"I am still not understanding -- what would the elders have to do with a criminal matter?" Of course they have nothing to do with a criminal matter. When this happened between me and my ex-husband, I was too afraid to go to the police. I _did_ have to explain to the elders why I was divorcing him. "But why didn't your mom call the police about the sexual assaults when you were between 9 and 12???? " She did, but they boys left the area (for a few years) when they found out they cops were after them. Thus, they got away with it. I have no idea what my ex is doing. I havent seen him or since before I filed for divorce.
Not sure what to do - Not "in" and not "out"
First off, Welcome!
The elders are not qualified for anything is my personal experience with them. My wife insisted we call them over to discuss her daughter's issues. She was physically and sexually assaulting the middle child and had begun looking with an evil eye toward the newborn. It was determined that she needed a psychological evaluation and my wife asked that I call the elders.
They came, two of them. One of them is my wife's fleshly brother. They listened to the story and told us they could not tell us what to do, or even give us any guidance since this was a medical matter and they left. When the other elder left, my brother in law started in by telling me his opinion. How we BETTER NOT take her for an evaluation and blah blah blah, to pray and wait on jah to fix things.
I told him that I was not about to allow the other kids to suffer at her hands and would do what I had to do to make her well and protect the boys. He got all huffy and said that I better not take her to a psychiatrist or else. So I asked him if he wanted her in his house then, With his kids and he said no, so I told him that since him and his boe were impotent as a group that he should shut his mouth and keep it shut.
He got mad and left. What I pulled away from this is that they are not qualified for anything. So if I need a cop I call a cop. If I need a doctor I call a doctor. And if I need spiritual help I pray and never, ever call a jw!!
As some will testify too it's very difficult living, to use a JW term, a double life. Do you think your mother would shun you? or if this is working for you, and your mum is non the wiser, can you continue the way you are? or is it that you want to make a stand against this faith?
You need to sit down and think what is best for you. Sometimes we attached so much of who we are to other people (parents, spouse, children) that you shove what is best and healthy for you aside to please someone else.
Welcome to the board - hope you can come to a decision.
"I am still not understanding -- what would the elders have to do with a criminal matter?" Of course they have nothing to do with a criminal matter. When this happened between me and my ex-husband, I was too afraid to go to the police.
Don't dwell too much on Rev1212's response. The vast majority of us understand why
you went to the elders and you gave a good response.
It's a tough choice for you. I don't confront my mother's JW world head-on. Similarly to
you, I say very little. My mother doesn't know the extent of my fade from the religion.
I am totally inactive, attending no meetings but my wife still attends. I chose to just
answer any questions my mother asks, but not to volunteer any information. One day,
she will ask about my meeting attendence. She knows I stopped being an elder, she
knows I didn't go to the District Convention. She knows something is wrong, but she is
afraid to ask too much.
You could decide to continue as things are. You could decide to "confide" in Mom that
you haven't been going to the meetings. You could do this by saying what your feelings
are about the poor help you received from the elders when you were abused by a JW
years ago, and by your husband. You can say this in such a way that you don't totally
knock what Mom believes (doctrine) but just say that you were stumbled and cannot go
You could decide to an all-out honesty about everything. That's a personal choice.
I am not sure that Mom could handle that and continue to talk with you. You might lose
her to shunning, but usually when a child is not DF'ed, most Mom's keep talking to them.
You would know better than us what she might do.
Read everyone's thoughts. We will offer differing advice because we are all different people
with different goals and feelings. Ultimately, you will know better than us what is best for you.
you go ahead and do what's best for you. It sounds as though your mother was on your side, although unfortunately she followed the direction of the elders. But hang out here too and get to know the folks here. You can get a lot of good advice and feedback, even if you don't agree with all of it.
I wish you well. It sounds to me like you have never realy been a Witness. You have lived a double life from before during and after your baptism from what I read. You have never been really honest about who you are to your mother. Don't you want to not be a hypocrite just once in your life? Put milder, don't you want to be true to yourself for once in your life? you have your mother, but only by a lie. Do you really have her then? It sounds lke some co-dependency is going on there, not open, honest, unconditional love.
Then again you do have to realize that your mother is in a cult, and you are obviously not healed from being a cult member yourself. If you force a confrontation you will lose her - she will choose her religion over you. I have no doubt about that. But if you really take this time of indecision to educate yourself on the beliefs of JWs and what us critics have to say, you can craft an exit plan for yourself and your mother. You can start dropping subliminal messages on her and try to gradually undermine her faith. Don't feel bad about doing that if JWs are not the truth, she is living a lie herself. Help her to see the lies of the WT. Slowly. Also, you should become the best daughter you know how to be. Not by going to the meetings, but by really trying to connect with her in non-JW ways. help to create Non-JW good times that you both can share without lying to one another.
Wow...interesting story. Follow your intellect, not your heart--that would be my advice.
It sounds like what you are currently doing is working out fine. I went all out against the WTS and destroyed my family ties in the process. Other friends I grew up with keep their thoughts to themselves and it works a lot better. What you may want to do is let her know over time that you are no longer active, better she finds out from you than from others. Just make some excuse about work load or something, rather than admit you do not believe it. You mother has suffered a lot, and the hope of paradise is possibly what gives it all meaning. It may be best to leave that hope with her due to her age.
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful responses. I didn't expect the elders to send my ex husband to jail, but I did expect them to at least ask him about it - they didn't. Later, I learned the society doesn't acknowledge sexual abuse, rape, domestic, child abuse, etc. In terms of my mother, its been years since I been back to the meetings. I do have to think about whats best for and and for her as well. It would be harder if we were closer. If we get married and/or decide to have a baby, then she will need to know about all of this. I'm not concerned about the congregations, my only concern is my mother. She will shun me, try to get me back in and grieve because according to her, she will have no family members who will survive Armageddon since she is the only one who is in "the truth". I am her only hope. (Sorry again about the lack of paragraphs. I havent figured out this forum yet)
And though I was never "really" a Witness, I still believed it. I couldn't control some of my urges. I definitely though I was going to be destroyed if I didnt straighten up and fly right. Feeling trapped in that way was definitely one reason why I stupidly got married, ha ha!