Where to go from here...

by Patrickday 44 Replies latest social relationships

  • Quandry


    Where to go from here? Far away.

    Number one, she is too young. She should be getting an education, and not focusing on any relationship.

    Number two, her family does not want to meet you because you would be viewed as a wicked worldly person intent on soiling their daughter. There is nothing you could do to be "acceptable" in their eyes.

    I totally agree with others who say find someone more mature in your age group, and move along.

  • OneEyedJoe

    If you really want to help her, with no expectation of return on investment you could always read Freedom of Mind by Steve Hassan, and then review jwfacts.com. Combined, you might be able to ask her questions that will get her thinking and eventually free her from the cult. That said, I wouldn't expect to necessarily have a lasting relationship as a result. Doing this would be a completely selfless act.

    Aside from that, you might tell her that you did some research about JWs online and found out that it's a high-control group (you might want to avoid the use of the word cult, because JWs convieniently redefine the word in a way that excludes them) and you don't want to make waves for her, or put her in a place where she could end up being shunned by her family. Let it be her choice if she want's to continue any kind of relationship, because if you get too pushy it may drive her back into the cult. A word of warning, though, is that you're signing up for a potential mindf**k of emotion in dealing with anyone who's on the edge of this cult, as it will be a difficult situation for her, and you'll probably find yourself trying to comfort her when you can't possibly understand what she's really going throuh.

    The statistics are promising, though. Most kids leave the cult at some point, and it sounds like she's already got one foot out the door. It's unfortunate that she got baptized, though, because now if she leaves her family will be obligated to shun her.

  • Vivere

    Hi Patrickday:

    I am a long time lurker, first time poster and felt compelled to respond to your post. Before I proceed, I completely concur with other posters in that you should walk away from this relationship and not look back. Cut your losses now before you are too wrapped up emotionally. A relationship under these terms simply isn’t worth pursuing because it can’t go anywhere long term and why waste your time, energy or emotions? Life is too short, even at your age.

    Extricating someone out of a cult is very complicated, especially when she is very young and she will be forced into an emotional tug-of-war or perhaps an ultimatum between you and her “family” and there is rarely a winner in this battle. I know only too well.

    Your experience resonates very deeply with me because I am the girl you speak of, this was me over 30 years ago and our stories are strikingly similar, however I can provide a glimpse into the crystal ball.

    Here is my story.

    I met a great guy who I fell in love with, he was in his early twenties, and I was in the last year of high school. I kept my home life secret from him and always had conjured up reasons why he couldn’t meet my parents or drop by the house to pick me up. I always had some elaborate story or scheme going to maintain my double life. After about 6 months of charades, I opened up about my JW life and how strict my parents were and how ashamed I was to be a part of this religion. I told him I would understand if he wanted to break up and never see me again. He stated he did not care about my (parents) religion, he believed that everyone has a right to believe what they wish and he wasn’t going to prevent me from what I wanted to believe, provided it made me happy.

    By eight months into our relationship we were in love and decided that we wanted to be together. I simply couldn’t move in with him because I did not want to hurt my parents so that meant getting married. I broke the news to my parents who went ballistic. They were very distraught but somehow realized they couldn’t control me, they felt I was on the path to destruction and let me know it – guilt trip. Once word got out about me and my worldly boyfriend, my dad had to resign his position as Elder in which I was blamed for humiliating the family and causing them immense grief – guilt trip. To this day, I still feel guilty that he lost his position because of me.

    We married shortly thereafter but I still believed the truth to be the truth. I had all but stopped going to meetings, perhaps a Sunday every now and then and never missed the memorial – guilt trip. But I always felt it was the truth and because of this I did not celebrate birthdays or holidays, I did not pursue post secondary education (guilt trip) and I was afraid of any major event in the news, afraid it was the beginning of the great tribulation and that I would die at Gods hand.

    My ever loving husband did not know of my indoctrinated fears or guilt. He did know that I did not feel comfortable celebrating holidays or birthdays and he gave all that up for me. His tolerant family accepted my peculiar behavior because they loved their son and me. How fortunate I was to find my way into this family, but it was very difficult when every time a holiday rolled around. My husband couldn’t understand why we couldn’t put up a tree, purchase gifts or have a cake now and then. I stood firm to my beliefs.

    Into my mid twenties I had 2 children, which was a turning point for me. I decided that I had to raise them as JWs because I did not want them to perish at Armageddon, I did not want their blood on my hands, so I immersed myself back into the clutches of the religion head first, taking my children with me. Notice I did not say “our” children, because there was only one way to raise them, my way as my they were my children. You can only imagine how the next few years went, I was unwilling to bend or compromise on my beliefs.

    Even though I returned zealously, I wasn’t really accepted within the congregation given that I was married to an unbeliever, I tried very hard, impeccable meeting attendance and pioneering when I was able. I was an outcast within the congregation and in the outside world. I didn’t fit anywhere. I wanted to convert my husband even though I promised him I wouldn’t try.

    Going back was biggest mistake I have made in my entire life! Once my children were into their teenage years, my one child was completely devoted and quite a zealous JW, striving to become a full time pioneer and possible bethel service. My other child was an independent thinker abounding with questions, obstinate in every way, quite a challenge to say the least. This child in essence, initiated the beginning of my thinking processes.

    Then an incident occurred in which my loyalty to Jehovah (aka the Elders) versus the loyalty to my husband was in question. I was forced into choosing between Jehovah’s side or my husband, a man who accepted me and my beliefs all the years we were together, who tolerated my absences on weekends, who put up with raising our children as JWs, who gave up so much of his life because he loved me.

    I was backed into a corner, accused of not understanding the bible correctly, not being loyal to Jehovah and his organization and not being submissive. It was at that moment veil was lifted from my eyes.

    In the end everything worked out, I am still happily married, I managed to break my child away from the JWs, the relationship with my parents is strained at best, but I wasted so many years of my life going back for the sake of my children. It was not easy breaking free, it is actually quite traumatic.

    Why am I telling you all this… Getting involved with a JW will only cause problems now and later on in life, why risk a relationship and the possibility of getting emotionally involved – there are plenty of other girls out there without this baggage. The teachings, fear and guilt are ingrained so deeply, they are incredibly hard to break free of. You do not want to come in between her and her family, who only love conditionally or be seen as the one that led her astray. You will be blamed and viewed with disdain, at some point this could backfire and she will turn on you too. She will become an outcast, shunned by her family and you will not be accepted. Her father’s position in the congregation will be in jeopardy if she dates outside. This is just the beginning…..

    She isn’t acting maturely, she is young and leading a double life and doesn’t know what she wants and how could she for that matter, she isn’t taught to think. She is being denied a normal childhood and teenage years – just like I was way back when. It is a house of cards that will collapse. Would I have done things differently had I been raised in a normal environment - YES!

    Turn and walk away, simply not worth it.

  • Fernando

    Welcome Vivere!

    Thank you for sharing your powerful story.

    You have a great way of explaining something that, although common in Watchtower land, is still a rather complex topic.

    And I'm delighted it worked out for you end the end.

    And saddened of course for the many who've known only misery.



  • Quandry

    Welcome, Vivere!

    Your story was well told, although heart-rending. As former JWs, we all know guilt so well....

    Glad your family is still together. I feel for others who had their families ripped apart by the WTS.

  • steve2

    I am intruigued when people disclose the organization is not for them "now" but there might be something in it later fior them. That's nice. Sort of like wrinkle cream, religion can be so unneeded when you're young, but oh so consoling when you're older.

  • Vivere

    Steve I don't understand why you would find that intriguing at all. It is called indoctrinated fear from infancy.

    I am a 3rd generation born in. The org was never for me. I truly hated being different as a child which carried on through my teenage years. I simply wished to fit in and live in a normal family, one that wasn’t burdened with "special knowledge" that we were "privileged" to share. I led a double life in my teens, one that put me in many risky situations because I wanted friends, to be liked for who I was, I wanted to be me and I wanted to find out who I was.

    My teenage years were filled with constant turmoil, feeling like a failure in all aspects of life, at school for being perceived as weird, not having any confidence because we weren’t allowed to participate in extracurricular activities to gain self esteem and confidence and at home for being a lone wolf for not truly believing and not conforming to my parents beliefs.

    Regarding going back because something was there for me later was simply not the case. I went back because I was afraid for my babies lives. I was resigned to the fact that I would likely be destroyed at Armageddon because of my heart condition, but I wanted my children to have a fighting chance. That is a mother’s love I guess.

    After a string of incidents a few years ago, I was finally able to research and find real truth about the watchtower organization. I certainly wish I had not wasted so many years, but it is what it is.

    I am no longer afraid, no longer guilty, I am free. And for the first time in my life, I am learning who I am!!

    Back on topic… Patrickday, I hope you see from reading my story, it is very complicated getting involved with someone with this type of background. She won’t think the same, could have a hidden agenda, may be wracked with fear and guilt that could carry on later in life which will affect her decision making. She may use you to escape her situation, but then you become a scapegoat. You will not be the only one affected, it carries on to her family, possibly your family too. Forget about her!

  • zeb

    It has been my experience at a long life that jw kids will be at least two years behind in mental/social development than their peers 'in the world'... softly walk away.

    V; a telling story.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Until such time as she fully understands that she was raised in an apocalyptic doomsday cult with a history of prophetic failure and nothing to offer her, and you, and her children, of any value, she is damaged goods and is not the kind of person you would choose to have raising your children if you were fully informed about her church's doctrines, rules, nature, grip and history.

  • steve2

    Vivere, I'm 3rd generation born in too. Going back for all sorts of reasons I get. But saying 'the organization's not for me now but maybe later' I don't get. It's a little bit like thinking, there could be something in it, but I'm not bothrred to think that through now...but maybe later. Sheesh!!

    Talk about conveniently fuzzy.

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