This is good information for an unbelieving mate of a Jehovah's Witness like myself.
The effect of this religion on my children & the action I had to take - Part I
Thanks for the input.
It may be a couple of days before I get to write part II as I am extreemly busy this week & it seems to take me nearly an hour to put it together in a way that makes sense. Please bear with me. I will post it on a seperate thread.
I hear you man. Heck if you were closer we could talk about this for hours, so much of what you said is reflected in my own story its unreal, then again I guess many ex witnesses have been through similar experiences so its good that you are here. I really hope in part two you say you managed to save your family from breaking apart, which is something I failed at. Rift was so wide and deep that there was nothing else to do but to move out. Which is the easy part but having a child or children in the middle of it all is more painful than I could have ever imagined. Man, I'd sign up for bearing pain on myself any day than seeing my child suffer. They are torn between two parents and now between two worlds. They want to love both, please both and see family together. Earlier tonight my heart almost stopped, I've had a phone call from my ex and in background I could hear my little one singing in her own way to Family Portrait song. If there was ever a moment my heart missed the beat it was then, you forget to breath and there is something big you are trying to swallow that doesn't wanna go down.
Nowadays we have shared custody and she herself have pretty much gone to what witnesses term "verge of the truth" by only being to sporadic meetings, more like once every 6 months from what I hear and have recognized all the bloodshed illustrated in "Bible Stories" and other "kids publications" so most of that is no longer there, but there is still that thing, of similar "on the verge" witnesses being main visitors, swinging between two different worlds, mostly mentally still in watchtower whilst trying to reconcile everything that they don't see fit and trying to live "normal life" and in the middle of it all my baby listening and trying to make sense of it. Man, that is not the place for a child to live under, so I'm making my move to stop this madness altogether. Anyway we should talk some more. awildflower loved reading your story too. Until people start opening up you don't realize how many share the same experiences.
Great story, thank you for posting it.
It took alot of guts to do what you did, just don't look back !
Great story. Glad you have the advantage of parents that were never "in". As a 3rd generation families my husband had not noticed how messed up JW families are including our own, you know whole branches of family no one talks to and the 15 year old that has been exiled for one act of teen aged rebellion or another. Then I had my own children! This made me explore the fact that I had not seen or talked to my own DF'ed father for 30 years. I saw my children growing up, I pictured then not going to college, marrying at a young age or maybe not having a relationship with them. Yikes! I too had one of those moments, May 3rd 2008, told my husband on the way home from a meeting that I would not be going back. He is out now too. The sacrifice of family that is "in" has well been worth it to give them a normal life. They actually thank me on a regular basis for getting them out. Good job Dad! NMKA
Jambon1, I too am anticipating Pt2. It was the fear of indoctrinating our kids that made us decide to fade as rapidly as possibly.
I hear you man. You, me, Billzfan and others must be in the same boat.
How much do we say to the kids? If our household has some peace how much do we rock the boat? Do we put our foot down and risk divorce to keep the kids free? Would that just push the kids further in?
It's like trying to get a sliver. You're never positive of the right tool (needle or tweezers) and if you use the wrong one you could push it further in. Plus, sometimes getting the sliver out leaves a lot of raw flesh around the wound because it was in so deep. (((sigh)))
That's Ham1 in French, yes?
Consider it a blessing that the fallout rate for JW youths is quite high. They likely won't stay in. The mental illness rate for JWs is unusually high and that is clinically significant illness. The marginally disturbed are also a casualty. I found great happiness in a Baptist Church after 45 years inside. My Baptist cong feels like a family.
I couldn't imagine going to another Church but that isn't to say that I consider another traditional Christian religion inferior because the differences are mostly structure of the governance and style of the worship service. The difference of doctrine is fairly minor and insignificant in my thought. I have freedom of conscience and can choose to modify my faith and do so openly, thank God. This "a la carte" approach to doctrine is appropriate since I must answer to God for my beliefs and why I made the decisions I did.
I don't believe in the weird and intolerably inconsistent No-Blood transfusion doctrine and I would permit blood transfusions as long as I think the Doctor is recommending a responsible option. It is not reasonable to follow dictates of an anonymous group of JW GB guys that not too many decades ago said that organ transplants were "cannibalism" and now allow them with silence on that issue.
Dr. Jerry Bergman is an ex-JW that I think wrote for the Awake on mental health. He has multiple University degrees. An essay he wrote http://www.seanet.com/~raines/hate.html discusses his feelings of why JWs have higher mental illness rates. I don't agree with his Creationist 6,000 year old Earth beliefs and promotion. The theology is technically defective but it takes deep research on multiple points to identify the fatal flaws. It relies on wishful thinking to contradict the hundred plus lines of evidence against and lacks scientific methodology for support. It seems that he is not very sophisticated at identifying faulty theology - first a JW then a Creationist! But he is a Methodist and that is good.
I won't live in fear of Demon possession from reading another Bible Translation or books in the 220 area of a library. The GB plagiarize aplenty and the editors are proven to be dishonest.
http://www.mmoutreachinc.com/jehovahs_witnesses/jehovah_witness_index.html is a good resource.
Love and prayers,