Introducing myself and opinions valued please

by michelleatkin68 28 Replies latest jw friends

  • michelleatkin68


    My name is Michelle and from the age of 3 I was brought up one of JW. My parents became witnesses whilst in Germany when my father was stationed there with the British army. We then came back to England where I lived in Darwen, Lancashire, and attended Darwen, Bolton and Blackburn congregations over the next 18 years. I became a pioneer at 16 upon leaving school despite opposition from my teachers who all felt that I should stop on at school. I was the "model" witness child and teenager, with several appearances on the Circuit and District assembly platforms and with the CO and DO visits. Got married at 17 to another much older witness, had two children by the age of 20. Then at 23 decided that I could no longer live with my husband and left him. Then it went downhill. I was almost immediately disfellowshipped at 23 and from then to now ( I am now 44) my parents and sister and extended family did not speak to me. My father has had a chequered past within the witnesses in that he was convicted of making obscene phone calls to random women in the 80s and also of following women randomly in the car. There was also voyeuristic child abuse involving myself, of which if it had been done now, would have warranted prosecution and adding to the sex offenders register. Of course it was all covered up and I was encourage to "forgive and forget" and to get married, which I duly did.

    I went on to have a further five children, of which my parents refuse to speak to or acknowledge and they would not attend my second wedding.

    Anyway the opinions I am looking for are on my contemplation of writing to my parents. I don't expect a reply, this is for me. I never got the chance to say how disappointed, let down and hypocritical I think my parents are, especially my mother. How can a mother tolerate a man, whom she then chooses over her own child to do what he did.

    I know it will not lead to anything, but it will make me feel better.

    Thoughts welcome and thanks if you have got this far!! Plus anyone from the sunny North West of the uk????/

    Michelle :)

  • cult classic
    cult classic

    Hi Michelle,

    Welcome! I know you find so much love and comfort in your life with your children. Big families are so much fun! Writing to your mom is tricky. If she hasn't reached out to you all of these years, her response, or lack of response, could be painful.

    If you think you can handle it either way, I say go for it. Especially if it will help you move forward in your heart.

  • undercover

    Welcome to the board.

    If writing the letter is therapeutic, then by all means do it. The only suggestion I would make would be to write it, put it away for a week, come back and read it fresh. Revise it as needed, clarifying points, adding forgotten ones. Edit several times if needed. Once you know that it's the letter you want them to read, then send it. Or maybe not send it. Sometimes just writing things down is all you need.

    There probably is an argument for not writing/sending a letter, such as 'let sleeping dogs lie', 'why revisit a painful past'...but if putting your thoughts down and sending it gives you closure, I still say do it.

  • outsmartthesystem

    Your parents probably view you as a poor lost puppy. If you write them a letter, you'll be an angry, poor lost puppy. Don't expect the letter to have any result. But if it makes you feel better.....then by all means...send it!

    BTW - Welcome!

  • designs

    I make a collage of photos and send them to JW relatives once a year.

  • james_woods

    Welcome to the board!

    Undercover made a good suggest - I second that motion.

  • palmtree67

    I like Undercover's advice.

    Welcome, Michelle

  • nugget

    Michelle thank you for posting and sharing these events. The trouble with JWs in this situation is that they seperate their own wrongdoing from that of people they are punishing through shunning. I have found it is often the people with the most to hide themselves that are harshest in applying the shunning rule.

    In your case you are right to be angry, your father's behaviour was disturbing and predatory to his own child and to others. Your mother chose to support your father rather than protect her child. Both your parents betrayed you and both your parents showed a lack of compassion towards you. Their shunning whilst painful has protected your own children from contact with your father who cannot be trusted to behave appropriately and from your mother who would not have protected them. However that being said if you need closure then write them the letter and lay out how you feel and how their behaviour in the past was an act of betrayal. Leave it for a couple of days before posting and then read it again, if you are still feeling the same way then post it.

    You are a strong woman who has had tremendous courage and determination not to repeat the mistakes your parents made your children are lucky to have you.

  • straightshooter
  • ABibleStudent

    Welcome (((((michelleatkin68))))) to JWN. I'm sorry that your family (i.e., mother) is shunning you and your family. Before you write your mother, please read Steve Hassan's books "Combatting Cult Mind Control" and "Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves". I would also recommend that you under no circumstances write to your mother about WTBTS doctrine or the hurts that she has caused you, unless you want to end any possibility of communicating with her again. You would be better off sending your mother emails and/or letters with lots of pictures of you and your family doing fun things together and inviting your mother to participate. Once she has awakened to the possibility that she is in a dangerous cult, she may be able to understand how she hurt you.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


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