The worst thing I did was to be over controlling with my kids and to raise my voice more than I should have. Watchtower control hurt them. But I made damn sure those kids had a lot to make up for the things the WT took from them. They do appreciate those things. My daughter has turned herself into a helpless victim. I am trying to gently help her to realize she has the power to change her life.
Trying to Deal with MY Parental Guilt
LADYLEE -- i hear ya! i have to say the serenity prayer a lot --- and that i'm powerless over others. i don't like family/friends being part of the cult, but i have to surrender the situation to God, BELIEVE ME. as parents, we thought we were doing our very best teaching them the truth (lie) and about Jehovah. one thing for sure --- we have no power over our childrens' lives yet are distressed when they have a hangnail.
some GREAT responses to your post --- i really appreciate the feedback.
if you were in my city, we could meetup and have a good time -- if you ever travel to the states -- message me and we can commiserate and you can be a tourist and i'll be the tour guide.
All this came obout this weekend because I spoke with one of my mother's sisters. She became a JW about 15 years ago. Two of her children are also JWs - well were - one is DFed. My aunt told me the elders have tried to push her to shun her daughter. She refuses. She told them that if she was ever going to help her daughter shunning her wasn't the way to do it. Over time she has lost almost all interest in the WTS although she says she still believes some of it but on some things they are very unloving.
Compare this to my mother who shuns not only me but my two daughters who were never baptized and left the JWs when they were 14 and 11.
My aunt says she is very sad that my mother is so cold and unloving as a person. She sees it in her and doesn't like it.
I have seen my aunt maybe 5-10 times in my life. I feel closer to her than I do to my mother. Even when I was "close" to my mother our relationship was always about making her feel good, taking care of her needs even when I was a kid. I don't get that with my aunt. I got off the phone and thought how odd it was to feel so much more connected in a few rare contacts with my aunt that I ever did with my mother.
I have tried very hard not to be like my mother. Thank goodness I didn't always live with her when I was a kid. I'd probably be the mess most of my siblings are.
So in taking a look at how I was mothered and how I mothered I know I made vast improvements.
All 5 of my mother's children were sexually abused - boys and girls.
All 5 of us were beaten black and blue - by her!
All 5 of us were thrown out of the house before we were 16. I actually got to go home when I was 16 and then she spent 2 years trying to marry me off to the first JW who would take me.
I spanked my kids but never beat them and after I left the JWs only hit one of them once - I have apologized for that because I still think spanking is not the right way to discipline kids and it never worked anyways
They weren't sexually abused as kids. They both knew that if anyone did anything to them they were to tell anyone and everyone until they got the help they needed.
They also knew they didn't have to stay in abusive marriages or put up with crap.
They have made mistakes and learned from them a lot younger than I did but then they didn't feel trapped inside JW marriages.
Amazing what surfaces when another layer of the onion is peeled back
"You're the parent, they think you know everything
Most kids get past this when they turn 15 lol "
My daughter was 14 when she told me something that a high school senior said,
and when I tried to tell her different, my daughter stated that this certain person
knew what they were takin' about because they were in the 12th grade.
Ha Ha , imagine that !!!!!!
My children are affected by the aftermath of being raised jws. I have tried so hard to get them to join the discussion boards, but they won't. They are friends with a group of the jws kids who are all out of the org now. One good thing they do is talk to me. I can't get them into therapy or discussion boards but they will talk to me. Finally I am able to "teach them what I know and pass it on down". I can't go back and undo what happened but I can try as hard as I can to give them the benefit of what I have learned from the folks here on this board, you being the foremost.
Vince Gill song" young man's town" , a verse in it says, " sometimes you gotta stand back and watch them burn it to the ground..even though you built it , it's a young man's town... teach them what you know and pass it on down..". Our children are living their own lives with their own story. We can teach them what we know and that is about it.
My daughter was 14 when she told me something that a high school senior said, and when I tried to tell her different, my daughter stated that this certain person knew what they were takin' about because they were in the 12th grade.
OMG I can just imagine parents saying "I went to grade 12"
and the child would rooll their eyes and say"
But it doesn't count if you didn't go to grade 12 in this century!
I pity those parents
Hi Out Law, I love your comments, but I think you're off on this..
You have to be responsible for your own bullshit, even if you kids are adults......K.K..
I don`t Disagree..The fact Remains..
Your Adult Children "Have to be Ready" to "Hear You"..
Until then..You wait..
" But it doesn't count if you didn't go to grade 12 in this century! "
That's exactly what she was tryin' to relay to me, I just did'nt know how to phrase it
thank you Lady Lee
And come to think of it, we didn't graduate in the same century
You have received lots of sensible advice. I don't think I can improve on what others have said. I can make a short comment, but before that I want to send you my sympathies and this virtual flower .
You said you keep trying to trigger a conversation. Perhaps your daughters won't talk to you, or their father, but they would talk to someone else? Someone who is not an authority figure for them? I see that everyone has looked at this from the point of view of the parents. Why not try to look at it from the point of view of the children?
This is not to say you're a bad woman, because you're not, first, and there is ample proof of that if any were needed. But, whether you want it or not, you were an authority figure for them, and it is probably safe to say that, as in every relationship between child and parent, some areas were not that nice for the child to bear. I love my parents but I know they weren't always nice, and I know there are some areas I resent and always will.
You have helped and continue to help many people. Perhaps it's time someone helps you? Can you arrange for someone to visit you, talk to you, and perhaps strike a conversation with one of your daughters, so she might want to talk to that person?
I won't say more about this but I had my own complaints against my parents. I learned to put them behind me. I'm sure your daughters may be trying as well. Perhaps the heart of the matter is that you are not YET the right person for them to vent.
I think you're in bad need of a hug..
Well, no one got a perfect parent,,we can hope that our children didn't have to dig out of quite the deep hole we had to do, a crappy hole that our parents and the WTs put us in. We tried then to do the best we could do.
Most of us have had to forgive our parents, some came from very disfunctional families themselves. Some had great personal internal insecurities, and psychological stuff and they thought the over-structure, domineering, judgemental, burdensome religion would help them personally, but it in reality didn't, only seemed to mask their ugliness.
Guilt doesn't really help much, not for long. Not if we let it bury us, it causes deep serious depression. I am a "no-preach" person, but I think Jesus didn't want people to wallow in guilt/depression, becomes no purpose. If ones don't believe in Jesus that way or at all, hopefully, their common sense helps them to somehow move on. Some times we have to look at our self as a friend, and encourage and express forgiveness toward our self.
We hope that our children will then learn positive things and raise their own children with a better life. Yet, they too, will have to come to terms that they too will not be a "perfect" parent but do mostly the best that they can do.