My daughter has been changing drastically over the last year.  She was a beautiful college student with a 4.0, journalism awards, passionate about the world’s injustices (an over-achiever).  Within the last 4 months she’s lost 60 lbs.- is a skeleton, using narcotics, stripping, dropped out of school, quit her job, and is furiously angry at everyone, especially God.  I knew something was horribly wrong, and the more I tried to help her, the more she pulled away.  
    As her world crumbled I found myself also more angry at the world than I had ever been.  We’d already suffered through cocaine addiction with her brother and to watch her in the thralls of the evils of this world was too much to bare.  I’d been searching for a church, a faith, that felt real and true - I desperately, passionately loved God and wanted to worship Him with reverence and awe.  He’s held me up through every heartbreak and struggle of my life and helped me to grow from each experience, teaching me personally along the way. 

    I was also being led to plainer dress (after dressing modestly and now wearing a headcovering).   The more I learned about the Friends beliefs the more I felt like I’d found a ‘home’.  When a particularly bad event would happen I found myself turning to Quaker reading - advices and queries, or testimonies, and found such comfort.  I would go on websites that sold plain clothing and headcoverings and even just the images would make me feel better - like there was goodness, peace, and simplicity there.  I’d been wearing veils I’d made, but felt like maybe I should change to a kapp, and finally ordered a beautiful one.
    Three days ago my daughter finally told me that she’d been molested by a family member when she was very young.  It explained so much.  My world was shattered.  I had been molested by my uncle when I was around 10, and knowing that she’d experienced the one thing I had always feared most for my children, and that it would haunt her the rest of her life, I found myself tormented all over again.  
    Yesterday my kapp arrived in the mail.  The day had been filled with crying and sickness and heartache, inability to literally breathe at times. Finally at the end of the night I opened up the package.  The white material was much softer than I had envisioned, light and almost silky feeling…the detailed stitching and pleats, ruffles and ties… it was a thing of simplicity and beauty.  And suddenly I felt peace wash over me, and I felt God’s immense mercy and love, and grace, upon my head.  I knew He was holding me tight, and also my little girl, wherever she was, out there in the world.  
    So I am being led to plain dress, to this peculiar way of being and life, for many reasons, but now I have felt it’s effects personally and powerfully.  I can’t explain it, but of the many things it means to me, it is also a source of security and safety and great comfort.  

Tags: cap, comfort, dress, grace, headcovering, heartache, kapp, peace, plain, simplicity, More…struggling

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Hello Karen,

I've typed and erased several times trying to put together the words to express how much I feel for you both, but I know from experience that this is a deep and sometimes endless pain you are feeling. I, too, was molested when I was 12 by my mother's live-in boyfriend. ..Just know that you are a part of a loving group and I feel comfortable saying that we will pray for you and your family.

 

I understand how you feel about covering, too, because I just began my plain journey on Thanksgiving day. I had been searching for my place for so long and I had this strange affinity for the Amish, but I knew that I wasn't Amish. Then I saw Quaker Jane's website and after I read the Quaker doctrines, everything fell into place! To me, the headcovering is a cap of peace and my plain clothing is like my badge of courage. It's my way of praising God all day long!

 

I pray for healing and forgiveness for your daughter, you, and your family and may God bless you all.

Your sister in Christ,

Marcie

I thank thee, sister, for thy openness here and I welcome thee. I am glad thee has been obedient to the Guidance Christ has offered thee in thy heart. The Peace that comes from that obedience are the only real peace available in this life. Others will want to say that God can't work that way, but I assure thee that is how he has worked in my life as well, and no one can take that Comfort away.

Isabel (aka Quaker Jane)

As a recovering addict myself (23 years), I want to ask you never to give up hope that healing will occur for all that your family has been through. By "healing', of course, I don't mean 'cured.' But there is a joyous life on the other side of the hell of addiction for those who find it.

As to the sexual abuse, there is healing for this also. I've devoted my career as a clinical social worker to this purpose. In the past 5 years I've been blessed to have been trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which reduces the time needed from some number of years to around 4 months, AND improves the outcome. No, no one never forgets. But I have been so gladdened by the reports of my patients as to how much their lives have improved because of TF-CBT, even a few who felt they had already 'moved past it'. It is never too late; even abuse which is many years in the past can be treated successfully. Please look into it and I hope there is a trained practitioner in your neighborhood.

Thank you for sharing the beauty of your Quaker journey with us. My prayers go up for you and your family.

Wow, I loved reading your post. I don't know what to say other than live your life and pray for yourself and your daughter.

I have suffered through many things in life myself although never drug addition or sexual abuse. We are more sturdy than we think and we can recover. Yes, things we have lived through will impact us but they do not have to lead to a crappy life. It might look bad now but that does not have to be permanent.

I glad to read about your covering and road to plain dress. I am a modest dresser and I cover but I do not feel that I am lead to 'full plain' only to become plainer over time. I love my road and I have been on it for about three years now. Sometimes I move quickly and other times there is no change at all but I have learned to be patient and I have really grown to appreciate life as it is now more than before when I tended to only look ahead. I do not know where your journey will lead you but I feel that it is worth acting on such a lead.

Dear Isabel,

Thank you so much for your warm welcome and support :).  I can't tell you how much I have learned and grown from your website.  I am hoping to be able to make it to the Ohio Yearly Meeting get together in June and I wonder if you have any advice on the accommodations they offer for overnight stays.  Thank you again, and blessings to you,

Karen Hofbauer

Isabel Penraeth said:

I thank thee, sister, for thy openness here and I welcome thee. I am glad thee has been obedient to the Guidance Christ has offered thee in thy heart. The Peace that comes from that obedience are the only real peace available in this life. Others will want to say that God can't work that way, but I assure thee that is how he has worked in my life as well, and no one can take that Comfort away.

Isabel (aka Quaker Jane)

Dear Bruce,

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.  I am definitely going to look into the specific therapy you suggested.  I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post.  Blessings to you,

Karen

Dr. Bruce R. Arnold said:

As a recovering addict myself (23 years), I want to ask you never to give up hope that healing will occur for all that your family has been through. By "healing', of course, I don't mean 'cured.' But there is a joyous life on the other side of the hell of addiction for those who find it.

As to the sexual abuse, there is healing for this also. I've devoted my career as a clinical social worker to this purpose. In the past 5 years I've been blessed to have been trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which reduces the time needed from some number of years to around 4 months, AND improves the outcome. No, no one never forgets. But I have been so gladdened by the reports of my patients as to how much their lives have improved because of TF-CBT, even a few who felt they had already 'moved past it'. It is never too late; even abuse which is many years in the past can be treated successfully. Please look into it and I hope there is a trained practitioner in your neighborhood.

Thank you for sharing the beauty of your Quaker journey with us. My prayers go up for you and your family.

Right, it is the Conservative Gathering in Sixth Month. Yearly Meeting is usually held in Eighth Month. They are separate events. I have hopes of attending both, Lord willing.

Karen Hofbauer said:

Dear Isabel,

Thank you so much for your warm welcome and support :).  I can't tell you how much I have learned and grown from your website.  I am hoping to be able to make it to the Ohio Yearly Meeting get together in June and I wonder if you have any advice on the accommodations they offer for overnight stays.  Thank you again, and blessings to you,

Karen Hofbauer

Isabel Penraeth said:

I thank thee, sister, for thy openness here and I welcome thee. I am glad thee has been obedient to the Guidance Christ has offered thee in thy heart. The Peace that comes from that obedience are the only real peace available in this life. Others will want to say that God can't work that way, but I assure thee that is how he has worked in my life as well, and no one can take that Comfort away.

Isabel (aka Quaker Jane)

Hit reply before my reply was complete. The contact info is over at the event. I have camped (if thee likes camping, it is a nice set up). I have stayed in the dorm. It is busier with families with children, and it is hot (no AC) so bring a fan if thee can. I found the dorm challenging when my daughter was a rambunctious toddler. Nervous-making staircases. I preferred camping when she was small. I haven't stayed in the Guest House.

Karen Hofbauer said:

Dear Isabel,

Thank you so much for your warm welcome and support :).  I can't tell you how much I have learned and grown from your website.  I am hoping to be able to make it to the Ohio Yearly Meeting get together in June and I wonder if you have any advice on the accommodations they offer for overnight stays.  Thank you again, and blessings to you,

Karen Hofbauer

Isabel Penraeth said:

I thank thee, sister, for thy openness here and I welcome thee. I am glad thee has been obedient to the Guidance Christ has offered thee in thy heart. The Peace that comes from that obedience are the only real peace available in this life. Others will want to say that God can't work that way, but I assure thee that is how he has worked in my life as well, and no one can take that Comfort away.

Isabel (aka Quaker Jane)

karen, i didn't see your post until just now.

it would be presumptuous of me to offer advice, and i don't have any anyway. but i'm an ex-junkie who found god through the Friends, and i use the plain witness as a way to remind myself of that relationship, everyday.

i know a bit of what you're going through because i've put people through it myself. in my own case i made it through alive, and i'll pray for your daughter.

lots of love, hon.

Hi Karen, never give up praying for your daughter, my son drug me and his dad through hell until

he finally turned his life around. I never stopped praying and now he is a wonderful son and a good

compassionate person. I to dress plain and it is a comfort for me as well, I have had lots of negative

reactions to my plain dress but I will continue because you are right, it is an outward obedience to

God and very comforting.

Dear one:    When we are not conscious in our life we do terrible things to ourselves and others. .  I am so sorry to hear of the issues you have experienced with your loved ones.   I too have been abused, mentally, physically, sexually by those I trusted from a very young age when I didn't understand. .  and now that I'm much older I see others still making those same attempts but as wolves, dressed in sheep's clothing. . or rather as wolves, acting out as those interested in being companions or friends (not in the Quaker way of being a Friend).    So I see the unconsciousness in society at large continues.  The man who sexually abused me passed away many many years ago. .  it shows a deep level of sickness in our society. .  I never blamed myself as I was only very young. 

Sometimes I think society's explanations for these happenings keep your focus on them. . when focus needs to be shifted elsewhere. . in order for healing to begin.   I had to learn, painfully so, there are few people I can and do trust. . unless they prove otherwise.  I see thru their phony talk and actions.  People give themselves away quite easily. .

I likewise understand and appreciate your path to finding the plain life. . and headcoverings.  It speaks of separating yourself from those preferring to live lives of chaos and to move instead to one of deeper meaning and honoring why we are all truly here.    I wish you many blessings, peace and comfort on your journey.  Know that you are not alone. 

 

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