Women Beyond Faith

Meet Skylar —

November 22, 2020 Leah Janet Season 3 Episode 14
Women Beyond Faith
Meet Skylar —
Show Notes Transcript

Skylar Camp is an angry feminist who lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her two young kids, who describe themselves as her best friends. They have one cat and three nearly-dead plants. She writes creative non-fiction that mostly focuses on deconverting from Evangelical Christianity.

You can connect with Skylar on Instagram @skylarcampwrites.

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Unknown Speaker  0:14  
Welcome to women beyond faith, where we are finding freedom on the other side, one story at a time.

Unknown Speaker  0:23  
For women who have walked away from faith, the challenges are often overwhelming, isolated, abandoned by family, misunderstood by partners, ostracized by friends, shamed for thinking critically, cursed for speaking out subsumed by the patriarchy.

Unknown Speaker  0:43  
Thank you for joining us today, as we provide a platform for women to speak up, to speak out and to share their stories, because their stories count their stories.

Unknown Speaker  1:02  
So good morning here in southwest Ohio. It's a little chilly here in mid November about 10 days post election. I'm happy with our current results that were lean and blue. It looks like Joe Biden is going to be our next president. And I have the fortunate pleasure of speaking with Skyler today who is also in in Ohio. So welcome, Skylar. Thank you. It's great to finally get an opportunity to talk I have been following your I'm so bad with like, I don't know what it's called your profile on Instagram, right? Yeah, Schuyler camp, right. Garlic camp writes. And

Unknown Speaker  1:48  
I've been very encouraged, encouraged by what you've shared. And like you always have this beautiful picture of

Unknown Speaker  1:56  
whether it's nature or yourself or your children. And so I just thought you would be a person that I would like to get to hear her story. So thank you for being with me this morning. Thanks for having me. I'm excited. So let's just start in the beginning. Um, before we started recording, I asked if you grew up in a family of faith, and if you were born into a family of faith, so you said yes. So could you just tell me a little bit about about that the beginnings? Yeah. Um, so I've, I started going to church before I can remember, I think I was three when my parents started taking us to church. And they had both been raised kind of like kind of religious but not, but didn't really follow them into adulthood. And so they started going back to church when I was three. And I grew up in various, various churches, we started out Baptist, but the majority of my foundational church stuff was just nondenominational. And, um, I also went to a private Christian school, it was really small, um, huge emphasis on religious learning. So my world was very contained, I had a very Christian world.

Unknown Speaker  3:20  
And I, the first time that I really broke out of that was when I got a job when I was 16. And that was really my first exposure to being around people who weren't Christians. Wow. And do you have siblings? I do. I have two younger brothers. And one's three years younger than me, and the other is eight years younger than me. Okay. And so like, deliberately, your parents kind of chose this small world. For you guys thinking, What? Did they think that they were just being protective in nature? Yes, um, I know, my parents believe at this point, because I'm pretty open about where I am post faith right now. And I know that they think that I am, that I resent them for raising me like that. But I really don't, because I know that they had good intentions. And I think that the church fucked them just as much as it did me. They both had a lot of things in their past that they weren't proud of. And so when they came in to church, I think that they felt that they, they wanted something different for their kids, they wanted a different life for themselves. And

Unknown Speaker  4:30  
they, I think they felt very insecure, like they were coming into faith, you know, in their 30s. And they didn't have the spiritual knowledge that they wanted to impart on us. So that's why, you know, one of the reasons that they put us in Christian school and they worked really hard to pay for that, like the tuition was not cheap. My parents are not wealthy. So it was a huge sacrifice for them, but they believe that it was the best decision for us.

Unknown Speaker  4:58  
So they did what they

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
what they thought was fast. Yeah, I that's such a mature,

Unknown Speaker  5:05  
holding from from, from your perspective, to offer them that that grace, you know, I, with my kids, I have so much guilt and

Unknown Speaker  5:18  
anger associated with the way I parented my kids and I was in faith and I don't like not all of my kids hold that against me. I've got three children myself, and but but there's a number of rifts that are still that we've been unable to heal and kind of move past because of those. Those ways that we parented we homeschooled our kids, you know, to kind of help keep them in that bubble and protect them from the, the enemy and the evil that was in the public schools.

Unknown Speaker  5:49  
Yeah, so did you end up were you in public school, or excuse me, in private school, then for the entirety of your educational years? Yes, I was at the same school from second grade to my senior year of high school. So I had a lot of the kids that I had gone to the Baptist Church, they started out and they had a tiny little school where I went to kindergarten in first grade. And then a bigger church opened up a school. And so that little one shut down. And so I, there are a lot of kids that I knew from kindergarten through 12th grade. And by the time I graduated, we had 32 people in my high school class. Wow. It was very small. We knew each other very well. And it I in some way, I still, I don't look back on my high school experience as bad like I had a really good experience in that school at the time. But I didn't realize how deeply it was fucking me up. And I'm still kind of now at 30 years old, finding things like, oh, like my almost six year old is asking me questions about evolution, and I can't give him a clear answer. And, you know, things like that, that I do resent missing out on a lot of educational opportunities that I I just missed out on those. Yeah, for sure.

Unknown Speaker  7:09  
That's a huge regret. I have to with the way that my kids were schooled. Also, even though but I went to public school my entire life, you know, and there was lots of holes in my education, too. Yeah, I'm sure no, but so there were things I wasn't introduced to that I wish I would have. But at least I wasn't in an environment that was controlling that deliberately. You know, it just was kind of mad every chance that we didn't, whatever we're introduced to this particular science topic or historical event or something. Yeah. Yeah. super interesting. So were you also deeply involved during those years? And like you're the youth group at your church? Yes, very much. So, um, my, so my family went to this non denominational evangelical Christian church. And

Unknown Speaker  7:55  
I think we started going to this one when I was 10 years old. So I it was really, it was pretty small. When we first started going and it grew a lot. And

Unknown Speaker  8:06  
the youth group began it kind of they hired this new youth pastor, and the youth group became the cool youth group in our town. And at first I did not want to go, I had zero interest in it. I was I just felt out of place and awkward. And my mom insisted that I go, and I ended up getting incredibly involved and was in they had like, we called it the roosters. And it was basically like a leadership group made up of teens. So we were sort of unofficially mentored by the adult leaders. And we were also placed in kind of kind of in positions of authority over the other youth group kids. And that created really unhealthy dynamics. But at the time, you know, when you're like 15 1617, you can identify how unhealthy that is, you just know that adults are paying attention to you and you feel special.

Unknown Speaker  9:05  
So, yeah, I was very, very involved, like, went on mission trips, and was there at least once a week doing youth group stuff, and a lot of my friends were in there. And then eventually, one, at one point, the youth pastor pulled me out of youth group and brought along a female leader, another a woman leader, because they have the rule, you know? Yeah. And the mike pence rule, yes. And which, you know, if it's an adult man talking to a teenage girl, I think that's a good call. But they did they did have that rule in every way. Um, so he pulled me out and told me that God had told him that I shouldn't be a rooster anymore. Oh, and he couldn't answer my question. Like, obviously, I was like, Well, why? What did I do?

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
Do and he couldn't answer that all he had was that God told him and the woman who was there, she was his like, assistant and knew, you know, she was very involved in everything. And she was shocked. And she, he had not talked to anybody about it. He just did it. And she felt awful for me. But I was devastated. I'm the 16 year old kid, my whole world, like, I love youth group, I love being a rooster and to be told that I couldn't be one anymore. And there was no real reason. So that, to me, that meant it was me, you know, it wasn't something that I did. It was just who I was. And I had somehow lost. I had I had shown myself to, you know, been vulnerable with these people and let them really get to know me, and then it turned out that wasn't enough. Um, so I think, yeah, that was one of the really deep wounds that I was left. And eventually they let me back in. They didn't have an explanation for it. But I was reinstated as a rooster like six months later. So that must have been so hard at that time, Skylar like yeah, it was rough. And he just had a nudge like you know, like God was somehow letting him know that for some reason you were not have quality material to lead the other folks and he never came back with like a no, I was wrong or I made a mistake or somebody else on the adult leadership team her differently from God or like, you know, when you know, like, Ah,

Unknown Speaker  11:34  
yeah, no, he never apologized, or it wasn't a when he reinstated me as a rooster. He didn't do it as a well I made a mistake, you can come back he did it as a whatever personal growth that I needed to go through had apparently been accomplished, and I was there for good enough to come back. So like he saw himself as this.

Unknown Speaker  11:56  
I don't know he, I genuinely believe that he's a narcissist, and he gets off on control.

Unknown Speaker  12:04  
But I think you know,

Unknown Speaker  12:07  
I don't know that to not have a reason why I wasn't good enough. And then to also not have a reason why I suddenly was good enough was so confusing. Oh, my gosh, I'm so how did that go over at home like with your parents, like, Oh, god, my mom hates that man to this day. She absolutely hates him. And at the time, I defended him. I didn't want to hear it. I wanted to I kept going back to youth group. And because I believe that God was essentially punishing me for something. And it was my job to find whatever spiritual spiritual growth needed to happen so I could become better. And so yeah, my mom hated him. I don't think my dad was a big fan. He wasn't quite as outspoken. And then to this day, that youth pastor, eventually there was a coup in the church. And they overthrew the old pastor who founded that church, and that youth pastor became the head pastor. He's still there. And he recently fired my brother. Oh, my. And so the, the hatred is complete.

Unknown Speaker  13:15  

Unknown Speaker  13:16  
this man who like my mom has hated him for 15 years, I excused his behavior, but eventually came around to hating him. And now it's like, well, we're all we're all very done with that. Well, it sounds like his behavior has continued over these last 15 years. Similar. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, my gosh, that's crazy. And so so yeah, what what were the inner conversations that you were having about the situation like trying? Did you were you able to figure out any defect within you during that time, that could have been a reason for why he was thinking you needed to take a break and work on you? Um,

Unknown Speaker  14:00  
okay, so I, in my personal life, at that time, there was just a lot going on, there were a couple of deaths that were from people who are very close to me or my family. Um, so it was just a very emotionally tumultuous time anyway. Um, and so, I felt that I maybe wasn't, maybe it was me not having enough faith, like, Oh, these horrible things have happened. Maybe I'm not

Unknown Speaker  14:27  
trusting God enough. Maybe I'm too upset about these things. And then also, this one is embarrassing, but I discovered masturbation around that time, and I felt incredibly guilty about that. And so I just assumed that was part of it. Like maybe God didn't tell him at that. I learned how to have an orgasm, but he told him to kick me out because I did you know, Oh, my gosh, yeah. That's such a difficult place. For

Unknown Speaker  15:00  
You as a teenager to be in and try to your, your natural. mm right impulses and needs and desires and try to figure out what in the world God was sensing that was wrong. Yeah, I mean, like, shame, for me has been a huge struggle for for so much of my life. But Christianity really worked

Unknown Speaker  15:28  
well for me, because, yeah, I was never good enough. I never did the right thing. God always had areas where he was trying to hone me and make me into a better quality human. And I never did it. I never did a great job at it, I always was a total failure, and often to trying to figure out how I could become better. And like in some of those, like natural impulses, right, it's like, you can't just turn those off and like, numb yourself to

Unknown Speaker  15:59  
Yeah, to. Yeah, I'm sorry, that was your reality. For that time. How was it when you were brought back into the leadership role as a rooster was that, um, I was at the time, we were on a mission trip to Jamaica, we went to a children's home, which now like looking back, I think it was, I had a lot of issues with short term mission trips, etc. Um, but at the time, it was the most magical experience of my life. And I was really deeply bonding with the group that was there. And it was made up of all roosters, except for me and one other girl. And, um, so at first, it was a little awkward because of that, but also, like, I knew all these people, I was friends with all these people, we were really bonding. And then

Unknown Speaker  16:53  
when we were there, and in Jamaica, is when Matt asked me if I would like to become a rooster again. So I was, there was a part of me that thought, should I do this? Am I Well, part of that was Am I really good enough? Is he right about me being good enough now. And then part of it was also like, well, this really hurt me before. And so I asked for a little bit to think about it. But I didn't think about it really, I just, I just did it because it was

Unknown Speaker  17:25  
so validating, I guess to like, hear Oh, you actually now you fight you're finally good enough. You can be back in the in the group.

Unknown Speaker  17:34  
So yeah, I think there was a part of me that knew it was a bad idea, but most of me just didn't care. Yeah. I mean, do you remember like looking at the other kids who were roosters. And like thinking that they had all their shit together, like that, they know that was the

Unknown Speaker  17:50  
that was the thing. Like they were my their people who I really liked and cared about. But they were I knew that some of them were not being sexually pure. And were maybe partying sometimes on the weekends and things like that. And I was very confused about why God would single me out when I was clearly not doing some of those other things that they were doing. And so I just, I don't know, if I assumed that I was like, call to a higher standard, because I put that on myself a lot. Like when they say

Unknown Speaker  18:23  
I took things to a spiritual extreme, a lot of times, like I decided when I was 15 that I wasn't going to date. Um, and I kept that that was a huge part of my identity was my purity, my sexual purity, my emotional purity. Like I felt guilty for having a crush on somebody, I wanted to save my heart for my future husband. I like that was so I took everything to the extreme. So I just assumed

Unknown Speaker  18:52  
that I was being held to a higher standard for whatever reason. Yeah. Wow. Crazy. There's a lot of us like that, who have found our way out of faith. You know, it's like we there are some so many of us who have worked so hard or are all in and it just doesn't work for us. And we just can't square the

Unknown Speaker  19:20  
we just can't make it we can't make it work. whereas others I know who have been able to stay in like they weren't necessarily asking the hard questions or trying as they were more easy, easily. I don't know like, okay with like the gray without having to have a specific answer for

Unknown Speaker  19:41  
for any of the questions. That's so true. Like, I've noticed that as well because I sometimes think about you know, I I went to church with so many people who don't go to church anymore, but they don't seem as bothered by it. Like I feel like I'm going to be working through the trauma of that for a long time.

Unknown Speaker  20:00  
Time. And what I've come to realize is that trauma isn't trauma is different for every single person, what traumatizes one person does not traumatize another. And our it's, it's based on how our bodies react to that. And I think that my body internalized that deep

Unknown Speaker  20:21  
pain and the deep. I mean it, I took everything very seriously when they said, Keep yourself physically pure, and stop yourself from making out with someone. I was like, Well, where's the line? And if nobody could give me a line, then I was like, well, then I'm just not gonna kiss anybody at all, like no kissing. And so I think those intense things really put their mark on my body in ways that I didn't realize. So maybe, you know, the same people who I went to youth group with, who heard the same things that I did, they maybe were able to walk away with that and just kind of, you know, be like, Well, yeah, I was raised in the church, but it's whatever. I don't really believe that anymore. But for me, I gave my entire being to that. And so that's Yeah, that's the thing is that when you do leave, people say, Well, it was never real that and her faith wasn't real. And that's so far from the truth. It was so real. And I, it was me, that was who I was. Yeah, same girl. Same. So 16 was a big year for you between the rooster thing. And then that is also the time where you said, You got your first job. And so you were then introduced to people outside of the church and outside of youth group.

Unknown Speaker  21:34  
So what did that piece your, your new job and meeting these people? How did that affect your,

Unknown Speaker  21:42  
um, so that job ended up really changing my life and a lot of ways, um, it was a dairy queen. And I got it because someone who I went to youth group with, she worked there, and she helped me get the job. And I met all of these awesome people, like they're a bunch of teenagers who worked there, and like working as a teenager at an ice cream place in the summertime was a blast. And so I've made friends with these people. And they weren't Christians. And I knew, like I had a lot of guilt around, knowing that it was my job to witness to them. And that I was like one of the only Christians there. And so it was on me to be a good example for them. But then I would find myself just having a good time with them, and not caring about it. And I felt incredibly guilty about that. And

Unknown Speaker  22:39  
then so at that job, I worked there for maybe a year. So if that, and there was this guy who they hired, and we started talking, he was also a Christian. He was homeschooled, and we knew like all of the same people, but had somehow never met each other before. And we ended up fighting constantly. And then we would have these talks like, well, we're the only Christians here, we can't fight like this. Like we have to set a good example. And it never lasted. And

Unknown Speaker  23:16  
so then there is this other guy who ended up having a crush on me. And I told him like that I wasn't, I wasn't dating at all that I was looking. Like, my plan was to get married, that I wasn't casually dating anybody. And if I dated somebody, I was going to marry them. And he was like, Okay, cool. But he ended up telling people, you know, he just really wanted to get in my pants. And that was the first time that anyone had ever, like sexually desired me that I knew about. And it upset me a lot. Oh, um, because I felt, you know, like, I had done something to make someone else sin just by existing. Oh, and um, yeah, so I saw the other Christian guy there. Um, we ended up dating and I married him. God, oh, that was where we met. Was it Dairy Queen? as teenagers, as teenagers. And so how long did you guys date before you got married? almost four years, which was awful. Um, because, you know, we weren't we were virgins waiting for our wedding night. And I had a sex drive that I wasn't allowed to use. And it so you know, whenever I did something, it was awful. And I felt guilty about it. And I would repent and I was never really able to. There's just that constant tension like, well, we got to get married because we really want to have sex.

Unknown Speaker  24:52  
So four years is a really long time, but I started Yeah, I started dating him when I just turned 18

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
And we were just in no way. Are we stable or ready for any of that, but like our lives were just a mess. But we just wanted to get married. And we finally just did it. Right before I was 22. Right before I turned 22. We got married. Wow. That's a long time to date. Yes. And to not have sex and to have that constant sexual tension between you. Yeah. Wow. So like, What? Why did you guys not get married? earlier? You know, like, a lot of like, oh, easy. Yeah, no, I wanna, I want it to we both wanted to, because I was like, well, this is my calling. Like, I want to be a wife. That's literally all I want. I'm gonna support my husband and what he does, like, I had no goals for myself, they were all centered around my boyfriend, boyfriend. Wow. Um, but my parents did not like him that much. And they were not thrilled about us being together. And I couldn't afford a wedding by myself. So I had to wait until they were willing slash able to pay for a wedding. Wow. Otherwise, I would have done it. Three years earlier, probably. Oh, gosh. And so what did you What were you doing with your life during those four years? Did you go off to college? were you working a little bit of both, I never left. We stayed in my hometown for a while outside of Columbus, um, I, I didn't know what to do with my life, because it was all centered around marriage. And so I was basically just waiting to get married. And so I took a year off after, after high school, I lived at home for a year and just worked like a couple of, you know, part time jobs. And eventually, like things were just a little too tense at my house with my parents. And I ended up deciding to go to a local branch of a university, and I moved out and moved in with my friend Meg. And we got an apartment together in our hometown. And it was the best I still very good friends with Meg. She's one of my best friends. Um, but so I lived with her for a couple of years. And I went to school for a little over a year. And I started out as an early childhood education major. And I was sort of just trying to make that fit into some sort of ministry. I'm like, I didn't really want an actual career. So I thought, well, I'm going to be, I'm sure I'll be doing ministry things. So how can I like make something work into that and I ended up just deciding that that was not what I wanted. I did not want to do education, I had no interest in it. And I didn't know what else to do. So I just dropped out, and then continue, like working a crappy job for a year until I got married. Gotcha. And was your boyfriend at the time? Was he What was he doing? Was he working and provide pretty much the same thing. He he had a very complicated relationship with his family and was had no contact with them pretty much right after he turned 18.

Unknown Speaker  28:24  
And a little bit after that, I guess, but anyway, so it was just him. He did not have any support. So I,

Unknown Speaker  28:33  
my, my mindset was that he needed me. Yeah, um, and I didn't know how unhealthy that is to be with someone who is going through like he had a lot of valid trauma of his own, but he never in the course of our relationship, he never took that on himself to fix. It was always directed at me. Um, and we were younger, you know, it was not as big of a deal. But then after a decade of that it, it wears on you. And Mmm hmm. Yeah, so he he was just basically like working. And when we got married, we ended up moving to Tennessee, because we wanted to go to Lee University. And after we got married, we qualified for more financial aid so we could actually afford it.

Unknown Speaker  29:27  
So that was interesting. Wow. So you guys moved to Tennessee as newlyweds and he was attending school and you were working. I actually started for for about, like nine months or so we just worked we we both had jobs and work and then eventually both enrolled in school. I wasn't planning on it but I ended up doing it. Um, so we both started school are both working. And it was very odd because we

Unknown Speaker  30:00  
We're older than the other kids there. And we were, you know, supporting ourselves. And it was just, I never really related to anybody there because leaves leaves a pretty traditional school. kids go there, when they're 1819 years old, they finish up and they go, and I just didn't have a whole lot in common with them. And then so another big aspect of my

Unknown Speaker  30:26  
dedication to taking things to the extreme is that I did not use birth control, I fell into that whole world where birth control is equivalent to an abortion. And so I did natural family planning, I tracked my cycles

Unknown Speaker  30:43  
avoided sex when I was fertile, I didn't use condoms or anything. Um, and that was really stressful like to track that, especially because I just, I never had regular cycles, they were always very irregular. And I never really was quite sure what was going on. Um, and so of course, eventually, after a couple of years of that, I ended up pregnant. And that was while I was in school, so I gave birth to my oldest kid, finals week of my junior year went winter winter semester. So I had I finished a semester at nine months pregnant, I was in labor for finals week, delivered my baby. Five weeks later, I was back for spring semester. Oh my gosh, that's crazy. Yeah. And what how, what, who, what?

Unknown Speaker  31:38  
What, like, who was taking care of the baby, when you guys were? Well, you just take turns as far as like going to class and working.

Unknown Speaker  31:46  
So this is where things got very difficult for me and my marriage. Um,

Unknown Speaker  31:53  
I. So I stopped, I quit working. And my husband at the time, was working a lot. He was in a pretty demanding major. And I so I stayed with the baby. When he was at work, and we tried for the first like semester, we tried to just schedule our classes around each other. So you know, he'd come home from one class take over with the baby, I'd go to class. Um, but it was not an equal arrangement at all. Um, I was.

Unknown Speaker  32:30  
My, my kid is, he's, he was a high needs baby. Um, he had turns out he had a lot of undiagnosed food allergies, we didn't know about them until he was six months old. So he was a very fussy baby, who needed a lot of attention. And it was not easy to get things done.

Unknown Speaker  32:51  
So I struggled to get my classwork done. I struggled a lot. And my husband did too. I mean, he would work until like, 11, at night, and then come home and do homework and go to class at 8am. So we were all very overwhelmed. But that's when he started getting very controlling. And

Unknown Speaker  33:15  

Unknown Speaker  33:17  
there were some very bad incidents that happened, and I should have left, but I didn't really have anywhere to go. I never really bonded with anybody in Tennessee, because they were all very different from me, I did not thrive in southern culture.

Unknown Speaker  33:36  
And you know, the people I didn't have a chance to make friends in college because I had nothing in common with these people. And then I had this baby and I couldn't go to any events to get to know people. Um, so my circle was very small, and I didn't have anywhere to go. So I went back.

Unknown Speaker  33:59  
And things eventually came to a head when my son was like a year and a half old. I had finished up school at that point, I managed to finish and I graduated with a with an English degree.

Unknown Speaker  34:18  
Thank you. And my son was like 15 months old at the time, and it was very difficult. It was not easy.

Unknown Speaker  34:26  
And my son, my ex husband had, like another year of school left, so I just was, I was a stay at home mom while he was doing that. And, um, I

Unknown Speaker  34:40  
there was an incident where he just

Unknown Speaker  34:45  
he just had a lot of issues and he did not.

Unknown Speaker  34:49  
He never took responsibility for them. And so after a particularly bad incident, I finally left and I came back to Columbus.

Unknown Speaker  35:00  
To stay with my friend Meg and her husband, Patrick was also a friend.

Unknown Speaker  35:05  
And I stayed there for a week.

Unknown Speaker  35:07  
And while I was there, my ex husband, like had this total change of heart, he said that he understood that he was the cause of a lot of issues in our marriage, and that he needed to like get his life back on track with God, because at that point, we had stopped going to church.

Unknown Speaker  35:31  
We were basically in the process of backsliding.

Unknown Speaker  35:36  
Lee is a super Christian, like a very, very religious environment. And Tennessee is a very religious environment, very conservative environment. And when we moved down there we were staunch Republicans. But the longer that we were in college, the more life experience we gained, we found ourselves becoming more

Unknown Speaker  35:55  
liberal. And that did not line up with what we were hearing, and seeing in our church in our school. And

Unknown Speaker  36:04  
so eventually, we just sort of stopped going to church. And it was mostly because I just couldn't, it was too difficult with my baby to like, he wouldn't go in the nursery. So I was just sitting in the lobby the whole time. And I just eventually gave up because like, why am I gonna go to all the effort of going to church, I'm just sitting in the lobby for the whole thing. Yeah. Um,

Unknown Speaker  36:24  
so that was part of what we were like, Well, our life is clearly not going how it's supposed to be. And I think like, we both thought a lot of it was because of our spiritual condition at the time. Um, so there was a lot of guilt around that. And a lot of

Unknown Speaker  36:42  
like, I knew that it wasn't my fault what was happening, but I also was still feeling like, I wasn't being like, all I wanted to do is to be a wife. And I felt like I was failing at that. Yeah. Because you're taught that, like, you're taught that when you're in a biblical marriage, the man is the head of the household. And my, my ex husband never really loved that he didn't want to be the head of the household, which was maybe a cause of resentment between us sometimes. Um, and I, I don't, I understand now, like, why he felt what you felt like that. But at the time, I did not, then, um, and

Unknown Speaker  37:21  
he, anyway, but you know, you're taught that when you're, when you're a wife, you should submit to your husband, you should support him always. And it's your job to be like loving and to make him want to love you, essentially. Yeah, that help meet. Yes. No, yeah. 31 woman in the help meet? Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. And I never I felt like I wasn't submissive enough. I mean, I've never been submissive. I've always been too sarcastic and too outspoken. I've never been a good Christian girl for as much as I was a great Christian. I was never a good Christian girl. And,

Unknown Speaker  38:03  
yeah, that I thought that was my fault for not being good enough. Yeah. Um, huh. So you ended up going back to Tennessee? Um, I did? Yes. Um, a lot of promises were made. And the week after, or actually, a couple days after I got back, I found out that I was pregnant again. Oh, my God. Um, so to me at the time was like, oh, wow, that was that's such a God thing that this worked out where I came home, and I reunited my family. And now we're being blessed with another baby. Um, but, and I,

Unknown Speaker  38:40  
I shouldn't have to give this qualifier. But of course I will. I love my children. I love my children with all of my heart with everything in me. However,

Unknown Speaker  38:48  
there it was, it was rough. Um, I thought that I would be a really great mom, like a really great stay at home mom and everything. And I ended up hating, I hated being a stay at home mom, like I love being a parent. But I hated staying at home with a toddler and a baby. It was awful.

Unknown Speaker  39:09  
And we moved back to Ohio because my ex wanted to go to grad school at Columbus or in Columbus. Um, so once again, I was sort of trapped and being a stay at home mom so that I could support his career. And the plan was for me to eventually get a job because I was at that point, becoming more honest about

Unknown Speaker  39:30  
not fitting into that role that I had imposed on myself like that was the thing is that I, I was the one who put these expectations on myself. Nobody told me you have to be a wife. You have to be a stay at home parent, but I thought, well, that's the best way for me to be a Christian woman. Yes. Do those things. Yeah, you did those to yourself Skylar, but it was the rhetoric. right i mean of that youth group and what Scripture says we should do to be at least in the at least

Unknown Speaker  40:00  
In the worldviews of the churches that we attended, right, it was what you were supposed to do in order to be that godly woman. Yeah. mother and wife. Yeah, yeah. So but as the as my,

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