telling kids 'my story' how honest should i be?

by Aussie Oz 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    I am writing to my kids. I have found it a good way to reach them with feelings at times and to let them know what is going on without emotions involved.

    I have always told my kids that when and if they ever want to know what happened, ie; why i left their mother and the witnesses all they have to do is ask, and that i would be open and honest.

    I feel that i am running out of time with them, esp my son who is so busy working, partying and chasing his girl that i don't see him like i used to. So busy that he is not thinking and i am sure he will get baptised sooner than later to be in good with his JW girlfriend, and no asking is forthcoming. I guess its not important to them at the moment.

    So i am writing a mini book as it is turning out. My whole life from childhood with all its ups and downs, funny parts and sad ones, and witness parts as well, incorporating many life lessons i have picked up alomg the way.

    My delema is how much to tell. On one hand i want to hide nothing. I do not want to portray myself as better than i was as a witness. I got into porn as a teen and strippers at the end. It is not truth to present myself as 'having personal problems' and falling out of love with their mother. As a JW, confessing to strippers was pretty shattering at the time and was responsible for the nuclear war that followed. I left to sort myself out and couldn't go back to her. The reality is they lost their dad to the 'world' and my depressed confused troubled conscience self.

    I guess i can gloss over parts, not reveal other parts but that makes me feel like the Watchtower writing department doing the proclaimers book. I am also using it as a vehicle to explain why i left the JWs, how i changed my mind about them being the true religion and why, so i feel ill at ease tearing them up for being dishonest while doing so myself in my literary endeavor.

    any thoughts?

    Anyone grapelled with the same delema?

    I am scared of them getting baptised and being forced to shun, and then my chance to tell all will be gone.


  • nugget

    I admire your decision to be open with your children. It is entirely likely that your ex wife has already said quite a lot to them about the break up and they may already know some of what happened but not necessarily the why.

    I would start from the perspective of your children and what lessons you learnt from your experiences that could help them. From your sons perspective the role that hormones play in the way you feel and the choices you make. That you can make poor choices that seem right at the time. That not everything in the past is to be regretted and that your children are special and important. Focus not only on what was bad in the past but also the positives and make sure they know they were a positive. It may also be worth talking about guilt and pressure of expectation and what to do if things go wrong.

    Whatever you say and however you say it let them know that you will always be there for them and that you love them. They will never do anything that will change that. That is the most important message, in a cult that offers conditional friendship and conditional love it is important to know there is some where to go and someone who loves them no matter what.

  • transhuman68

    Whatever you write down can be copied many times and used against you by people who want to tear you down. Some things are better just said at the right time.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Thankyou, you both make good points for me to consider

    nugget, that is what i am aiming to acheive. I am trying to show that i made mistakes and that i do have regrets as well, but that there were factors involved such as guilt and expectation too...poor choices made is a good way to pass on lessons, thankyou for the comments

    transhuman, i had not thought of that...thinking about it now, that won't worry me these days. The only person who wants to tear me down is the ex and she already knows everything. My wife and friends today also know everything. Although i know my choices were poor at the time, i am not ashamed or embarresed about those times.



  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    While not whitewashing the truth, you could always pull the "there are things I'll tell you when you are older" card.

    They don't need to know every single sordid detail. Most likely, some things might make them cringe.

    So I suggest that you hint at some things, while being honest in things that you need to be honest.

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    There is a line that parents and kids have with sex. I don't know if you have a daughter but she would not like to know details of strippers, maybe the emotional termoil but not explicit details on what went on. just my thoughts

  • GrandmaJones

    I rather agree with Found Sheep. Kids don't like to think of parents having sex, not even in marriage. TMI. No details.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    good thoughts and appreciated as i dont want to stuff this up!

    perhaps erring on the side of caution will be needed in places.

    i am writing like a mad man, several 'chapters' at once. i will need to do some editing me thinks!


  • 3Mozzies

    Hey Oz, I say while writing your story, to write it ALL out, warts and all. Then go back and create an EDITED version for your kids. (but keep the full version somewhere safe)

    If you decide not to give them your life story now, maybe you can put it in your will, that when you pass away and your children are a certain age, for it to be released to them.

    I personally would love to know my parents history - warts & all, however I am in my late 30's, I wouldn't want to have known it when I was a teenager.

    Edited version for teenagers.

    FULL version when they are adults.

    Just my 2c.

    Even if you don't give it to them, I think it will help you just by writing it.

    I have no kids so I can not even imagine the pain you are going through!


  • Scully

    Kids don't need to know all the nitty gritty details. Some things, like sexual indiscretions for instance, can be summed up with the phrase "I did some things that I am not proud of and I regret with all my heart the hurt that happened as a result." You can also add that it is not your intention to burden them with the details of those incidents, but when they feel that they need to know, you will be willing to answer their questions.

    Keep in mind that your kids may not be emotionally or mentally prepared to have this knowledge at this point in their lives. Leaving out sordid details, while some people would consider it "dishonest", others would say that children have a right to not be exposed to these until they are older and asking questions of you.

    Only you can surmise what your kids can handle now, and you can always re-assess their readiness at a later time and open up to them as they start wanting more details.

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