My early exposure to jw's

by marriedtoajw 1 Replies latest jw experiences

  • marriedtoajw

    I havn't posted in months but have still lerked and read other posts, just never have time enough to do much of anything really. In reading posts for the last few months I began to realize how much I empathize with thoughts expressed here. I feel the need to clarify my situation because my previous posts don't really convey a complete picture regarding my experience with the jw world. About 7 years ago I was not the type of person who would have ever joined any forum online or sought therapy from professionals or councel from anyone who were not my siblings. Whatever problems I've experience through my life I've always had my siblings to vent or talk to and they had me. We would support each other as best we could and we have needed each other alot. Of course we had our times too when it seemed that we would turn on each other and hurt each other with things we said or did as most other siblings tend to do. But we would put those things aside when the call came for help. We believed that family is sacred and should be cherished. We believed in forming traditions and not just with each other but with extended family too. Traditions we can pass along to our kids that would flourish developing our own family legacies. We learned this by the examples of my grandparents and watching them enjoying the fruits of their labor of taking pleasure in family gatherings of sons, daughter, nieces nephews, grand children, great grandchildren that would eventually number over 200. My siblings and I defended each other to our spouses when they had something bad to say about one of us.

    Family dynamics and relationships can change over time and most people consider it just a fact of life. People get married, have kids, get jobs where schedules can be demanding, get divorced, remarried, stay single, never marry or they move away for different reasons. They meet other people and develope a kinship and choose to spend much of their time with friends. People's interests change or feel the need to grow in some way or they just get to a point in life where things get too redundant. People change their mind about things, beliefs, hobbies, associations whatever. People change...

    In my situation our father passed away when us kids were between the ages of 20 - 10 and I'm the youngest. Yup, 5 older sisters and I'm the only boy and my father passes away when I was 10. This in and of itself was a tragic event but growing up without a father was hard on all of us. But consider a 10 year old boy who is raised in a household where there is no male presence at all and surrounded by women. Add to the mix a mother who has schizophrenia and is considered disabled and can't work. We found out later that it was my mothers condition was a contributing factor that supposedly caused my dad to abuse alcohol because he could deal with her personality work as much as he had to to support us kids. Needless to say, we were broke growing up but we lived in a nice neighborhood with extended family close bye. Now in some ways growing up with only women in the house helped me, at least that's what my sisters think. But it did make me more considerate to women, overly so I think because I realize now that I subconciously went out of my way to be that way. I constantly sought their approval...

    In previous posts I mentioned that I became a father at 15, wont go into detail here cuz it's a long story. I met my Jw wife in high school when I was still with my sons mother but we were just friends. I mentioned in other posts that I have 1 jw uncles. The youngest in my fathers family converted to the Jw's from Catholicism in the late 1970's. He introduced a fellow jw to my Catholic uncle and they got married in 1981. I remember being a kid, before my father died. They were the life of every family gathering. They use to attend religious gatherings, or babyshowers, birthday parties, you name it. They were great at throwing banter around when gifts were being opened during those events. Yes, were a very large Catholic family with traditions that seemed to matter to everyone.

    Then when my dads youngest brother and his wife converted to the jw's, he came around less and less. Then when my father died, I almost never saw him. I resented my aunt because we all know she persuaded him to start pulling away. To this day my sisters still think that he doesn't really believe in it but converted just to save his marriage. My oldest sister was at my grandparents house when my dad's youngest brother told my grandfather that he was converting. My sister said they talked for while but could only remember hearing my grandfather scolding him for converting for a woman. After that, he no longer attended family gatherings and because my other uncle married a jw, he also rarely came to anything and when he did he was alone. He and his jw wife have 2 kids that are about 12 years younger than me and I have barely seen them only a hand full of times through the years, even though my uncle didn't finally convert until 3 years ago.

    Eventually my sons mother decided I wasn't exciting enough for her so she dumped me sometime after I graduated high school. One of the things I did just a couple of months after this was to call my wife, who was just a good high school friend who I han't even talked to after we graduate. I was trying to rebuild some sort of social network since I practically gave up all my friends since I focused on school, work and being a dad to my kid. A few months later, I did it again and my wife got pregnant and so we got married.

    I wanted to give that backround so that you understand what's coming up. In the years that followed my wife studied off and on with the Jw due to pressure given by her mother. My sisters though the years thought of my wife as one of them. They confided in her and had conversations with her as they would any one of us. Even to the point of talking about my uncles that we missed. They would make a few derogatory statements about my uncles being weak men and letting their wives rule them. Yet my wife was an unbaptized publisher. My sisters and I never tried to convert my wife to Catholicism over the years... We accepted her for who she was. We were also very ignorant of what she was being taught. It was only after my wife's baptism 7 years ago that I researched everything there is to know about jw's. I shared what I learned with my sisters from time to time. They couldn't get their head wrapped about it. They thought I was exagerating about things. They didn't think my wife thought that way because they didn't know they are taught to be discreet, don't bring reproach on Jehovah, blah blah blah...

    About two years ago, my uncle and his wife celebrated their 48th anniversary and invited my sisters and I and our families. Now mind you, for the last 20 years or so we havn't seen this uncle at all unless it was at a wedding or wedding anniversay. He did have us at his house for my grandmothers 95th birthday about 15 years or so ago. Yeah, a birthday party at a jw house for his mother. Tha'ts a whole other story. At his party he sits next to me for a moment when I happen to be alone and says. "You know I know most of the family thinks that I do whatever my wife says but do you think that maybe you talk to your sisters too much". So you see, my wife has been communicating to my uncle about things said.

    I was a little shocked but I kind of knew something like that was coming. I responded by telling him that the girls and I, that's what I call my sisters "the girls", are close because we had no father and could only rely on each other through out the years. I also told him that for a time, when I was just a boy, I always thought that my uncles would be my surrogate dad but that never materialized. At that point, some one came and grabbed him and wanted to dance with him. I left shortly after and havn't spoke to him since.

    My sisters and I are not nearly as close as we use to be. They still get together all the time but because I work 6 days a week to provide for my wife and kids, I have no time for anything. My sisters resent my wife and see her as equivelant to my aunts who took their uncles away. More later, maybe

  • Hortensia

    tough background -- esp. with no father and schizophrenic mother. Then add JWs to the mix.

    I'm glad you can hang out here now and then, see that others feel the way you do and you're not alone.

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