An Open Letter to Thomas Umstattd Jr. and Co.: By Xoxana Sea

Thomas Umstattd Jr. Source:

“In the early days our party line was ‘Homeschooling is perfect. No regulation needed.’ This line of argumentation was good and helpful during our infancy. We needed to sweep internal problems under the rug so we could focus on external threats.”

~ Thomas Umstattd Jr.

Guys, I have been handling all this pretty well up to this point… but this Thomas Umstattd Jr. article has me just… enraged. I can’t take it. To actually admit that the movement was more important than reporting abuse…I mean, I knew it, but to have the huevos to actually say it is unspeakable. It’s not appalling. It’s worse than that. Words, they fail me. I want to write this as an open letter, but I don’t even know how to get it to them.

I want them to look me in the eye, and tell me face-to-face that their movement was more important than my life.

To act like “sure there were problems but we had to get the movement all good, now that we’re solid we can totally fix those” glosses over a couple of tiny details. That was twenty years ago–the time to fix those problems has long passed. The children are grown. There’s no going back.

That was my childhood. I will never get another one.

Now to hear it was all just a charade to shore up a movement…that nobody really believed in patriarchy, they just let a few wackos spout that to their kids because Homeschooling needed to be established! …I would compare it to a slap in the face, but see, a slap in the face was one of the nicest things that ever happened to me as a child.

I never knew anything but patriarchy. I stayed up at night crying and begging god for forgiveness and to please not kill me for the sin of causing men to stumble. In kindergarten.

There is permanent scarring in my brain from living in constant fear. There is permanent scarring in my abdomen. I will never be ok. I will never have a prom. I will never have a first kiss. I will never get to be a child. To learn that it was all just a political operation has stripped what was left of the hellish nightmare I lived in to fake walls, like a movie set, pushed down to reveal that everyone knew but me. I was only something they used.

All the pain and tears and terror and guilt and depression and harm and hate and other agony?

Just a little thing they used to get their political way.

I was a little child. An innocent little child. I could have been happy. There was no reason I shouldn’t have been. There never was any angry god demanding submission. There was never any devil trying to possess me.

These tools were given to narcissistic people with the capacity for evil in order to get them drunk with power; once they were hooked they were told the only way to maintain their power was to support the movement. They would protest anything, make all the calls, show up to state capitols in droves just to keep their precious fix.

At least crack dealers don’t require child abuse as payment.

I don’t know how to express the rage I’m feeling right now. I was used. My nightmare was all just a game to them. And now the patriarchs go on the radio and laugh about it. Because it’s funny. Because me, little four-year-old me, huddled under a blanket in the dark, terrified and hurt and bleeding and sore and begging god to forgive me for things other people had done, is funny to them.

I’m out of words.