Duggars

Jill Dillard’s pina colada and the appearance of evil…

This morning, the net is abuzz with comments about Jill Duggar drinking a pina colada and looking like she’s living her best life. Many people have noticed that Mrs. Dillard did not specify whether or not the drink was “virgin”. Some have said that a virgin drink would not be served in such a fancy glass. Not being much of a fan of “virgin” drinks myself, I really don’t know if that’s true. What I do know is that Jill is a married woman well over the age of 21. She should be able to drink whatever she wants to without speculation.

But since she was once Jill Duggar, and was raised a fundamentalist Christian, everything she does is open to discussion and observation. She seems to be okay with it. In fact, she recently posted an invitation for fans to ask her questions on YouTube. Some of the people in the Duggar Family News group have proposed asking her if she plans to have more children or adopt them (which frankly, I think is no one else’s business). Even less appropriate is the question as to whether or not she had a hysterectomy.

On the other hand, she has chosen to be a public figure, and she has spoken about having as many babies as God provides. So maybe that is why people feel free to ask– and I guess Jill can decline to answer if she wants to.

It has been nice to watch Jill change since the days when she was the most obedient Duggar. I remember seeing her on TLC when she was younger, being mom to her youngest siblings and clearly Jim Bob’s favorite because she did what she was told without complaint and didn’t have a problem tattling on her siblings. I guess when she married Derick Dillard, Jill took it seriously that he would be the one she listened to most. She and Boob are apparently on the outs with each other, mainly because Derick has rebelled against doing Boob’s bidding.

I don’t really follow the Duggars’ show much anymore. I used to watch it somewhat regularly, but I quit following it when it got to be too boring. I understand that now, Boob and Michelle have made their way back on camera. I can’t stand to listen to either of them, so I don’t watch now. I don’t watch the YouTube videos, either, but I do enjoy reading the snark. And sometimes, the people in the Duggar group have good book recommendations and share interesting news articles… Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I only read Playboy for the articles, too. 😉

Anyway, I’m glad to see that Jill is doing her own thing. She’s cut her hair, gotten a nose piercing, wears pants, and even enrolled her son, Israel, in public school. She and Derick and the boys also wore face masks, which is definitely a socially responsible thing to do. I doubt Boob wears a mask for anyone. And if she really did drink a loaded pina colada, I say more power to her. Maybe more of the Duggars should enjoy adult beverages and kill the bugs up their asses.

Bill and I were talking about Jill and her pina colada this morning. Bill said she could be drinking a virgin pina colada. And maybe she was. But as an ex Mormon, Bill also knows about the importance to many religious people of “avoiding the appearance of evil.” This is why some Mormons don’t want to go to Starbucks, even to just get themselves a pastry. They don’t want other church members seeing them go into a well known coffee shop and assuming they’re drinking a forbidden beverage. Or they don’t want to drink something that looks like it could be alcoholic because they don’t want people to think they drink.

On the other hand, I know not every religious person is like this. A few years ago, I used to follow a blog written by a Mormon woman whose six year old daughter was bitten by a shark. Her husband happens to be an emergency room physician, so the girl was quickly saved. As I was watching these folks being interviewed on television, I could tell they were LDS, mainly due to what the mom was saying and wearing, and the fact that their daughter had asked to pray for the shark that bit her.

Anyway, the mom had a blog on Blogspot, so I casually followed it for awhile. I noticed she had a real flair for decorating and crafts. She once posted a picture of a table she’d set for a brunch she was giving. Of course, there was no booze served, but she did have fancy glassware that would customarily be used for, say, a martini. There’s no law that says you can’t drink a virgin beverage out of a nice glass… although I never do. 😉

Maybe Jill has decided to cut loose a bit. Good for her. It’s her life, and what’s she’s doing is not only normal, but natural. I don’t necessarily agree with Derick Dillard’s transphobic remarks on social media, but he does seem to love his wife and he encourages her to be herself and enjoy her life. So good for both of them… and I hope she makes choices that are on her terms, rather than her bully of a father’s. I also hope her brothers and sisters wise up and claim their right to live the way they want. We should all be so free.

On another note– that Mexican food looks fabulous! I miss good Mexican food, and I am PMSing big time.

Edited to add: Sure enough, it was a REAL pina colada!. Go Jill!

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Duggars, Reality TV

Appearances can be deceiving…

I hope you’ll indulge me one more Duggar related posting. It comes on the heels of yesterday’s post about young Spurgeon Seewald, whom many people in the Duggar Family News Facebook group think is “doomed” to live his whole life as a fundie Christian doormat for his grandfather, Jim Bob Duggar, not so affectionately known as “Boob” in some circles.

Today’s post is going in the opposite generational direction. I want to discuss Boob’s late father, Jimmy Lee (JL) Duggar. I’m going to refer to him as JL in this post, because that’s what Grandma Duggar called him.

As I was talking to Bill about four year old Spurgeon Seewald, and the people who think his future is “doomed” to fundie drudgery, I wondered out loud how this whole dynamic came to be in the first place. Jim Bob Duggar, after all, was raised in a God fearing Baptist church, but his mom only had two kids– Boob, and his sister, Deanna. Deanna had only one child, Amy, who is not at all like her fundie Christian cousins. And Boob and Deanna went to school; they weren’t homeschooled.

Jim Bob had a somewhat “normal” upbringing. What happened in Boob’s life to turn him into the narcissistic cretin he is today?

Suddenly, I remembered Boob’s father, JL, who died of brain cancer in February 2009. JL was featured on the original Duggar show just before he passed away. My memories are a little bit fuzzy, but a Reddit post explains that he was on the show for his birthday, which was February 3, 2009. He passed away on February 9, 2009. In other words– six days before this man’s death of brain cancer, he was trotted out for the cameras and a “birthday” celebration. He appears in the episode “Duggars on Ice” lying in bed, obviously very close to death, as well as another called “The Big Thaw”, in which the Duggars celebrate his birthday six days before he died. Two episodes later, his death was covered in an episode called “Duggars Say Goodbye”.

This is the clip in which the banana cake was served… It was filmed six days before Grandpa passed away.

I remember seeing that episode and thinking it was in incredibly poor taste. And I write this knowing that I’m not exactly known for being tasteful and classy myself. The Reddit author agrees that the way JL Duggar was treated before his death was pretty shitty. Here’s a screen shot of the post.

Here was JL Duggar, obviously very sick and frail. His son, Boob, apparently didn’t think very much of his father, who only had two kids instead of 19. JL was known as “fun loving”, and perhaps wasn’t a particularly strong church leader or patriarch. I wonder if someone in the church Boob went to made comments about JL that caused shame to Boob. Perhaps someone Boob admired disparaged his father to the point at which Boob was just fine in showing him off for the cameras, just days before his death. It kind of felt a bit like a “fuck you”, even though it was not really scripted that way. It was like, “Look, even though you weren’t a ‘godly’ father and I’m kind of ashamed of you, I’m going to show everyone– and I mean EVERYONE– how amazing a son I am by filming your exit from Earth for my reality show.”

Edited to add– I actually have the episode about JL’s death in my iTunes library. Gonna watch it now to refresh my memory.

I see Boob is picking out a casket for his father, saying that JL didn’t want anything “expensive” and would be fine in a pine box. Indeed… these were the years when the Duggars were constantly preaching about being thrifty. Buy used and save the difference… and there’s a scene involving food brought by neighbors, and a close up scene showing one of the youngest Duggar daughters picking her nose.

Charming screenshot of some kid! In another clip, a woman says, “I’d better not see this on TV.” So much for that!

I remember on one episode, which aired just before JL’s death, Jana made him some kind of banana dessert. JL was rolled out in an office chair, rather than a proper wheelchair. I highly doubt JL could enjoy the sweet confection made by his granddaughter, but it looked “good” on camera. I can’t find that clip anymore, and now I wonder if iTunes scrubs scenes, because I distinctly remember other clips that were controversial and somehow “disappeared” (ETA: I later found the clip, which is posted above, on Daily Motion). I also notice that at least one episode on iTunes is two minutes shorter than others from that season. Here are a few more comments from Reddit about JL’s last days…

As I was remembering this scene, I remembered my own father’s last days. I didn’t enjoy a harmonious relationship with my dad. I did, and still do, love him very much, but we had a lot of conflict in our relationship. I remember seeing him for the last time, and how heartbreaking it was. He was in a hospital bed, hooked up to machines. I remember hoping that his passing would be quick and dignified, and blessedly, it was.

A few days prior to my last visit with my dad, one of my sisters chose to send me a photograph of my father on his death bed. He was covered in an enormous CPAP mask and hooked up to machines and tubes. I remember being outraged that she sent the picture of him like that. I feel very sure that our mother would not have approved of it, and it was just a very manipulative, underhanded, disrespectful thing to do. Not only was it disrespectful to me, since I certainly didn’t need to see our dad on his death bed to know that it was time to come to Virginia and say goodbye, but it was also very disrespectful to HIM. I feel sure he would not have wanted anyone to take a picture of him in that shape and then send it in an email, where it could wind up in anyone’s possession. But my sister evidently felt that I “needed” a visual to drive home how serious the situation was. It really pissed me off (ETA: but mentioning this now doesn’t mean I’m STILL pissed off).

When that happened, I was very tempted to tell off my sister. But then I realized that if I told her off, it would make an already stressful situation much worse than it needed to be. So instead of telling her how I really felt at the time, I sent her a response that said something along the lines of, “Thank you for the update.” Then I wrote a scathing blog post, which I later deleted, because again– I didn’t want to create trouble, even though I felt justifiably pissed at the obvious emotional blackmail and completely unnecessary manipulative tactics she was, once again, employing. It was, yet again, another instance of someone being inconsiderate and disrespectful to me, while expecting me to accept that treatment without complaint. There must be something in my personality that makes people think this is alright to do. Then, when I stand up for myself, they treat me as if I’m the asshole.

And yet… as tacky, disrespectful, and distasteful as my sister’s choice to send me that picture of our dad on his death bed was, it was not nearly as awful as the undignified way JL Duggar was treated as his own death approached. I only hope he was even less conscious than he appeared to be in those last scenes of his life. Despite all the comments about how “wonderful” Grandpa was, in the end, it was all about the ratings and the money. And now, it seems like it’s all about maintaining control… as the Duggar children have all inevitably gotten much older and are wanting to live their own lives. We’re seeing that much of what was said in the early years of the Duggars on television was a lot of scripted lines. But then, that’s how it is in most families in which there is a narcissist at the helm. Everyone is trained to say and do the right things, or there will be hell to pay.

I know there are people out there– people within my family, former friends, former landlords, former employers and roommates and others– who don’t think highly of me. Many of them don’t like that I speak my mind– or “write my mind”, as it were. They would prefer that I didn’t remember, speak, or write about these things, because they are unpleasant and cast them in a bad light. I don’t go looking for information about what people think of me. I mostly assume that what people think of me is not my business, and looking for that information will only cause me pain. Moreover, I know that there are a lot of really great people in my life who can accept and love me for who I am and don’t expect a well-scripted “show”.

I guess the whole Duggar funeral dog and pony show kind of affected me on that level because it really felt so much like a big fake “show”. And while there’s no way I can know what kind of relationship JL and Jim Bob Duggar really had, what was presented on television did not feel very authentic. It reminded me of some of my own relationships, and how I’ve always been pressured to be someone I’m not for the sake of keeping up appearances.

It’s interesting how a discussion about four year old Spurgeon Seewald could lead me to think about JimBob Duggar’s late father, and then my own father. I still have a lot of baggage to unpack, I guess. It’s a wonder I have any friends, let alone an understanding husband. 🙂

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Duggars, Ex, narcissists

“He’s just a little boy… let’s not condemn him to a life of fundie drudgery yet!”

Yesterday, I was hanging out in the Duggar Family News Facebook group when someone shared a cute picture of two of the Duggar grandchildren. I believe it was a picture of Josh’s second daughter, Meredith, and Jessa’s eldest child, Spurgeon. I think both kids are very cute, but Spurgeon appears to be especially adorable, despite his unfortunate name, which alternately reminds me of sturgeon or spooge. A lot of the people in the Duggar group called him “Spud” for short.

Anyway, I posted that I think Spurgeon is super cute and will be a “heartbreaker” when he gets older. Innocent enough comment, right? It’s the kind of thing people often say about attractive children. I didn’t realize what I wrote was controversial, but apparently, it was.

Here’s the conversation that ensued:

I was a bit non-plussed that my original comment, that I think Spurgeon is a “cutie” and will be a heartbreaker, turned into a prediction of the boy’s future. Spurgeon is only four years old; he turns five in November. And yet people in the Duggar group are already condemning him to a lifetime of being his grandfather’s “slave”.

“Here’s you some candy…” (actually, I have seen the candy challenge done by a lot of Mormons, too.)

Frankly, I find that thought very depressing. People in the Duggar group follow the pregnancies of the Duggar children with intense devotion and seem to cheer whenever a new pregnancy is announced. However, it seems that a fair number of them believe that the offspring of the Duggar “kidults” are doomed somehow. What a sad and limiting thought that is. Basically, a large group of people strongly believe that these kids have no minds of their own and no ability to make their own choices.

And yet, here’s Jill Dillard, wife of Derick Dillard and once considered the biggest Kool-Aid drinker of the bunch. She’s sending her son, Israel, to public school. She has a nose piercing, wears pants, and has even been photographed wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, and swimwear. Yes, it’s true that she and Derick are no longer welcome to come to the Duggar compound uninvited, but they are clearly making their own choices.

Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo, likewise, were able to escape Arkansas and live on their own out in California. They’ve been married a few years now, yet Jinger is only on her second pregnancy. She wears pants, has cut her hair, and colors it. It’s obvious that Boob no longer completely runs her life.

And finally, there’s Joy Anna Forsyth, who married her husband Austin a few years ago. Austin makes his own money flipping houses. It looks like they’ve largely removed themselves from the hopelessly dull Counting On series and are putting up their own videos on YouTube, for which they probably get paid directly.

I think these two might be living their own lives now.

But even if I’m wrong about Jill, Jinger, and Joy Anna, and their lifestyles are still completely under Boob’s control, I still think it’s within the realm of possibility that Spurgeon or any of the other Duggar grandchildren will bust out on their own and make their own choices. It’s happened in many families that are mini-cults.

Look at the people who have managed to escape Warren Jeffs, and other FLDS sects. I know I read a lot of books by women who were once sister wives– Irene Spencer’s excellent book, Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife, comes to mind. She was the second wife to Verlan LeBaron. Her sister wife, Susan Ray Schmidt, wife number six to Verlan, also wrote a book called His Favorite Wife: Trapped in Polygamy. I’m sure many people thought that Irene and Susan were trapped for life in the Colonia LeBaron FLDS polygamist nightmare, but they weren’t. They escaped and made new lives for themselves. There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of the Duggar grandchildren or children can’t also escape. In fact, if I were a betting woman, I would bet there will someday be a scandalous tell all about life as a Duggar. I bet there’s already a book in the works as I type this.

If there’s one thing I have learned from Bill’s experience with his hyper-controlling, narcissistic ex wife, it’s that people who are caught in these kinds of controlling groups DO sometimes wake up and take control over their own lives, even if the source of control is a close relative. My husband’s daughter did not speak to him for many years, mostly because her mother told her not to and she’d been fed a lot of lies. A lot of people thought it was hopeless that Bill would ever speak to his daughter again, let alone know his grandchildren.

I always somehow knew younger daughter would eventually come around. I figured she would do it before her older sister would, simply because she had a stronger personality. But I knew it would happen someday that she and Bill would speak again. I’m grateful that my initial predictions weren’t completely what came to pass. I figured she’d get in touch to spite her mother, because I was under the mistaken impression that she was just like her mom. I thought that she would try to use Bill, like her brother did. It turns out that, as far as we can tell, she’s much more like Bill, which is a wonderful blessing.

I still have hope that older daughter will also come around someday… but if there’s one thing Bill and I have BOTH learned, it’s that being “disowned” is not the end of the world. Yes, it’s extremely hurtful to be cast out, but the pain is definitely survivable. Some people truly would rather go through the pain of being disowned than surrender their free will to someone else. Many people are determined to make their own decisions in life, and choose to break out of extremely controlling family systems and do what they want. There is absolutely NO reason to believe that one of the Duggar grandchildren won’t do that.

Boob can’t control them all forever, and who’s to say that someone even more narcissistic or toxic won’t come along push him out of power? There are simply too many of them. Even Fred Phelps, creator of the damnable Westboro Baptist Church, was eventually ousted from his own family created church fiefdom. It takes a lot of energy and strength to control people, and the older and weaker a controlling person gets, they more likely it is that they’ll eventually be pushed aside by someone younger and stronger. Everyone– even Jim Bob Duggar– has a match. Moreover, most of us have never met the Duggars and only know about them what we’ve seen on TV and read in the media.

I truly hope that any of the Duggar children or grandchildren who want to live life on their own terms will eventually be able to do so. I refuse to sell any of them short. I disapprove of making predictions about how a child will turn out, particularly when the child is as young as Spurgeon Seewald is. He’s only FOUR. A whole lot can happen in fourteen years, when Spurgeon will be considered an adult. Let’s give him a chance to grow up a bit before we make predictions about his future.

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condescending twatbags, Duggars, language

I gotta go wash my hair…

Last night, just before I went to sleep, I was reading a thread on Duggar Family News about Jessa Seewald. She had posted a video of herself on Instagram, giving her sons haircuts. If you know anything about the Duggar family, you probably know that the Duggar daughters had to cut their brothers’ hair for many years.

This “shit” should be taken down?

Jessa knows how to cut hair, even if she never got professionally trained. But one person, a self-identified hairdresser, says that Jessa should not be allowed to post videos of herself cutting hair. She thinks that should be illegal! This is what she wrote:

As a hairstylist, this infringes on the education and hours I worked towards being licensed. 

She needs to take this shit down. 

No one wants to watch her give a shitty haircut from someone who never took a class and isn’t licensed. 

It should be illegal for her to make money doing that.

Um… wow. I mean, I kind of get what she means. If you went to school to learn how to cut hair and spent time and money on training and a license, you’d rather people not know how to cut hair. BUT– haircutting is not rocket science. I have cut my own hair for many years. Sometimes it looks shitty, but that could also happen if I had a professional cut it. Especially if she’s a disrespectful little twit who curses at people and doesn’t realize that especially right now, some people are having to take on certain personal tasks on their own.

I do have some empathy for people who cut hair for a living. Thanks to COVID-19, their businesses have taken a huge hit. Bill just got a haircut done by a pro last week. Prior to that, I was the one cutting his hair. I never learned how to do it through a training program. Actually, I learned how to cut hair by clipping my horse back in the 1980s and, yes, I used a YouTube video to get an idea of how to do it on a human being. I even wrote a blog post about it his first homemade haircut. It doesn’t take much skill to cut Bill’s hair. I don’t mind doing it. However, I think we’d both prefer for him to have a pro do it. Maybe even the lady who posted the above comment… although she revealed herself to be quite the saucy little snot in that thread.

I mostly kept quiet as other posters took her to task, mostly telling her to calm down and chill out. But then she posted these comments, revealing that she’s probably not the nicest person:

When I saw her comment about c-sections, I had to respond…

You have got to be kidding me. You are comparing a haircut to a C-section? I get what you’re saying, but these aren’t normal times, and the Duggar women have been cutting hair since the early days! In normal times, no one died from a haircut. But they might during the COVID crisis. 

I watched a YouTube video before cutting my husband’s hair, just to have an idea of what to do. But guess what! I managed four whole months of cutting his hair without embarrassing or killing him (due to virus exposure). I don’t see how a haircut is even remotely comparable to a C-section. That is NONSENSE.

So she turned the sauce on me… this was our exchange.

I bet she doesn’t even know what “I gotta go wash my hair” really means.

Ever heard that expression? You probably have to be of a certain age. The first time I heard it was in the film, Tootsie, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange, among others. Jessica Lange’s character, Julie Nichols, invites “Tootsie” (Dorothy Michaels) out, and Dorothy says,

But I learned last night, that the expression “I have to wash my hair” has been around for decades. It was a popular excuse for getting out of social engagements back in the mid 20th century. In those days setting and styling hair was a time consuming process because a lot of women had perms. They would only wash their hair a couple of times a week because it meant having to set it and style it properly. They didn’t just wash and go like I do almost every day. So, back in the 50s, if a woman said she had to wash her hair, it meant she’d need a couple of hours. But nowadays, it’s just a way of blowing someone off. If someone tells you they need to go wash their hair, they’re basically telling you that attending to personal hygiene is more important than spending time with you. So you’d probably do well to heed that social cue and leave them alone.

I wasn’t interested in staying up late, trading barbs with some woman who doesn’t think amateurs should be allowed to post videos of themselves cutting hair. She seemed like an immature little bitch to me, and I needed my beauty rest. In any case, I don’t think it’s very smart for someone who provides services like hairstyling to be posting as she did. On the rare occasions that I do want to visit a professional hairstylist, I prefer to go to one who’s nice. She doesn’t seem like a very nice person. I didn’t even post the rest of her comments to others. Anyone who posted to her got a snippy, profane, bitchy response. And if I want bitchiness, I can get that for free almost ANYWHERE else. I don’t need to pay someone for it.

Given her expertise, I’m sure saucy hairstyler would fault me for washing my own hair instead of paying someone like her to do it. After all, she has special training and a license…

Perish the thought of someone doing something while unlicensed!
Party’s over! Sorry, this is unrelated to my post. I just think it’s funny. God, I miss the 80s.

Most people visit a professional to get their hair done. But right now, as many folks are out of work and/or worried about being exposed to the coronavirus, people are learning how to cut each other’s hair. I would imagine that is an especially valuable skill to moms right now, because some places are requiring that kids wear face masks and not all kids can tolerate them. Some places don’t want the parent to go into the salon with the child, which can also lead to disaster. So while I’m not necessarily a Jessa fan, I think she’s probably done a great service to some people who are trying to navigate life during the pandemic.

I also like the way Jessa responded to some rude person who asked her if she was pregnant. This has happened to me before (by a French waiter, no less), and it’s never a welcome topic.

Wow. Some people are shameless!

Here’s a tip. It’s NEVER alright to ask a woman if she’s pregnant. If she wants you to know, she will tell you. You don’t need to speculate. Women have “bumps” for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s caused by pregnancy. Sometimes it’s caused by medical issues that are none of your business. And sometimes, it’s caused by eating too much. If she’s pregnant and she wants you to know, let her go ahead and announce it when she’s ready. Otherwise, zip it. There’s a good chance you’ll embarrass her and yourself. And if you’re in the service industry, like the disrespectful twatbag that inspired this post is, it’s doubly important to STFU. If you rely on tips, you don’t want to upset your customer. Here’s a visual aid to help you remember when it’s okay to ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

Seriously.

Well, that about does it for today… at least for the time being. Enjoy your Monday.

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Duggars, narcissists, politicians, Trump

What the Trumps and the Duggars seem to have in common…

I’ve been reading Mary Trump’s new tell all book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, all about growing up Donald Trump’s niece. I’m probably about halfway through it at this point. I also fell down a couple of YouTube rabbit holes yesterday. I found this lady’s Duggar centered channel…

Okay… it’s not actually Duggar centered. But she does have a lot of Duggar content.

Without a Crystal Ball is run by a dark-eyed, light-haired woman named Katie Joy. She has videos about a lot of shows, but I found her because she does a lot of Duggar videos. Somehow, YouTube knows I’m a sucker for Duggar videos.

As I was reading more of Mary Trump’s book this morning, it dawned on me. JimBob Duggar is probably a narcissist. So was Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father. So is Donald Trump. You can see by the way these men handle(d) their business that they are extraordinarily controlling, and they think they know more than they actually do. They don’t take counsel from other people, and those who are in their sphere know better than to cross them.

About an hour ago, over breakfast, I read a passage in Mary Trump’s book about how she had wanted to go to boarding school. Mary’s parents, Linda and Freddy Trump, had divorced, but even before their divorce, they were pretty much governed by Fred Trump, right down to Freddy’s being pretty much ostracized and disowned for deciding to be an airline pilot instead of going into the family’s real estate business.

The decision to allow Mary Trump to go to boarding school was to be decided by Fred Trump Sr., not Freddy Trump and his ex wife, who were Mary’s parents. Freddy served as a living warning to Fred and Mary Trump’s other children, not to cross Daddy. Freddy managed to get his father to consent to allowing Mary to go to boarding school (which was paid for with Freddy’s trust fund). The day before she was to go off to school, Mary went to her grandparents’ house to say goodbye to her dad. He was staying with his parents because, since the failure of his career as a pilot and disastrous stint in the real estate biz, Freddy had become an alcoholic. The alcoholism was so bad that it had destroyed his health. He got very sick and, with nowhere else to go, was forced to live in his old childhood bedroom.

When Mary reached the familiar back door to her grandparents’ house, she was greeted by her grandmother, who said her father wasn’t there. She was acting awkward and weird. Mary noticed, but didn’t press. Grandma Trump said she’d have him call her. Freddy never did call. Two weeks later, Mary was told she needed to call home. Her grandfather basically told her nothing was wrong and that she should call in the morning. Not believing her grandfather, Mary called her mom, who told her the sad news that Freddy had died of a heart attack at age 42.

When it came time to bury Freddy, Mary tried to let her elders know of her father’s final wishes. He had not wanted to be buried, and was very adamant about that. She had also wanted to see her dad before he was cremated. Not only was Mary denied the right to see her dad one last time, but after he was cremated, Fred Trump buried the ashes, despite Freddy’s wishes not to be buried. And when it came time to distribute his personal effects, Mary got nothing. Her brother, Fritz, got Freddy’s Timex watch.

So what does this story by Mary Trump have to do with the Duggars? Well… I have heard and read from many sources that Duggar kids go against their father’s wishes at great risk. Derick Dillard has gone against JimBob quite publicly and he and Jill quit Counting On, and Jeremy Vuolo has whisked Jinger away to Los Angeles. Sources reveal that both couples are a bit on the outs with Boob. Jill and Derick, for instance, are not allowed to go to the Tinker Toy Mansion without JimBob’s permission or presence. Jill had once been Daddy’s “favorite”. Now, she’s an outcast, but it looks like she’s embracing a more mainstream lifestyle. Same thing with Jinger. However, it appears that freedom comes with great cost.

I think Derick Dillard may contribute to Boob’s inevitable downfall.

If you’ve been reading my blogs over the years, you know that my husband was kept from seeing his daughters for many years, due to their narcissistic mother’s insistence that they disown him. In March of this year, Bill finally saw his younger daughter. It had been fifteen years, and younger daughter, now 26 years old, is finally able to make her own decisions. She seems to have come to terms with the idea that if she wants to live her own life, she may have to do so without contact with her siblings who are still on their mother’s side.

This is a common tactic narcissists use to stay in control of their relatives and others who are close to them. They handle the money, the major decisions, and set things up so that if you go against their wishes, disaster will strike. Or, even if disaster doesn’t have to strike, they train their relatives so that it seems like there will be a disaster that will befall anyone who leaves the fold. It’s not unlike being in a cult. That perception of impending doom can be very powerful. It takes a lot of courage and will to leave a narcissistic family system. It basically means you have to strike out on your own. And if you come from a really powerful family and have limited access to money or transportation, that can be an extremely daunting task.

In Freddy Trump’s case, being Fred Trump’s son meant that he couldn’t get loans, because his father was buddies with all of the powers that be at the local banks. That meant that instead of buying himself a nice house in Long Island, he was forced to live in a shitty, slummy apartment building owned by his father, that his father refused to fix. It meant that instead of doing the work he wanted to do, Freddy Trump was forced to work for his father, doing work that didn’t interest him. The hopelessness of it, along with those Scottish genetics from his mother, probably contributed to his severe alcoholism and eventual early death.

Jim Bob Duggar is probably not as powerful as Fred or Donald Trump, but he does have a lot of power. He owns many properties in Arkansas, has plenty of lawyers and money to pay them, and has trained an army of children, over half of whom are now young, healthy, strong adults. He also has their spouses, many of whom were kind of brokered into the Duggar family by their parents. It takes a certain type of person to marry a Duggar child… someone who will toe the line.

However, it’s plain that Boob failed to notice that Derick and Jeremy, and probably Austin Forsyth (Joy Anna’s husband), aren’t going to take his shit forever. But JimBob clearly sees as people in his family as slaves. He tries to “own” them. I can see that getting out of his clutches isn’t an easy endeavor, especially as the adult children have children of their own. Those children and their total dependence on their parents make it much harder for the Duggar adults to escape Boob’s narcissistic clutches and strike out on their own. There are a few exceptions, though. I think John David pretty much tells his dad to buzz off when he feels like it.

I’m mostly enjoying Mary Trump’s book… some of it is very sad, though. I get the sense that the malevolent streak in the Trump family doesn’t even so much come from Friedrich Trump, who ironically died in the last major world pandemic, back in 1918. He got Spanish Flu. It seems to me that the real culprit of the Trump nastiness came from Fred Trump’s mother, Elizabeth Christ Trump. She was the one who really got the business going, and, according to Mary Trump, she treated Fred’s Scottish wife, Mary, like dirt.

I’m sure it was tough for Mary Trump to decide to write this book. She basically reveals her family’s dysfunction for all that it is. Her Uncle Donald is, for now, one of the most powerful men on the planet, and he is royally fucking things up. It’s probably very embarrassing for her. She seems like a good and decent person with empathy and, in fact, it appears that most of the Trumps aren’t terrible people… just a few of them who have that malevolent, narcissistic streak that compels them to enslave and exploit people. I’m sure that Mary Trump might even fear for her safety after having written her book. I think she was brave to do it.

Likewise, I hope Derick Dillard or Jill, or someone else in the Duggar family spills the tea about JimBob. But then, I have seen his type enough times to recognize the behavior. I know he’s a narcissist and that his family members are mostly neatly under his thumb. I even remember someone on their reality show– can’t remember which one– saying that you don’t say no to JimBob. If you do, you might live to regret it. He’s a bully.

As for Without A Crystal Ball… I don’t know if I’ll keep watching her videos. I just happened to stumble across them a couple of days ago and they fit with today’s post. Hopefully, I’ll be able to review Mary Trump’s book soon.

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