Just found out my JW little sister is inactive - need advice!!!

by Jamelle 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jamelle

    I've been wanting to share some recent events involving my family for a while. I'm interested in any input or advice any of you may have to offer. It's just been a very weird last couple of weeks...

    Through a chance set of circumstances I have begun communicating with my younger sister (she is 21). She is still living at home with my parents. We have been emailing for a little over a week now. And we have had two phone calls, exactly a week apart, where we talked for at least an hour.

    She admitted to me that she has been inactive as a JW for almost 3 years now. I was shocked that it had been so long. As we talked I continued to get a picture of what life has been like for her since I left ( almost 8 years ago now ). I didn't like what I heard.

    My parents responded to my "departure" by clinging ever more tightly to their youngest child. My mother, in particular, has taken control to new heights. Add to this mix the fact that my mother has always been slightly unstable mentally, as well as a borderline hypochondriac. In recent years she has become addicted to prescription medications and has episodes where she becomes hysterical and/or suicidal.

    She has repeatedly put my sister in situations that are unsettling to me. For example, my mother forced her to smuggle in extra pain meds while she was hospitalized. This because the nurses saw that she was abusing her medications and restricted her access to it!! My sister casually told me that every time she goes out she wonders if she'll come home to find that her mother has "done something to herself".

    Hearing this - having my suspicions about the direction my mother was heading - made me feel very, VERY, guilty for leaving my sister behind in that mess. I look back and still don't see what else I could have done - but that doesn't address the way I feel.

    I would love to see my sister break free of the JWs. I think that it would very possibly send my mother over the edge, and I mean that literally. My sister has mentioned moving away and that is a possible alternative - doing the big fade, so to speak. But it takes alot of courage and self confidence to start your life over again in a strange new city - and she may not have enough of either after years of brainwashing.

    She has not asked me any questions that would make me think she doubts the JW doctrines. It's like she still half way believes they might be right. I'm so afraid that I'm going to say something that screams "APOSTATE!" and she will never call me again.

    It's just so hard to hear her talk about how she admires the JW's for living such clean moral lives. As if they were the only group that does so. I'm hearing all the "dub speak" that just screams mind control and I'm really amazed at how plain weird it sounds to me now. Of course, it's all shes ever known...

    So I guess I just needed to vent...Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have any advice or have been through similar situations before I would very much appreciate any input. Thanks again!

  • jstalin

    Are you in a position where you could offer to allow her to move in with you?

  • Jamelle

    I could - but I don't think she would even consider it. Doing that would really draw the line in the sand as far as my parents are concerned. I think that she is trying to avoid hurting them. Moving in with me would be a slap in their face.

    If anything, she may follow through on her plans of getting an apartment of her own locally.

  • DannyHaszard

    Best of Luck ---------- In a cult and want out? SIGN UP DR PHIL SHOW ON CULTS all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men/women to do nothing-Danny Haszard Bangor Maine

  • jwfacts

    It is a very tough situation. The hardest thing is to deal with the guilt, both your mother and the WTS are using guilt to try to manipulate the feelings and actions of you and your sister. Whatever happens you need to try to make your sister realise she is not the guilty one, and needs to live her own life.

    As your sister is inactive I would recommend that you don't need to talk 'apostate' to her. Help her fade and move, and then over time you can slowly help her break free mentally as well. You have only just got a relationship started again and it is not worth risking it.

    I was amazed to find the number of moral people once i left the WTS. I have a lot of Christian Filipino friends and many are more moral than my JW friends, she will find that too once she is out of the circle.

    I cant get over the number of JWs on prescription medication, especially mothers. All the articles saying how JWs are the happiest people on earth, if really seem to be one of the most stressed groups.

  • jgnat

    Keep talking, and reinforce her intelligence, her decisions, her ability to do things on her own.

    Is she still in school? I'm thinking if she confides in a trusted counsellor how bad off her mom is, she can get some needed supports in the family BEFORE she leaves. This is what my dad did with my mentally unstable mom, and I am so proud that he managed to leave her without causing any more harm. The separation was a huge strain on them both by the way, dad nearly went mental himself. But mom is fine now, never been better, with a new boyfriend and a redefined life.

    Your sister should not sacrifice her own life for her mom. She needs to extract herself gently and permanently.

    Oh yes, teach your sister about "boundaries" and how to enforce them.


  • ferret
    I am so afraid i'm going to say something that screams APOSTATE

    Jamelle I know how you feel. Just last friday I got a letter from my JW daughter after being shunned for 25 years. In writing back to her I had to be so careful that I did not give her that impression, as this would close the door completely, Good luck with your situation.

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