but a general statement regarding the aunts and Grandma stepping up indefinitely to help with the children.  I look at it from a caregiver point of view.   

This is not particularly relevant to the Mills family but to attitudes towards caregiving and caregivers that are still prevalent in general and on this thread.  There is an expectation that the kids will be alright because Andrea's sisters and Grandma will step up and help Tom with the children.  Tom certainly seems to expect it from his female relatives.

Our society still places this burden primarily on women.  Men who volunteer for caregiving duties are praised to the skies.  For women it is their duty, regardless of their own responsibilities and needs.

This is coming from my own experiences of caring for terminally ill and aging parent and in-laws, and also from looking at the experiences of many of my friends.  Caregiving, even if done willingly and out of love, can be utterly exhausting both physically and emotionally.  It can include putting your own life on hold.  It can include being torn between the needs of your own husband and children and your relatives' needs.  For people working full time it can mean risking promotions or your career, even if you exhaust all your sick and vacation days and invoke FMLA. 

So Grandma Kitty (and I don't know how fit and frisky she is but she must be well into her sixties) is stepping out of retirement to homeschool Tom's children 3 days a week.  Andrea's sisters are apparently helping out frequently.  I see both as a pretty big deal.  We don't know how much they are sacrificing but they deserve praise.

Tom should be down on his knees in gratitude to them, not expecting their help as his right and their responsibility.

::Steps off soapbox::

Edited by Palimpsest
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Petronella
1 hour ago, Palimpsest said:

I think they had eased off on the 24/7 bible audio before Andrea died.  It wasn't present for last few months.  Andrea said in one video that they had mostly stopped it but she still listened to it when she was up in the night.

This is not aimed at the person I quoted at all, but a general statement regarding the aunts and Grandma stepping up indefinitely to help with the children.  I look at it from a caregiver point of view.   

This is not particularly relevant to the Mills family but to attitudes towards caregiving and caregivers that are still prevalent in general and on this thread.  There is an expectation that the kids will be alright because Andrea's sisters and Grandma will step up and help Tom with the children.  Tom certainly seems to expect it from his female relatives.

Our society still places this burden primarily on women.  Men who volunteer for caregiving duties are praised to the skies.  For women it is their duty, regardless of their own responsibilities and needs.

This is coming from my own experiences of caring for terminally ill and aging parent and in-laws, and also from looking at the experiences of many of my friends.  Caregiving, even if done willingly and out of love, can be utterly exhausting both physically and emotionally.  It can include putting your own life on hold.  It can include being torn between the needs of your own husband and children and your relatives' needs.  For people working full time it can mean risking promotions or your career, even if you exhaust all your sick and vacation days and invoke FMLA. 

So Grandma Kitty (and I don't know how fit and frisky she is but she must be well into her sixties) is stepping out of retirement to homeschool Tom's children 3 days a week.  Andrea's sisters are apparently helping out frequently.  I see both as a pretty big deal.  We don't know how much they are sacrificing but they deserve praise.

Tom should be down on his knees in gratitude to them, not expecting their help as his right and their responsibility.

::Steps off soapbox::

Tom insisting that homeschooling must continue, while expecting OTHERS to come in and do it for him, for free, indefinitely, is incredible in its selfishness and arrogance. He just expects SOMEONE to come along and educate his kids, even if that someone is eventually his older kids, who ought to be working on their own educations.

It's astonishing. And pointless. I mean, I loved homeschooling, but if circumstances change, then one's routine changes. The "homeschool at all costs" mentality is just mindboggling to me.

On a wider point, while I understand that maintaining their routines (like the colored-clothing-days) in the short term can be comforting, it has to be with the plan of eventually transitioning into their new normal. Without an adult at home to homeschool them full-time, they can't continue homeschooling. Without someone committed to sewing them color-themed clothes for the rest of their lives as they grow, the colored-outfits thing will need to go. These commitments are part of Andrea, and they have died with her. Tom could take them up, but he has to work. A relative could conceivably take them up, but that's a HUGE ask, not something to take for granted. I suppose he thinks a new wife may come in and take them over (the blithe practicality of that presumption makes me shudder). But even if someone is able and willing to do so, it will be much better for all of them to find a new normal, not "imitation Andrea."

And, honestly, the colored clothing thing is weird. I guess it's one of those "big family" things, to make the daily task of getting everyone dressed more manageable. But to my mind, when you're managing your family like an orphanage, that's a big clue that it's time to stop adding to their number.

Are the teens required to follow the colored clothing days? I hope not. That would be infantalizing.

Edited by Petronella
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FecundFundieFundus

Everyone- babies up to Tom. Andrea put one of her color charts in their closet so Tom didn't have to ask her what to wear if she was in the shower. It's a weird thing to do every single day. Not even JRod makes her kids do it on the daily.

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Petronella
26 minutes ago, FecundFundieFundus said:

Everyone- babies up to Tom. Andrea put one of her color charts in their closet so Tom didn't have to ask her what to wear if she was in the shower. It's a weird thing to do every single day. Not even JRod makes her kids do it on the daily.

Wait, what? The ADULTS were included in the color-coordinatedness?

That is utterly messed up, as disconcerting as the 24/7 Bible audiobook, which I'm relieved to hear has been turned off.

ETA: I would be appalled if my husband dared to put a chart on the closet door to control my choice of clothes. NO THANK YOU.

Edited by Petronella
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Eternalbluepearl

I believe in a video, Andrea said the color coordinated thing started with just the first 2 kids. She liked how it looked in scrapbooks and it grew from there. I was shocked in a house that small, that they made room for so much crafting supplies. Priorities would tell me to stop the crafts at that "season of life" while your daughters appear to have one bed and the sons were in cubicles. 

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Petronella
33 minutes ago, Eternalbluepearl said:

I believe in a video, Andrea said the color coordinated thing started with just the first 2 kids. She liked how it looked in scrapbooks and it grew from there. I was shocked in a house that small, that they made room for so much crafting supplies. Priorities would tell me to stop the crafts at that "season of life" while your daughters appear to have one bed and the sons were in cubicles. 

I could see prioritizing craft supplies if it was part of their homeschooling, which would be appropriate for the younger ones.

So, was the color-coordination so that any photos that happen to be taken will look nice?? Wow. I used to perform when I was younger, and it was really important to me to monitor in myself any unhealthy focus on how I was being seen by others when I wasn't explicitly performing. This "live your life to be photo-ready at any moment" sounds to me like a creepy bad effect of the youtubing. I really, really don't think these kinds of lifestyle videos are healthy for kids. (Actually, I don't think they're healthy for adults either, not when they're not about any particular skill or topic but just, "here is a slice of my fascinating life.")

Edited by Petronella

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FecundFundieFundus

Proper hygiene and a good diet/hydration makes one look one's best for photos, just throwing that out there

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Dandruff
1 hour ago, FecundFundieFundus said:

Everyone- babies up to Tom. Andrea put one of her color charts in their closet so Tom didn't have to ask her what to wear if she was in the shower. It's a weird thing to do every single day. Not even JRod makes her kids do it on the daily.

Sounds kind of "Maxwell" to me.  Reminds me of Teri preparing Steve's toothbrush for him each day...WTAF.

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Petronella
Just now, Dandruff said:

Sounds kind of "Maxwell" to me.  Reminds me of Teri preparing Steve's toothbrush for him each day...WTAF.

Wait, really? Preparing how? Like, squirting toothpaste on it?

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under siege

In case anyone's interested in how Andrea explained the clothing thing. It's a fairly short video.

 

Then there is this one.

 

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Dandruff
4 minutes ago, Petronella said:

Wait, really? Preparing how? Like, squirting toothpaste on it?

Neatly and twice a day, I believe.

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Petronella
2 minutes ago, Dandruff said:

Neatly and twice a day, I believe.

I am aghast!

 

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Giraffe
13 minutes ago, Dandruff said:

Neatly and twice a day, I believe.

Holy shit! That sounds like something Michael Pearl would demand in order to debase Debi even more than he already does. 

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Petronella
1 hour ago, under siege said:

In case anyone's interested in how Andrea explained the clothing thing. It's a fairly short video.

 

Wow. Thanks. Honestly? This sounds insane. The level of mental and physical effort in conceiving and maintaining this system could have been much better spent at getting to know her children as individuals and supporting their individual educational needs, which, if done with any reasonable attentiveness, takes a lot time. But I guess if you consider ACE workbooks an education, you do have the time to make a giant task out of something as normal and basic as getting dressed.

It feels like she was giving herself busywork, while the educational needs of her family were being skimped on.

Two thoughts from the video:

She said the older kids were allowed to opt out, but only if they bought the different clothes with their own money. So, she filled their closet with only things she liked, but said "wear whatever you want!" Uh huh. I mean, I guess this means they didn't hate it enough to make the effort to rebel, but in so many ways it was a significantly bounded choice.

She said the kids liked the feeling of camaraderie that wearing the same colors gave them, but I'm more weirded out by that than comforted. The emphasis on the family unit as their very limited world-within-the-world saddens me deeply. Obviously I value family closeness, very much, but they would have so much more to lean on right now if their connections were wider.

Edited by Petronella

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FecundFundieFundus

This discussion reminds me of an argument I saw when a non-fundie group got a picture of the Collins family. So many people jumping to defend them because having a ton of kids is their choice and the people saying they are abusive don't have proof!! 

There's so much weirdness about the Mills family it's easy to gloss over until you add everything up and/or have insight into the way fundamentalists tend to damage their children. The parents kept them so oppressed, isolated and fearful of people outside their little bubble. I'm kind of hoping Tom has a breakdown and the kids are sent to school. Someone has to throw them a life line

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Dandruff
7 minutes ago, Petronella said:

Obviously I value family closeness, very much, but they would have so much more to lean on right now if their connections were wider.

My impression is that their connections are very wide...maybe too wide.  So many people are sending them stuff but how well do they know them?  How long will it go on and how will the family adjust if/when it stops?

I think (agree) that more local support from outside the family unit would probably be a good thing.

I won't be surprised if some of the extended multitudes start offering potential matches (wives) for Tom at some point.

Edited by Dandruff
Posted before I was done...haunted device?

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Giraffe
2 minutes ago, Petronella said:

She said the kids liked the feeling of camaraderie that wearing the same colors gave them, but I'm more weird out by that than comforted. The emphasis on the family unit as their very limited world-within-the-world saddens me deeply. Obviously I value family closeness, very much, but they would have so much more to lean on right now if their connections were wider.

This kind of statement made by parents of large broods is always strange to me. The  parent saying it seems to take it as proof they’re doing a great job and are a close-knit family. In a  family that’s genuinely close-knit, though, there’s no reason for a visible display of “proof” - they’re simply close because they are, not because they conform to specific outward appearances. 

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Zenyatta

Andrea was taken to the emergency room twice in the three months that she felt ill, Tom says.  The only diagnosis was slight anemia and high blood pressure.  I am not at all anti-doctor, but I wondered why no hint of cancer was detected, especially with the swollen lymph nodes.  Andrea probably refused other tests, but it scared me to think that I could be harboring deadly cancer and a doctor could completely miss it. 

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Palimpsest
10 hours ago, louannems said:

One thing I don't understand is why didn't Andrea get her CT scan on the weekend, when she needed it.  She was airlifted out of state, to what I assume was a state of the art hospital.  I worked 31 years in radiology/imaging at a Veteran Administration hospital, for gods' sake, and we had a tech 24 hours a day.  Even in the old days when we didn't, there was always an on call tech who came in whenever the radiologist approved a request from the attending doctors.

 

10 hours ago, Pelised said:

"we had a tech 24 hours a day.  Even in the old days when we didn't, there was always an on call tech"

 

Yes! I've been in hospital nursing for 2 decades and there is always someone on call. Especially a hospital in Denver that receives rural life flight. I believe it was related to her extremely rapid decline more than scheduling issues. I also agree that they would have been an extremely difficult family to deal with. Tom strikes me as a know it all, argumentative dick. People that irrational about conventional medicine don't actually hear what is being said.  The paranoia and distrust almost guarantees a less than optimal outcome. Although again,  in this case I don't think that anything could have been done beyond effective pain control. No matter the nature of her breast cancer in terms of hormone receptors; she died of liver and gall bladder metastases. Even if it grew after cessation of breastfeeding, it would not have effected her in 3 days.

Those kids are the worry.  Beyond the sadness of the event,  you gotta think that this will determine their choices, temperament and personality. And I see Tom as being clueless on correctly deciphering their behavior. He'll just give them a demerit and have them read extra Bible verses.

 

About the CT scan and apparent delay on it.  I don't think we can take anything Tom says as absolutely reliable.  He admits himself that he can't remember exactly what went on and in what order.

I can't bear to watch that video again but it is still available.  I'll link it below.  It would be interesting to have the take of real medical professionals on it.  I am not one.

However, from memory Tom says that Andrea "may" have had an MRI in Gillette.  He can't remember.  Once she was transferred to Presbyterian St. Luke's in Denver (a state of the art hospital) she was definitely given an MRI.  He talks about the risk to the baby of an MRI. 

The "delay" he complains about concerns the pathology report and liver biopsy slides being transferred from the hospital in Gillette to Denver.  That seems to have been over a weekend.  And Andrea's liver function was declining very rapidly indeed.

My guess is that Tom and Andrea refused an CT scan until she miscarried the baby.  By this point both her liver and kidney function is so compromised they will not risk anesthesia to remove the retained placenta.  There is no point in having the CT scan. Her systems are failing completely and they give her less than 24 hours to live.

So the rush to get her back home.  They were warned that she could bleed out at any time due to the retained placenta in transit.  And all her systems were failing.  Or something like that.

 

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under siege
36 minutes ago, Petronella said:

 

It feels like she was giving herself busywork, while the educational needs of her family were being skimped on.

 

 

I agree with you on this. Andrea did a lot of busywork.  Yes, a large family needs routines and things need to be in some kind order before becoming too much like chaos, however looking back at her organizational series it dawned on me that she spend SO much time doing all that kind of creating/planning. A lot of it was for budget reasons, a lot of it was amazing (the kids parties and Halloween) but the time it all must have taken!!

Edited by under siege

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moreorlessnu
13 hours ago, Giraffe said:

Is this sister single? 🤔

(On second thought it was probably inappropriate for me to bring up. I do hope he doesn’t remarry without first getting himself & the kids some serious therapy. There would be nothing ethically wrong with them marrying each other.)

The sister might have been close to the end of her pregnancy at that time but I don't exactly remember the details. Andrea never explained other than her sister had been visiting every day because the sister was "feeling lonesome".

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Zenyatta

Back to the color-coordinated clothes.  With all those children, wouldn't it be easier to buy the same color T-shirt in different sizes for everyone? The younger kids would know what they were supposed to wear each day and none of them could feel jealous.  The Duggars did it.  All red polo shirts or all blue for the boys. Not that I am in any way appreciative of the Duggars. 

 

Edited by Zenyatta
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