Duggar Interview: Michelle Did What Any Good Mother Would Have Done With Josh

Well, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar finally sat down and had their big tell-all with Megyn Kelly on Wednesday night, and while it seemed like they were making an awful lot of excuses for Josh's molestation scandal, I can't say that I necessarily blame them for how they handled it at the time.

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Please note -- I am not saying they handled it perfectly. Far from it. But if they told the truth about what happened in their family in 2002 and 2003, I cannot for sure say that I would've done anything differently than Michelle did.

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I watched the interview in full, and holy moly, was it hard to watch. I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, and a Christian, and it was obvious that Michelle was in emotional turmoil. I won't even try to understand the pain she felt when Josh confessed his crimes against his sisters, and now that their family is being destroyed over something she thought was long over.

My issue so far with how Jim Bob and Michelle handled the situation has been about the girls. Sure, they wanted to protect their son from being labeled a pedophile for life, but what about their daughters? With various reports that Josh's "training camp" was just a family friend on a construction site, I couldn't help but wonder if the sisters had every received professional counseling.

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Another thing I wondered about was why they told the girls that Josh had touched them in their sleep, if they had no memory of it. In the interview, Michelle said that it was important for them to find out from the girls independently if it had gone further than just touching.

And yes, touching is different than raping.

Jim Bob said that after the initial confession, they put safeguards in place to keep the girls protected. He said that Josh was punished, and watched like a hawk. JB even took him to work with him, just so he could keep a close eye on him. They mentioned something about putting protections in place to protect the girls in their rooms at night, but they didn't say what that was.

When Josh admitted to touching a non-family member who had been sleeping on the couch, they reevaluated, and put even more measures in place. Now this is the part where I'd have removed Josh from the home, or at least I'd like to believe that's what I would've done.

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Instead, it wasn't until several months later when Josh confessed a third time, this time to touching his youngest sister at the time, who was under 10 years old.

Jim Bob and Michelle said that they made Josh leave the home that same day. Finally. He had just turned 15, and he spent the following three months being mentored at the training center in Little Rock. When he returned, they said he was a changed person, and there's been no evidence of any inappropriate touching since.

Megyn Kelly even pointed out on the show that 85 to 90 percent of boys who molest younger children between the ages of 12 and 14 are never caught doing it again. That seems to show that there's some difference between being an idiot kid, and actually having a propensity toward pedophilia.

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Something that made me feel a lot better about the situation is that they revealed that all the kids involved received professional counseling by a licensed professional. I've been through some so-called "Christian counseling" in my time, and I know the damage it caused me. Of course I can't make a blanket statement for all Biblical counseling, but there are a lot of things that can be open to interpretation when it comes to belief systems, and victims need professionals who can help them process their emotions, not just minister to their spirits.

I was worried that the girls might have been instructed to forgive Josh just because it was the "right thing to do," and not because they had sorted out their feelings with the help of someone professionally trained to do so.

And over all, I felt for Michelle, who was obviously devastated that her daughters have been forced to live through this again. Commenting on the illegally obtained police report, she said, "We trusted the police, and their trust was betrayed ... for those things to be turned over to a tabloid ... That breaks my heart for my girls."

She continued, "We haven't been keeping secret, we've been protecting [our girls]."

I just can't blame a mother for doing her best to protect her children -- whether it's from the system, themselves, or even from each other.

What would you have done if you were Josh's mom?

 

Image via Duggar Family/Facebook

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