May 27, 2015

Breaking Duggar

Josh Duggar is public enemy #1 these days.  And rightfully so.  He has confessed to a crime--punished or not, what he did was criminal--and he has said he is sorry.  I have no doubt that he is sorry, but whether or not it is repentance for what he did or regret for its discovery may never be known to us.

There is a war of sorts going on right now between those who want to see him punished and those who have come to his defense.  I'm am absolutely certain that nothing he has done is defensible but that hasn't stopped many people from taking up that misguided cause. 

The facts that people cite in his defense do not excuse any of his actions.  Was he a Christian? Yes. But confessing and asking God's forgiveness and even "earning" the forgiveness of his family and his victims does not make what he did okay.  Was he only 14? Yes.  I don't know many 14 year olds who don't know the difference between right and wrong with regards to inappropriate touching, but even if you should argue that he did not know that what he was doing was wrong--his actions prove otherwise:
  • He did this to five--FIVE--different victims.  None of the victims were aware that there were other victims (as stated in the police report) which means he isolated each victim (or took advantage of their isolation, asleep in their beds).  
  • He kept his actions private.  By doing this to sleeping victims, by taking advantage of isolated situation (a sister reading a book on his lap, a babysitter sleeping alone on the couch, a sister alone in the laundry room) he again illustrates that he knew what he was doing was wrong.
  • He did this repeatedly and over time.  The first incidents (victims visited repeatedly, "4 to 5 times" as stated in the report) are reported to have happened early in 2002 and the last in March of 2003. 
  • He "confessed" his wrongdoings to his parents--thereby admitting that what he did was wrong. His own admission of guilt proves that he KNEW what he did WAS WRONG. So why are people excusing his actions?
The actions of Jim Bob and Michelle also prove that they were complicit in covering up something very wrong.
  • They lied.  Jim Bob makes statements (Narrative #6 in the police report) that he believed the "counseling" that they sent Josh to was affiliated with Little Rock Police Department and that is was conducted by a Christian Ministry.  As it turns out Michelle Duggar finally admits toward the end of the police report (Narrative #15) that the "training center" was little more than a family friend who was doing some remodeling.  No specific treatment, no certified counseling.  Just some sweat equity and nary a slap on the wrist.  Utterly disgusting and horrifying that this was what served as punishment for violating FIVE females.
  • Jim Bob also states that after Josh returned from Little Rock that he and Michelle both felt that they had no more problems and that everything had been resolved.  However one of the children (Narrative #7) admits that sleeping arrangements were changed even AFTER Josh returned home from his "treatment."  Indicating that they were not exactly confident that this would not happen again.
And any alleged "counseling" amounted to a "stern talking-to" by a family friend who was a state trooper and who is currently serving out a 60-year prison sentence for charges of child pornography. Not exactly the best source of reform for young Josh.  There are statistics that bear further investigating as well.
  • 14% of sexual offenders commit another sexual offense after 5 years, 24% after 15 years
  • 40-80% of juvenile offenders have themselves been victims of sexual abuse
  • 82% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger
Statistically speaking, there is a high probability that Josh was a victim at one time, and also a significant risk that he will or has offended since these incidents occurred.  There has been zero consideration of these ideas in this case.  Just more points to ponder and so many unanswered questions.  
  • Why hasn't Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services done anything to remove any of the minor children from a family where molestation and rape (yes, rape) have been admitted to and confirmed and where the parents were complicit in covering it up?  
  • You can talk all you want about statute of limitations, but if I make an anonymous phone call to and family/child services agency and accuse my neighbor of something, they will question everyone in the house, and possibly remove any children until it is established by professionals that there is no continued threat.  What was this not done at the time of this report?   Why were trained professionals from the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services not sent to investigate this household?
  • If Jim Bob and Michelle lied about Josh's "treatment," how are we to believe that they are being truthful regarding their daughters' supposed counseling.  And who is to say that such counseling (as I can only assume they received from other non-certified counselors inside their church system, if at all) was in any way effective in helping them cope with what happened to them?
  • Why is Josh Duggar--now an admitted child sexual predator--still allowed access to his own young children? 
I am not here to change peoples' minds.  That fight is for others like The Daddy Files who quite deftly points out so many flaws in the defenders' "logic."  If someone is sick enough to defend or excuse those actions, for whatever warped reasons they can come up with, then nothing I say is going to make them understand how deeply wrong they are.  Everyone that is excusing or defending or overlooking or disregarding what Josh Duggar did is simply abusing these girls again.

What I hope happens is that the girls who were victimized get a voice here.  Sadly because of the current support of their abuser and the beliefs under which they were raised, this is not likely.  I hope they can see how truly abused they were then and how they continue to be now.  I hope that one, or several or all of them can find the strength to speak out and to speak up for themselves--not because we want to hear from them, or because we deserve to hear from them, but because they can and they want or need to be heard.  

Everyone excusing or defending what he did is simply abusing these girls again. #BreakingDugger @notsosupermom_

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May 10, 2015

Roadtrip: Motherhood

We all take a journey in motherhood.  Motherhood is "about the journey" because there is no destination.

For some, I imagine it is a luxury vacation--carefully mapped and planned.  For most others I would guess it is like a poorly planned road trip where you feel like you're on your way somewhere that you weren't completely prepared for.  Some roads are smoother than others, of course. Some parts of the journey are arduous.  And it can be like the longest road trip of your life.

There will be detours, fast food, and carsickness; there may be whining, yelling and crying.
You will hear interminable choruses of Sesame Street CD's and endless repetitions of "I need to go potty!" and "Are we there yet?" You will pack too many toys and not enough snacks, or vice versa.  You will forget your ear plugs and the extra diapers.  You will stop.

You will stop many, many times.  Someone will need to go potty and someone will be hungry and you will need to refuel.  Occasionally you will stop, and breathe, and take in the beauty of it all.  But you always keep going, because that's what you do.  Because even though you know there IS no destination, you will try your damnedest to get there.  You will push, you will pull, you will labor and you will go on.

One thing about this trip:  no way is the wrong way to go.  You may not have the best directions--if any.  You might question the road you have chosen.  You may even feel like you are getting nowhere sometimes (I have a teenager now. I know things.) but you journey on, because EVERYTHING is in the journey.  This journey.  And you're never there yet.

In motherhood, there is no "there."  You will raise your babies to be kids and your kids to be teenagers and your teenagers to be adults.  They will grow up and grow older and someday have babies of their own and you will never, ever, NOT be their mother.  You will never reach a destination, because there isn't one.  It is a journey that has no end.

Happy Mother's Day to you, wherever you may be on your journey.  Enjoy the ride.

You will never reach a destination because there isn't one. Enjoy the ride. #RoadtripMotherhood

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