I need advice/help. From those with teens to 'save' and from any teens on here too.

by Aussie Oz 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    I need some advice and help.

    There is going to be a 'shit fight at the it's not OK correl' soon, i know it.

    Many are aware of my efforts to rescue my kids from the evilness that is the Wt. I am reaching my daughter and hearing things that are disturbing to me. Today i found out that she has doubts about the JWs (partly due to me) and says its because she has found out they lie and some things dont add up. She no longer wants to go to meetings and witnessing but is scared of hurting her mother. (who she lives with) She is torn with feelings of guilt and being a bad person for wanting to be a 'worldy'.

    She wants to be a 'normal' girl and not a JW girl. This as i am sure many of you know would cause severe stress and depression in anyone, let alone a kid.

    Its tough as i only see her every two weeks, but i have got her consent to talk about her doubts and many other issues next time i see her. She was under the impression that if she stopped meetings her mother would have to shun her, thankfully i sorted that misconception out today. (she is not baptised). Her mother will be one of the 'our house our rules' type.

    I am feeling strongly that the only way she can do this may be to live with me. This will not need to disrupt her schooling nor move her away from friends. BUT it will start WW3. There will be NO NEGOTIATION fron the ex, that is not her style. the only way i can see to do this is to get my legal ducks in order, notify the local police and not take her home on the sunday afternoon. I know that within the hour of being late, she will call the police. She is of legal age to choose her custodial parent, but the ex will not let this be an easy thing. If my daughter is not able to face her mother, i will do it.

    Perhaps i need to take her to a counselor for help and legal/professional backup?

    How do i navigate the world of helping her see through the fog of pain about something that should be simple? ie; just to be free to be a normal person.

    It tears me up to learn the devastion that so called religions like the JWs can wreak on young people who because of age and inexperiance can see no way out of the inner turmoil.

    Have you been through this? Have you had to take custody of your kid? If you are a teen, how did you tell your JW parent?


  • EntirelyPossible

    Do it. Square it away with the lawyers first, get the paperwork in order. Once that's done, pick her up. Stop by the store for a Coke or a bottle of water, call her mom and inform her of the change, the steps that were take and that the official paperwork from the lawyers and courts is on it's way to be delivered.

  • Scully

    At some point, depending on the rules in your area, a teenager has the right to choose which parent they want to live with.

    It's 13 in Canada. And truly, it's out of the other parent's control. They can choose to be pissed off or supportive, but the law sides with the child.

    Now, that said, I'm sure you're having conversations with your daughter already to the effect that while she won't need to follow JW rules while she lives with you, that will NOT mean that there are NO rules in your home. You need to keep expectations in place regarding school work, curfews, and other behaviour, and consequences for disregarding your house rules. Don't let her think for one moment that she'll be able to do whatever she pleases if she leaves her mum's house and comes to yours.

  • irondork

    Aussie Oz - She is torn with feelings of guilt and being a bad person for wanting to be a 'worldy'.

    No longer being part of THE CHURCH is not synonymous with wanting to be part of the world.

    Personally, I learned alot about the bible from my tenure in THE CHURCH. I don't agree with all of it, obviously, but leaving the church doesn't mean I leave Jehovah or my christian way of life.

    One of the things I happen to agree with the Witnesses about is the "be no part of this world" philosophy. It doesn't take a genius to see the rot and decay of this world. I want no part of it.

    Leaving THE CHURCH = becoming worldly?

    I don't think so!

  • Qcmbr

    No idea with regards to custody etc. Not had the same situation as you. My 11 year old no longer believes partially because I gave her options and talked them through with her. Given the choice between 'boring' church with little actual relevance to what she's interested in and a lack of belief she naturally accepted free thinking.

    At all times I emphasised that choices are rarely set in stone ( she can always decide later that she wants to find a faith), that even if she made life choices we (her parents) disagreed with we would love and accept her no matter what and finally I told her the big secret about adults and institutions - we aren't always right. She was quite relieved when I told her how often I make mistakes, don't know the answer and fly by the seat of my pants.

    Empowered by that knowledge I think many children would be able to endure cult like scenarios and be able to deal with it. The danger is for kids like me who never even knew or contemplated that there could be an alternative.

  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    First of all, contact your lawyer to see what your legal rights are. Don't assume anything that is said here is legally correct - get legal advice and get everything done properly before you take any action.

    As Scully said, lay down some ground rules with her if she wants to live with you. And make sure she isn't merely running away from Mummy.

    Anyway, I'm sure you'll be fine.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Entirely possible, i have made contact with my lawyer for advice pertanant to our state.

    Scully, I know the ex will be very angry, at her and esp me. I am the evil she has been fighting for 13 years and i will be seen to have taken our daughter to satan. As for rules... i am very well aware of the things you speak of and there importance! Thanks for mentioning them!

    Irondork...True, although i personaly am a deist, i will accept whatever beliefs she wants, we did talk briefly today about how wrong it was to be considered a bad person simply for not worshipping god the way some religion tells you to. However, i cannot subscribe to the 'without spot' philosophy, we need to see the world in all its ways and be able to steer a reasonably moral course through it. My challenge as a parent is to help guide my children to make good decisions. The trouble with the Watchtower is they put the 'rot' in their young ones heads as what will happen if they leave. Its no wonder under stress of feeling like walking evil that they decide this is what their fate must be.

    Qcmbr, I have always told her that if she were to become a JW that would be fine with me so long as it is the result of accurate knowledge based on lookling at all sides of the issue. I have encouraged her to be a free thinker, and i have to accept some part in her distress as she realizes the religion is a lie. I will relate the 'it is never set in stone' advice, thats good, as is what i we do also, admit mistakes!


  • nugget

    This is going to be a rough ride for a while for all concerned, your ex wife is going to feel betrayed and angry and the chances are that you will be the focus of her rage. She will try to guilt your daughter into doing things her way and it will be emotional.

    This is where objective legal advice is essential and is the only way through the mess. At the end of it all it is the best interests of the child that count and if she is struggling with the demands of the JW faith and it is having a detrimental effect on her health and well being then as her parent you have to do something. Being sure of your daughters rights and working with you ex will not be easy but will be worth while eventually.

    It is not easy to have a teenage girl in the house full time and having boundaries is essential but what is also important is to have a listening ear.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    You and your lawyer may want to check out these people:


    I don't know them personally but they're linked to from Brenda Lee's (Out of the Cocoon author) website.

    And if you need the Borg's "child custody" packet, let me know.

  • rebel8

    All I know is that, when I was a teen in a "divided" household, I always wanted my dad to move out and take me with him. I think the approach of being available and supportive, while not pushing, is the best. Validate her concerns by reflecting back what she says, but don't give her religious directives. Reinforce you are always there to talk and it's her decision. FWIW

    I think it's awesome you may be able to get her out of that house. It's horrible to be around that crap as a kid. You will help her have a normal, healthy life which will vaccinate her against craziness she experiences when visiting mom.

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