I am new here and need help...or just a listening ear

by Fallingaway 42 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Fallingaway

    My husband and I have two small children, one of which recently became an unbaptised publisher and joined the school. My husband is an elder and firmly committed to our family and loves me deeply as I love him. I would like to find a way for all of us to fade away as we have family in the organization that we do not want to lose. I do not want my doubts of "the truth" to separate our family. I need help and guidance on how to gradually help him to come around. There is more on him later but for now here is my story.

    I was baptized well before my preteens. I truly thought it was the right thing to do then. I was too young to understand the "deeper things" and really wish someone had told me to wait. Fast forward a bit and I was molested by a longtime friend of the family who happened to be an elder. I told my mom, she in turn asked me to tell the elders. I did and because there were not two witnesses nothing could be done. The "elder" said it all must have been a misunderstanding. The congregation elders on the JC told me I could not speak of this to anyone else and implied the authorities as well since I did not have proof beyond my word. They mentioned to speak of it would be slander. I felt stuck. If I left the "truth" I would lose my friends, my family and everything I loved. So employed the fake it til you make it tactic. Over the years I always had love for Jehovah, even through my molestation ordeal. I didn't blame him. I blamed imperfect men. When the new understanding about generations came I was still young and didn't get it. But I put it aside so as not to dwell on it and left it in Jah's hands. I also never understood things like the flood and how a God of love could destroy innocent children. And if the world was so bad in the time of the flood, wouldn't he surely destroy our current one and bring about lasting peace for us now? How is it possible that my "worldly" family, who is full of good, honest, loving, decent people be destroyed at Armageddon? They love God. They think they are truly doing what is right. Cannot God read their hearts to know that they have the right motives? When my dad died (he was not a JW) a family member asked me to explain my beliefs because they wanted to be comforted in the fact that I had hope I could hold on to. I described the resurrection and this family member asked me how I could be hopeful knowing that my father was dead and that I had the possibility of seeing him in the future. But not a surety. I couldn't answer. I was then told (in a very gentle loving way) that this member of my family felt my religion was a cult, you can get in but never out, and that the hope of heaven and knowing that my father could look down on this person now, is what carried them through. I dismissed it at the time, but the reference to the cult never left me and often nagged at me.

    Fast forward again to when I was a regular auxiliary pioneer and I was slandered falsley by an individual in my congregation. The slander was widespread and truly mortifying. It was proven false and this person was told by the elders to cease, but it put a bad taste in my mouth because there were many others who chose to spread the malicious gossip instead of ignore or try to discover the truth. I thought it impossible that people in Jehovahs organization could be so cruel. But I plugged along anyway and viewed it as a test of my faith from Satan. All the while, my doubts lingered over me like a dark cloud, but I kept pushing them aside because I didn't want to feed it and drift away.

    I later had a couple of miscarriages and searched for hope through the literature only to find that there was none. Apparently my unborn children were not worthy of a resurrection. I fell into a deep depression and contemplated suicide. What stopped me from killing myself was the fear that I would never see my father again as I wouldn't have been worthy of a resurrection. I told my husband that I disagreed with the societies literature and believed that a God of love would never tell me that my unborn child was not to be resurrected. What solid scriptural basis was there for that? None, IMO. I firmly believed in my heart it was wrong. I felt vindicated when I read a WT article later rescinding that line of thinking. But didn't understand how an organization inspired of God and his Holy Spirit could be so misguided in something I firmly believed.

    When my sibling and I were younger, our mother told us never to fight back and always turn the other cheek. My father said mom was full of bull and to fight back enough to get away and make our escape and to prove we couldn't be bullied. I followed my fathers advice. And disagreed with the societies line of thinking on self-defense. When a classmate of my son tried to bully him he fought back and I was proud. He did just enough to make his point without truly hurting the other kid. He told his grandma and she scolded me for teaching him to fight back. I referred her to a more recent Awake article about self-defense which reversed the past stand about turning the other cheek. But felt pity for the ones for all these years that stood back and allowed themselves or their children to be bullied. How many people suffered because of this wrong information?

    I recall reading an article years back about persecution and how if you have to lie in the name of the truth that God would not consider it a lie. And I wondered how an imperfect person could decipher whether or not they were really lying in the name of God, of the truth, or in mans name in disguise. Wouldn't it be better to just remain silent as Jesus did?

    Also, how is it that there is only one true religion when the Proclaimers book shows that people of other faiths, who succeeded in translating the bible despite persecution were somehow followers of the true God? They were not part of the one true religion. How can this be?

    At the beginning of last year another event happened which cast even more doubts over me. I prayed sincerely and fervently for understanding and for Jah to correct my attitude. Poured myself into studies. Still no answer, just more questions. More recently another incident happened at the KH where another person criticized me to the point that I felt I was being picked apart. I thought that this person truly must hate me to pick me apart so thoroughly. I told my husband that I am never judged more than when I am at the KH. He agreed and felt sympathy for me. He has often spoken of stepping down as he feels he has faults and is ill-equipped to counsel others when he himself has so much to work on. In addition he feels that his position puts undo attention on his family and just exposes us to more criticism by judgemental witnesses in the congregation.

    Lately, I have been praying more for guidance. For God to tell me what to do. To lay it out on the line. If this is "the truth" prove it to me! If my faith is strong I believe I should be able to scriptirally refute any false information thrown my way! I should be able to permanently bury my doubts. As I have delved deeper into research all I find are more questions and confusion based on reading WT literature. Before the last two Sunday meetings I prayed for wisdom and humility, for Jehovah to make me know his ways, as King David prayed. And during both public talks I heard information that was wrong, or purely mans opinion touted on stage, not God's. I whisper in my husbands ear when this happens and he shakes his head in agreement. But I know I have to take things in small doses with him. Especially considering I scared him the other day spouting off my opinion about a sport considered life-endangering. He mentioned how he wishes we would be able to participate in such a sport and I said that I saw no scriptural reason why we shouldn't if we wanted to. Although I have no desire to do such things, statistically speaking driving in a car is more dangerous and much more likely to lead to death. If I hadn't been asking him so many questions lately, this wouldn't have phased him. But I could tell I scared him so I need to back off for a while.

    My husband has encouraged me to do research on my questions. He has visibly seen me doing this lately. And has seen how the result is more questions and more confusion. In addition, I have seen how my questions have scared him, but have also prompted him to think because he cannot answer my questions. He is still at the point where I was where he sets it aside and chooses not to dwell on it.

    Right now, the biggest difficulty for me is participating in service. It doesn't feel right to me, I feel like a hypocrite. I feel like I can make slow progress with my husband though because as it stands, when I am not feeling well, or when one of the family is sick, unless he has a part in the meetings, he generally stays home with us. I used to encourage him to go without me if this happened, but I have stopped and I noticed without the encouragement he is less likely to go.

    I am still at a mental stage where I fear whether or not I am doing the right thing. Am I just misguided? Is my faith not strong enough to endure this test? Should I just be ignoring these nagging questions so as not to stumble myself? The only answer I have come across is continual prayer. I am sincere, and if there is a God, he will answer my sincere prayer. I have not stopped praying for this.

  • tornapart

    Hello fallingaway. I really feel for you and understand where you're coming from. I too am an elder's wife but with grown up children, my husband also knows how I feel about things and all my doubts and questions. I too still go because of family (as well as lifelong friends). It's a hard place to be. I believe myself that losing faith in a religious organisation does not mean also having to lose faith in God. For some it does happen but I've managed to hold on to it through prayer and bible reading, as well as reading other many christian websites on topics I had a struggle understanding. They have been great! Also this place is great for being able to have a rant and get things off your chest!

  • LostGeneration

    Welcome to the forum.

    Sounds like you are searching intently. I did the same. Never heard back from God. Some folks here do....I guess I wasn't picked.

    IMHO, he isn't there, or has taken a permanent vacation.

    Good luck on your search. You will have to be very, very careful with your hubby if your intent is to keep your family together. The WTS is ready and willing to break your family into a million pieces just to keep one spouse loyal to the cult.

    Good luck.


    Fallingaway Nice to see you here. It's a shame you are having problems.

    Perhaps some of the women on this forum who have been through similar difficulties can discuss this with you better than I can.

  • jgnat

    Hi, I'm a regular Christian married to a Witness. I've been on the forum for nine years and we've been married for ten.

    I see a lot of hope in your situation, Fallingaway.

    • You are obviously a feisty woman, and as a betting person I would say your husband loves that about you. So keep being your feisty self. Remind him of this, as it awakens the natural man beneath.
    • It is very, very good that you have been open about your investigations. I have been open, too. I consider this a good strategic move as it cannot be used as a wedge of secrecy and separation in your marriage.
    • Very wise of you to back off when it is too much for him to take in at once.

    A word of caution, I think the congregation will be it's gossipy bitchy self whether your husband is an elder or steps down. The goldfish bowl is just too small and they will pick on whatever is available. I am glad you have a good friend here.

  • Pyramid Scheme
    Pyramid Scheme

    Falling Away:

    Welcome - I am sorry for the pain and discomfort you are going through.

    I think you will find that many of the fine folks on this message board have gone through many of the same issues you are facing right now.

    In fact, much of your story I can relate to. Our family has dealt with molestation at the hands of an Elder. Slander. Cold hearted treatment from the servant body right up to the Society.

    Right before I resigned as an Elder, I begged in prayer for months for answers. Is this the true religion? Is this really how God and Christ operate? Would Jesus Christ, as head of the Christian Congregation, allow pedophilia, a corporate approach to Christianity, and the general lack of love in congregation to run rampant? I poured my heart out to my fellow Elders and the Branch office. I got nothing but a cold, heartless response.

    My prayers had been answered!!

    You are NOT misguided and you are NOT "weak in faith"......Your bible-trained and morally smart conscience is SCREAMING to you. Listen to it.....please do not be afraid to go on this journey. When you truly find out what is behind the organization "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

  • SophieG

    Hi Fallingaway,

    I was moved by your story. I feel like I know you. You could have been someone sitting in my hall along with me, who despite appearing to tow the line is vibrating this energy of disbelief in the WTBS.

    I don’t have much to say but welcome. I wish you peace for all the struggles you've had to endure and please, continue searching.

    I will tell you that I too prayed about wanting to make sure this was the “truth”.

    Sometimes we already know the answer to the question but fear gets in the way and makes things murky. I think your prayers HAVE BEEN answered just from what you have said. But the decision NOW is: What do you do about it?

    How about trying to change your prayers, not for a revelation, but for STRENGTH to make a decision that will change your life and that of your family's.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you.


  • Newly Enlightened
    Newly Enlightened

    Welcome dear sister Falling Away. I'm so sorry to hear about your victimization from others in the cong. I would tell the authorities about your molesting. Almost everyone on here hopes that the WTS would be exposed for the damage their child abuse policies have caused.

    Our family feels for you because this is the exact same thing we have been going thru ourselves since this past summer. It's difficult because we always have this niggling doubt 'What if I'm wrong?" But the more we research, pray and read our bibles for what it says [without WTS literature telling us what it says] the more our minds get clear and the more we know that we're doing the right thing by 'fading away'. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to do so, that's just where OUR journey took us.

    2 Th 2: 1-12 But pay close attention to vs 11 God allows the operation of error to go, so they will believe the lie." Ask your elder husband to read that scripture with you, then ask him if he knows where the lie is? If this is the true religion then we should not be operating under a lie? Here's one lie exposed, go to your Reasoning book pg 89 under subheading 'Cross' in that first paragraph you will see the [...] then the reference they quote. 'The Imperial Bible Dictionary" you can go to http://archive.org/stream/theimperialbible01unknuoft#page/377/mode/1up and you will see that the missing [...] from our Reasoning Book is saying something entirely different. Then as you start your journey of discover you will find, as we did, that 1 lie leads to another.

    This past district convention there was a part entitled 'Motivating right-hearted ones to love their spiritual mother" In that demonstration the CO, says and I quote "The bible by itself does not shine thru as life-giving truths just by itself." Publisher "That's why Jehovah provides us with the organizaton." [Youtube has the audio of that demo] After hearing that, it raised a big red flag. To me that was an apostate saying. Since when does the bible NOT shine thru as life-giving truth?

    Our recent 4/15 2013 WT http:/jw.org pg 29 A picture is worth a thousand words. If Jesus is Head of the congregation then where is he in this picture and organization? Cedars started a thread on this same website about this picture that you might find interesting.

    Welcome again sister and if I could only relay 1 piece of advice do not be afraid of what MEN can do to you! Do not be afraid of exploring these website because the truth can stand up to scrutiny the lie cannot. also check out http:/jwfacts

  • cptkirk

    It must have been difficult for you to make this post. It sucks doesn't it? When information was under tight control, it was also so much easier to control people's minds in general. Now, we have all of this information at our fingertips, and *gasp*.....turns out we've been lied to by the people who demanded our *absolute* devotion, demanded our ABSOLUTE submission to every goony doctrine that they decided to enact (men can't wear beards, "levels" of porn, and so on)....I can't even type it with a straight face....levels of porn.....OMG NO SHE IS GOING TO BEND THAT WAY? OH GOD NO! CALL JESUS! CALL THE GOVERNING BODY !QUICK! EXERCISE THE SEX DEMONS!

    anyway, I have no good advice for you, but I do appreciate how difficult it must have been for you to type that. what is life? our families, our knowledge, our work.....one thing I would say, as many problems as there are in the world right now...we do live in a privileged time. with the advent of super computers and breakthroughs in the world of science and astronomy, there is plenty of new stuff to learn, and to make good use of.

  • sd-7

    Hi. I'm sd-7. Welcome! Not that I live here or anything...

    It seems like you have had quite a tough time in the congregation, to say the least. It's another testimony that sincere people like yourself are deeply troubled by things they have experienced inside the organization. It's reassuring in its own way that we're not all collectively losing our minds and are by no means alone.

    You seem like a good woman, a good wife and a good Christian. Not that I have any way of really knowing that, but let's not get distracted here. I don't really know if you can convince your husband of anything. It's usually safe to assume that on your own, there's a high probability of him simply turning you in for having doubts and it totally creating a wedge between you and him. But it sounds like you have a good enough marriage that there's more potential for hope than I am accustomed to seeing.

    Best thing I can tell you is to be patient, trust yourself--your feelings are telling you something is wrong for a good reason. Confusion is natural at the beginning. But a good mystery isn't solved overnight. Continue to gather evidence and be as honest with yourself as possible. Question, double-check, and triple-check whatever you find. The answers are probably closer than you think. Heck, the Bible itself provides some pretty good clues if you pay attention and read it on its own.

    Enough horrible things have happened to you already, so anything you learn now probably pales in comparison, but it will be hard to learn what's really going on. Finding someone you can talk to openly about these issues is critical to your emotional well-being. I'm sure there are plenty of people here who would be glad to listen and offer support.

    Once you understand fully what's been done to you for most of your life, you can begin the healing process. You've got a lot of reading ahead of you. Steve Hassan's books might help. "Freedom of Mind", his most recent work, is a good place to start.

    I hope you will find your way and be able to open your husband's eyes, too.


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