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.