Why I personally feel sorry for the Duggar children

I’ve gotten a ton of messages and emails about my take personally on the whole Duggar situation, how it’s been handled, the parents, the victims and of course the offender. It’s been a really tough story for me to handle on many different levels as you can imagine.  Let me see if I can tackle how I’m feeling in words for you.

I personally feel sorry for ALL of the Duggar girls. Not just the ones that were molested, but all of them.  And the boys too. None of them have had a say in their childhood at all. None of them have had a normal childhood. Because of their parents desire to produce a small army, they don’t know what it’s like to really have parents that know everything about them without having to consult a play book. For the littlest ones, the older ones are substitute parents.  We aren’t talking “The Waltons” here for anyone that remembers that show or that family. No, that was three generations under one roof.  Here we are talking about parents that refuse to use birth control and just kept having kids. They admit to using the “buddy system” to parent the children. If you aren’t familiar with the “buddy system” it’s where an older child is assigned an younger child to take care of, help with their school work, pick out their clothes, etc. You know, do the things a parent would do.

To top that off, because of their parents refusing to use birth control and their religious ideas, they caught the attention of Discovery Networks. That big beautiful house they live in? Mom and Dad Duggar bought the land and the frame, the Discovery Networks finished the house and sponsors provided a stocked pantry, art for the walls, furniture and everything else. All because Michelle and Jim Bob liked to have sex and pop out babies. Not a bad gig if you don’t give a rats butt about your kids. Each kid was another year on the television. The kids didn’t a choice. They didn’t get to say “Excuse me, Mom, Dad, I don’t want to be a part of the circus! I don’t want to be on TV. I want to go to a NORMAL school. I don’t want to be a part of the *buddy system*. ”

It’s easy to see the control that Jim Bob and Michelle have over their kids. Don’t get me wrong, the kids seem to love their parents too. But none of those kids express free will. Oh wait, Josh did by abusing his sisters. While his father was running around the state proclaiming that anyone who commits incest needs to be put to death.

While the question is about abortion, Jim Bob drags in incest. The same year his son was committing this crime.
While the question is about abortion, Jim Bob drags in incest. The same year his son was committing this crime.

And while we are talking about the parents insanity, who can forget about Michelle Duggar’s robocall last year about transgender rights? You know the one where she claimed that they were sexual predators? If you haven’t heard it, you can find it here.

So wait a minute. Jim Bob says that if you commit incest you should be put to death. And Michelle says that gays and transgender folks are child predators. So does that mean that Josh is gay or transgender and that he will be put to death? No, not in their world. Because they prayed and he is forgiven. I’m not sure how that works, why he’s so special.

Now, lets discuss his victims. America is a country that will not name a victim of rape or molestation if they are under 18. That means that for the average person, like me, our stories while they may hit the press they don’t have our names and pictures plastered with them unless we say it’s okay. I happen to be a grown woman with 30 years of therapy under my belt, so I’m okay with people knowing my story and having a picture to put with it. I’m okay talking about it because I’ve had that therapy. However, I remember before I had therapy how I felt. I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want the public knowing, I didn’t want my friends knowing. I had tried to tell people to get help and help never came. I can’t imagine how these girls are feeling. We already know that their brother didn’t get any real help, he went away for three months, read the bible and built a barn. When he came home, there was more “tame” time. I guess that means he was kept away from the girls more? But the girls, they were told to forgive and forget. How can they forget? And why do they HAVE to forgive? So let’s recap this, they were molested by their brother, their lives have been splashed all over tv for the past 15 years (including the time when they were being molested), they haven’t received any therapy or help and now the whole world knows which girls were molested, even the one under 18. And they have no choice or say in ANY of it. The sheer fact that they haven’t all fallen apart is amazing. But then again, behind closed doors and away from the camera, maybe they are are falling apart. I don’t know.

We need to place the blame for this nightmare where it belongs, with the parents. They weren’t there for the kids, they placed the responsibility for raising the little ones on the older ones. They sheltered the kids and gave them no one to talk to really. Sure they could talk to members of the church, but how does that work when your Dad is pretty high up in the church?  How long before we find out more dirt in the Duggar closet?

On the subject of Josh….he needs to be punished. He needs to make amends. He needs therapy. He wasn’t a “kid” when he committed the crime. There are “kids” that are parents at that age. According to the bible, he was already past the age of accountability. He needs to be held accountable.

Paperback versions of My life story

I get asked a lot the best way to order hard copies of my books about my life. The best way is directly from the printer. They are a division of Amazon and if you order them directly from CreateSpace, you just cut out the middle man. And Amazon doesn’t make twice the money.

So here are the links.

Shattered: A Child’s Journey through Hell.

Scorned: A Teenager Escapes From Hell

Thanks for your interest.

@ATTCares stepped up and proved it

Just got off the phone this morning with Misty. And she really stepped up and proved that AT&T does indeed value their long time customers. She looked over our bill and understood what I was saying when I said that old customers pay for new customers discounts. It’s nice to know that there are people at AT&T that are all about customer service and not lip service! After two weeks of “I’m so sorry for the inconvenience” and not doing anything about it, Misty was a breath of fresh air!

What did she do that was so great? First she didn’t just reach out with out doing her research. She read the first blog and knew what was going on. She had background information. I didn’t have to repeat everything AGAIN. That was nice. Second I didn’t have to beg, she said I see what you have, I see what you have been through, here’s what I’m going to give you and here’s how I’m going to make it better. She took ownership of the nightmare and wiped away the bad dreams.

My bill is lower now. It’s back to what it was last year before all my promotions ran out. So I’m happy about that.  And I feel that I’ve been fairly credited for the amount of time that I’ve spent on the phone, in chat, troubleshooting with and without agents and having spotty service.

So from someone who previously excelled in customer service, I would say Misty is currently excelling in customer service. AT&T needs to take heed of how she is handling things and give her a pat on the back for a job well done.

For my part, Misty, if you are ever in my area, look me up, I’ll treat you to dinner. 🙂 Thanks for everything, you made me remember why I’m an AT&T customer.

@ATTCares really? Prove it

OMG so if you have known our house for longer than a NY minute, then you know that we have had enough AT & T Drama to last a lifetime, to last our children’s lifetime and to last our granddaughter’s lifetime. But it would appear that AT&T didn’t think so, they this month, they gave us MORE drama.

Nothing will EVER beat the Uverse install. That’s true. How many people can say that the installation of a service in their house resulted in free service for a year, an employee fired, criminal charges pressed against him, all your electronics being fried, a $2k check and mysteriously winning tickets, with backstage passes to a meet and greet to see your favorite artist who’s tour is sponsored by the company that is providing all the drama? Really, NOTHING can top that.

Since then, I’ve been happy with AT&T.  Sure after that free year, I did notice that the price was high, but I called, threatened to go with Comcast, they gave me a discount, we dance that dance every year. I usually get the bill down to $200 for phone, tv, and internet. I never get the great deals that the new customers get. I never get the new equipment that the new customers get. And our speed will NEVER go up. The only option I have is when the contract is up, not give them a chance, just call the cable company and get them out here. Does Comcast run on Cat5e now?

But wait, I haven’t even touched this year’s drama have I? Oh it’s good. On May 3rd, the phone rings, I answer and it’s someone with a real strong accent that I can barely understand wanting to know how our service is working. Well, a month earlier, we had problems with the DVR and I had to complain til they replaced it but otherwise the service was good. I did explain that I was unhappy with the price. She said there was nothing she could do about that but she would be happy to send me over to her co-worker who could help me with that. And transfer me she did, right to someone else I could barely understand. Did I want to drop any of my services? No, well then there was nothing he could do. So I say “Oh but wait, since all of my promotions are up, that means that I’m no longer under contract and can cancel my service since Comcast has been BEGGING me to come to them right?” And suddenly he decided that there WAS something he could do, he could transfer me to “Saves”. The department that will say and do anything to get you into another year contract so they don’t lose you to another company.

She started with the well, do you want to reduce your services? No, we watch all five million television channels that we have and yes, we really do need all five boxes. No, the phone service is fine, I don’t want to be charged by the minute. No, we are very tech heavy in our house and we don’t want to reduce our speed. Oh so there’s nothing you can do. Okay thanks, I’ll give Comcast a call.

BUT WAIT LORI, I can offer you $40 off a month if you are willing to keep your services the same and stay with us for a year.

Bingo, I said the magic words, I’m leaving. And she found a way to save me money. At this point in time I had been on the phone for 45 minutes. So I got my $40 off a month and went on my merry way.

The next day for the first time in a VERY LONG time, the service dropped. I reset the modem, the service came back. The next day, it happened again. This went on every day with me resetting the system until I got frustrated and contacted them on the 8th via Chat.  Oh they were so very sorry, they would send a tech out on Sat and he would fix it once and for all I would NEVER have the problem again. (Yeah, right, whatever.)

Saturday, the tech comes, he walks into the master bedroom, pushes the reset button the battery, twice. The system comes back up, he looks at the box outside. He leaves.

Saturday night, guess what. You guessed it! The system went down. And every single time it would go down, the time on the DVR would be wrong. Isn’t that odd. So I reset it. Sunday, same thing. Off to chat. Monday, same thing. Off to chat. Monday night, DVR won’t record, won’t pause, won’t rewind, won’t do anything but show tv. Back in chat. Angry. Oh we are so so so sorry, we must reset the box.

We reset the DVR it worked until the next day. Same thing, this time I called. Oh the soonest we can get a tech out there is Friday. Now I start asking about credits because clearly we are paying $9.10 daily for a service that is NOT working correctly. They offered $10 total. I laughed. I asked them if they paid full price for the wrong coffee at Starbucks. Or for watered down soda. They said they didn’t. But since I had only called in ONCE that was the most credit they could give me.  So because I used chat, I was being punished. No credit for me because I didn’t use my voice! Yes, I yelled. Yes, I got a supervisor, Yes, I got a $33 credit.

Yes, I retired from the tech industry and yes I know I’m *THAT* customer. But I also know that AT&T doesn’t care about the long term customers. If they did we would be treated just as well as the new customers. They would say “Hey, you know what, we know that you were the first customer in your neighborhood to get UVerse and you have really old crappy equipment, can we schedule a time to bring you new equipment that isn’t going to break, especially since you lease the equipment from us?” I’ve been paying a least fee on boxes for 4 years now.  I’ve paid $192 in lease fees for EACH tv box in the house, but yet I have the old boxes.  Now I’m paying the same lease fee that the new customers pay for the wireless boxes, mine still have wires. Does anyone see anything wrong with that?

And the icing on the cake? Dish Network saw me complaining about AT&T on Twitter, said “Hey, it’s not right the way the treat you! Follow us back and we will give you a $25 Amazon gift card.” So a company I’m NOT with cared enough to give me something to read while a company I am with can barely stand to credit my account for down time.

Sad.

Knowledge is freedom

I learned a few things over the past few days. Some of it hurt, some of it made me realize how foolish I’ve been and some of it made me realize that I’m okay. Remember, I posted a few days ago that I had a sibling die? Well, I finally found her obit online. No big surprise, the adopted sibling, wasn’t mentioned. They like to deny that I was adopted but they can’t explain how my birth certificate got changed.  But I pretty much expected to be left out of her “family”.

The source of knowledge
The source of knowledge

In reading her obit, I realized that they always told me that she had a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Apparently she didn’t. I found it funny that assuming her husband Charles wrote the obit, he left out the job that she was doing when they met. She was a soda jerk at a department store in Chicago. I don’t remember the name of the store, but they sold a drink called the “Green River”, it’s how I learned to drink out of a straw.  And I found it amusing that that they got her mother’s name wrong. Her mother’s maiden name was Sanders. Not Yonts and it was never spelled with a Z. Beverly and Dorothy like to say that the spelling was changed so that Robert’s first wife couldn’t find him for child support. If that’s true then how did he get his brothers to change the spelling of the name too. And isn’t that a lot of expense for poor people to go through just to avoid having to pay child support? See if you look hard enough, their stories fall apart. And then there’s the matter of HIS birth certificate, it’s spelled with an S there too.  If you change your name, they don’t change your birth certificate. If you are adopted they do. Which would explain why my birth certificate shows that Dorothy and I have the same mother.

But the real knowledge came from something simple, like trying to find where to send flowers. Somewhere in the back of my head, under my crushed self esteem, no matter how Dorothy treated me, I’ve always felt that she was better than I was, no matter what she was always smarter than I was, prettier than I was, and had nicer things. So out of curiosity, I found her address. The house that she shared with her family. And you know what, It’s actually smaller than ours. And this is the same house that she’s had since the 80’s. I’ve been jealous for no reason. The sister that I’ve always had on a pedestal even though she didn’t deserve it, was no better than me. So she had a master’s degree, it wasn’t in psychology. She was a social worker.

She was no better than I am. She was a survivor in denial.

The death of a sibling

There were seven siblings, each one of us had suffered her abuse. While we don’t speak to each other, we all have the unspoken bond of being the “Surviving Seven”. I got the news last night that we were now six. The news made me sad for her family, but not sad for me.

The baby is the only survivor here.
The baby is the only survivor here.

You see we had not been close in 35 years. Not since she accused me of trying to seduce her worthless husband and threw me out of her house, I was 16. Up until then she had been my hero.  When I was little, she was my world. She taught me how to drink out of a straw, she took care of me when *Mother* had surgery. She took me to the dentist for the first time in my life. In fact, the only time I can remember until I was a teenager. She was thin, she was beautiful, she was kind, she was smart, I thought she loved me like I loved her. I thought she understood. My first clue came when she wanted me beat because her son fell into the water. It wasn’t my fault, but she didn’t see it that way.

Later when I was 13, her husband wanted me to watch porn with him. I told *Mother* she believed me. My sister didn’t. I showed her where the porn was, she said that I was snooping. Her loyalty was with her husband. As a grown up, I understand that a wife tends to believe her husband. But in this case, our niece confirmed the story too. I was labeled as the troublemaker. I had shown our niece where the porn was, I was trying to turn everyone against my brother-in-law.

Three years later, I really needed her. I needed her love, I needed her help. I got very little help and no love. She treated me like an evil person. I was allowed to stay at her house until I could find another place to stay. But I wasn’t allowed to interact with her family. I wasn’t good enough. I was trouble. I had a chance to get my life together and my sister, the great psychologist, took that chance away. She threw me out of her out because I had a yeast infection and she was inspecting my underwear to make sure I wasn’t having sex with her husband. Because we all know that if a 16 year old girl is having sex with a man over 40 it’s the girls fault right? She threw me out in the night  and that was the last time I spoke to her.

I’m sad for her three children. I’m not sad for her creep of a husband. But at the same time, I’m left to ponder a few things. Why was her facebook page under her middle name and her maiden name? Why are her three children not on her facebook page or her husband’s facebook page. Did their perfect little family finally implode? I’ll never know the answers because out of the Remaining Six, five refuse to speak to me unless it’s to yell at me or cuss me out for telling the story that we all lived. While I threw open the door to the closet and let all the roaches out and the skeletons out too, they want to deny it all. But that’s okay, we all know the truth and we all have to live with it.

Vet declaws kittens and cats before adoption.

We all know I like to shine the light on bad business practices and recently one was brought to my attention that makes me sick. I’m an animal lover, I rescue cats, I care for wild animals that I find, I care for animals PERIOD. So when stories like the “vet” in Texas hit the news it makes me sick. I hope they take away her license. But I digress, last night a dear friend of mine alerted me a situation in Livonia, MI.

Let me hit you with the facts. Declawing is cruel treatment.

  1. Declawing is already banned in the following countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland,Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark,Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand.
  2. Declawing is the removal of the first joint of a cats toes.  In very few cases does it do anything to benefit the cat. There are cases where a cat has allergies and instead of giving steroids that will shorten the cats life with each dose, a vet will recommend declawing to stop the cat from being able to scratch it’s skin off along with other non life ending methods of soothing the allergies.
  3. Declawing removes a cats natural defenses. Even if the cat is an “indoor only” cat, what happens if the cat manages to escape, it has no way to protect itself. It can’t even climb a tree to get away!
  4. Declawing is painful. Think about having ten amputations at the same time. Think you would like that? I think it would SUCK. And the phantom pain can last for weeks and months.
  5. Declawing can lead to biting problems. And the cat’s human may find themselves at the end of the bite.
  6. Declawing can lead to litter box issues too. A declawed cat can associate the pain from digging with the litter box itself and choose the nice soft carpet instead.
  7. Cats need their claws to help them exercise their muscles. Watch a cat stretch, whether horizontally on a carpet or vertically with a tall scratching post. He will grab the carpet or sisal with his claws, using the resistance to pull and stretch his muscles. Cats’ claws actually play a large and positive role in their amazing muscle tone and agility.
  8. Cats walk on their toes. If you cut off the first joint of their toes you are altering their gait. This can cause problems later in life in all the joints in their legs. It can result in arthritis in their hips and other joints.

So when it came to my attention that there was a litter of 7 kittens being offered on Petfinder that would be declawed before adoption I started checking into it.

This has been removed because of the number of emails they received about it.
This has been removed because of the number of emails they received about it.

So I started looking into it. The only information you can find on this “rescue” is a PO Box and two email addresses.  lesannpayne@yahoo.com and kmwrob@aol.com  The first email traces back to LesAnn Payne, a vet tech at Allen Animal Hospital in Livonia, MI.

Ms Payne's staff  profile and picture from the animal hospital.
Ms Payne’s staff profile and picture from the animal hospital.

 

The second email address traces back to one of the co-owners of the vet clinic.  Karen Wroblewski.

Second offender
Second offender

 

So here we have two women, who are TRAINED and EDUCATED in animal science and should know that declawing a cat is cruel. Just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean that it’s right. And on top of that, they are charging $195 per kitten to help cover vet fees. I bet they are doing the surgery themselves, they are getting everything at cost, so it’s not a rescue, it’s a money making business for them. It’s a scam! And it gives actual rescues a black eye.

The AVMA has this to say on the subject:
(find the information HERE )

Declawing of Domestic Cats

The AVMA strongly encourages client education prior to consideration of onychectomy (declawing). It is the obligation of the veterinarian to provide cat owners with a complete education with regard to the normal scratching behavior of cats, the procedure itself, as well as potential risks to the patient. Onychectomy is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery. The decision to declaw a cat should be made by the owners in consultation with their veterinarian. Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner(s).

The following points are the foundation for full understanding and disclosure regarding declawing:

  • Surgical declawing is not a medically necessary procedure for the cat in most cases. While rare in occurrence, there are inherent risks and complications with any surgical procedure including, but not limited to, anesthetic complications, hemorrhage, infection and pain. If surgical onychectomy is performed, appropriate use of safe and effective anesthetics and perioperative analgesics for an appropriate length of time are imperative. Pain management is necessary (not elective) and required for this procedure. Multimodal pain management is recommended, and there should be a written aftercare plan. The surgical alternative of tendonectomy is not recommended.
  • Scratching is a normal feline behavior, is a means for cats to mark their territory both visually and with scent, and is used for claw conditioning (“husk” removal) and stretching activity.
  • Owners should provide suitable implements for normal scratching behavior. Examples are scratching posts, cardboard boxes, lumber or logs, and carpet or fabric remnants affixed to stationary objects. Implements should be tall or long enough to allow full stretching, and be firmly anchored to provide necessary resistance to scratching. Cats should be positively reinforced in the use of these implements. 
  • Appropriate claw care (consisting of trimming the claws every 1 to 2 weeks) should be provided to prevent injury or damage to household items.
  • Temporary synthetic nail caps are available as an alternative to onychectomy to prevent human injury or damage to property. Plastic nail caps are usually applied every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Declawed cats should be housed indoors and allowed outside only under direct supervision. 
  • Scientific data do indicate that cats that have destructive scratching behavior are more likely to be euthanatized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat population. Where scratching behavior is an issue as to whether or not a particular cat can remain as an acceptable household pet in a particular home, surgical onychectomy may be considered.
  • There is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups.

While what this “rescue” (and I use that term very lightly here) is not illegal, it is unethical. To declaw a kitten before any attempts have been made to train it or before it has even shown any behavior problems is cruel.  They aren’t helping these cats, they are setting them up for a lifetime of pain.  The number one reason that a cat ends up in a shelter is litter box problems, declawing can cause litter box problems, they are setting these kittens up to end up in a shelter. Once in a shelter another rescue will come along, post and share their story, take up donations, rescue them and find good homes for them.

Do we really want to spend resources rescuing cats that should not end up in shelters because of this type of behavior from vets running rescues? Do we really want to encourage ANYONE to declaw a cat?  Let LesAnn and Karen know how you feel. I did.

Allen Animal Hospital

Phone: (248) 476-0570

Their mission statement is crap.
Their mission statement is crap.

Refunds are rolling for people in #SomethingTerrible

If you are using my site to keep up with the “Something Terrible” nightmare on Kickstarter. I’m happy to report that more people are reporting that they are receiving refunds! It’s about time. It seems to be the most vocal that are getting the refunds. Those of us that have been hounding him via email. So if you are looking for a refund from him that seems to be the way to do it. Just keep emailing him and he gets the point.

But remember, he also needs to be held accountable for his actions. As it stands now, he held our money for over a year, interest free and all we got out of it was a hard time, publicly shamed for asking for updates and bullied. It will be interesting to see if any of his backers get their rewards at all. He keeps claiming it’s done but keeps pushing the date back further and further and keeps raising money on Ebay. Is he raising money for refunds or raising money for the project because he’s out of funds? Hmmm. Does make you think doesn’t it.

You can see his list of ebay actions if you click here.

Friendship…what does it mean to you?

Have you ever really sat down and thought about friendship and what it means, to you, to others, the the world? Websters dictionary defines friendship like this:

friendship

: the state of being friends : the relationship between friends

: a friendly feeling or attitude : kindness or help given to someone

Full Definition of FRIENDSHIP

1
:  the state of being friends
2
:  the quality or state of being friendly :  friendliness
3
obsolete :  aid

Hyrule Castle is gone!

The rest of the castle was dismantled today. So sad to see it gone. The walls have been patched and just waiting on them to dry so I can sand them down. Then I will finish painting them grey.

 

 

Patched and drying.
Patched and drying.

 

Of course, before I can do the floor, I have to get all the crap out of there. And ALL her crap is still in there.

 

All her crap.
All her crap. 

Some of the wood to make her beds is in there as well. I’m using the wood from the castle since it will be painted. I can’t even start building her beds until it stops raining here. And it’s been raining for a week! But I’m making a bed similar to an IKEA bed.

This is what her floor will look like, only more black.  Photo borrowed from The Beginning of Wisdom.  https://thebeginningofwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/my-paper-bag-floors/
This is what her floor will look like, only more black.
Photo borrowed from The Beginning of Wisdom.
https://thebeginningofwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/my-paper-bag-floors/
IKEA bed. I'll be building her two beds similar to this.
IKEA bed. I’ll be building her two beds similar to this.

 

And that’s where we stand today. Hopefully next week I’ll get more work done.