The angst of dealing with family when they are still in and you are not...

by Layla33 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • Layla33

    I don't think you ever truly make peace with it, somehow you learn to maneveur and swim in it like most things. I have been out for so long, it's almost like a shadowy memory when I was in, but for my family it is all they have ever known and dared to know.

    I feel for the people whose parents have cut them out completely, but mine never truly did that. I guess we just loved each other a little too much to even think about losing the other completely. And that is the pain/angst. It's hard at times because I love these people so dearly, like my father, my grandparents, my siblings (who have mostly faded), that it is that one thing that is sometimes like the white elephant in the room, that sometimes I wish was different. To be honest, when it comes to decency, love, compassion, I can't think of too many people that top them. I have never attributed it to the JW religion, just who we are as people.

    My father is coming to visit me. He's in, I'm DF'd for over 18 years. He stays with me, we go to dinner, enjoy the sites, laugh and talk like a father and his child. Sometimes he gets weepy and says, "I don't to lose you, I want to see you again..." And I feel for this man, I do. Not because I believe remotely in what he is saying, but because I KNOW he believes what he believes is right. Like my grandmother, who is like my second mother, we talk all the time and she is so excited to see me and we sit and we talk and we laugh like there is nothing else going on. For one moment out of the time, she will say, "when you going to come back to Jehovah?" and then I let the moment pass and we just continue to talk. But there are times, deep in my heart that I wish they could wake up.

    I had a dream one night, that my father and my brother and mom and grandparents just realized how untrue everything was and we sat around celebrated a birthday and laughed without thinking about anything else. It felt so unbelievably true I woke up weeping, knowing it was just a dream. To know how intelligent reasonable and logical they are, especially my father and realize how much they let logic go on just this one thing, bothers me some times. Although most times I make peace with it and move on.

    Does anyone else know what I am feeling? Have you ever felt like this?

    (Just needed to vent a bit.)

  • R.Crusoe

    I have no common hope of humanity wit anyone in my family circles or even any interaction about it!

    My four kids - aged 19 - 25 all resist any speak of religion or afterlife since they all reject WT speak but also deny thoughts about alternatives since religion holds such confusion for them!

    And my pre convert family whom I am distanced from, still harbor deep seated thought s of their own which I do not share so I understand exactly how you feel for them, but also feel in another dimension!

    It's acrazy space to live in but a reality you cannot deny yourself without lying!

  • joelbear69

    Well, I have similar experience and feelings.

    I am out 20 years this year. My mom still really
    doesn't think I don't believe it anymore and
    when I even hint that I have a different belief
    system she starts telling me how it makes her
    physically ill to think I'm no longer a witness.

    The only good times she can remember from our
    lives is when we were out in service together.
    Great. She was happy. I am insanely miserable.
    In shear mental agony almost the whole time I
    was in field service and at the meetings.

    Boring repetitive heinous agony.

    My mom and dad didn't want kids, they wanted
    pets. I asked my dad once what his favorite
    memories of me and my brother were. He said
    he liked it when we were small and he could
    completely control us.

    My parents don't know me. They can recognize
    my physical body, but my spirit and mind are
    totally unknown to them because they just block
    it out. I'm not sure if it would have been different
    if they were not witnesses.

    My whole family has blocked me out. They don't
    actually shun me. But the don't allow me to talk
    about my life or my beliefs or feelings or desires
    or dreams. They never did.

    I don't have a family. I have recently realized
    that I no longer have any love for any of them. It
    has simply died after a lifetime of trying to get
    them to want to know me and love me for who I am.
    And this goes far beyond the gay thing. Its just
    feelings about life in general. Politics, history,
    art, love, war, peace, trees. You name it, I'm
    a stranger in their midst.

    I'll see my relatives two more times. At my parents'
    funerals which I will attend out of respect, but not

  • Tyrone van leyen
    Tyrone van leyen

    Do I ever know how you feel. I am the only one in my entire family that had the cohonies to do my own thing, and they made me pay through the nose. I was cut out of my brothers weddings and almost every significant event in a persons life. In the early days my oldest brother even slammed the door in my face and locked it, when I went home. It was horrific and made me feel like scum, wasn't even worthy of me.

    I have proven over the years to them that I am honourable, but, they should already have known that. I get along now, but it's been 20 years. I have so many scars from this effin crap, my self esteem has never been the same. I know my family love me, and I love them still, too, but I have to say, that I feel like they most definately saw religion as being thicker than blood. That I don't know if I can ever forgive or forget. It sent me in the totaly wrong direction. Ultimately, I have to veiw this as brainwashing and being a result of the watchtower. It wouldn't do me any good, or them, if I actually beleive they knew what they were doing.

    I have come to realize in life that no matter who you deal with, you will be disappointed in life or let down at some point. Whether it be a girlfreind, family or a best freind, human beings are a disappointment.

  • nelly136

    theyre just people i thought i knew a long time ago. looking at it realistically if i bumped into any of them as total strangers at a supermarket, apart from maybe a brief mutual moan about the price of veg at a counter we'd have absolutely nothing in common and nothing to build a further friendship on. just like the many other people you pass in day to day life as you go about your business.

  • Tyrone van leyen
    Tyrone van leyen

    This reminds me of a little story. It happened just a couple of years ago. I was labeled as a whoremonger and streetscum for many years. I had a freind who was a witness. He knew my family for many years and saw that I was a nice guy. He was not liked by the witnesses, cause he was strange and didn't fit in. People were never nice to him.

    Despite that, this man had a heart of gold and loved people. Truly, even his enemies. He had credit cards and whenever someone would ask him for money he never hesitated. I'm talking tens of thousands of dollars. He made lists of all the witnesses that owed him money and kept detailed books like an accountant. All that money had to be paid back. Because he was generous, and was close to my family he extened me this privilegde as well, even though I had no means of paying him back. He didn't care.

    Because I valued his kind heart, I took it upon myself to pay this man back. I felt, such goodness, in this world is rare and must be rewarded. I won't say how I managed it, but it was a lot of money, and I suffered doing it. I needed the money, but I paid this man back in three months!

    The day he died, the creditors were right at his door. It turns out the money I gave him made the last three months of his life happeir, but he still owed tens of thousands of dollars from at least 6 witnesses who borrowed far more than I.

    When his family came to get his posssesions, they looked at all his financial record keeping and not one, I repeat, not one of them, gave him a cent of his money back! The one they condemed as having no honour, ME, was the only one, that paid him back! His family called my parents to inform them of all the deliquent witnesses, and the fact that I was the only one that had any honour.

    I tell this tale, not to blow my horn, but to shame those who judged me! Shame, Shame, Shame on you!

    Your own actions speak for themselves. Despite the fact that I'm the only one that had decency, somehow these losers, are able to make me feel like an insect.

  • flipper

    LAYLA- I certainly do know how you feel. I was raised in the witness cult - in it 44 years from birth, got out 4 years ago. Like you my parents love me and we get along well , they have been witnesses since 1951 .We generally stay on non-witness topics. They accept my " worldly " wife and all. But, I miss my relationship with my adult daughters 21 and 19. They married witness boys and even though I am just inactive - will not talk with me. Influenced by their self righteous witness mother. It's been 9 months since I've talked with them or seen them. They won't return my calls, or letters. I just try to stay loving , what else can you do ? I even have dreams of being with my daughters as well . Just hanging out with them and their husbands. I hope it changes soon , because this sucks. Hang in there sis, I feel for ya ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Pickled

    Your personal experiences are so moving. Thank you for taking the time to share them.

  • Pioneer Spit...oh, i mean Spirit
    Pioneer Spit...oh, i mean Spirit

    Aw, Layla33, I'm with ya.

    I quit waking up crying from dreams of them several months back. I thought my parents and I were closer than anything, but we're not. I'm so glad you have this relationship with your dad. I wish I did.

    Our time with them is short enough already.

  • Deidra

    I agree with everyone. The pain never goes away of losing your family. We just have to keep it moving and make good lives for themselves. Guaranteed, we are happier than they are. We are happier without them then we would be with them. Life with them brings along alot of BS.

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