The Every Time Anxiety

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.

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9 Responses to The Every Time Anxiety

  1. Tracy says:

    I have been a fan of Sister Wives show on TLC since their pilot show. I have to say that after watching their show tonight, and seeing your family, I am truly inspired. I hope to see your family have their on reality show soon.

    God Bless

  2. Katie says:

    I LOVE the Dargers! All of you do a excellent job showing the world how polygamy can be done beautifully! I hope to see more of you!!

  3. Lynn says:

    I’m fascinated with your life. I wasn’t raised in a polygamy home and I’ve never even known anyone who lives the lifestyle. But I feel drawn. It’s strange because it doesn’t seem strange to me or even different. It feels normal. Loving. Something inside me is reaching for it. I don’t know where I’ll end up or if I’ll have the courage to do what I feel is right for me. But please know that you’re an inspiration to me and that I’m learning so much from you. Your love and respect for each other touches me deeply.

  4. Jennifer Isherwood says:

    Alina –
    It must be hard to put not only yourself but your family out there. Television only shows us viewers so much and really there is alot left to speculation. 2 years ago if someone would’ve asked me what I knew about polygamists I would have referred to the FLDS since that was all I knew before watching Sisterwives and learning about your family. I live in Maryland, I seriously doubt we have many polygamists in our area. I also have a good friend who is LDS so I assumed that if there were any polygamists left in the US they were all part of a cult. PLEASE know that you have opened eyes and minds of people and that is a good thing. I hope and pray that polygamy can be decriminalized. I am a big supporter of you all!!!

    Jen

  5. Chris Nystrom says:

    I am a traditional Christian monogamist, but I believe in freedom and the right in this country to the pursuit of happiness, including the right to live polygamously. I am a huge fan of your family and I appreciate the brave thing you are doing. Polygamy needs to be decriminalized today and I believe that the work you are doing is important and effective even if it is going to take time. Thank you.

  6. T in TN says:

    Joe,
    May I ask a question? I am a Sister Wives viewer and I noticed you didn’t wear a wedding ring while at the beach. When I found your blog today, I saw the formal picture above where you are not wearing a ring there. Do you mind answering if you wear a wedding ring or not? I have enjoyed watching the Browns over the last few years and learning more about polygamy, being a former member of the LDS church.

  7. Johnnomads says:

    I can relate to your anxiety, during my working years, extended family, social friendships, church, etc. we always wondered if anyone would find out, and what would happen.
    Since then we’ve lost friends, been ignored by family, ostrasized by social and church, but it’s been worth it. We’ve gained new friends, and best of all we’ve been true to our beliefs and ourselves.

  8. Kaylee says:

    Having something like that happen, especially when you have been through it before, is always a scary notion. I have to commend you, Alina, and the rest of the family for being so brave in opening up on television and through interviews. It took, and continues to take, an incredible amount of courage to be public with all of the ignorance and hatred in the world today. It is sad that there are people like the kids in the car that day so many years ago. Unfortunately, there are always going to be people who will commit those horrible acts, whether due to religion, race, sexuality, marriage choices, and the list goes on. My hope and prayer is that eventually more people will be not only tolerant, but eventually accepting and respectful to others who choose different life-styles than themselves. I am so thankful that your family, and the Browns, chose to go public. As I said in another message, you all have opened my eyes to the world of plural marriage so that I could see the teamwork dynamic and the utter abundance of LOVE in your relationships. I commend you for your bravery, keep it up and hopefully you will prove the ignorant and cruel people like those kids long ago very wrong and open their eyes, as you did mine.

    With much love, support, and prayers -Kaylee.

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