The Archive Restoration Project

As many of you know, my blog was lost in late 2016. I had written over 500 posts since 2012, sometimes every day.

I was homeless, and it was time to renew my web host. I was able to keep my domain name – thank the old gods and the new, I can only imagine what my dad would do with it if he got a chance to buy it out from under me. But the web host was gone, and I didn’t have a computer, so I spent several hours talking quietly on the phone with customer service at the library. Long story short, when my wonderful friend Kieryn helped with restoring my website with a fresh layout, I had nothing to show for my years of work.

Writing has been difficult because survival is a full-time job in this economy. My Patreon has helped to free my time to dedicate toward the blog and my memoir. But uncovering the memories of trauma and pain, while my memory wanes, has been a massive task. How do you sum up what was an entire life, so different from the everyday life of the outside world? How could I know what people would read about, and wanted to know?

So near the end of 2017, I created an account on Free Jinger after years of lurking. FJ is a forum for snark about quiverfull families who’ve been featured on reality TV. Back when my family was on The Learning Channel, my dad called the many commenters on FJ “haters.” I’ve since realized that the people there are very kind and concerned, and the things they said about my parents were both observant and reasonable. I started a thread introducing myself, and was able to read many stories from other survivors. Most of the people who know my story don’t even watch reality TV much, as I learned.

When some of the users on FJ found out how my archive had been lost, they volunteered to help me gather all of the remaining content from the WayBack machine. Not every post was recoverable, but I now have a salvaged archive, and I want to give my profound thanks to Stephanie for volunteering her organization with recovering the old posts, and Jennifer for helping her to copy and paste hundreds of posts so I can reupload them.

Reading the old posts, though, has presented countless moments of scratching my head, finding myself avoiding the things I once believed, and feeling deep shame and grief.

I said a lot of hateful and ignorant things when I was younger. I also failed to be inclusive in my language, most memorably in my series on homosexuality, in which I expressed that I didn’t want to address LGBTAIQ beyond the first three letters. As Josh and Lolly Weed apologized for their former ignorance in a recent heartbreaking post, I’d like to give a similar apology.

To anyone who I excluded in my language, I’m sorry. To anyone who took my advice on suppressing emotions and being a good Christian, I’m sorry. And especially to anyone who felt they could do a better job of honoring their abusive parents because of my words, I’m sorry.

I know better now. But the problem remains about my old posts.

As I upload them, they will contain an original date, disclaimers, content warnings, and, where needed, commentary.

While I will do my best to honor my story over the years, and put back up the many writings that I’m constantly getting messages about, I don’t want to re-post whatever I find unhelpful to the collective consciousness. Certain problematic posts, though, will be worth sharing as examples of how deeply gaslit I was, as long as I add what I know now. It means so much that after all these years, I’m still getting asked for specific articles and having them referenced.

So enjoy! The posts will be coming back as I have the time and energy to post them.