I'm going through similar stuff, but my two jw daughters are older and do shun me now that I have turned "apostate." I once heard an interview by the mom of (I forget his name, some famous guy who was always pushing for consumer rights, anyway) his mom was interviewed on Phil Donahue (really giving my age away lol), and the mother said, "Don't expect your children to thank you. Just expect them to respect you." Or maybe she said, don't expect them to love you, either way, it has a similar sentiment. My problem is, I was never a good, spiritual jw mom, so my girls hated me when they grew up, blamed me because we weren't a popular jw family (funny, inactive dad never got the blame), and I found out years later their friend's mom's would criticize me (I was going to college and other things) and they told my kids I had no business doing that, if I loved them I would be concerned for their spiritual welfare. The thing was, I believed a lot of the teachings, but just thought the imminent end just might not be quite as close as they kept saying, and wanted my kids to have more of a life, in case it was much farther away than they thought. I was really pulled between the real me and what I wanted for my kids and the jw teachings and always struggled with that. Anyway, I hate the religion, too, and so wish I had never raised my kids in it. I know for certain things would have been better, different, but better. I could have freely encouraged them to go after whatever their passion was, that kind of thing. I lived through 30 years of cognitive dissonane with that, and tha affected my kids, too. If only we could go back and do things over. All I can do for now is hope and wait. I have actually resorted to sending out mental messages to my kids in the hopes that somehow our mental thoughts do go out there in some sort of brain waves that maybe, just maybe, could get picked up by them. Crazy, I know. But that's what I've had to resort to, since there just is nothing more I can do. Believe me, I've tried. So every night, I sit out on my porch and think some thoughts and mentally send them toward where they live.
Oh, the pain
Don't talk to her about cult activities. Is there anything she likes to do besides field service and meeting attendance? If so, change the subject to her secular interests when she brings up her cultic endeavors. Spend as much time with her as you can having fun and doing interesting things.
I'm glad you posted this, I'm also going through the same thing I've been very supportive of my girl studying, I even told her in the begining that I don't care if you want to be one, they're the ones that have the issue with me. I wouldn't even bring up WTS issues, she would, and I showed her proof. She even admits the WTS is screwed up, but she says she fears because the world is getting worse and what if they are right (which I know they are not)...
We used to be very very close, and being a single parent with other family that was really never really there, I always worked my butt off to be a good parent. I've alway been there 100% for her. As time goes on, I don't even know her anymore, she hardly ever calls.
I tried to be patient in the begining, but I can see her changing , becoming distant. I have slowly gotten bitter and I also HATE the GB! I've even told her not to play that game with me, saying you're calling to check in (an excuse they use so they don't feel like they're disobeying to GB). But I still try to talk about other things when she has called.
My bitterness and resentment has been growing even toward her now, so I have to remind myself not to let my heart get hardened and not act out on her. I don't want to end up hating my own child, but I've finally giving up on any hope. There's nothing I can do except think good thoughts about her. I do worry though, she's my only girl and far away in another state, but there's still nothing I can do. The GB has turned our families against us.... breaking up family units in the most distructive of ways. Again, I don't care if she wants to be a JW, they have an issue with me. I was even inactive when I got DFd of all things......and one of the brothers who was on my JC was later DF for embesslement.........there is no way I'm going back to that crooked orginization, not what I know now, they an kiss my ass!
sizmik said it best....send your girl love, don't let your heart get hard. You've done your job, the less you think about it the better
You could ask her opinion on the July 2009 statement in Awake magazine, that no one should have to choose between family and beliefs.
Ask her is that statement qualified in any way ? does that not apply to you and to me ?
Do as Chris (Blacksheep) above says, you have to remember the poor child has no knowledge of the real nature of the WT, no real knowledge of the doctrines she is willing to give her life for if she needs a blood transfusion.
Try to keep conversations away from any form of confrontation, ask questions, and ask simply in return, honest answers.
Keep on loving and hugging her, and recognise she is trying to get you back "in" because she really loves you, you are a lucky mom, a lot of daughters would cut you off in favour of the cult even though you are not DA'd or DF'd.
... and remember that you are not the guilty party.
Whether you were a born in, or not, you were scammed, fooled, misled, lied to, etc.
Make sure she knows why you had whatever association you had with this cult, and why you are unhappy with the people who got you involved with it.
My JWs haven't got any excuses left. If they want to pretend they are not members of a high control cult, they have to behave themselves and pretend they don't have double standards etc..
I'm sorry that you... and others here... are going through this. Something I'm wondering is if there are others in the background putting pressure on your daughter to put pressure on you to return to the kool-aid.
My situation is the reverse. Parents are still in, but us kids & grandkids are fading. We're pretty good about biting our tongues and being respectful of our parent's (particularly mom's) loyalty to the GB. I think the main thing for us has been that we've established so much that we still have in common besides WT. We still visit regularly and keep in close contact. The parents have clearly seen that the less WT is involved in all our lives, the happier we are. But it has taken time, patience, and energy to get here.
Continue to show her unconditional love, and remind her that your love comes wit no strings attached
I think that is the best example you can give
One day she will compare that kind of love to the WTS, and see the difference
Thank you everyone of you. So much cleverness amongst JWN-members!
Sizemik: Yeah, I think u're right about Hamsterbeit. Its nature. Parents love their children more than children love their parents. It has to be that way, or they would never be able to move out and get independent of us. I know and respect that fact and have absolutely no problem with it. Its just so darn frustrating that what I know as a parent would be a better way of life for my child, is scaring her, and experienced by her as the quite opposite. She has been taught that the "world" is a terrible place. And she really think so, and of cours only see the horror, not the positive things going on. And the fact, that her own mother, that once was sooo zeal and loyal to, and 100% convinced that the GB was the only channel between God and men, that I now would rather she preferred the"world", its totally surreal to her, and she thinks that is not a loving act from me as her mother and that scares her and makes her want to turn her trust to other adults in the "truth" as a surrogate for her real mum. Devostating.
Chris: Questions are a good tool. My eldest daughter (20 yo), is actually slowly waking up. And this is thanks to questions for her to answer and working in her mind over time. And I can feel unconditional love from her, despite disagreeing on something (of cours, that's how it should be), and I am so gratefull to watch her taking more and more lead of her own life and opinions. I know deep in my heart that she will leave at some point in the future. But gosh, 2 and 1/2 years is a huge difference. 17 and 20 is two different stages. I have to be patiant, and wait for my youngest to be more reflective and wanting to think a little bit deeper than the GB teaches her to. She is totally allergic to even the slitest negative hint on doctrines or interpretations. So have to leave it out of conversations, but I was stupid and responded on a txt-message from her expressing her deep worries about my spiritual weakness, and I was too open about my opinions on the phone. Havent heard from her since.
Bizzybee: Good point. Security is a great issue here. She feels totally insecure because I no longer share her believes which I so ceanly taught her as a child. She just cant comprehend the fact that I have changed. That makes her world very unstable and strange. Never the less, I agree with you. I have to convince her that I am on solid ground, and stand firm. No wishy-washy. And that I expect her to respect my view, as I respect her view. But that is so hard for JW. They cannot respect other opinions. But again....patiance....
Cacky: I feel your pain in my bones! And I so recognise what you have experienced with other JW-adults manipulating with your daughters way of seeing you as how a loving mum should be. "If she truely loved you she would consentrate and spend her time on your spiritual wellfare, not doing selfish stuff like i.e going to college. Your mum only thinks of her self, she does not love you." Sooo completely cold and cynic! But dont give up! Keep sending small but loving messages, txt or e-mails or postcard or what ever. Dont expect any thing in return. But never stop showing them that your love is the same and will always be. Who knows...with all the information on the net. Never say never, and when they one day can see thru the vail, then they will turn to you knowing that you were always there for them.
Mind blown: Please, never stop hoping. Never stop hoping that she will one day understand that your love for her is so much bigger than she can grasp right now. She keeps distance because she loves you, and she protects her own feelings by shunning you. Its easier for her to live with. As my eldest tried to explain to me when I was out. She would rather shun me 100%, than having just a little "nessecary" contact. It hurt her to much to just have a little of me. And I understand that. Its heartbreaking. If only JW could see all the suffering....and the completely lack of humanity. Do not get bitter! It only gets worse for you. See it from her perspective, and continue to show her love, and dont expect any in return. Show her real unconditional love, cause that is something she will never ever get from anyone inside the cult.
Phizzy: Definetely going to use that 2009 statement sometime. Its a big one. But I hope for a long and peacefull period from now on. Have to establish trust and report (Steven Hassan)again before next "round". I know she wants me back in because she loves me. But it is hard to know that she thinks that I turn my back on her and Jehova. Its so twisted! And yes I am lucky, I know that. And I know she develope and mature also thru painfull conversations. No doubt about it. As long as she deep inside feels that cognitive dissonance there is hope. She knows deap in her heart that I am a loving and caring person even though I dont agree with GB. And GB teaches her that noone outside the cult can feel/and show real love. She will have to admit that one day I hope.
Billy: Yes, ca. 7,6mill in her background putting pressure on her to put pressure on me. Definetely some front-figures that manipulates her. Besides GB, for instance her father. She tells me that he did not support her in cutting me off when I was out. But at the same time I got some horrible txt-messages from him, telling me to stay far away from my daughters, that I was the reason for their suffering, and compared me with that sympathic lady Yesabel etc etc. So, yes I can hear him... "Ofcours" you can have contact with your mum, but on the other side....... just like WT, in a nutshell. And there are my two "best", now former friends, who turned me for having an apostate on my facebook friendlist. Two sisters who have had an important impact on both my girls since infants. I know how they have been working. "If mummy really loved you, she would never leave the truth etc etc". The fact that your parents can feel, and see that your love for them have not changed after leaving the cult, must make them think a little bit. Good work! Its so against WT-propaganda. Same with my mum. But I've been very honest with her about my convictions, and to her credit she has not turned her back on me. But I know she is disapointed.
I am going visiting my eldest this weekend and I know we are going to have a great time and some deep conversations about the org. I will give her a writing that my friend did while studying psychology at uni. I told her about it and she said she wanted to read it! Its about the connections between identity and fundamentalistic religion. Why do people join fundamentalism? Very interesting. She will love it. And it will open her mind, making it less dangerous to read "apostate" litterature in the future. Lil sis has deep respect and love for big sis. And if big sis gets out, that will definetely make lil-sis re-evaluate her relationship with the org. I hope. Can only hope and wait.