Suggestions for finally talking to my parents about my doubts?

by stillstuckcruz 51 Replies latest jw experiences

  • NewChapter

    This is something you think on for weeks and months---not minutes or days. Some people think on it for years. You must slow down. Maybe this is the right decision for you, and if it is, it will be right in 2 weeks and it will be right in 2 months. Slow down! You don't even have a backup plan yet. You need to think about your living situation, a job, education. You are NOT a minor. You can't be sure your parents won't make you leave. Slow down child.


  • IsaacJ22

    I would not confide in any JW about this. Even if they claim they won't hold anything you say against you, even your best friend is likely to tell the elders. They may do it because Jehovah is watching, or because it's for your own good in their eyes. Sometimes, they make promises like these without truly realizing that you might have something "apostate-like" to say. So they think they can keep the promise but can't.

    I hate to say this, because I'm not big on the idea, but you could try fading. I didn't see if you were still living with your parents or not, but obviously if you are, that will be hard to do. :-(

    I wrote a couple articles online about fading that offered tips on how to do it, but I'm sure there plenty of them available here, too. Note that my family aren't JWs (just my in-laws, who annoy me more than often than not) and even if my family were JWs, I've never been close to them. So it's easy for me to say you shouldn't fade. But maybe, in your case, you should consider it as an alternative to coming out.

    Of course, everyone will eventually realize what has happened. But at least you won't officially be DFed for fading. The length of time required varies depending on how many witch hunters you have in your KH. It could be a matter of months.

  • Paralipomenon

    I was in a very similar situation. I had a very loving caring family. We were always family first, everything else second, even meetings.

    After my wife left, I could no longer pretend I was still a witness. I had small children and didn't want to teach them to lie and hide the truth from my parents. I would have classified my dad as having doubts himself, but he was the one that was the most verbal against my leaving. My mom did the nice little witness thing and pretend she had an open mind to try to change mine.

    After all was said and done, they told me that so long as I didn't disassociate myself we'd be fine as a family. They thanked me for being open and honest with them.

    One week later my mom calls up to say that she can't support my decision and that I am sinning against Jehovah. They couldn't associate with my wife and I, but wanted to make arrangements to see the grandkids. I firmly told them that our family was a package deal and that was almost 5 years ago. In that time I have seen them once a year to drop off pictures of our kids and give them an anniversary card. Even though they refuse to have anything to do with us, they have it in their minds that we are doing it to them.

    Before talking to your family, you really need to decide if you are ready to give them up. If you are not ready for that, I would caution against talking to them.

  • skeeter1

    What are your plans for life otherwise? I have not read your history, but are you working towards having a means to support yourself?

    A wise general chooses his battlefields.

    If you are not set up to earn a living to pay rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance, groceries, clothes, medical, need to get yourself ready to do those things. Since the Generation change now extends the time for Armegheddon for 100ish years, you can deeply think about developing your education so as to support yourself, parents, and future family. Work on getting yourself financially independent. Use the new Generation teaching as support. Don't make any waves until you are independent, other then going to school for an in-demand career. It doesn't have to be college, it can be a technical school, driving school, etc.

    Then, once you are not living in your parent's home... I think you can fade. Just, don't marry a JW girl in the meantime! LOL.

    When we are young, we think everything needs to be settled immediately. When you get older, you will find that you slow down your decision making.


  • skeeter1

    Your local library may have the books. I suggest you do not check them out, but just find a cubbie and read them there. And, if anyone sees you with a Steve Hassan book, say, "Oh, I'm trying to Witness to a friend who is in a cult. I thought I'd learn more about the mind control he is under."

  • DesirousOfChange

    As I read through the entire string of posts, I don't think there was even ONE that recommended that you "come out" at this point in time. These are people who have had experience with your situation. Listen to them. Please.

    One way to bring up topics of "discussion" is to say that they were brought up at work or school. At 20 years old, I suspect you are doing one or the other -- working or schooling. Friends at work, friends at school (BTW--it's important to start building a network of "worldly" friends) can be blamed for challenging the JW doctrines. Once asked and cornered about them by your workmate/schoolmate, you discovered that YOU were unable to give a satisfactory reply. In fact, my challenge came from a person with whom I conducted a Bible Study. He wasn't able to lead me out of the Truth, but the seeds he planted slowly germinated and grew. (I think he was counting his time and me as his Bible Study. haha) I found that I wasn't able to find for him a satisfactory reply to many of his questions. Thus, they became MY questions. Use this strategy on your brother first (since you think he will be most receptive or curious -- but still DO NOT commit that these are YOUR ideas). In this way, it cannot be claimed that these are YOUR apostate ideas. YOU are innocent. You are trying to exonerate the doctrines in question! This workmate/schoolmate can print out info from websites and give it to you. DO NOT say that YOU went to apostate sites and printed material.

    Lay low on the "coming out" thing. In the meantime, get yourself set up for whatever may happen. Work towards getting a job that will support you (and eventually a family) or, if your parents will support the decision, get some further education to advance that future goal. Playing the good JW Boy for a little while longer won't kill you. You've got most of your life still ahead of you, and it will be a much better, higher quality life, if you plan for your future -- including planning a strategy for this decision which will likely bring about greater changes than you have yet experienced so far in your life.

    If any of this is the result that you've found interest in a girl somewhere, do not get caught playing "Hide the Salami" with her or you'll still end up OUT at an incovenient time for you. Play things cool. Do NOT put any of your doubts in writing (texts, emails, etc) and do make such statements before TWO elders at any time. Remember, these ideas ARE NOT your ideas. They were brought up to you by someone else. YOU just need some help understanding things.


  • Coffee House Girl
    Coffee House Girl

    I am the girl who has been there, done that (exactly 2 years ago)-

    I had to make a plan to took time, I was 30 and already living on my own- but I needed a plan:

    a plan to get out and maintain my relationship with my mom- I mentally prepared myself for the fact that I would lose everyone, but I did not want to exit by being DF'd or DA myself- I still wanted a somewhat open door to speak to my parents. Thus I backed off meetings and field service....when others noticed that & my relationships with "worldly" people, the elders turned up the heat. I was VERY CAREFUL not to divulge any information that would get me DF'd for apostacy because I knew that having that specific label meant that my JW mom would shun me until her death. I still will not talk doctrine, and it has been two years since my exiting the JW cult. I also do not discuss my personal life with my JW mom (I now have a fiance who I live with), she does not visit me- this severely limits our relationship...but this is the best it can be for now.

    I also needed a plan to further my education to get on the right track (I need a better job with security and benefits- I now am stuck in retail, but I am going to university to get a career and expand my mind.

    I agree that you need to take some time, breathe, and make a strategic exit that you can live with-

    best of luck to you...I am sorry you are under this turmoil now, I assure you that it does get better with time if you have the courage to free yourself-


  • Morbidzbaby

    I've been where you're at. If I can just echo what others have said DO NOT discuss doctrine.

    Unfortunately, the people we THINK we know so well, the ones we THINK love us and can handle the truth about "The Truth" are the very ones who turn us in to the elders or open their mouths out of "concern for our spiritual health". This is a very slippery slope. Once you open your mouth, you kind of can't take it back. You may find yourself on the business end of three elders asking you if you believe this is god's spirit directed organization!

    My experience is sort of like CHG's... I did, however, open my mouth to my parents because the fire inside me to tell them the truth (that they are in a cult) was eating me up and I just had to tell them! I didn't just blurt it out, but after reading a lot, I was armed when the conversation presented itself.

    Even full of alcohol, my dad defends the organization. He has an excuse or a twisted convoluted reason for every point I bring up. My mom is too naive to know any better and even though she has accidentally admitted that my points made sense, when she realized her faux pas, she got angry and shook her head and told me in an angry and shaking voice "I will NEVER believe that! I will NEVER let you break my relationship with Jehovah!". So... I fucking give up, honestly. This all happened while I was living under their roof and hadn't been to a meeting in about 6 months, nor out door to door.

    I spent months dodging the elders... Their phone calls, their pop-in visits, etc. Twice they came over uninvited when my parents weren't home and I told them I was busy and had no time to talk. Avoid Avoid AVOID! I do have to say that my dad was pretty cool about things...when they would approach him and tell him they were going to come over on the weekend, he'd tell me ahead of time so I could make myself scarce. So 9 times out of 10, when they came over, I wasn't there. My dad's a MS and my mom is a pioneer...but they both knew the repercussions if the elders found out how I really thought. So in their own way, they protected me.

    I moved away a few months ago. I moved in with my boyfriend, I'm incredibly happy, and I still have the freedom to speak to my parents because I haven't been DF'ed, nor have I DA'ed. I haven't set foot in a Kingdom Hall in over a year, haven't gone in service, haven't been to a Memorial or an assembly or convention...and I feel SO FREE. I knew it would feel good to be completely out, but I didn't know it would be like this. My boyfriend encourages me to look into whatever interests me, whether it's science or witchcraft, aliens or atheism. I can read what I want and WATCH what I want without having to look over my shoulder and wonder if a JW will see me...because if they do, they have no idea what my background is, so it wouldn't matter to them anyway lol.

    I've made some friends here. My bf introduced me to some of his friends and I've made some acquaintances at work. One of the women the bf introduced me to actually studied with JW's and went to meetings for 2 months a long time ago and she got a very weird feeling and knew exactly what it was and beat a hasty retreat. So she pretty much understands me in a lot of ways. She said she couldn't imagine being raised like that and then marrying into it as well. Her sister-in-law married a JW and is now in the midst of a divorce. So this woman "gets it".

    I guess I'm saying this because the one real way you can leave the org without losing your family is to keep your mouth shut and get out on your own...preferably a distance away from people who know you so you're free to be who you are and pursue what you want to pursue without being scared that you'll be spotted. Don't be afraid of "worldly people". To be honest, a lot of us here are now considered as such and you have no problem talking to us and "associating" with us, so just take it into real life.

    Keep us updated and let us know how things go for you, whatever you decide.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    Hey, I just got good news - my wife and child are moving back in with me soon. What I have learned: Don't do it too quickly or you will hurt them and offend them. They feel the organization = them. What you need to do is first get a job and be able to support yourself just in case you blow up like I did.

    Start slacking off in service and blame your job. Promise you'll do more as things calm down. Once they're used to it, start missing a (1) meeting for not feeling well. Blame stress or whatever. Then miss another meeting a month or so later, blame whatever is happening (there's always something) until they stop asking why you're randomly missing a meeting every one or two months. As soon as you get a cough, stay home for a week or so. ANYTHING, use as an opportunity to stay away. Go to a friend elsewhere or whatever.

    Then start slacking some more in service. Go on vacation or whatever you have to do to stay out of their minds. If you can live on your own at any point and you do so, try to move out of the territory if possible and switch halls. Don't go in service in that hall. Tell them you're going with your parents and during the week because you work weekends now. Tell your parents you're going with your hall. Miss more meetings, comment very sparsely, show up once in a while in your parents' hall so you have an alibi. People in your new hall should not view you as very spiritual.

    Then you can finally miss more and more meetings until you stop coming. Whenever someone notices say "I'm going through some hard times right now" or "I know, I'll promise I'll be there Sunday (and do so once in a while)"

    Make sure your field service reports aren't high in numbers but turn one in for the first few months. Then become irregular, then inactive. Once you're inactive you may get elders over the floor. Tell them whatever they want to hear (tickle their ears, they like that) and go halfway in whatever you promise. Don't say you have doubts, say you have stress or that you have some mental issues and that you're seeing a psychiatrist. Be vague and forgettable, but don't have any serious issues, they get bored eventually.

    Exiting will take about 2-5 years according to my calculations depending on the zeal of your elders. Especially when there's a rotation of elders or you switch halls, you can fade quicker. If at all possible, switch halls often but don't immediately announce it. Go to certain halls temporary, to others more frequently, you're young so you can afford to have very unstable housing arrangements or so especially in a city, be quick to move if the elders get pushy and stay if you feel the elders are lax.

  • love2Bworldly

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