JW's have trouble letting go

by jurs 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • jurs

    Something I have observed since I've left the org is that people who were raised in the org and have lots of family in , aren't able to really act like a grown up. Its more like a teenager sort of thing. I've read where adults won't openly celebrate holidays because of fear of being shunned by parents. Even if it means that their own kids will have to loose out on having a normal life. They won't admit to family that they really don't believe in JW beliefs ect. ect. They sneak, lie and hide for fear of being shunned. What I find to be interesting is "in the world" so to speak, when adults live lifestyles or have issues that could and DO cause them to be estranged from their parents and families their better able to let go. I know more than a few people who are NOT JW's , whose parents don't speak to them , and its not the end of the world to them. I wasn't raised a JW but came in as an adult. My parents disowned me!!!! I had no relationship with my family because I became a JW. It hurt terribly but but I knew I could deal with it and thought they were the ones that were wrong. I never thought to hide it from them that I was a JW. I would have done the same if it were ANY issue. I know a man whose mother wouldn't talk to him because of whom he had married but it didn't stop him from marrying her and he accepted it. Why are these JW family relationships put above all else?? I hope I don't6 sound judgemental , I really just don't understand it. JURS

  • kenpodragon

    To start, I do not think you sound judgmental. Second, I had a hard time mentioning all of what I did when I left. Not because my wife and I were ashamed, but we did not want to hurt our families. We love them and they love us. I figured that running out and saying "we do this and this and this now" was no different then when Witness relatives tell their "worldly" relative that they do not do "this and this and this now." It hurts both ways, and I did not want to add to pain. In time we eased it on them, a little at a time. Soon they just accepted we were "worldly" now and it is just a none issue. Being happy about our freedom is one thing, using it to hurt is another. That is not to say it did not hurt them, we did have some issues, but we did not make it worse then it was.

    That is just how it was for my wife and I

    My thought


  • Amazing

    Hi Jurs: I concur with much of what you and Kenpo said. I was not raised a JW, so I understand the feelings going into the religion that existed between me and my non-JW family. After my immediate family and I left the JW religion, we also were shy about celebrating holidays, like Christmas ... whereas birthdays are easier to hide.

    I think the reason boils down to the basis for the shunning. In non-JW settings, the shunning is a personal choice and the persons being shunned can understand and live with it ... move on ... whereas the JW shunning is artificial, and an entire community imposes the shunning based, not on individual choice, but the mandate of a controlling religious system ...

    So, when the ex-JW does anything, they are keenly aware that they are being judged by these artificial in-human standards, and it is hard to accept ... I don't think the tendency to hide and sneak is reflective if immaturity or stunted emotions, but simply a pragmatic response to an otherwise dysfunctional situation.

    Edited by - Amazing on 12 October 2002 7:29:31

  • pettygrudger

    Yes, when dealing with the JW's the "don't ask me no questions & I'll tell you no lies" policy is mandatory.

  • Shakita


    Our situation sounds similar. When I became a JW and told my Mom, she disowned me. I did not have a relationship with my parents for 5 years. I did not disown them. They missed out on so much of their grandchildren's lives. But, I do not blame them. I blame myself first, and the org. second. I believe we all are ultimately responsible for our actions. After 5 years, my mother showed up at my door, and rebuilding a relationship began. What do we take away from this in life? I don't know. Everyone's life experience is different. I try not to judge others and their decisions on how to act or react to their JW experience. To re-live these sad times in my life is very painful. My Mom and Dad are gone now, and sometimes the regrets seem so many. But, we all have things I think we regret in life. I sure would like to meet the person who lived the perfect life, never hurting anyone along the way.

    Mrs. Shakita

  • jesussaves

    I definitely used the 'ask me no questions, tell me no lies' policy. It took me four years to tell my family that I attend a church. The first church I went to was near my grandmother's house, and I used to park my car about ten minutes away and then walk into the church, shielding my face from the traffic (It was a major street). I now openly celebrate holidays. I even invite them over for dinner! My mom won't come, but she'll accept a plate of leftovers couriered by my 17 year old baptized little brother (he comes to all my holiday parties). They still try to back me in a corner sometimes, even though they already know my stance on most of their beliefs. I don't try to defend anything now, I just laugh.

    It took four years of sneaking, though. So I can't judge anyone! :)

Share this