When things stay in the family

The Duggars’ scandal hits home for me, and I didn’t want to write this, but I feel like I should—if only because I’m done being silenced, and what is happening with Josh Duggar and the Duggar parents is victim silencing/ignoring/whatever wrong kind of thing a proper term fits.

The X “Kids and Counting” series is one I remember my mom would be obsessed with. She liked how they used a buddy system to raise their kids and thought I was ungrateful and disrespectful because I didn’t (and still don’t) understand the point of having children if you don’t wish to personally raise them—unless you’re a surrogate… then it’s different. You’re having a child, but that child is not technically yours. Then again, my personal beliefs on how children should be raised are all based on how I was raised and me growing up to realize how wrong it was.

Obviously, if my friends’ strict parents think my parents are being selfish and unreasonable to the point that they feel sorry for me, there is a problem. Perhaps if I was homeschooled my entire life, I wouldn’t feel as if my mom and Lord Voldemort brainwashed me. Just a thought.

I used to discuss my faith frequently, and now I discuss it sparingly. It’s complicated, but I believe my faith is a personal matter and that it isn’t someone else’s business or right to know about it—I lack something to prove, and the way I practice it is my business. My relationship with God is my own, and I don’t shove it down people’s throats. It’s also a complicated one.

I wanted to take my mother and stepfather to court for neglect and abuse, respectively.

I blogged about this lightly, and I had made this decision with family members whose names will remain anonymous, within hours of learning he-who-shall-not-be-named had purchased seekliza.me and posted a threat that, according to several sources, was a threat and not a Cease and Desist Letter that could be used in court, since it was 1) online, 2) manipulated to show a date earlier than the actual post date, 3) unsigned; the contents of it also threatened my freedom of speech and intellectual rights. Should anyone wish to see the contents, I’ve a copy printed… and I copied a copy of the original printed one, so I’ve two copies.

However, as I tried to build up a case, my twenty-fourth birthday was approaching. Obviously, I didn’t press charges. Why? Too much shit: they’re way too connected with people who can actually do something about it, so they’d be able to make it go away and walk away as said connections patted them on their backs for their outstanding behavior.

Thus, I settled for removing from my Facebook anyone and everyone who knows/knew my mother who would blatantly betray me… except for family, unfortunately, which feels it is their duty to watch what I do online. I’m an adult. My story is my fucking story. I can fucking share it if I want to—I don’t have to fucking keep shit in the fucking family anymore… we all see how well that works out.

Things always come out, no matter what it was.

75% of the arguments regarding the controversial, hot topic of Josh Duggar admitting to molesting children I have read revolve around how sorry he is.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m against the death penalty, believe in karma, and think those who commit such vicious crimes should have to live with it.

I don’t believe he’s sorry—no matter your faith, your commitment to law is on this Earth. The statutes for the case ran out… I read the report, and not wanting to make it into a “bigger deal” than it was? What the hell is that?

This case proves everything that so many people have been saying is wrong with the system: influential abusers have a greater say in cases, victims don’t receive proper care and/or attention, and statutes always run out just in time—just when people can finally get help to do something about it, just when people realize it’s not too late, just when a little hope comes one’s way…

Only in rare situations are victims ever actually able to receive justice, but even then… is there really justice? Josh was sent off to some sort of place with a family friend—the notification was first made to someone who knew the family, but a report wasn’t filed until 2006.

He has been left alone with children in the past long after the report and even has daughters—he repeatedly touched children when he was young in their sleep—and I don’t understand how an apology like the one he is giving justifies what happens, makes it okay that an official report was not filed in 2002.

Professional counselors have to report abuse; according to CPS1, actions performed starting at age thirteen are considered juvenile and no longer out of innocence in terms of abuse, so what the hell kind of counseling has he received?

Did his sisters receive any sort of counseling to help them through this? Considering the family’s beliefs, it likely wasn’t a licensed professional—because again, licensed counselors have to report any and all concerns regarding abuse. There’s no way around it without them losing their license. Why? Because it’s illegal to withhold information from the government regarding child abuse—which is why I reported to CPS my mother and her husband. I feared for my siblings’ lives, and I needed to do something, and that was the only thing I knew to do. I’m pretty sure my blog was blamed for influencing a third party to report to CPS. No, “mother”… it was me.

When things are kept in the family, no matter how much one cries out for help, help is not given. It is kept tucked away, be it because it’s “over now” or because it supposedly lacks any kind of context in the present, as per whomever is above those asking for help from.

I think it’s an image thing; my mom is paranoid about what people think of her and how people see her, and lard has encouraged it—they live this everyone-is-against-me-and-it-is-I-against-the-world life, and if you don’t provide any use to them, you’re invaluable and no longer something that matters. I’m invaluable to them, and I do not matter to them. I think she thinks I’m coming back. I’m not. It’s been three years, “mother”; you’re merely the genetic and biological relative that made it possible for me to exist… had you not, I wouldn’t know you, and I would have had a very different life—therefore, wishing I was born into a loving family doesn’t change anything, because if I had, I wouldn’t technically miss you… because I never would have known you. Because Julianne Moore would have protected me from you.2

The Duggars failed their son and daughters by not truly investing in something greater to actually them in the psychological aspect—he is fine now, but what about them? Several years later, what are they going to do when they find themselves haunted by their past—when they suffer from PTSD, when they remember so, so clearly what happened between them and their brother and wonder why they weren’t protected further?

And the statutes are out.

The statutes ran out, and the system is really screwed up, and this scandal is not one that is about discrediting the Duggar family—it’s not a matter of forgiveness with God. This is something that was tucked away and locked with a key—something that was ignored because of the image it would create, because they didn’t want people to know how despicable it was—and what baffles me most is the church’s logic behind not at all reporting it—because again, it’s illegal to know about child abuse and not report it ASAP.

I understand that daughters are seemingly second-class citizens to the Duggars—they’re second priority and, from what I gathered all those years of having to watch the series because my mom favored it, raised to serve the men in their lives and not put themselves first—but how does that justify anything?

Having kids means you raise them and protect them—you look after them, not hurt them.

Josh isn’t the victim, yet he’s being victimized all about. The Duggar family is also not the victim—if you value your family’s image more than your loved ones’ well-being, you seriously need to rethink your values, standards and morals.

This is likely a real clusterfuck of a post, but the point is this: the system sucks. Victims are silenced and abusers get to run around and scare their victims into silence, and this… if anyone is learned from this situation, it should be that the system needs to change.

  1. Unless this has recently changed.
  2. To those unaware of the story: It’s a long story, and I don’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about it… never mind—found it!

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Robin’s gravatar

The Duggars’ “buddy system” infuriates me. The children spend their entire lives being parents.

Liz’s gravatar

Yes! That is basically how my childhood was… kids need to be kids.

Michelle’s gravatar

Agreed. This whole scandal hits home so bad, because my own abuse was hid and not talked about for a long time. I tried to press charges but the statute of limitations ran out and it’s bs. There shouldn’t be one when it comes to abuse/rape and etc; But I agree with you, every kid shouldn’t be kids and not thought of second class citizens because of their genders. My own father does that to me, and I basically ignore him.

I agree with you so much and I feel your pain. I’m still trying to sort out my feelings about everything from the abuse to etc; It is a clusterfuck of feelings and complicated pasts.

Keep talking about these things, because they do matter in the end.

Georgie’s gravatar

My mum is also paranoid what people think of her. It then makes me sad that because she tries to put on a face to other people, it only makes any household issues seem even worse, and she has no one, just no one, to turn to, except us – her family – the root of the problem.

And it’s only the root of the problem because we have set up a horrible facade for ourselves – rich, well-off, happy, with no issues – part of which is at least somewhat true, but the truth is, the facade is nothing like we really are… and in essence, we are trapped in a mask, because “coming out” would mean that everything everyone knows about us is false, and we have this terrible, poisonous, innate fear that people will not like who we really are.

I feel that that is the reason things get “kept in the family”, and though it seems like a small issue to care about what people think of you, it can domino into a larger problem. Insecurities, fear, and other negative feelings that make people feel trapped at home and in turn cause conflict between people who are, by nature, supposed to love and care for each other.

And that makes me really sad.

Liv’s gravatar

Hey Liz. I’ve been going through people’s blog posts two at a time so I saw what your stepfather did in the last post. Before I dive into what I want to say about this one, I just want to support what Stephanie wrote in her comment and that it’s 100% possible to drop your name. Don’t listen to the people who nag you about having a phase about disliking your name – that is just ridiculous. Your stepfather sounds passive aggressive – how in the world does Liz sound like Lez?? And how does that connect to lesbian? Unfortunately I also know someone who makes that kind of connection all the time and I think that is a form of abuse.

I can certainly vouch for things staying in the family being a terrible thing. Abuse is usually the kind of thing that does, and it’s just not fair to the people who have to go through it. They are afraid to tell the world, because they would be abused even more for doing so. Why do people think abuse is a way to raise children? I really want to wrap my mind around how they think, but I just can’t. Some Asian families think abuse is a way of showing their children that they love them, but why would you show love through obvious hate???

If your sons and daughters grow up unhappy with you, then you have failed your one job, simple as that.