I kinda can’t believe this is happening. But it is.
My book is available for preorder on Amazon! (New review below)
Review from Cami Ostman:
The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid is a brave, unflinching look at what happens when secrets go untold and questions go unasked. Ms. Russell’s no-nonsense voice carries the reader into the dark crevices of TWO nuclear families living in hypocrisy and shame. And when she finally finds her own way into the light, she gets there in the most unconventional way. Uncomfortable Confessions is a must-read for all of us who have ignored what was right under our noses.
–Cami Ostman, Editor of Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religion and author of Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents
I came across this blog post on good ol’ Facebook and it stopped me in my tracks. So many of my own experiences and those I grew up around are piercingly described here, as is the truth their effect on young lives. Please take a few minutes to follow the link below and read.
As a child raised in the extreme isolationism and clamped-down atmosphere of the United Pentecostal Church, I had a deep, insatiable desire for worldly things. The state of females’ appearance was rigidly controlled: dress length to the knees (even for children), no pants or jeans, no sleeveless shirts, uncut hair (not even trimmed), no make-up or jewelry and I lusted for it all. My most prized possession as a little kid was a big fat gold ring with rhinestones that I was allowed to wear only when playing “house” in the basement. Once, some poor soul got saved and turned over her entire collection of costume jewelry to my dad; three boxes full. I was momentarily ecstatic, envisioning hours of fabulous dress-up play. My sisters and I got to keep the empty boxes. I have no idea where the jewelry went; probably into the garbage. Oh, that just made me feel a little bit sick to my stomach.
As I grew towards adolescence, my cravings grew: a plastic Oreo cookie necklace with a bite taken out of it on a leather cord, a Donnie and Marie Osmond lunchbox. I didn’t know who they were, but it sure looked cool. The short flippy haircut of a girl at the mall, a Barry Manilow poster. I had a plan, though. When I was old enough, maybe 18, I intended to backslide temporarily. I was going to have permanent eyeliner put on (it hadn’t been invented yet, I think I fantasized it). I was also going to get my hair cut, all very quickly and then come back to church. I would take a chance that the rapture wouldn’t happen and I could slide back in fast enough. All that straggly hair would be gone, at least for a while and I wouldn’t be able to take the make-up off. Even after my hair grew back out, it would still have that cool, straight edge across the bottom and the Farrah bangs would last for a little while.
This was my nefarious plan to look hot and still go to heaven. I had it all worked out.
I don’t know who created this diagram, but it explained my life to me in one picture.
At this point, my story meanders through the maze of how my experiences shaped my choices and how I corrected course. Because it involves my children and former spouse and current life, I am not going to publish those details in my blog. The story comes full circle in the end, complete with a true love happy ending.
Many of you have encouraged me to put my story into book form, and I will. Having never written a book before, I have no idea how long that will take, but I am anxious to get started. Thank you for your encouragement and support. For those of you who have held your tongue, thanks for that, too.