The Duggars – My Thoughts
I’ve debated long and hard whether I wanted to touch this story. For me, it’s brought up a ton of old feelings. Seeing the comments and opinions swirling all over the internet has sometimes had me cheering and sometimes had me wanting to bang my head into a wall.
The first thought is about those poor girls. I’ve struggled for a long time with the fact that beyond kicking my abuser out of our circle, my parents did nothing more to help or protect me. They notified NO ONE! They kicked him off our property, told him he wasn’t welcome at our family functions, and that they never wanted to see him again, but beyond that, nothing.
There was no counseling, there was no telling me that it wasn’t my fault. THERE WAS NO JUSTICE! He was never made to pay for what he did to me and other girls (that I only found out about 25 years later). When I finally talked about it as an adult (to protect my abuser’s granddaughter), I found out that I had missed the statute of limitations. Even had I wanted to, I couldn’t press charges.
I lived in fear, growing up, that I’d run into him in town. As a junior in high school I saw his van one morning while I was riding the bus to school. I had a full blown panic attack. Back then I didn’t know what it was. I just knew that I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t stop shaking. I couldn’t form coherent thought. When I got to school, I was in a daze and my friends were all worried about me. But I couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t tell them what happened. I was so conditioned to bury it, to ignore it, to never speak of it, that I couldn’t tell them what happened.
And for the past twelve years, those girls have had to LIVE with their abuser. They’ve had to be paraded around national t.v. with their abuser. They’ve had to smile for the cameras and act like everything is all happy, happy, joy, joy. All while being told it was their fault. I’ve seen the printouts of Gothard inspired “counseling” that sex abuse victims receive in their particular cult and to say that it is disturbing is a gross understatement. I weep for those girls. My heart breaks for them.
My next thoughts were for Jim Bob and Michelle. They weren’t pleasant thoughts. How dare they sacrifice their girls on the altar of their son’s maleness? What makes a person with a penis so damn special in their circles that they would bury this and not protect their girls? I simply don’t understand this? And after those girls, more girls were born into the family. They have small girls now. Josh has a girl of his own and a daughter on the way.
Who is protecting those girls? Certainly not Jim Bob and Michelle. They have failed miserably as parents. They failed Josh when they didn’t get him outside help, accountability, and stop him from doing it again. They failed every one of their other children when they didn’t protect them from Josh. They failed their other boys when they continued to teach the exact same shit that was probably responsible for turning Josh into a child molester. Will it come out that the other boys in the family followed in Josh’s footsteps?
Then the thoughts turned to Josh himself. I understand that he said he is “sorry”, that he “hasn’t done it again”, that “he’s changed” and recognized his “mistakes.” Well, excuse me while I barf in my mouth a little. The abuser doesn’t get to say that he is not an abuser any longer! Those girls deserve to be protected from him. And as a so-called “repentant” abuser, he should be the first one to tell everyone in his circle that he shouldn’t be trusted with children.
I am angry about this whole situation. I’m angry that there is a religion out there that breeds this kind of predator. I’m angry that there are people who follow it so blindly that they hurt children over and over and refuse to protect them. I’m angry that those girls weren’t given the chance to heal and disclose the abuse they suffered if and when they wanted to. I’m angry that offenders are not punished and taken out of proximity of their victims and potential victims. I’m angry that parents don’t protect their children. I’m angry that all of this is done in the name of God. He would never stand for anyone hurting and not protecting children!
And it all brings up that I’m still angry that my abuser is still walking free and after nearly 35 years.
I wonder how many victims he’s preyed on simply because my parents buried it.