Against all odds, Jill Duggar escaped her abusive upbringing to find genuine happiness and fulfillment as an adult.
But it wasn’t easy for the 32-year-old mother of three to get to this point.
Breaking free from an abusive family situation is hard enough, but Jill had to liberate herself from an entire community of neighbors and fellow parishioners who shared her parents’ bizarre views.
Earlier this month, Jill published a memoir in which she shared new revelations about her difficult childhood and her long fight for a better life.
And she says she couldn’t have done it without the help of a loving husband and a devoted therapist.
“I am so grateful for my husband, Derick, because without him, I feel like it would have been just a much, much harder battle to fight and to work through and process,” Jill told Fox News this week (via Yahoo! News).
She went on to explain that while she is no longer a member of her parents’ cult, she’s still devoted to her faith.
“I knew that I could trust the Bible and I knew that Jesus was my Lord and Savior,” Jill said.
“And from there just it was a matter of really disentangling my faith,” she continued.
“I didn’t just want to, like, throw my faith away. I really wanted to sort things out. And I knew there was truth to some of what I had been taught as a child, but the viewpoint, the perspective, was different.”
Jill recalls that she initially struggled to reconcile her desire for freedom with her devotion to her faith.
She says the commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother” gave her pause for obvious reasons.
“Because I was a big people pleaser, I had to really figure out, ‘What does that mean?’” Jill told Fox News.
“Does that actually mean that you have to obey your father and mother the entire rest of your life, or that you have to seek their blessing on every major life event?”
Jill says there was a time when it was difficult for her to practice her faith, as she had “so many triggers” related to the Bible as a result of her ultra-religious upbringing.
“There were triggers that I didn’t even realize that I had,” she said, explaining that she was especially troubled by the Book of Proverbs, as it had long been her father’s favorite.
“At one point it was also hard for me to call God my father because of my relationship with my own father,” said Jill.
Thankfully, she was able to address some of these issues with the help of a therapist.
“And I was able to use therapy to realize that and recognize that. But there were definitely hard points for me with things like that.”
Jill says she channeled all of these experiences into her book in the hope that by doing so, she might be able to help other survivors.
“I felt called to write this book and just to be a voice for the voiceless, to also give hope to other people who have either found their voice or are on that journey to finding your voice and just be their champion and their advocate.” she said.
Jill seems to have done exactly that, as hundreds of women who were similarly victimized by cult leaders have posted rave reviews about the book.
We’re sure Jill will be dealing with the trauma of her childhood for the rest of her life.
But the beauty of her situation is that she’s managed to turn darkness into light in a way that’s inspired so many others.
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