Stressful Session with Uber-Zealous Parents--The Mermaid needs a hug!

by Cadellin 24 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Cadellin

    Okay, for those of you who don't know, I was raised JW by really great though uber-zealous parents. I'm now an adult and have been inactive for about two years due a bunch of reasons, the primary one (or at least the one that got the ball rolling) being the pathological intellectual dishonesty of the WT in how it handles secular quotes and citations. Anyway, my parents are aware of all that and have left the issue alone for about the last year. Today they were over for lunch and, once we were alone, up it came. Have I reconciled my issues? Where do I stand? Etc.

    I'd almost forgot how f*cking hard all this is. Compared to many of you, my fade has been pretty easy, mostly under the radar, shielded by my elder husband who has run interference for me (which is another story). But this time, my parents (who are in their 70's), in particular my father, really laid on the emotion. What hope do I have? What am I doing to my child? Where am I headed? Why can't I just focus on all the good things about the organization? I explained (again) how I got to this point, provided them with an example of the kind of intellectual dishonesty that I find so disturbing (latest creation brochure, p. 23, first full para), stressed that this was just one of many examples and how, of more importance, was what it was symptomatic of.

    My father: There's still so much we don't know about the nature of life and the universe.

    My response: Yes, but just because we don't know everything doesn't mean we don't know anything. Depending on the field of study, there are many, many things that are known with a high enough degree of certainty to make them facts.

    My father: The main reason evolution is false is because it disagrees wtih the Bible's account of creation.

    My response: The degree of logic missing from that statement is staggering. Do you even listen to yourself? If that's not the king of logical fallacies I don't know what is. Actually I didn't say that, but I thought it. But to hear such a tautology coming from someone who truly is capable of highly organized, logical thought was really disturbing; it underscored the fundamental epistimology (is that spelled right? It doesn't look right) of Witnesses--anything knowable is known through the lens of scripture. Period. And I just don't agree with that particular stance anymore. One of the things that my father kept coming back to was how I'd been tainted by university. The funny thing is, a bit later, after they'd left (and the aspirin started to kick in) I realized he was right. I have been "tainted" by a rigorous post-secondary education in reading comprehension and critical thinking. I do have a broader world view. I can spot the rhetorical canards and logical fallacies permeating the WT's writings, and I actually expect them to be accountable (this was another thing I brought up--accountability).

    And then my dear father pulls out the ad hominen like crazy. Did I know that I sounded just like an apostate? What right did I have to expect the WT to comply to my own (tainted) academic standards? My example might seem off to an academic but those weren't the editorial standards the WT was required to adhere to. Did I know that there were many Ph.D.s in the "truth" who had no problem with this? Was I aware of how I had been tainted by the university atmosphere (see preceding para)? (Kind of a contradiction of the preceding query, but I didn't point that out)

    Anyway, it still left me feeling kind of lousy. So what do I do? My mother suggests "locking all my doubts in a room and just carrying on with Jehovah's organization, being part of the brotherhood and enjoying all the good things that the spiritual paradise offers." My repl: "Yeah, but my conscience won't allow me to stand at someone's door and tell them that the human race has only been here for 6,000 years/we're in the time of the end and things have never been worse for the human race/ Noah's flood was for real/[fill in falsity of your choice]" She didn't have much to say in reply but it didn't matter b/c my father did most of the talking.

    One of the worse points was near the end, where he said, "If you're right then mum's and my lives have been for mothing. We have nothing to look forward do and it's all been a waste." Yikes. There's no comeback for that. The best I could do was, "No, you've had a wonderful, happy, healthy life surrounded by people you love and who love you."

    After something like this, I feel like saying, screw it, I'll just go quiet, go back and go along. But I can't "un-know." And ultimately, I have to be able to look myself in the eye at the end of the day (in a mirror, of course, otherwise it would be difficult and painful). I actually said that, but of course, that was translated into "its all about you (me)," I'm the focus of my spiritual wanderings and I need to just get humble and things would be fine.

    Blech. I need a hug.

  • Free!!


    I understand how you feel.... is going to get better... just be patient i think the WT study this week is getting them all worried and remind them about those of us who left.... i faded 3 years ago, and this week for some strange reason i got some misterious phone calls... so... let's just wait a couple of days and let's see what happens!


  • Cadellin

    Thank you, Free! Just seeing all those parantheses is making me feel better. You know, I never thought about the stupid WT study this week but by gum, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Oh, God!!

  • mrsjones5

    A lot of us know how you feel. Commiserate anytime you want. We get you big time.

    My father tried to have that type of conversation with me a couple of years ago but I wouldn't play. He got angry and abusive and told my mother that I am a lost cause. Now he barely speaks to me. Wtf! I'm not even baptized as a jw! *rolls eyes*

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    ME ><YOU , consider yourself hugged

    I usually reply when questioned about my inactivity by saying : I had to quit for my own mental health and happiness . I try not to get into the doctrine and such . I just rely on my experience of being a Witness the first 44 yrs of my life ,and knowing what does and does not make me happy . Those still in still can not understand that thinking ...(it's a cult)

  • PaintedToeNail

    Consider yourself hugged from me too.

  • Roski

    It is difficult for sure. This week I watched a documentary on the Westboro (?) church. It was comforting to know that there are other people

    out there who have the same ability as my mother to think critically.

  • meangirl


  • flipper

    CADELLIN- I'm sorry you are experiencing this stress from your JW parents. It had been a year since your parents had confronted you about this ? It might be that your parents were motivated to talk to you because of this last Sundays WT study on shunning or avoiding worldly people or those who don't honor the WT society. Someone else on another thread mentioned they had a hardline WT study last week on this subject.

    I understand what you're going through as my aged parents in their 80's are active JW's too. It's like tip toeing on eggshells sometimes trying to not offend them, yet I stand up when they try to tell me " it's the last days, it's so wicked ". Then I explain that humans have terrorized each other for centuries . I wish you the best of luck with them. Perhaps if they bring this JW stuff up again you may just say " I have my private thoughts on it, thanks, I'm fine. " And then turn the conversation over to authentic, family type subjects like food, entertainment, or shopping , etc. I find it distracts my JW parents when I change the subject. Hang in there , we are with you

  • Cadellin

    You guys are awesome!!! ((((((((((((ALL OF YOU IN ONE GROUP HUG))))))))))))))

    Flipper: Brilliant suggestion. Yes, that's what I'll do. I don't want to give them pain, nor do I want to do this to myself again either. Things have been really good b/w us and hopefully they can continue.

    Oh, boy, this forum is so incredibly helpful for moments (days) like this. You guys ALL rock!

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