Three years ago yesterday, I left my parents’ house.
They’d delivered an ultimatum: transfer from UCCS to Bob Jones University or move out.
I chose freedom.
Last year, a boyfriend told me, “That’s one thing I love about you. You’re incredibly American, in the most fundamental way. You’d rather be free than comfortable.”
Which is ironic, because when I first told my friend Kat how my parents were restricting me with a 7:30 p.m. curfew at 22 years old, she said I should write a formal declaration of independence from my parents and leave it the day I moved out.
When I left on the afternoon of August 1, 2012, I left behind my family, my dogs, and my antique violin.
And I already knew I wanted to find a new church.
My pastor had said I was disobeying God’s will for my life by moving out as an unmarried young woman. He said it was wrong for me to leave because I was still under my parents’ authority if I wasn’t currently experiencing physical or sexual abuse.
And he said that God had clearly provided another option for me, a way to both obey my parents and gain independence. Even though Bob Jones University wasn’t accredited. And an insane number of rules.
(Side note: He was a Bob Jones University alum and all of his kids now attend there.)
He said, “If you are going to be obstinate and let Satan confuse you from following God’s will for your life, then I have nothing more to say to you.”
And he walked out.
I’d been going there since my family moved to Colorado Springs in 2006. No pastor had ever condemned me in the four other churches we’d been part of before.
And I’ve written about how I’m still figuring that out, feeling like a spiritual hobo.
So I made a vlog to mark how much has changed, how much I’ve changed. Some of you guys may not know I also have a YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/EleanorSkelton), with videos of social experiments and other random projects.
Here’s all the links to my series on #WhyILeft fundamentalism, the story of why I moved out.