With a New Year comes new beginnings, and nothing is better than starting it off by facing one’s fears head-on. Important factors in overcoming fears are,
- learning who you are,
- embracing those experiences that made you who you are,
- forgiving others and
- setting your voice free by sharing personal challenges.
For twenty-five years MarJean had been forced to suppress her thoughts and feelings or suffer the damning consequences. Now it’s time for her to face her fears and share her story.
This horrific journey began when she was eleven years old when her parents dragged her to Mexico to join a polygamous group and to live in mud huts without the modern conveniences of plumbing and electricity. Her parents and other cult members quickly shut down any of her questions. It was made clear to her that she didn’t have a voice. She was to be seen and not heard. She was to blindly obey and not question. Her opinions and feelings were not validated. She was to be nothing more than an instrument in their furthering the kingdom of the cult.
Her story is filled with danger! For over twenty-five years, she lived with a polygamist group, often changing her name in order to receive the necessities of life. After years, she was miraculously able to escape both the evil and deadly polygamist cult which promised to murder anyone who left. Once she escaped, she was put on a hit list of those who would be murdered for choosing to withdraw from the cult.
After escaping the cult and attempting to start a new life, she still must keep quiet regarding her previous whereabouts and feelings. Remaining tight-lipped was not easy as she was a single mother and her six young children were both white and primarily Spanish-speaking. This could arouse many questions. She musn’t draw attention to attract those still out searching for those that left.
Sharing her story would also force her to be vulnerable in a painful and dangerous way to not only to herself but her family members who wanted to abandon their past. Embarrassment and shame would surely follow any divulgence of her previous life.
Fifty years later, the danger has faded and with much encouragement, she has decided, to find her voice and share her story.
Four years ago, MarJean started sorting through the horrific details of how her life had taken a drastic turn. With the equivalent of her fifth-grade education she had received prior to the cult, she jotted down her thoughts to the best of her ability. Often writing late into the night, only to set the few lines of text aside, as she cried her heart out trying to muster the courage to visit that pain again and write more. At last, she handed it over to her family to start the steps of putting her words into a book.
Some of her children and grandchildren took her words and designed a binder with her jotted down elementary stories in an effort to create the first rough draft of her book.
At the 2015 family annual Christmas Eve party, Santa Claus came and presented the binder to MarJean as well as the idea of a monthly date night with Nana so she could further elaborate on her rudimentary stories. This gift of the binder and designated time to share thoughts made the dream of publishing her story become more of a reality.
With support from her family, she is now set to enter into this courageous journey of sifting through her life story.
Come follow us through this process of hope and healing as we help MarJean find her voice!
3 thoughts on “Setting MarJeans voice free… and so it begins, life after Polygamy!”
This is so touching and I am looking forward to reading the book! It takes so much courage and love to open up after being severely traumatized in such a way. It can be so scary and so emotional to dig this up and open yourself up to strangers, and even scarier when its friends and family. As hard as this is, it will be immensely helpful in the healing process and give new purpose and life to MarJean. What a beautiful family for caring so much about her and her story, to help her put it all together.
This is amazing! I admire her courage and support from her family.
I encourage MarJean to continue to put her thoughts and memories on paper, even if a book doesn’t materialize. I have read every book that exists about polygamy. While most have been heartbreaking in reference to the women and children, the strength of the women is what shines through.
As a survivor of my own tragedy that almost took my life, reading other women’s stories help me to come to grips with my own. Thank you for that.