For those growing up with a non-JW parent

by JWinprotest 15 Replies latest social family

  • JWinprotest

    Just curious to hear from those that have gone through a similar situation. My dad was extremely opposed to JW's and went balistic when my mom converted. He did everything in his power to keep us from becoming witnesses, (forcing us to stay home from meetings, forcing us to go to church with him on holidays) but I think that worked against him, because we viewed it as persecution.

    Here is my question though. Did your JW parent go out of their way to demonize your non-JW parent. What I mean is, when they weren't around, did your JW parent constatntly point out their bad traits, even exagerating them at times. Making them appear to be a person they were not.

    My mom certainly did that. Me and my siblings grew up afraid of my dad, because my mom would constantly tell us stories of the bad things my father did. Whenever I did something to upset her, she would say, "you're just like your dad", as if it was a bad thing. Now I know that she did this because it increased the chances of us following her and becoming witnesses. It wasn't until I was about 12 that I realized that this guy wasn't so bad, but by then it was too late. The relationship with my dad was irrepairable, and I was well on my way to become a good little witness.

    Even today, my parents are divorsed, but my mom will make me feel guilty for contacting my dad, who is now 70. He still doesn't know my changed view about the religion, and I can't wait to tell him. Every once in a while I pick up the phone to tell him that I understand now, why he sometimes wasn't in the best of moods in a home where everyone considered him to be the evil worldly guy. And even though I don't condone his cheating, I want to tell him it couldn't have been easy being alone every year on his birthday, Christmas, Easter etc. and never hearing the words, "Happy Father's Day", but we end up talking about the weather instead.

  • changeling

    Tell him before it's to late. It will mean the world to him. :)

  • NiceDream

    It would be really difficult to grow up in a home like that. I'm sure your Dad had the best intentions, but it backfired on him instead.

    Sometimes it's difficult to talk about our feelings out of the blue, maybe you could send him a nice letter instead. I'm sure that it would mean a lot to him, and he'd like to know that you understand where he was coming from.

    Life is short! I would do it soon before it's too late.

  • IsaacJ22

    I agree with Changeling. You should try to tell him if there's any possibility of doing it. No judgments if you can't/won't - I haven't spoken to my father in years (nothing to do with the WTS), so I certainly understand if things have reached a point where that just isn't going to happen.

    Also, I think you're mother had problems that went deeper than just keeping you in the WTS, IMHO. My Dad cheated too, but sometimes, spouses stray for reasons other than sex. Not pretending to know anything about your family, just saying that his cheating on your mother may not be a reason to harbor ill will against him. That's your call, of course. Could be a chance for a new beginning. I would try with my own Dad, but sadly, there's no real chance of that.

    Just a thought. :)

  • jamiebowers
    And even though I don't condone his cheating, I want to tell him it couldn't have been easy being alone every year on his birthday, Christmas, Easter etc. and never hearing the words, "Happy Father's Day", but we end up talking about the weather instead.

    You have no idea why he cheated, nor should you, because it's none of your business. That was between your mom and dad. He didn't cheat on you, so forget that part, and let him know how you feel about him. Had he not ben opposed, you may have remained a brainwashed cult member.

  • blondie

    My jw mother was always complaining and badmouthing my dad. Not that he was a prize. She never talked officially with the elders to get help from his abuse. She just liked the attention or being "persecuted."

    My fahter was not a person children wanted to get close to and he never changed down to the day he died.

    In your case though, reach out to your father. It's only too late when you're dead.

  • no more kool aid
    no more kool aid

    I was kept from my father my whole childhood when I was old enough to make my own decisions I was brainwashed to believe he was the devil incarnate. Next thing you know 30 years go by and I can't even find the guy. When I did find him I found out he was not the devil himself just an old wounded guy. Please talk to your dad before it is too late. You will gain so much insight into your childhood. Do it soon! Good luck. NMKA

  • StAnn

    This is a hard one. My mother completely demonized my dad and portrayed him as a terrible ogre. He is a real jerk but not in the ways my mother made us believe.

    To this day, my dad can't understand why his kids aren't close to him or, frankly, couldn't care less if he lives or dies. I've tried to tell him that we were raised (by Mom and the WTS) to believe that Dad was not a permanent part of our lives, just another person to be destroyed at Armageddon, and that he would not be part of our futures. You don't let yourself get too attached to someone you know is evil and is not going to be around too long. He just won't accept that his wife is actually part of a conspiracy working against him.

    Now he's 75 years old, has seven children, and none really have anything to do with him. In my opinion, it is largely his fault for allowing us to be raised as JWs. He is reaping what he sowed.

  • agonus

    Yeah, I've been through a lot of the same stuff with my dad and unfortunately a lot of the same stuff happened to me (except for the cheating part). A funny thing happens to a lot of people who are constantly being made out to be the enemy... they eventually really do become the bad guy. It's known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Podobear

    Brilliant threat JWProtest: My Sister and I grew up in a home where my Father was super zealous and my Mother opposed... violently.

    Everything boomeranged.. Dad spoke with his fists as a Merchant Seaman and I still have memory of Mom sitting on the stairwell in tears where she had taken a beating. Then the JW's called.. and the roles reversed.

    Mom wrote "NO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES" across the front door with a red hot poker, she poured a cup of tea all over one of the servants that called to try and resolve the domestic nightmare that ensued.. my sister could not live up to the exacting standards of the Religion.. both she and mother tried taking their lives.

    Festivities became a compromise, with Dad now an Elder, refusing to put up decorations.. me taking a stand and my sister helping Mom with the bunting. Mom refused to celebrate their wedding anniversary and took us off in hiding to our Aunt in attempt to get us away from our Father.

    The persecution by Mom got so bad that I took solace in my own little perceived world of the WT, much to my Father's joy and pride.. and we lived in this uneasy world of compromise and polyphonambulism, that haunts us to this day.

    I am out now.. having encountered much in the way of hypocrisy and double standards in the WT organisation. There is a depressed peace in the family, that will never heal. My sister tried for a third time to end her life in Australia (Perth) three years ago.. and finally followed her husbands instruction not to persue her renewed studies with the JW's. She is the apple of Dad's eye.

    There is so much hurt. Believe me it has helped me hold the hand and absorb the tears of many who have been put through this.

    The quicksand of JW moving theology and domination of the mind, has a lot to answer for.

    Yet, bros and sis (as were) I still love you so, so much.


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