Saturday, January 9, 2016

Second Generation Adults (Raised in the Movement) (QF: The View from Here)

This series of posts results includes excerpts from information shared with a journalist in August of 2015 who had questions about the Quiverfull Movement as it related to the Duggar Family.

Find the Index of all posts HERE.

Can you elaborate on the experiences you've heard from survivors of the QF cult? The lack of healthcare, emotional and physical abuse, risks of so many pregnancies and births, girls being robbed of their own childhoods, shame surrounding bodies and sex et cetera. It would be great to flesh those as a little so the readers can really understand the terrible impact of these on the women that you've helped.

Raising Children, Response Part One:

The challenges of living and the recovery issues of the children of the QF/P movement differ greatly from their parents who willingly elected to follow the lifestyle. Those raised under such beliefs and demands did not choose this worldview but were consigned to become the living proof of their parents’ success and the validation of the worth and truth of the system. In the study of cult recovery and the discipline of caring for those who recover from cults, these adult children have been named “Second Generation Adults” (SGA).

Parents’ choices burden their children with concerns and issues that people outside of their religious culture do not share. Because of the high demands of the belief system, parents must burden their children in ways that restrict and alter a child’s normal psychosocial growth and development as well as their personalities. These deficits in development emerge in adulthood in predictable ways creating lasting patterns which profoundly affect SGAs for the rest of their lives. 

Instead of learning to balance inferiority against initiative or the struggle to balance healthy autonomy necessary for self-care and survival against appropriate guilt, adults who are raised within cultic systems find that they must go back to attend to what adults from “good enough” childhoods take for granted.

Consider a household where anger may not be expressed because it is deemed sinful. The adult who never learned emotional self-control as a toddler because they were beaten into suppressing all free expression must learn the discipline as an adult. The emotional, psychological, and spiritual toll — and in some cases the physical toll — that such restrictive living creates for children sets them up for a lifetime of “catching up” and adapting.

Though SGAs tend to be resilient and accomplished, the price that they pay often goes unnoticed by those who take their own “good enough” childhoods for granted. Rather than spending their time and energy learning how to adapt and grow into a healthy adulthood, the demands of the cult and the traumas suffered as a consequence deprive them of the opportunity to learn healthy coping and living.

JillMytton who grew up as an SGA has said that, “When we leave, we actually don't have what we need to survive outside. And yet when we leave, we should have the right – the right to choose to leave.” But many often remain trapped, dependent upon and enmeshed with their families. Perhaps the worst consequence faced by SGAs involves shunning by their families when they leave the ideology.

~ Cynthia Kunsman
The view of Quiverfull from my vantage