I know that my speaking out about the FLDS doesn’t make me popular with a lot of people. That’s okay. We all make choices and we all have to take responsibility for those choices. This I am willing to do.

The biggest choice I made was when I decided that no one would take my children from me. I refused to give them up. But I knew I had done my best, and that no one could love and care for my children like I did. After many miscarriages and several experiences where I nearly lost my life, I was fiercely protective of my children and I never took them for granted.

After I stepped away from the church, I had an intense period of time where I faced everything I had believed and had to make decisions. But at least this time those decisions were my own, and I didn’t make them lightly. As the realization dawned upon me that my lifelong beliefs were misguided, the feelings of intense betrayal were hard to face. The very foundation that I had built my life on crumbled around me and I felt lost.

It’s painful to realize that you have believed a lie. It’s even more painful to know that you were instrumental in indoctrinating your own children in that lie. I wanted to be very careful in setting things right. But I needed to know what “right” was. So I began to dig and sort, piece by piece I sifted through my former life and started building a new foundation. One that I made, not because someone told me what to put in, but because I chose those pieces.

In time, contrary to all the threats and warnings, I found true happiness and joy. I began to unravel my experiences and make sense of what had happened in my life and why.

This new world was amazing, and full of hope. I wanted nothing more than to share this new found hope with my loved ones. But I am shunned by them. The next best thing I can do is speak up. I can see where there are abuses, exploitation and harm done. I will continue to push for justice and the freedom to make real choices – educated, informed choices.

Everyone should have the opportunity and freedom to experience this happiness! I hope in some way to help bring it into the lives of those I love.

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