Hi Marilyn-------------I appreciate you telling me how you feel. I left the Organization around 15 years ago, and without going into details, I despise the Society probably even more than you do. What's more, I have no use for religion at all, and I guess I can safely say that I am staunchly agnostic. But it occurs to me that I'm more of a "Christian" than most people who claim to be Christian are. There's something about that verse " As far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men" that just gets me. Like you say, we're not dealing with normal people here, but it's not their fault; the R & F have been brainwashed into accepting this sick way of life and they honestly believe that they are doing the right thing. Now, I managed to figure things out and left the "truth", but I really feel sorry for those that are still trapped inside and I wish I could help them to get out. Unfortunately, I probably can't, but I still feel deep sorrow for them. Didn't Jesus feel pity for the crowds when they came to him, even being moved to tears on at least one occasion that comes to mind. I don't think that that is a bad way to feel about my former friends, even though they don't feel that way towards me. And I think that we should especially feel that way to those who are in our family, because, in this world, family is just about all we have. Marilyn, I feel very bad that you've been separated from your family for 20 years, and there's probably nothing that you could have ever done about it. I know the mentality real well. But I also know this : One of these days, sooner or later, you're going to be on your death bed. Or your mother will. Or brother. Or someone. And there's going to be a lot of regret and sorrow, not to mention guilt. All those lost years, and there's nothing you can do to get them back. Nothing except cry. I've seen it over and over. So that is why I gave Tammie the advice I did:
I think that you should take the high ground and try to find some way that ya'll can get together and let your MIL see her grandkids.
And it sounds like you told her pretty much the same thing, if I read your post right :
She can visit the house and behave in a civil and mature fashion. I think that that would be great.
And maybe, after all these years, you could reach deep inside yourself and make the effort to improve your family relations. It may not go anywhere, but when the inevitable time comes that I spoke of, at least your conscience will be clear and you'll know that you tried.
I would like to relate an ancedote that took place just a few weeks ago, as related to me by my brother. By the way, I gave COC to my brother, who in turn gave it my parents, who have all now pretty much done the slow fade. (It looks like I did help someone, doesn't it?) Anyway, my brother has been close friends with an elder and his wife for many years and even now are on pretty good terms with them. Unbeknownst to my brother, the elder and his wife have a daugher, now in her 40's, who was disfellowshipped when she was 17. They have not seen her for nearly 20 years. While the daughter and her husband and 2 children were driving down I-40 on their way home to California back in August, they were driving through our town and the daughter decided to call her parents. They were invited over to the house and they spent a night together. For the first time, the elder and his wife saw their grandchildren, now ages 16 and 17. And the next day, they left. My brother says that Sister Elder cried like she would never stop. I don't think anybody on either side was saying : "See there, they asked for it." "They got what they deserved." "Ah, Revenge! Isn't it sweet? That'll show 'em we're serious" No---all I see is a terrible human tragedy. I hate seeing the same thing happen to you and countless others in this wretched excuse of a religion. And that's why I say : "As far as it depends on you, be peaceable...."