Please. One At A Time. But I Have Found The Answer... ;)

by headisspinning 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • headisspinning

    Life is short and I regret the years I have wasted. I feel like crying over the damage I have caused my kids by raising them in a cult. But I really honestly believed all of it. I thought that the reason it didn't work for me - in 37 years - was because I was, in a word 'BAD'. For my kids, I am trying to cause the least amount of damage possible to them now. I am just waiting to get them out when they are ready. And as I said before, my son who is almost 15 already said he does not believe any of it...

    But it's so hard!

    I want to spring into 'rescue my babies' mode! Get away from those hurtful people, please!

    And I don't know how to be normal for our little guy... he is only ONE. What is a normal childhood in this day and age? I love the idea of family get togethers and traditions, but the idea of Santa Claus or birthday candles or trick-or-treating is still really not appealing to me... is there a way to find a middle ground and kind of be trend setters in this regard? I mean, there must be other parents who for various reasons are non-religious and non-conformist and who reject that sort of thing... I mean, what about those who have immigrated from other countries? How do they integrate their kids?

    Just so confused, overwhelmed and yes... sleepy... ah yes~! The answer: sleep

  • OnTheWayOut

    Hey, I don't have the answers specifically tailored for you, but you will figure it out along the way.

    I would say you gotta do birthdays. I had them taken away from me and I love them now. There aren't a bunch of clowns and party favors because I am an adult with a JW wife, but if not for the JW wife, there would be clowns and party favors and maybe some Halloween decorations and maybe a tree in the house in December. Maybe not, but I would try it before I dismissed it.

  • FlyingHighNow

    In the Wonder Works production of Anne of Green Gables, Matthew has bought Anne a puffed sleeved dress to wear to the Christmas ball. Marilla throws a fit and says she cannot go to the ball. Matthew says to Marilla:

    “ Fact is, Marilla, you never went to a ball. Fact is, this whole idea's got you scared to death. That little girl ought to have all the kindness we can give her. We've got no call to raise her as cheerless as we was. It ain't interfering to have an opinion. Besides, it's Christmas. You ought to let her go.”

  • Pams girl
    Pams girl

    Little steps will get you there.........a cake is only a birthday cake if you put candles on it..........why not have a regular cake, and just a few kids and parents, a couple of dont have to go the whole hog to have a wonderful day....

    As far as Xmas is concerned, just try having a small tree with some presents, nothing fancy or over the top....

    Getting together with family/friends is the most important aspect in all of this, you can make some wonderful memories without all the fancy decorations if you want......dont worry, go with the flow.......enjoy and have fun x

  • jean-luc picard
    jean-luc picard

    Hi, HIS.

    Pams girl gives good advice in my opinion.

    Mrs Picard is a Catholic, as her family. Yet its me who pushes her to do something for birthdays and christmas.

    We dont go overboard, but its me who likes to mark the occasion. I love putting up the decorations with the children ( well grandchild now). I put on christmas music and sing whilst doing it. It feels good.

    And thats the clue. Do what feels good, first of all for you. That creates an ambiance which others catch on to. But as I said, Mrs P, a non Jdub, isnt too branched into festivities. No one is under any obligation.

    Just be happy. Festivities = the feel good factor.

    Best wishes to you and yours. JLP

  • Scully


    It's been almost 17 years since we stopped going to meetings, and it was around this time in 1994 when Mr Scully and I decided we needed to get out of the JW cult. Earlier that year, after the Memorial™ (where the Attendants™ were instructed not to pass the Emblems™ to me because I had postpartum depression and the Elders™ thought I might Partake™ unworthily) I became suicidal and had to be hospitalized - it was the last straw in a year-long pile-on of mental cruelty and emotional abuse by the local JWs, while at the same time trying to maintain Meeting Attendance™ and Field Service™ expectations.

    It seemed like every time we tried to have a little fun with our kids - going apple picking or putting up some gourds and hay bales in the fall, or going to a local farm in the spring to see the baby animals, or putting up decorations of snowmen and snowflakes around the house in winter (all the while emphasizing Jehovah's hand in making all these things) - I'd get reamed out for "celebrating" or observing holidays. I was expecting our youngest when this was happening too, and the stress ended up with me being on bedrest for a month. Of course, the Elders™ - with their vast knowledge and experience in obstetrics - discouraged us from listening to the doctor's advice (after all, what did he know? besides Jehovah will look after you if you keep doing his will). When we followed our doctor's advice, that's when all the "hazing" behaviour ramped up exponentially - and that is when I started questioning the JWs' claim of being the most loving people on the planet.

    Anyway, putting up little seasonal decorations is a fun place to start with your kids, and baking seasonal treats is a fun thing to do as well. One of our favorite things was to pack them up in the car at Christmas time, with some hot chocolate (marshmallows optional), and drive around looking at the lights on peoples' homes. Our town has a bit of a Christmas competition every year and the evening news features different homes with amazing Christmas decorations - so we'd drive around and try to find our favorites.

  • FlyingHighNow

    Scully, I guess I didn't realize how alike our reasons for exiting the cult were. It was the elder and congregation reaction to illness that made me take a lasting look at things. And we did the same light tours. We couldn't call them Christmas Light Tours, so we stole the name Tacky Light Tours from an Atlanta radio station.

  • nancy drew
    nancy drew

    A different way of looking at birthdays is to tell your child how happy you are that they where born and you want to celebrate that day because it is special to you tell them about the birth in a loving way and any gifts you give to them are gifts of thank you for being my child and bringing me such pleasure. The org makes it out like it's an egotistical event but as i tell my mother I don't remember any of it really it's your day not mine.

    You can give holidays a different viewpoint if you're not comfortable with them.

  • Reopened Mind
    Reopened Mind

    headisspinning and life is short you cannot change the past, only look ahead to the future. TotallyADD and I raised our boys in the WT cult. They grew up and married JW women as well. The oldest one is totally out and the youngest is biding his time until he can escape with his family. You will find that children are very resilient. So give them a chance and help them find their own way.

    Make your own family traditions by introducing your unique celebrations as you are comfortable with them. Keep in mind you and your family have come out of a destructive mind controlling cult that has filled your heads with so much fear and guilt that it will take time to minimize. I don't think it ever goes away. Gradually replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Nancy drew's suggestion of celebrating your child's birthday because he is special is a good one.

    The WT continually harps on birthdays as being bad because a murder ocurred during two pagan celebrations. Yet they forget that the Christian Greek Scriptures opens with the angels celebrating the birth of Jesus. (This is not surprising since the governing body has replaced Jesus with themselves, the faithful and discreet slave.)

    Reopened Mind

  • jamiebowers

    If your older kids are like most who were raised in the organization, they will leave in their own time. You have an opportunity to let them see normal life by how you treat your baby while explaining to them that you did the best with what you knew at the time when they were younger.

    I love the idea of family get togethers and traditions, but the idea of Santa Claus or birthday candles or trick-or-treating is still really not appealing to me... is there a way to find a middle ground and kind of be trend setters in this regard?

    You know what? Waiting in endless lines with my younger sisters so they could sit on Santa's lap or take a picture with the Easter Bunny wasn't ecstatic for me. And all of the planning, shopping, and cooking for my stepkids' birthdays and other holidays wasn't always what I wanted to be doing at the time. Even now, sitting out in Ohio's chilly and sometimes rainy weather for hours to give candy to 500 trick-or-treaters isn't a thrill a minute for me either. But when you see the faces of the kids for whom you are knocking yourself out, it makes it all worth it!

    As the years pass while you're creating your own traditions, you will realize that it is necessary to take the time to celebrate. Life goes by so quickly, and it's easy to forget the magic that children want and need. That's what holidays are stop you in your tracks and realize that something special needs to be done on certain days. You may not realize how important they are until your baby is grown. That's what happened to me once after our kids were grown. I was more debilitated tha usual with a new ailment, so I announced that I wouldn't be baking or decorating for Christmas.

    My step-daughter, who had a child of her own, came apart at the seams. "No Neiman Marcus cookies, pumpkin roll, and pineapple crush cake? No big tree with the 1,000 ornaments? No angel and Santa Claus collections set out in the living room?", she cried. Well, that year my dear girl did most of the work under my direction, because she couldn't imagine Christmas being anythng less for her child than it was for her.

    As far as religion is concerned, don't play up that aspect of it if it makes you uncomfortable. Many people don't.

    FHN, I loved "Anne of Green Gables" and remember that episode well!

Share this