she is a people pleaser and looks for acceptance and conflict avoidance - Witness My Fury
Nailed it. So I can see how a high control group that promises to take you in and do all the thinking for you (and everyone else you associate with) would appeal to her. Her exact words once were "Voicing an opinion is risky." That's just one of the many sad quotes she's come out with.
I try to stay out of her life, and while i appreciate the advice to let her make her own decisions, she's constantly making ones that lead her further down a black hole and as much as i love her, I can't keep pulling her out. I have other children, including one with a learning disability who needs more help than all my children combined (who witnesses were calling on at one point until they found out they won't be able to convert him because he doesn't understand, he's not interested, and don't expect him to tell you so.), and it's hard for me to help her when her method of dealing with her sadness and what ever misery she's experiencing in her head (pretty certain she suffers from paranoia and delusions and this idea that EVERYONE talks about her in a negative way.) is to withdraw. She didn't go to the meeting on the weekend, and hasn't had a study this week. She's already distancing herself from her new 'friends' and this behavior cost her friendships in the past. It's like she wants to belong somewhere but she won't make an effort to. The fact that her 'friendships' with JWs aren't going anywhere because of this limited association bullshit is depressing her. And the scary thing is, she'll say "I'M TRYING TO DO WHAT THEY WANT ME TO." It's just ALL ABOUT everyone else with her. What does everyone else think, what does everyone else expect of her, etc. So god knows how the hell she'll cope with the doors, she's likely to take rejection of JW's garbage doctrine, personally. Also, she's just NOT herself around witnesses, I've seen this false persona at the hall. She's not extremely immoral, or promiscuous or into drugs and drinking, but she is on the crass side, and is attracted to that kind of person and it's not found in the hall where most people are trying to be what they can't be. But she doesn't care because at this point she thinks it's all she has. I can't imagine she's having much fun around people who act holier than thou. She argues that suppressing her old personality (in other words WHO SHE IS!) is pleasing God. I've pleaded with her "How can you love God when you can't even love yourself?"
I've been through it with her since she was 10 years old. I won't go into it too much because this isn't a self esteem/mental disorder support forum. But that's to give you an idea where I stand. A lot of people have said let her make her own decision, and if that's to get baptized, support it, but I'm tired. And i don't want her to think I'm always going to be there for her, because one day i won't be. I can't be. And i can't support her becoming a JW. I don't want to know about it. I've told her that if she does it, she's moving out, because thats her new life and NEW FAMILY. The hall we go to isn't that friendly, it's quite clique-y and it's got a reputation amongst other congregations for being that way. So she convinced me to go to the 2 day assembly (I went to one day - and never again) to show me that it wasn't all like that. Well, it was awful. 900 or something of God's people, and maybe 5 greetings all day. At lunch hour, we walked the whole place, looking like sheep without a shepherd. Her teacher's answer was "Well, no one knows you're a study, they probably think you're witnesses." Oh, right, so the deal is make the study feel welcome, but once you're a witness, and you're still on your own, tough. That contradicts the present story: "you're not one of us yet so we limit association." Funny enough, part of the next talk inside was about widening out and my daughter took this as a sign that "Jehovah" is speaking so she's convinced again that it's the right religion, and the entire day was about putting your life aside to pioneer. Had we not car-pooled, i would have taken my car and left.
It's incredibly hard to be in these places, and all the way home hear witnesses go on about how blessed they are in the truth and how wrong the rest of the world is living when i know THE TRUTH that they dismiss as "Satan." That's why if my daughter decides to commit this, i can't support it or listen to it. I know there are nice JW's (just like there are nice people ANYWHERE ELSE, TOO) and i'm sad for them.
I've talked to her so much about why JW is false, that she's NOT studying the bible at all, just their literature, and she agrees, but then she says things like "It's all I have." I think she knows it's not real, but it's easier for her to stay in a lie than accept it IS a lie, if that makes any sense. Her fear of the world, if nothing else, will keep her in. And the religion constantly plays on that fear, as you know. The theme of the assembly WAS "Be no part of the world." Needless to say, she loved it and took 20 pages of notes. Her comment to me was "How can living for God and rejecting Satan's system be bad?" I honestly don't have an answer for that. I'm sure my silence is only convincing her more that this is the right thing to do. And i'm sure she replays back whatever criticisms i make to her teacher and other JWs who are loving the 'persecution.' that they've been long brainwashed to expect. That's why it feels hopeless.
"she will get baptized only to leave the organisation for good in about 3 years from now, after which she will join our ranks and become an atheist. - DagothUr
I hope not. I don't want her becoming an atheist because she has been brainwashed to believe her relationship with Jesus has anything to do with how many doors she knocks on, how many meetings she attends, etc. She tells me she's been PRAYING to go out in the field service, so even she knows thats not going to be easy for her because she avoids talking about religion with her friends because she knows they disagree with her, and in her own words "I can't even knock on a door for a cup of sugar." I'd say she's DREADING field service.
I said to her "Has Jesus answered your prayers in the past?"
-"Yes. That's how I know he's real. Humans haven't helped me at those times."
-"Well have you considered that he's not answering it because the organization is not the truth, and this so called apostate material thats coming to you now is his way of answering your prayer, telling you that you don't HAVE to do this?"
- "But, what gives the witnesses then the power to go out preaching if it's not holy spirit? Why is Jesus showing me the truth, but they're in the dark, when they pray to him as well?"
- "Jesus doesn't command them to go out, it's the organization they're committed to. It's an obligation. Maybe it's Satan giving them the power since they're actually teaching lies about Jesus, and they don't pray TO him, but through him. All through the witnesses bible, changes have been made to make Jesus seem like less than he is."
And thats what I personally dislike about the doctrine. "Jehovah God" wasn't crucified for our sake, Jesus was. And I know not everyone here believes in Satan, but I do, and it makes sense to me that Satan would back a religion that places decreased importance on Jesus. The bible says about the body of christ, that he who doesn't partake has no life in him, and the witnesses basically refuse it like it's a game of "pass the parcel." Since the 144,000 anointed ones is pure crap and the heads know it, WHAT is the purpose of this but to refuse Jesus? My daughter was startled enough by this, but has chosen to push it under the rug. I think the perfect world the witnesses have painted for her has a stain that she doesn't WANT to acknowledge.
And that's where the conversation ends.
Jgnat, THANK YOU, that's all so helpful, definitely something to print out and keep referring back to. Your last point hits home because I've been invited to dinners at friends houses who are witnesses but never pushed it on me, that seemed to be no strings attached, but when we got there, other witnesses were there and religion came up immediately.
I talked at the hall to a young girl who had been disfellowshipped in the past. Outright asked her how much misery came with it. All she could say was she was grateful for it because she otherwise never would have acknowledged she was doing the wrong thing, if her righteous friends and family hadn't distanced themselves from her. Spare me! That's another mind lost to this bullshit. I couldn't even treat a stray dog how they treat one of their own who strayed.
Of course i'll be there for my daughter if she was ever disfellowshipped or just chose to leave, but i fear what the aftermath will be of losing whatever friends she has in it. I can be loving, but i can't make up for the lost friendships or convince her that she hasn't LEFT God and she is still a wonderful young woman. This is why i don't want this baptism to happen. I want to avoid all the problems i believe are inevitable.
Thank you all so much, i'm overwhelmed by all the good advice and points I've overlooked. Her mind flip flops just as much as the doctrine has and i hoped by writing this that i'd be given some insight into how the JW mind works and I have a wealth of information. There's really nowhere else to turn, since none of my friends or our family (besides my brief study in which my ex-husband burned the books) have had anything to do with witnesses.
My new fear is she'll meet a guy and THAT'LL BE IT. The perfect JW man who doesn't cheat, doesn't look at porn, doesn't masturbate! LOL. I think she might be very motivated by fear and believe strongly in it's ability to keep people in order, and what she sees in the JW's is people who won't do everything she hates about humans out of fear. She knows all about these kind of mind control techniques, she was obsessed with "1984" by George Orwell which is about this sort of thing. So she's not ignorant of it. My worst fear is that she doesn't object to being controlled, or the people around her, being controlled. From what she's said to me she believes JW's are better than the worldly people because at least they have a conscience. Combine that with talks at the hall about the witnesses being the "glow worms in the world", and young sisters telling her "Hate the world, it's all bad, the people are terrible, Satan has just blinded everyone." and her own belief of "It's all I have." and thats why i say there's no hope!