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Is this common? Went off-grid, have now become a pariah :(  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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This is all just so surreal, I wanted to ask around to see if others have experienced this.

My husband and I have been working towards homesteading our property since '07, and last year we decided to just go for it - built a small 720 sq foot cabin (2 of us plus 3 kids ages 2-7), it was livable after $13k (all the savings we had! But this way, no mortgage) and we moved in last November. While we were building, we lived in a camper owned by my parents parked on their land, which is adjacent to ours (they offered). We use a compost bucket toilet, had to haul in water, wood heat, kerosene lamps, have a small generator to charge the computer and phone (which gives us wifi), and a propane range/oven. We live with exposed insulation and all kinds of inconveniences, but it is safe and we have everything that we truly need. This summer we were able to also add running water to a hose outlet and an actual sink drain, along with a propane refrigerator, and expect to be able to finish the house by the end of next summer.

Here's the rub - I'm in my mid-thirties, and I have three siblings. During this entire time, unbeknownst to me, two of them were regularly discussing our family and how we were taking advantage of my parents by living in their camper, how we were endangering everyone because of our unsafe living situation (??), how we were monopolizing my parents, how CPS was going to come take our kids, ad nauseum. They even went so far as to individually talk to my parents about the situation, who were in turn very upset about the insinuations they were making and told them they were full of it... but they still persisted in this attitude.

Truth be told, I expect this kind of attitude from one of my sibs, but not my other - who is even a survivalist blogger, and has always been interested in alternative energy, etc. It was a real head-scratcher and truth be told, it hurt a lot when I found out they had been basically trash talking us and our lifestyle for months - something that has zero effect on them.

And now, I just recently talked to my third sibling, who has always been the one I expected to be "in my corner" and apparently my kids can no longer be with hers because hers caught a common childhood illness that they think came from my kids (who have never had this particular illness, but in theory all three of them could be carriers) and also apparently the flu once this past winter.

This whole thing just has me thinking WTF. I seriously feel like such a leper with my own family and it doesn't even make sense. I'm 34 and my entire life, we have all been close with good relationships. Granted, with one of my siblings, I'm not surprised, but she's an insatiable gossip and has issues with me anyway so that's a non-issue. My other two, though, I always expected them to have my back, in a sense, so it is really heartbreaking to see them basically turn around and treat me like an outcast because of the way my husband and I have chosen to raise our family.

I know we are doing the right thing for us - my parents are still 110% on our side and scratching their own heads wondering what has happened. I almost wonder, even though it does sound arrogant, but I wonder if they are somehow feeling inadequate because we really went to great lengths to attain this lifestyle and that isn't something any of them can or will do? I don't even know why this is happening. They sit there and point fingers at us and our lifestyle and how we're being unsafe or unhygienic or whatever, yet none of them have even stepped foot in our house and see how we handle things. And then my parents who HAVE regularly come over, tell them that's not the case, but they still act like this.

SO - am I alone in this? Is this a common reaction when people make big lifestyle changes?
 
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I see similar under different circumstances. There is something about having the "audacity" to be different. It sounds like your sibs are reacting in fear to something. Possibly of being poor?
 
steward
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It's probably sour grapes.

They see you with a debt free home, while they are having to kiss a thousand asses in town just so that they can keep up with their mortgages. You are FREE, while they remain slaves to the system...TRAPPED. Of course they're jealous. You get the last laugh. LOL

 
Posts: 86
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I can't make any useful comments on the motivations of others or human relations in general but I do want to congratulate you for your progress toward making the goal a reality. I hope you don't waste too much emotional energy worrying about it. People spend a lifetime creating their delusions and i suspect you shook up their understanding of where they fit in the universe. Good luck and good living to you.
 
gardener
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This kind of thinking is more common than you might expect. People spend their lives being told what is safe and what is dangerous. Society grooms us to favor the trappings of society and the idea that you might avoid those things is a slap in to the face of what they consider common sense. Just as an example; if you don't have running water, people consider you a heathen. Government bodies can even go so far as to prevent you from having a house, etc. It doesn't matter if your water comes from a tested and crystal clear spring just behind the home. We've been raised to believe the chemical laden water that comes out of a tap is somehow the safest possible water around.

You live in a way they consider primitive, so they assume the worst of it and that only a strange madness can make someone defend that way of living. You don't bathe your house in chemicals? Oh, it isn't really clean and sanitary. (This ties in to both of the child services commentary as well as the blames of sickness) Don't tap into the grid? You're putting your family at risk without power. The list goes on. The survivalist brother probably considers it an emergency only concept rather than something to actually choose to live in.

I have had people accuse me of insanity for leaving behind job security to fulfill a lifelong dream (security that ended up seeing everyone I worked with but three people lose their jobs a few years after!). I have had people tell me my children were going to be taken away because my (at the time) 2 year old daughter 'needed to be put on a diet'. That last one was irksome since she barely ate and had been born heavy. Her metabolism didn't start going into high gear until she was 3 and starving her just to meet some BMI BS was not something I was willing to do. I have very nearly lost friends just because someone didn't agree with my disinterest in the tech they thought was 'vital' for civilized life.

It's like people only see the 'save the children' commercials about anyone without running water being starving waifs and forget that our grandparents or great grandparents often had homes without electric, running water, etc. and were perfectly healthy. Modern society has it's priorities wrong and even if people mean well, they are often just parroting what they believe to be true and making judgements based on the assumptions they've been told.

Maybe you can educate them on the truth, maybe not. Focus on what is important to you and accept that people sometimes mean well in the most ugly ways.
 
Posts: 320
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What others think really has little bearing on your choices as long as they aren't having to support you.
I could say more, but I would get in trouble, so just ignore as much as you can and remember why and who you are doing this for - you and your family.
 
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First you will be ignored. Then you will be ridiculed. Then, about ten years down the road, they will recognize that you were the genius all along. If you're lucky.

You're upsetting their normalcy bias. They thought they were doing great, until you made them realize that debt sucks and living in the city doesn't offer certain...amenities.



troy
 
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I agree with much of what's already been said in this thread. But on the other hand, this is your family. You said that you were all close. So, they have all these fears and they don't understand your choices, right? I'd advise that you try to breathe through your anger, however righteous, and bring your family together for a conversation that is gentle and kind. Explain that you feel hurt, but also express that you want them to find a more comfortable understanding of how and why you live you your life the way that you do.

Then show them, and tell them your reasons. Write it all down first, because stuff like this can be fraught, and it helps to be able to stick to the situation at hand. Get your parents involved. Make your siblings (with or without their kids) come to your new place for a tour. Give them the Permaculture 101 class. Tell them how important this is to you, and how living like this makes you feel. To sweeten the deal, help them find their own interests in the permies realm: is one a foodie? Tell them about all the amazing meals you can make from the food growing right on your farm. Into fashion? Talk about dye plants and that fiber farm right up the road.

If they continue in bad feelings towards you after that, then gently tell them you'll see them at whatever annual holidays are pertinent and that your door is always open to them. Try to let it go, and know that all of us who choose to live outside of what modern society deems "normal" understand what you are going through. However, I also happen to think that we are on the right side of history, and that people like your siblings will start seeing the light...oh, any bright day now. Maybe you can help them to that light; know that they have to accept it on their own.
 
gardener
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I was the odd one in my family, living in a van at jobsites for years. There was snickering. Most of them have since seen my property and a house that my ex and children occupy. Of the ten kids, my choice of lifestyle was one of the more unusual. And, my pile of cash and prizes is the biggest. More importantly, I have done a wide array of different things that require knowledge and therefore am very resilient. I think at this point, I'm winning.

It helps that I've had no problem with caring about their opinions.
 
pollinator
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Try not to get angry or upset, simply go on steadily with your lifestyle. You chose for yourself and they chose what they want.
Try to be nice to all of them.
I guess the whole thing has nothing to do with your lifestyle but more with old sibling rivalry getting up, maybe you were always the preferred one or such
a thing. If you handle this properly they'll get over it.
 
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I'd be willing to bet that if you cleaned up the look a little and made the bathroom feel a little more traditional (it's always the damn bathroom!) they'd come around. Honestly the place could be made of toilet paper rolls and asbestos and they wouldn't care if you had a nice sheet of gypsum and paint over the top of it.
 
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You took the red pill and they are jealous. And as long as they don't call CPS, it is just words to ignore. If they or someone else calls CPS, then it gets real ugly real fast.
 
Bethany Dutch
pollinator
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Thank you everyone! Sometimes... it is just so nice to be among folks who are likeminded, even if it is just virtually. This whole thing has me so disappointed, and I think if it was just anyone I'd be like "yeah fuck off" and that would be it. However, this is family, and people who have been "in my corner" until recently so it is just mindblowingly hard to grasp for me. Especially since we've been working towards doing this since '07! I spent some time this afternoon discussing this with my parents, and it is interesting to see how it all has affected them. They now feel put in an odd spot, and it is frustrating for them and of course, in creeps the old "Where did we go wrong?" mentality. I think they did a great job raising us, but my dad did get his "red pill blue pill" epiphany a little later in life and so we were all raised in a pretty modern traditional mindset. Even then, my parents always taught us to live and let live, and not to judge people, so it's just so WEIRD.

Reminds me of the scene in the beginning of The Count of Monte Cristo where Fernand is trying to convince Mercedes to sleep with him and she says this: "Remember when we were little kids and Edmond got that whistle for his birthday and you got a pony? Well, you were so mad that Edmond was happier with his whistle than you were with your pony." And that, my friends, is the sad truth of all of this. Because we are so happy in our unsanitary, offgrid hovel of a home, as opposed to the ubiquitus McMansion.

I won't deny that it is hurtful to me, but I will never apologize, and I will never stop seeking life on my own terms.
 
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
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I feel for you - cause family should be supportive of the ones they love and it hurts when it appears they don't.

The important thing here is that if you try and please them you will not be pleasing yourself. You live only once - so you owe it to yourself to be true to YOU...

So chin up. Be happy with your plan and let the others think what they will...but don;t let there unhappiness stifle your own.

Gaz
 
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Crab mentality


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Jump to: navigation, search


Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, is a phrase that describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you." The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.[1][2] The analogy in human behavior is that members of a group will attempt to "pull down" (negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, conspiracy or competitive feelings.[3]

This term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also often used colloquially in reference to individuals or communities attempting to improve their socioeconomic situations, but kept from doing so by others attempting to ride upon their coat-tails or those who simply resent their success.[4]

The popularity of the phrase has made accusing opponents of crab mentality a common form of defense against criticism, whether the criticism is valid or not.[5] Depending on the context, this tactic may fall under the logical fallacy known as argumentum ad invidiam, or appeal to envy.[6]

While the reason for crab mentality is thought to be jealousy, and a paucity of resources leading to perpetual competition, it also appears to be a behavioural trait indulged in despite people knowing it to be disadvantageous to them. [7]
 
Bill Ramsey
Posts: 86
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Mike Sved wrote:Crab mentality.....


Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in a bucket.......



I've never heard that phrase but I've seen it in action, often. For such an "advanced" species, we do some odd and silly things.
 
Posts: 80
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Dear Bethany,

16 years ago I did what you have, went through the same criticism by siblings, and my parents and I had the time of our lives creating this Homestead.

When I left the city with my 3 year old, began clearing bush on 32 acres and building a very small house, my 2 siblings laughed and snickered. Over time family gatherings became redundant, after all I was nothing but a lazy country hick, not worth including in much of anything of real importance, except to cart their junk back up to the homestead. My siblings and their spouses didn't like the fact my parents enjoyed themselves so much up here, being so unsafe and unclean. At every opportunity my sister would give me antibacterial cleansers because, you know, we were dirty, and so on.

Outside the family the comments were; Wow, I had made the leap! How brave, how courageous, they wished they had the gusts to do the same.

Fast forward 16 years:

My sister has a $500,000.00 home, with 2 mortgages, 2 expensive cars, yacht club, sailing holidays to Martha's Vineyard. She has 22 year old twin girls still living at home. They had been raised to be Super Kids with the very best of everything, a live in Nanny, extracurricular classes, gymnastics, music, art, modeling, and so on...by 18 years of age, both girls had drop out of College because they couldn't hack it, and are now working at minimum wage city jobs. My sister reticently retired with a teacher's pension. Her hubby, a hospital administrator, is due to retire in a year or so, but can't afford to because of the 2 mortgages + taxes on their high end center town house. So...their plan is to sell the Big House so he can retire, buy another house on the outskirts of the city, big enough for all 4 of them (because the twins can't afford to live on their own), and STILL HAVE A MORTGAGE!

I on the other hand, have a small but very comfortable house, that took me 14 years to finish because I never wanted a mortgage. My niece recently realized that in the event of some sort of disaster I'm completely self-sufficient,...WOW! My daughter now 19 is moving away to attend College with a scholarship, has made and continues to make her own money, has traveled overseas independently, can manage a budget, pay bills, shop for groceries, cook from scratch, eats healthy, is handy, happy, self confident, efficient, sensible and takes no guff from anyone. She loves to read, is proficient communicator, a valued employee, a wiz at math with a 96% average, and is now off to study Business Accounting. Our only village bank has offered her a summer job during her studies, and a full time opportunity once she's graduated.

I have no fears or apprehensions about my daughter attending College away from home; I taught her ALL that the system doesn't or won't, how to be self-reliant and caring. She grew up on the Homestead, no technological distractions, but learning the caring and sharing of a simple life. She has solid values and a very practical view of life. If all goes well, and it may, she could be one of very few students these days who will finish College with no debt, and enough left over to build herself a tiny house on the homestead, and a job waiting for her.

I had been criticized as a bad and neglectful Mother for having raised my child in the county rather than providing her with all the opportunities the city had to offer...well we see how that turned out; my sister and her family are freaking out, debt ridden, and have no idea where they are going to be living in a year. I have no mortgage, produce my own milk, cheese, ice cream, eggs, veggies, meat. My bills are very low and I'm content and satisfied that I made all the right decisions to ensure my daughter had a fighting chance in a rapidly changing world. I went against all contemporary convention, and armed her to the teeth with life skills that she be beholding to no one, and in doing so she will always be safe, always able, never afraid and grateful for each day and those in it.

As far as I'm concerned, YOU GO GIRL! You're doing the RIGHT thing. You and your husband will teach your children what contemporary society will not, and you'll all be better for it. Bless your parents for their support and may it never waver. If your siblings are lucky, very lucky, they'll see the light sooner rather than later, after all, my siblings and their families snicker no more, and have asked to come here if all should go horribly wrong.

I can grow old knowing that I and my daughter will always be OK.

Remain steadfast Bethany, it's all worth it!

K
 
Gary Lewis
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Kate Michaud wrote:Dear Bethany,

16 years ago I did what you have, went through the same criticism by siblings, and my parents and I had the time of our lives creating this Homestead.

When I left the city with my 3 year old, began clearing bush on 32 acres and building a very small house, my 2 siblings laughed and snickered. Over time family gatherings became redundant, after all I was nothing but a lazy country hick, not worth including in much of anything of real importance, except to cart their junk back up to the homestead. My siblings and their spouses didn't like the fact my parents enjoyed themselves so much up here, being so unsafe and unclean. At every opportunity my sister would give me antibacterial cleansers because, you know, we were dirty, and so on.

Outside the family the comments were; Wow, I had made the leap! How brave, how courageous, they wished they had the gusts to do the same.

Fast forward 16 years:

My sister has a $500,000.00 home, with 2 mortgages, 2 expensive cars, yacht club, sailing holidays to Martha's Vineyard. She has 22 year old twin girls still living at home. They had been raised to be Super Kids with the very best of everything, a live in Nanny, extracurricular classes, gymnastics, music, art, modeling, and so on...by 18 years of age, both girls had drop out of College because they couldn't hack it, and are now working at minimum wage city jobs. My sister reticently retired with a teacher's pension. Her hubby, a hospital administrator, is due to retire in a year or so, but can't afford to because of the 2 mortgages + taxes on their high end center town house. So...their plan is to sell the Big House so he can retire, buy another house on the outskirts of the city, big enough for all 4 of them (because the twins can't afford to live on their own), and STILL HAVE A MORTGAGE!

I on the other hand, have a small but very comfortable house, that took me 14 years to finish because I never wanted a mortgage. My niece recently realized that in the event of some sort of disaster I'm completely sufficient,...WOW! My daughter now 19 is moving away to attend College with a scholarship, has made and continues to make her own money, has traveled overseas independently, can manage a budget, pay bills, shop for groceries, cook from scratch, eats healthy, is handy, happy, self confident, efficient, sensible and takes no guff from anyone. She loves to read, is proficient communicator, a valued employee, a wiz at math with a 96% average, and is now off to study Business Accounting. Our only village bank has offered her a summer job during her studies, and a full time opportunity once she's graduated.

I have no fears or apprehensions about my daughter attending College away from home; I taught her ALL that the system doesn't or won't, how to be self-reliant and caring. She grew up on the Homestead, no technological distractions, but learning the caring and sharing of a simple life. She has solid values and a very practical view of life. If all goes well, and it may, she could be one of very few students these days who will finish College with no debt, and enough left over to build herself a tiny house on the homestead, and a job waiting for her.

I had been criticized as a bad and neglectful Mother for having raised my child in the county rather than providing her with all the opportunities the city had to offer...well we see how that turned out; my sister and her family are freaking out, debt ridden, and have no idea where they are going to be living in a year. I have no mortgage, produce my own milk, cheese, ice cream, eggs, veggies, meat. My bills are very low and I'm content and satisfied that I made all the right decisions to ensure my daughter had a fighting chance in a rapidly changing world. I went against all contemporary convention, and armed her to the teeth with life skills that she be beholding to no one, and in doing so she will always be safe, always able, never afraid and grateful for each day and those in it.

As far as I'm concerned, YOU GO GIRL! You're doing the RIGHT thing. You and your husband will teach your children what contemporary society will not, and you'll all be better for it. Bless your parents for their support and may it never waver. If your siblings are lucky, very lucky, they'll see the light sooner rather than later, after all, my siblings and their families snicker no more, and have asked to come here if all should go horribly wrong.

I can grow old knowing that I and my daughter will always be OK.

Remain steadfast Bethany, it's all worth it!

K



What a fantastic response - I am so proud of both of you! (Strange to be so proud of people I don't even know - but you are living a dream many of us have....).

I think I must be heading down the same path, as my wife's relatives also call me when they have a piece of 'junk' they no longer want "We are sure you could use it for something" sort of junk. lol...its like they pity us using recycled things when what really happens is that they get further in debt upgrading and we get a useful addition to the farm for free! Tell me - who is the real winner in that equation??

Much 'permie-love' to you both!

Gaz
www.almostafarmer.com
 
Kate Michaud
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Hi Gaz.

Thanks so much for the comment, it so good to get a pat on the back now and again, even electronically (I don't see to many people on a weekly basis).

Sometimes they just haven't thought through what to do with something once its of no use to them, and so say, hey you could use this, rather than disposing of it themselves. I look at everything as to say; OK, when this brakes, what can I turn it into, and then, what can I salvage that would be useful...before I purchase or reclaim. (Did you hear that? Cheap, cheap, cheap...Is it a bird? No its me being Scottish!)

K
 
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Hi Bethany. I am very inspired by what your family has done, it is similar to what my husband and I would like to do in future. I'm not sure that the problems with your siblings have much to do with your new lifestyle - it sounds like they are jealous of your good relationship with your parents. Perhaps your parents could talk to your siblings and emphasize how much love they have for all of you, and how worrying it is to see their children fight amongst themselves.

Best of luck with the homestead, and with the family relations.
 
Troy Rhodes
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The red pill/blue pill is an apt analogy.

Once you wake up and develop critical thinking skills, the whole world looks different and it's obvious when people are doing it badly/wrong.

When my son was 13 or 14, he became aware enough of how we lived, and what we were teaching him, to recognize that he "suddenly" had a very different skill set than his peers.

Fast forward 8 years. He is a junior at college. He will graduate without debt. He laughs at peer pressure to do the "in" thing. He's very fit. He's very smart. He knows more about personal finance than most "financial advisors". He knows how to cook. He knows how to live on -almost- nothing by current standards. He wants to be a vet and will most likely make it. If it's not obvious, I'm very proud.


I don't need the approval of my family any more, although they are starting to get it now.


We are your new family. You are my peer group/family.



How did we ever get along before the internet
 
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We have gone through the same thing with part of our family. When I met my wife, her son and her was living in a triple wide trailer that was upside down due to 2008 and had no chance of making up the difference, I had just lost my house after draining my savings to keep it while looking for a job for a year and after we dated for several months we talked about just rebooting.

She filed bankruptcy and we bought a camper and moved it onto some land. We started building our house debt free and started setting up our land for the future. After we got married she got pregnant, so we had to make some sacrifices and get into the basement, but we made it happen. Now we save money until we can afford the next piece to the house and we do it. All the while raising our own food and enjoying life on the edge of the woods and the river. I'm teaching my stepson how to live off the land and how to live debt free.

Our family and friends have not been supportive, calling us crazy telling us to go in debt for a house or even to rent a house. Some of our friends have said we can't raise a baby and a 7 year old in a basement, what if someone calls DHS? We've even had local pastors drop by and offer assistance. Its crazy! I'm an engineer and my wife is an Estitician, we make plenty of money and give our children everything they need. I can't believe other people try to make our business their business!

Keep on keeping on, we all understand what you are going through and we know you are doing the right thing!
 
Troy Rhodes
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At one point, we bought a 72 passenger school bus and re-habbed it to live in. We threw huge chunks of our income towards the land/house/life fund. We gave generously at church. In November, our small group/sunday school class picked two struggling families to help them out for christmas. They were living in nice apartments with all the comforts like air conditioning, cable tv, two cars, hot running water, etc etc etc. We were living in a school bus, carrying water from a well, one car and one bicycle, and no AC in Texas.

We didn't have a kid at the time, but still.

We had plenty of means to "help" them.


Setting priorities better can really change your future success.

There is no success without sacrifice.


troy
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 80
Location: Ontario, Canada
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At this stage in the thread is it time to define the meaning of A Successful Life?

Mainstream Success = the accumulation of a lot of stuff, predestined to brake down or become redundant before it's been paid off = blindly accepting that to be debt ridden beyond the grave is OK.
Once society was made up of Citizens who are now mere consumers, slaves the big Corporations who control through debt and compounded interest.

OR...

True Success in Life is to be Free in mind, spirit and body! To be debt FREE, to be FREE of STUFF and its trappings. To be FREE to live a simple and whole life, a truly meaningful life.

It's a matter of Values; Mainstream is led to value the accumulation of stuff over People, Creatures great and small, strangers in need, the land, the waters, even wisdom and knowledge...

I value; self-sufficiency, independence, knowledge, skills, stewardship, good work ethics, honesty, integrity, ingenuity, creativity, empathy, charity, freedom to choose what is right for me, and the freedom to help others without a $ remuneration.

Anyways, I could go on and on...

Cheers! K

 
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
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Language alert..

what my parents and sister say of me, what my other family members say of me..

- depressed low life, sucking of my mothers tit ..
- sad pathetic existance, sadly lacking and a wasted life

- must be a thief and a liar, living like that...
- he will die one day of the cold, frozen to death and to make the dog suffer like that in so tiny of a place, pathetic..

I could go on and on....
- moved off grid 3 yrs ago, live in a small mobile camper, have a working good van to get around in and another storage van (think moving shed that saves me insurance money, about $300 yr multi car discount !!!)
Downsizing, selling off all useless junk, did not setup TV over 4 yrs ago, so only watch it when I go to my parents, nice to shut their comments out !!
Ex CDN Military, infantry.. LOL.. freeze.. no likely, since I lived in tents in the artic and northern Canada in sleeping bags... freeze.. too funny...

- Why... who knows why they say the things they do, but sheeple will be sheeple...
Not everyone who is a prepper/survivalist is the real thing, some are googlers sitting in thier basements or spare room.
- OP - you, your kids, your hubby are better people than they will ever be! (personal opinion...)
- responder who shared... YOU and your daughter are more survivalists, preppers than HE is !!!

Does it hurt, YES.
does it matter... NO....
Do I care... less and less with each passing day !!!

Do I know how you feel, yes and I can understand your passion for the wilderness, your wanting the aroma of the woods and bush to the stench of so called modern day living ... !!!
The only place I feel at home, the only place I feel at ease is in the bush or in the woods, then on a farm, then a park!

Peace be with you and may the beauty of your living world outshine the nasty trash talk of small minded huge ego sheeple/zombie types.
ps... I fired my Aunt... nobody calls me a thief,,, ever ! I give, I do not take.

Cheers Max
 
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I like what Paul says about his scale of sustainability or whatever it is. It's 10 levels. The bottom level is where 6 billion people are. And at the top level is sepp holzer. Level 1 are people who go out and buy cfl light bulbs to be green. Maybe around level 5 or 6 you go off the grid. Anyone who is a level ahead of you is really cool. Anyone who is 2 levels ahead of you is really really cool. Anyone who is 3 levels ahead of you is effing crazy. That's all it is. Your siblings are just 3 or more levels behind you. I love the suggestions about letting them see some entry level permie stuff. I bet they will come around. Until they do, I hope you can let the hurtful stuff roll off your back. Hugs to you! You're doing great. And by the way I think you're really really cool.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1223
Location: northern northern california
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this may not be very helpful, but you get used to it !
later or sooner it gets easier and easier to just not care what people think. well i might be pretty extreme, even for this group of people, in some of my life ways and radical ness, so i have been dealing with the thing you speak of for most of my life.

i think people underestimate what i mean when i say that i really dont give a frack about what people think, like i secretly really do or something but i really really mean, i just do not care about how people think i should be, think i should live, or what they want from me.

actually to me people like your family are more the pariahs! no offense to your fam.... but no, i have been trying to hold more positive ideas about people, especially those i dont agree with. and i can see when i look at it how people are taught to judge and shame people, and how difficult it is to live in "normal" society, then its easier to have compassion and understanding for "normal" ish people trying to live up to the impossible "good enough" paradigms, be better than joneses and etc.

even if normal society has most members who are on the stone throwing team, seems they are everywhere...in every group of people and every locale. that's tough that it's your family, but you cant let the storm throwing team affect your perceptions and way of being.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
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Could it be that they are unhappy you are not playing the game ?
You are not following them into unhappyness and being conventional therefore you must be a bad person for rejecting what they see as the norms of society.
Keep up the good work I say
David
 
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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Hi. This is my first post here on permies. First off, I want to congratulate the OP for having the guts to do what you know is right. Keep on keepin on my friend. I've encountered this same problem, but recognized it immediately as soon as I started talking about sustainable lifestyle years ago. I am young, 28, and have discovered the power of persuasion. Like it or not, we are all "brainwashed/led/gullible/stupid" in some way. After being led astray many times to this scam and that scam, loosing money etc, I finally learned the game myself. I have spend 4 years planting little seeds of thought in my wife's head, as well as my parents and sibling's heads about sustainable living. After about 3 years they are all on board. My parents thought I wanted to be a commune living free love hippy when they first heard the word "Permaculture."

Now, we all know seeds can grow right? Well, seed of thought only grows slowly, or as fast as our perspectives change. And our perspectives are shaped by our experiences. Education is the best tool to shape your perspective.

You see, people are stubborn and resistant to change. Many of us just do as we are told. Its those of us who are somehow "freethinker" radicals that break free from it. I learned "freethinking". It wasn't something I just had. Some people are born with it, some aren't.

Now, about your family. They are stuck in that "follow the leader" mentality, and more than likely aren't considering all the facts about your lifestyle. I bet they are jealous you have no mortgage. It's no wonder they think you are taking advantage of your folks. They aren't reaping the same benefits are they? Nope. It seems unfair to them. So they bitch like little kids when it's "not fair....boo hoo hoo." ( I have small children so I know.)

Anyway, once this permaculture/sustainable lifestyle enters the main stream we will have less to worry about. Its gaining steam. Thanks to guys like Paul, Geoff, Bill M., Sepp, Fukuoka etc....

WE ALL NEED TO START PLANTING THE LITTLE SEEDS OF THOUGHT IN OUR FAMILIES MINDS. This isn't a religious movement, but if we can spread it like religion spreads than maybe we can save our future. Start preaching and living the ways that are taught here on this forum. They can't condemn us if there are enough of us.

Me and a co-worker are starting an intentional community (not a commune) but a community just like any other in the U.S. We are currently planning our exit strategy from work, and financial plan to buy land in a low restriction area somewhere in rural Kentucky. Then we will build a Permaculture town. I'm young, so I have time. That's the goal.

Ray

 
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Just remember that it is the nail that sticks up that gets hammered

It seems every society develops norms of behavior that define people as like US. Those who deviate from these norms of behavior are not like US and are not always treated well.
So I would not worry over much about the reactions you are getting now. They are to be expected.
As you advance on your project you will likely make a number of improvements as time and money allow. It is likely that some of these improvements will make you more acceptable to those who do not approve.

It is funny.
I had a friend growing up who live on a ranch and always thought they were unfortunate because most of her friends at school lived in suburbs next to each other.
It was not until she became an adult that she realized what a great childhood she had living on the ranch and how lucky she was compared to all her adult friends who did not have such an experience.

My only concern would be someone using child protective services or one of the many other government agencies to investigate.
I have seen several cases where nothing was wrong but it cost alot of money and emotional suffering to prove they were not guilty of any crime.
In today's world you may have to prove you are not committing a crime.
So take the time to check up on the laws in your area and use social media support groups to keep up to date on legal issues people doing what you are doing face in your area.
You do not have to be a legal expert you just have to be aware of possible legal pitfalls.
It is likely that if it is something to be concerned about someone else has already had to deal with it and has posted something on the Internet.
 
Posts: 130
Location: Northern California
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Congratulations, Bethany. You are living the dream.

Just my thoughts: once you get married, and especially once you have kids-- that's your family. The family you grew up with-- parents, siblings-- they're your relatives now, not your family.

So, your family is supportive of you. Your family is living the way your family wants to live. And some of your relatives (parents) are supportive, too. Other relatives (siblings), not so much. But it doesn't matter what they think. Maybe they'll come around, maybe they won't.

You only need to care what they think if it could threaten your family. So, as long you are keeping CPS safely away, keep living your dream as you want to live it.
 
Posts: 4
Location: SoCal
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Bethany, Kate, Troy and others with similar determination to do what they know in their heart is right - you're all an inspiration to many of us who wish they'd have parallelled your path instead of that of modern society. The more you are criticized for your self-sacrificing, self-sufficient, debt-free efforts, the more you know that you've wisely chosen a superior lifestyle. So heartening to read how your children have far exceeded their peers, especially re knowledge and character!

 
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Anything that is different or not the average scares people. It depends on how badly you want YOUR dream. The race is long, but in the end, it was only with yourself. I know its family, but it may be time to limit your interactions with them, it is basically none of their business, and you are not responsible for other peoples feelings.
 
Posts: 146
Location: Ozarks
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Oh Yeah.

We left FL headed to the Ozarks and someone actually did call DCF (same as cps) who paid us a visit a week before we were to head out. Said we had no elec, no running water, no food. This is before we even headed out to "go live in the woods with two little kids" as my sister put it. Our departure was later than we had planned and while we could have postponed the electric being shut off, I figured it would be a good trial run for the solar panels and generator/being off grid etc. We were on a well at the rental house and it had a nice big well tank with a bladder so running the genie for an hour twice a day, kept us in hot, pressurized water. (big genie that also ran the water heater) The solar kept the 12VDC fridge and led lighting going so when the DCF agent showed up, I turned the faucet and hot running water came out. When I opened the chest fridge, we had fresh veggies and chicken right on top. We told her our plans and she asked to talk to the kids. Fine. Took them outside one at a time, asked them their ABCs, count by 5s, do either of your parents drink. Yes, Daddy drinks beer. Does he ever get mad and yell when he drinks etc? No. What do you drink? Milk. Do you eat everyday. Yes. yada yada. Then she says she needs to get a urine sample from my wife and I. I said no, it's obvious that the allegations are untrue and now you're just reaching, it's time for you to leave. End of story though she did try to call our cell phone after we were out here. We ignored the calls.

There was only 3-4 people that knew we had already had our electric shut off and we narrowed it down to one of two people. My sister or my mother-in-law. Both are of the opinion that parents should both have full time jobs, send their kids off to day-care, after school activities and live in the perfect subdivision to keep up with the jones'. Make payments on cars less than 5 years old. Frequent theme parks etc. They both have their issues in life and will never be able to have a lifelong relationship as they have proven.

We homeschool too. We started that a year before we came out here. OMFG

That's been a real issue for my control freak, progressive mo-in-law. We are not properly indoctrinating our kids to be useful little non thinking consumers to keep the big machine running.

And guess who's coming to visit in a couple of days. My wife and I were talking this morning and found that we both have the slight worry that mo-in-law might decide to head back to FL with our children. When we were headed out here, she had already suggested that we leave them with her for a year while we get settled out here. We both knew where that was going. Needless to say, we've both been stressing out lately about the prior Head of the HOA coming to visit. About the head of the HOA thing, mo-in-law says, "I just wasn't into it anymore" but I suspect she was just a little too into it and got voted out.

And here we sit off grid, collecting rainwater, no pressurized water. This week ought to be fun.

This "modern world" we live in has just become too much for some psyches to handle. I love the technology but the advertising/media/money and this whole, I must fit in thing can be overwhelming and frankly it creates madness.

Like Morpheus said.

"You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."


 
R Scott
Posts: 3366
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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You are a more forgiving man than I am, John. I would have completely severed all contact with anyone I thought called CPS.
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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David Livingston wrote:Could it be that they are unhappy you are not playing the game ?
You are not following them into unhappyness and being conventional therefore you must be a bad person for rejecting what they see as the norms of society.
Keep up the good work I say
David



I saw this quote months ago and it kind of stuck in my craw then, but I wasn't able to put my discomfort into words. I think it can be somewhat dangerous to assume petty motives when there could be legitimate concerns.

Just because you don't possess the skills to separate a dangerous situation from an unfamiliar situation doesn't mean your motives are impure. While the following link does not represent the OP in any way it shows that sometimes there is reason to be concerned for the safety of children when their family has chosen to live a little differently.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/idaho-christian-faith-healers-12-kids-have-died-since-2011-and-nobodys-doing-anything-about-it/

 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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After reading the original post two things came to mind:

First a resounding "way to go!" for sticking to your guns and doing what you believe in, not what a misled society tells you to do.

Second was the great old bit of advice "Do what you want to do, say what you want to say, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who do mind don’t matter."

I hope you can at least find a little strength knowing that there are quite a number of us here that don't mind a bit what you're doing, in fact we highly encourage it.
 
Posts: 1399
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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We have family who are like you and your parents. Neither see a problem with what they are doing but the one cannot exist without the support of the other. As an outside sibling I watch knowing that one day this unsustainable cycle is going to collapse and my husband and myself will be the only ones with the resources to assist when that happens. So perhaps your siblings see something you refuse to acknowledge. Perhaps they see the train tracks ending and the wreck coming while you and your parents ignore it.
 
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I gave up my dream when my own mother who was raised on a farm without inside plumbing or electricity, threatened to turn me into CPS. Now that my daughter is grown, I am ready to pursue my dream again. My older brother has nothing, not even a vehicle to show for a lifetime of work and he has never had any dependents. I invited him to live on my land in a small house of his own but he wants me to sell my farm and purchase property in the San Francisco area. He says that if I agree to enter into counseling, he will be kind enough to put his name on my property! Well, I will never again have a relationship with that pompous a...!

CPS is a real and formidable danger to your lifestyle and I would distance myself from anyone who makes even a vague threat that involves them. DONOT invite them to see anything. Keep a low profile. Just enjoy your life and let your parents tell them how well you are doing because those kind of people will criticize anything that they see no matter how well done.
,
 
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This would be the OTHER classic movie clip about your experience


Funny. My wife just had this conversation with her sister and it left her upset...because we don't have jobs...even though we have a hundred acres of paid for land zero depts. and money in the bank. It got me thinking of this clip.

"Of course don't ever tell anybody that they're not free cause then they'll get real busy killing and maiming to prove to you that they are"
 
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