Every time we do any media, especially television, it unnerves me. I have struggled back and forth between the need for privacy, safety and security and the genuine belief that we have an amazing opportunity to show people the diversity that exists in polygamy.
When I was young, I had an experience that has stayed with me even to this day, I wrote about it in Love Times Three.
“One summer evening a half dozen of my siblings and I were playing four square on a big cement pad in front of our house. It was dusk and we were going hard at it in the waning light. A carload of teenagers drove by and someone leaned out the yelled “Polygamists!” along with some obscenities. We stood frozen until the car disappeared down the street. No one wanted to pick up the game again, so we went inside the house. Some of the older kids were mad, calling the teens a bunch of jerks. I didn’t say anything, but it bothered me more than I let on. My stomach ached all night, and the next day I was afraid to go to school. I hadn’t been able to see who was in the car as it whizzed by, so I couldn’t rule out my classmates. Most of my siblings shrugged it off, but from that night I played in the backyard, where I felt less exposed.
I am always watching for that metaphorical car to come by and afraid of what I may experience the days or hours following the media appearance. In reality, I know it is silly and we have had so much love and support from people. But some days, like that child so long ago, I just feel like “hiding in the backyard.”
For me, that experience is why it scares me so much to do media and also why I feel driven to share my life with others.