My son contemplates suicide.

by dmouse 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • dmouse

    My 14 year old son, Benjamin, confided in me last night that he almost tried to commit suicide this week, he felt so low.

    He has been brought up as a JW by his mum all his short life and until recently totally believed all the crap. Although he has not been baptised yet he expressed the desire to pioneer and go to Bethel.

    Then, in the past few months, he suddenly woke up and smelt what he was shovelling.

    My son is an extremely gregarious, likable boy with lots of friends in the congregation. He is always invited to the get-togethers etc. However, when he was among a group of friends at the meeting a month or two ago he spoke about his true feelings and was overheard by one of the elders. He was dragged outside to the ‘backroom’ with two elders and his mum and grilled for 20 minutes about his beliefs. He caved in and said he was just ‘joking’. However, in private, he continued to tell his friends at the hall that the JW belief system was so much bovine excrement. It is clear that his comments have been fed back to the elders.

    Last week my daughter was invited to a party at a brother’s house, a party for lots of JW children. My son was specifically excluded but no explanation was given. My daughter, Charlotte, aged 12, was the one who discovered and prevented Benjamin as he was about to try and cut his wrists. She (bless her!) felt as hurt as Benjamin that he had not been invited so together they hatched a little plan. They borrowed a small tape recorder and asked Benjamin’s friend why he had not been invited, the friend spilled the beans and said that he had not been invited because her parents had told her not to, he was now a ‘bad association’. This was all captured on tape and played back to Benjamin. Obviously, as a very sensitive boy who loves parties and being with friends this sudden shunning is tearing him apart. He is therefore being emotionally blackmailed to toe the party line or he will lose his friends.

    What an unbearable pressure these bastards have put him under!

    He doesn’t want to be a JW anymore. But he doesn’t want to lose contact with his friends either. His mum, grandmother and grandfather are all expressing their disappointment at him and it’s tearing him apart, because he still loves them deeply. He feels he is being forced to live a lie and he doesn’t think he can cope.

    Fortunately, being such good company, he has friends at school that he hangs out with. I’m hoping this will help him to recover his self-esteem and underline what a bunch of shits the congregation harbours.

    My battle now is to get my JW wife to accept his school friends more (you know what it’s like with the ‘worldly’) and try to mitigate the psychological damage the dubs are inflicting on him.

    I’m very worried about this and just don’t know what will happen or what to do for the best.

  • Yerusalyim

    I HIGHLY recommend you take this VERY seriously and get your son professional help. This is a professional opinion by the way. That doesn't mean your son needs to be locked up, but rather he needs the help of a competent psychatrist. Until your son sees a reason to live he is at risk. Just because mood may have improved doesn't mean he is no longer at risk. Spring months have the highest suicide rate (even higher than Christmas). Please help your son by getting him help. The age, the attempt, etc, indicate that your son is still at a significant risk of suicide. Feel free to write me at my email address if you need to talk.


    "Vanity! It's my favorite sin!"
    [Al Pacino as Satan, in "DEVIL'S ADVOCATE"]

  • Pathofthorns

    It is ironic that within probably 2 years all those who are his Witness friends will probably start to lead double lives if they are not already doing so. Whatever their parents think they know will just be an illusion as their children grow up to exercise their freedoms.

    I agree that this suicide thing should be taken seriously. It is likely just a critical moment of despair that will soon pass. These sorts of things might be amplified in the Witness community, but what he experienced with his friends is rather common among teens in general.

    It is inevitable that most of the JW children will leave the religion, but most leave and still believe it is the truth. This will put your son unfortunately in the bad books of the ones leading a double life. Even so, I wish I realized the scam at 14. In the long run he will be better off.


  • Yerusalyim

    I have to disagree that this will soon pass. There's no evidence to support that. The evidence does, however, reveal that most people who complete suicide have attempted suicide in the past. Get the young man to a professional PLEASE!

    "Vanity! It's my favorite sin!"
    [Al Pacino as Satan, in "DEVIL'S ADVOCATE"]

  • Joyzabel

    I agree with Yeru "I HIGHLY recommend you take this VERY seriously and get your son professional help."

    Your son is at a very vulnerable time in his life. I hope you are being his friend so that he can bounce his thoughts off of you and beging formulate what he believes and who he is.

    Make sure he develops new friendships. Get to know his new friends and welcome them into the house for him.

    The dysfuntion that goes on with the wtbts is spilling over into your family and you need to seek counseling, especially for your son's sake.


  • Prisca

    ((((((((dmouse))))))) and (((((((((benjamin)))))))))))))

    I'm so sorry this disgusting behaviour has been directed towards your son. He is at a very vulnerable age, yet the parents of his friends aren't taking this into consideration. If they really cared about him, they would be encouraging him to associate with them, so that he would receive some association with "spiritual" people. But we know the witnesses don't think like this.

    Please let Benjamin get some professional help. And possibly also for yourself and young Charlotte. I am just so appalled that so-called Christians can treat a young boy like this.

  • Scully


    I agree with the consensus already voiced here: Get your son some professional help now!

    Along with a psychiatrist or similar counsellor, you also might want to check out some exit counselling for him too.

    I also agree that it's time your son had some real friends instead of the artificial, fairweather, conditional friendships that his previous JW companions have to offer. Of course, your wife will object, but it is your home too, and you understand the value to your son of having his own friends.

    Maybe you could offer to take him and his new friend(s) to an event that they'd enjoy; or the two of you could take lessons together in something that interests both of you. My husband and son took archery lessons together when we first left the JWs, they later joined Scouts and met lots of other fathers and sons who enjoyed the outdoors and camping. When our daughters were old enough, I took them to Brownies and Guides (Girl Scouts). We also took up cycling as a family, and went swimming regularly. We found we had more time for each other once we stopped going to meetings and door-to-door.

    More than anything, just know that your son is very fortunate that you're there for him, and that you understand the emotions he's going through now that he doesn't want to go to meetings or be a JW anymore. The fact that he's not yet baptized and he's being treated like dirt just demonstrates on a small scale what would happen if he were baptized and voiced his dissent. Best for him to get out now rather than later.

    I subscribe to an on-line continuing education program for nurses and doctors, and the most recent offering is a course on suicide prevention. Here's the link to the material, in case you're interested in reading it:

    Love, Scully

  • animal

    Much of this sounds like my life as a teen.... my attempt at dying was done thru running away at 15 and living life on the very edge of danger. I wouldnt suggest anyone doing that now tho.

    Get him out of there.... period. The JW people in his life wont help him, they will berate him more.


  • DakotaRed

    dmouse, get him professional help, NOW! Don't wait or rely on the dub wife. If necessary, isolate him from the dubs, if they are the root cause or contributors. Only a professional can give him the help he needs. That, and a ton of love from you.

    Be very glad he confided in you. Although feeling suicidal, he has the moxy to know something is wrong and has reached out. Don't let him down. His young life is too precious, both to you and him and to God.

    If God's Spirit is filling a Kingdom Hall, how is it that Satan can manuever the ones within that Kingdom Hall at the same time?

  • joelbear

    I agree. Get him IMMEDIATELY to a professional. I have been being shunned for 14 years and I still have suicidal thoughts. I am seeing a counselor at the college I am attending and plan to continue to do so.

    My second piece of advice is to keep Ben busy. Find out what his interests are and get him involved in activities with other people who share his interests. He will build self esteem by accomplishing things he wants to accomplish and by finding out others share his interests.

    Pushing positive thoughts your way.



Share this