Yesterday was my Son's 21st Birthday

by 00DAD 69 Replies latest jw experiences

  • 00DAD

    Doubting Bro: I'm sorry. This cult really does gut families.

    Yes it does. Thanks for the condolences.

    Magwitch: My oldest just turned 21 also. I do not know how I would function if I had your situation. That religion is so despicable. If ever you are in Colorado I will buy us a great bottle of scotch to share.

    It sounds like you and your son are close. You're so right about this religion, it is despicable.

    I'd love to take you up on your offer to share a bottle of good scotch. I'll warn you, I have expensive taste! ... lol

  • Lozhasleft

    I understand OODAD, more than you could think. For some months before my DF and certainly after, I struggled so so much. In retrospect, divorcing my ex (misogynist) husband after 30 yrs of hell, caused a kind of breakdown for me. It was so hard, trying to keep going for my youngest, fighting for a home for us, struggling with no income while home schooling her, it brought me to my knees. My older kids judged me for staying so long in the marriage, for trying to fight back, for striving to survive. They were all so busy being good JWS at the time. I found it unbelievably hard to face up to the life I'd lost, all those years of my prime, now in my 50s, on a sick twisted man who'd had a very different and sick agenda. My older kids weren't there for me and my youngest, despite all my years of mothering, despite what they'd witnessed. The wonderful WTBS elders played their parts in totally messing us all up.

    Then came the DF for smoking some cigarettes, totally unjustified considering my sincere repentance, that took me to suicide attempts, alcohol to kill the pain, whatever. I ended up with cancer. One child turned up at the hospital after my surgery, to urge me only to apply for reinstatement. That was the only way he saw to help to be fair. At least he tried, I didn't see any of the others. Later they made a plan to get my youngest away from me and her future potentially outside the cult and into higher education, and I lost her too.

    Ive tried OODAD, in various ways, like you, to reach out, to maintain our family relationships. I've received terrible, abusive emails and messages in response. One adult son is actually on this forum, pontificating about how wonderful he believes himself to be now that he's faded out. As a son he should be ashamed actually, but hey, that's his problem, not mine.

    So I know about rejection, I understand the pain, I can relate to the injustices. It's so damn heartbreaking it doesn't have words. But you know what? I bet there are people in your life now who aren't cult damaged, who aren't sick, who can see and appreciAte you for the person you are. I hope that like me you allow them to love you and to fill your life with happiness. Your son may actually wake up and understand your love eventually, but if he doesn't, don't waste yourself. Love those who want to love you and enjoy.

    Loz x

  • JustThatGirl007

    I wish someone would talk some sense into that kid. I'm so sorry. :( He's young. I hope he turns around and will see the error of this sooner rather than later.

  • Lozhasleft

    Justthatgirl, agreed.

    Loz x

  • 00DAD


    Wow, that's quite a story. I appreciate you sharing. It helps to know that many of us have gone through and are still going through similar situations.

    It's really sad that this religion--that is supposed to be so good--ends up causing so much hurt and pain.

    JustThatGirl007: I wish someone would talk some sense into that kid.

    Can I give you his phone number? Maybe you can get through to him! ... lol

    Thanks for the comforting words. He is young and I do hope he turns around and see what he's missing out on.


  • PaintedToeNail

    00DAD-Please accept my condolence on the loss of your son on his 21st birthday. It is a crying shame that he has rejected you for a crazy concept. Hopefully, he will be resurrected by one day by waking up to TTATT. Meanwhile, I offer a toast of 'good health, mental and emotional happiness, and prosperity' to you on your being out for the last 3 years.

  • binadub


    While I agree that your situation with your son is heart-wrenching, I hope you won't think it insensitive that I find myself agreeing with King Solomon. I thought his comments were well-intended and insightful of the JW mindset.

    When you "reach out" to a JW who is shunning you, you are in effect obligating them to reject you. In their mind it is an opportunitiy to demonstrate their faith and obedience to Jehovah. If he tells others in the congregation about your attempts to connect, you can bet he gets plenty of support, encouragement and praise, which may also help reinforce his resolve. At his age, he may have a JW sweetheart to complicate matters. Don't give him too much ammunition to fortify his misplaced faith. When his defenses are not bucking up, he may be more inclined to see the obvious. The advice to take it slow by another poster was probably good.

    Have you read Steve Hassan's book "Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs"?
    I have not read it, but I've heard good things about it. If it is anything like his "Combatting Cult Mind Control," it is awesome (imo) for reaching JWs because it was about Moonies and did not implicate Jehovah's Witnesses while it described them unmistakeably.

    Anyway, fwiw,

  • Diest

    I am sorry 00Dad but can adopt me. I am a fan but dont spend the money on it, I usually drink the Famous Grouse instead.

    It can't be easy to go through what your going through. Maybe send a letter from another town that doesnt look like it is from you. Just say you wont talk about the JWs you just want to say you love him. It is worth a shot. In the mean time come to CO and get a drink...Ill meet up with you and magwitch.

  • 00DAD

    binadub, thanks for your thoughtful comments from another perspective.

    I have not read Hassan's "Freedom of Mind" book, but I have read the first two. My strategy to reach my sons is based on the advice and counsel in those two books as well as from what I've read here on this board and from private correspondence and conversations with some that have been successful in reaching family members still in.

    It is a fine balance and the WTBTS definitely has the game stacked all in their favor. If I play by their rules and allow myself to be completely shunned and make no efforts at contacting my children I lose. Plus, they can understandably justify the false belief that I abandoned them. This is one of the reasons for the two-way shunning policy.

    So I try to reach a careful and thoughtful balance of how and when to make contact. There is no magic formula or silver bullet for guaranteed success. But no contact is definitely a losing proposition. Plus it is allowing them to have authority over me; this is something I simply will no longer do.

    I really appreciated your comment, "Don't give him too much ammunition to fortify his misplaced faith."

    There is no doubt that individual efforts I make might be construed by him this way. But I am not trying to win any single battle, I want to win the war. This means a long term approach.

    I do not want my children to ever be able to legitimately say that I abandoned them and never made any efforts to reach out to them. This why about once every month or so I send something different: a card, a short note, a letter or a small gift. I NEVER DISCUSS DOCTRINE and I ALWAYS RE-AFFIRM MY LOVE FOR THEM, every time.

    Diest, consider yourself adopted. If you're ever in sunny SoCal come by for a wee dram of Aberlour A'bunadh!

    BTW, I've tried the letter from another locale approach. It's all part of my overall strategy!

  • jgnat

    Gee, I would love to see some results for you 00DAD. You are doing the right things.

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