From time to time, I plan to make readers aware of blogs I think they might enjoy. Today’s shout out goes to The Free Files. (Site is no longer active) I met Amy five or so years ago, lost touch, and reconnected with her when I returned to blogging and Facebook. Amy comes from a fundamentalist Baptist background and attended a well-known fundamentalist Baptist college. I think many of you will enjoy and understand her story. I hope you will wander over to The Free Files and give it a read. If you are so inclined, leave a comment. I am sure Amy will appreciate reading your comments.
From the About page:
The Free Files is a place women can anonymously (or not) share their story concerning freedom from fundamentalism and collaborate concerning our lives today, how we are flourishing in spite of our past and our journey to peace, freedom and openness. This is a friendly place for women to come and tell a story, read a story. We are the stories. And we’re writing new ones.
This is not a site for religious bashing. I have been out of fundamentalism for fifteen years and my journey has brought me to a place of intentional non-religion, but I do respect that there are those who need and want religion in their lives and that walking away is a very personal decision. I am not an activist for or against religion. I am not concerned with muck, gossip or judgement. I am a psychology/women’s studies major, a mother and a woman who is primarily concerned with seeing other women progressing from their past, owning their lives and creating intentional love, health and well-being for themselves.
I was born into fundamentalism, the daughter of two Children of Alcoholics (COA’s). When I was eighteen, I began researching toxic parenting and misogynistic relationships. I wanted to know why my parents, otherwise humanitarian and independent minded, would choose to rear their children in an environment of fear, obligation, guilt and shame. I concluded that my parents looked to fundamentalism to create a sense of normalcy and control where there was none in their childhood. I know that my parents hoped to give their children a better childhood than they experienced, and in many ways it was a great childhood, but in the process I think they believed a treacherous lie – that love and control are synonymous.
I love stories. Stories were the bridge that enabled me to walk away from fundamentalism cold turkey, and without a network or support group or one single friend that could feel my pain. Reconnecting with myself, my core, who I am without the bullshit, has taken some time. I want to give back. I want to connect with others. For the first time in my life, I finally feel l am ‘on the other side.’
Walking away is only the beginning. The journey to find an essential self you were not allowed to know existed, much less acquaint yourself with or live out loud, is a long and arduous one. I hope this place helps women learn their story and tell their story without shame. Like many others, my story began as a girl whose life was an agenda for others to write. Fear was a friend that protected and guided me. Obligation was my life’s work. Guilt was my conscience. I look at my life in four stages:
F – Fearful
R – Running
E – Enlightened
E – Enlivening
I will share my journey with you. I can’t wait to hear yours.