TLC may have axed “19 Kids and Counting” after Josh Duggar’s molestation of his sisters and another child surfaced earlier this year (his subsequent Ashley Madison adultery scandal notwithstanding), but the network still knows the Duggars are ratings gold. Ergo, a 3-part special Jill & Jessa: Counting On debuted on TLC last night. And since the special is now trending on Facebook, I guess it’s clear that people have not yet had enough of the Duggars!
In the special, Josh and his two scandals were a hot topic. Since Jill and Jessa were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of their brother, whom they loved and trusted, I was interested to hear what they had to say. They said a LOT, but here are 3 main points—and 6 quotes—about Josh and the sexual abuse and/or pornography addiction/adultery scandals that rocked the Duggars’ world last year.
1. It took a long time for the sisters to forgive Josh for abusing them.
“It was shocking. You don’t expect something like that to happen. It’s your older brother. Somebody you love and who you trust. So definitely there was a period of time in our family where Josh was not to be trusted.” – Jessa Duggar Seewald
“Trust isn’t instantly rebuilt. You can forgive in your heart, but at the same time it’s a journey to rebuild that trust.” It was over those next couple of years of Josh just trying to be able to prove to us, and to the family, that he was worthy of being trusted, and really that relationship was restored between all of us siblings and my parents.” – Jill Duggar Dillard
2. Re-living their abuse in the public eye took a toll on the sisters.
“Here I am, most joyful time of my life, newly married [with a] baby on the way. And then people go digging up old bones. It was really, really frustrating.” – Jessa Duggar Seewald
“The police report was released to the world, and I know that wasn’t right. Whoever released that, that wasn’t right. It shouldn’t have happened. We had moved on from there, so for this to be released right after [her baby boy] Israel was born, and all these happy occasions in my life, and to be thrown under the bus was really, really hard.” – Jill Duggar Dillard
3. Even after his abuse, Josh’s adultery and pornography addiction rocked them and came as a total shock.
“Over the years, Josh worked really hard to repair our trust in him, and he became someone we could really look up to. Josh ended up confessing to us that he had gotten addicted to pornography and had been unfaithful to his wife, and we were devastated. It felt like it was just a bad dream. How could this happen?” – Jessa Duggar Seewald
“Just thinking about what Josh has been speaking for, and how our family believes as a whole, that what makes it so unbelievable. It wasn’t right for him to let us [defend him] without having the full knowledge of what he was hiding.” – Jill Duggar Dillard
On next week’s episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, Josh’s wife Anna Duggar is going to speak on-camera about Josh’s adultery and the state of her marriage. Whew. I cannot even imagine how hard that is going to be…and I’m sure lots of people will tune in to hear what she has to say!
What do you think about the Duggars? Are you done with them, or do you still like to follow along?