Ain’t that a Mother: A conversation with Adiba Nelson

Adiba Nelson is the author of “Ain’t that a Mother,” a hilarious and vulnerable memoir about Black motherhood, Cerebral Palsy, and surviving intergenerational trauma. Adiba’s memoir is timely and so important because it discusses important themes such as Plan B in today’s post Roe v. Wade climate, postpartum depression, and the *shit* show of dating. The memoir even dips into the beautiful world of burlesque dancing.

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The survivor stories blog interview project 2024

1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation etc)? I grew up in a cult in Texas during the 80s and 90s and was married at 12 as a child bride. I stayed with my husband for eight years, until I was 20 and […]

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Tamara’s story of surviving child marriage at 12.

AHA Foundation: Can you start by telling us about your upbringing? Particularly the religious culture that you were brought up in. Tamara: When I was 5 years old, my life completely changed. My father joined a new religion, which he thought would be a utopian community where all was going to be good. However, that […]

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My boyfriend broke up with me on Christmas.

My boyfriend and I had a perfect Christmas with a Venezuelan meal, a fire pit, and dancing.  But that night, he broke up with me; maybe he was grieving his former life with his ex and kids.  I haven’t dated since and have embraced my independence while celebrating holidays with family.  My boyfriend and I […]

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Holy Food by Christina Ward

Tamara MC, former cult member, interviews Christina Ward about Holy Food: How Cults, Commune, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat, An American History I grew up in a Sufi cult in Texas during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Our diets were completely restricted. For years we were strict macrobiotics. We were vegetarians, vegans, you […]

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I Was Raised in a Cult. Like the Duggar Family, We Had Dark Secrets

Many are stunned after watching Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, a docuseries about the famously growing Duggar family, on Amazon Prime. How could this have happened? The Duggars looked like such good people! But for those of us who grew up in similarly repressive environments, none of this was shocking. We lived it every day. What we viewed […]

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‘Uncultured’: The Intergenerational Trauma of Girls Growing up in Cults

Daniella Mestyanek Young’s powerfully immersive and exceptionally honest debut memoir Uncultured opens with a scene of Young standing in line to get spanked by Uncle Zephaniah. This man is not her blood uncle, but what the kids in the Children of God cult call the men in the community. The women are called “Aunties.” Young […]

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I was in a cult. Britney was in a conservatorship.

Secretly behind closed doors, we’d both been held hostage, our personhood and civil liberties stolen Nov. 12 marked the historic day when after 13 years, Britney Spears finally freed herself from her father’s stranglehold, proclaiming, “I ain’t a slave 4 u!” The termination process of Britney’s conservatorship went into full effect after a court hearing, […]

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I grew up in a cult and was married at 12 — in Texas

My mother was a liberal feminist; my father was a religious zealot who left the family to live by the cult leader. Two months before I married, I had my first period. I still wore a training bra. I was 12 and had never kissed a boy, never fathomed marriage. “Repeat after me: I, Habiba, […]

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On Guinevere Turner’s “When the World Didn’t End”

ON JANUARY 5, 1975, when Guinevere Turner was seven, the world was supposed to end. She grabbed her favorite toy and donned a fancy dress, but the spaceship to take Turner to Venus never arrived. Turner’s new memoir, When the World Didn’t End, follows her life as she grows up with the Lyman Family, an apocalyptic cult […]

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