Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer:
Ma, Pa, Me,
And the Perils of Polygamy
No influence is so powerful
as the that of the mother.
Sarah Josepha Hale
Picking up from:
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer:
Ma ‘n’ Pa
As I’ve bemoaned before,
Mummsy couldn’t live polygamy herself –
at least not during her twenty-two years of marriage to my father.
So I highly resent she maneuvered and manipulated me into a harem –
a life she couldn’t stomach herself.
But what’s new!
She and Pa raised me to believe I would go to hell if I didn’t live polygamy …
because Joseph Smith said so.
But they expected me and the rest of their kids to do things they, themselves, were never able to do. Were they trying to save me from going to hell, though they couldn’t save themselves?
How thoughtful of them! Or were they simply thoughtless tyrants?
Though I was barely sixteen, still tied to Mum’s apron strings,
and too young to know better,
she, along with Pappy’s priestcraft and support,
worked her witchcraft that dumped me into
William Preston Tucker’s family/harem –
an arranged polygamic marriage –
one that would bring glory to her’s and Pappy’s name, of course;
for Bill Tucker was the biggest catch in town.
To manipulate me, Mummsy told me:
“I had a revelation last night that showed me plain as day
that you are supposed to marry William Preston Tucker.”
Many years later, I discovered her so-called “revelation”
was that she (and Daddy) had simply secretly read my private diary
wherein I had stated that Bill was the man I was in love with!
A few years after I was married to Bill/ William Preston Tucker,
I discovered half the town was in love with this alpha male – Men and women!
To be sure, Mormon fundamentalism/polygamy allows for mayhem.
My parents had convinced me they were perfect … and saints.
So it never entered my innocent mind that
while I was away, dutifully doing my teaching job for the LeBaron colony –
an unpaid job they dumped me into, starting when I was only fourteen
– they were secretly reading my journal wherein I spilled my guts daily;
then always took great pains to hide well … So I thought.
I never could have dreamed my parents were reading,
then daily discussing together
my most private and secret entries and thoughts –
things I believed only I knew;
personal things only I was supposed to know!
I poured my heart and soul out in that diary.
You could say I had “diarrhea/dia-ry’-a” of the mouth.
I realize, now, this writing kept me alive and sane while in the sect.
I never dreamed it also enabled my parents –
and later on other manipulators and enemies –
to basically read my mind,
so as to have power over me and my life.
Since I recorded all my private thoughts and feelings,
intruders into my personal journal
(such as my husband and his other wives, later on down the line)
had perfect access to my mental processes –
all my problems, griefs, secret feelings about them and others;
and so on and so forth!
Golly Gee! It was like having my mind, unbeknownst to me,
opened up for Cons, rivals, and criminals to covertly listen in on my private, personal plans
and thoughts, so they could take my power.
A born writer,
I did stream of consciousness writing/catharting/thought farting;
and otherwise wended my way through the LeBaron Mormon mayhem
adolescent me had to deal with on a daily basis
while going through the perils of coming of age
in a foreign land, in a fanatic fundamentalist
mind-boggling belief system.
And wouldn’t you know it!
My Uncle Ervil LeBaron also played his part in manipulating my life
and turning it upside down.
I’ll take up with that in next week’s Blog.
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer
And More Perils of Polygamy