Tonight's memorial - did you go?
My wife and I went last night and boy did we get love bombed! It was amazing - hugs from all of the elders, everyone coming up to me like I was a visiting bethel speaker or something. I was just laughing inside. I don't know if I was just paranoid, but it seemed like the speaker was looking right at me for much of the talk - especially the part where he invited the audience to go to meetings regularly and not just on special occasions such as this.
We had been getting calls all week from the brothers making sure we knew the time and place. Yesterday morning an elder and his wife came over to encourage me to come. It seems like they weren't counting on me being there because when I said, "Oh yeah, we're definitely going to be there tonight" they had this priceless look of surprise and relief on their faces.
I can't believe how I sat through 25 of those "celebrations" in the past. It is so ridiculous. The first words from one of the elder's mouth when he came to love-bomb, er, greet me afterward was, "It's great - we had 256 in attendance!". I wish that I didn't contribute to that number. Maybe next year there will be at least two less. It was so stupid how they over emphasize that no one is supposed to partake. The celebration is useless - why pass emblems that won't be used? It's such a stupid ritual - they're as bad as the Catholic Church.
Anyway, we went out afterward with some of our old friends. Everyone seemed so happy to see us. I know some truly miss us and we do miss them, but it's just not a healthy environment for us anymore. I told one of my elder buddies that we just came to keep from causing controversy this year. I told him that he would probably not see us at meetings anymore, and will probably only see us at assemblies since I have so many Witness workmates that I deal with on a daily basis. Someday we'll make a complete break, though.
It's so good to have friends on the outside who understand how much pressure is put on inactive ones to attend. Part of me doesn't mind going to the memorial - it's like a person going to Christmas Mass once a year to please his Catholic believing grandmother. But in a way it is much different because the JW religion is not a normal religion. It is a very controlling religion - pretty much a cult. For the Catholic grandma, she basically knows that her grandson is going just to make her happy. For the JW grandma, she believes that her grandson might someday come back to her religion. It stirs up false hopes and it starts the whole love-bomb process where you start getting invited to meetings and service, etc.
Maybe next year will be different.
This is my first post. I have been reading your posts for a while now, but today I had to speak up. I have been inactive for about 5 years now, but this was the first time that I didn't attend the Memorial. My husband was my strength. I had the wisdom NOT to marry a good JW. Instead I married a heathen (good for me, in more ways than one!!!) who told me that if I went he would go with me and partake in fron of everyone. LOL. He meant it too! He gave me the strength not to pretend this year.
I am going to deliver my first child any day now, and my family has stepped up their efforts to "reactivate" me and "convert" my husband out of a need to indoctrinate my child. I love my family, they are good people who have a desperate need to cling to the only hope they have ever known. I am greatful every day that I have found a bigger, more liberating hope.
I am also grateful that I have a husband who is not afraid to scour the internet for so called "apostate" sites and email me links to threads that he knows will hit home. Above all, I am grateful that there are others out there who understand what I am going through without me even having to name it.
PS When is the air date for the Dateline Expose??
Last night was actually a sort of anniversary for me and my fiancee. She came to the memorial at my Kingdom Hall last year -- she had been inactive, knew she would never be a Witness again, but she wanted to see me. It was the first time we had seen each other in years. After the non-celebration, we met in the back of the hall, and said, at about the same time, "let's get out of here." It was one of my last meetings.
I was actually surprised not to get invited this year. Oh well. Spent the evening in Harvard Square, had a good time with Foxy, and didn't really think much about the whole thing.
Thanks for the stories, especially Joelbear and REM ...
Welcome to anyone I have missed. Just an oversight. So many new one's.
A toast (grape juice for you) to the men in our life who care enough to do the research and give us strength!!! Thinker knows more about JW's than I do I think. And I was raised as one and stayed in until I was about thiry-eight.
Congradulations on your up coming event!!!
Sounds like you two really have something special there.
Life is good,
I did not go either. First time in 28 years. Sure did feel funny!
This is also my first post here. I have had a bit of a rough week. I have not attended the memorial in about 10 years....if not more. I have " a lineage" as my pioneer mother calls it of high ranking witnesses. Let's just say every grandparent was of the "annointed" and I wouldn't be surprised if any day now my 58 year old mother receives the "calling" to take someone's place. This would certainly give this "generation" a few more years.
I have recently had a renewed battle with my mother about my 7 year old daughter. She knows the rules about not witnessing to her but recently my daughter was there for spring break & asked to take my daughter to the KH.Of course my no answer led to all holy hell breaking loose. Mom told me she couldn't believe as smart as I was I could not believe her religion. I told her as smart as she was I couldn't believe she believed as she did. This was basically a heart wrenching tit for tat that hurt me emotionally to the core to a point that I haven't been at in years.I am 30 years old with a wonderful daughter, a good marriage, a nice home, and a good job but I get the emotional abuse of being told I hurt my mother more than any of her other children ever could. I get told that I have disappointed her in a way that no one else ever has. I am told that i have broken her heart. It is a hard struggle to overcome this emotional abuse with the knowledge that it all stems from a person who I should feel sorry for because they have been so deeply ingrained back so many years from a cult that they can't think for themselves. I have to cry the tears of pain from her words but I have to excuse her behavior because she is blinded and brainwashed.I just wish I could have a normal parent relationship. It almost happens sometimes...when religion is not the subject. But this always seems to come back up. I go to church sometimes and I do not see any of this type of strain or judgment. I see people who pray for their families who are not in church to come to know God and Jesus.
I didn't go to the memorial and I will not step foot in a kh again. It is too strange and bizarre for me. Quite frankly, I find it a bit scary. I pray for all to have the strength to move on with their lives and do not be influenced by emotional to abuse to backstep into an organization that preaches good on the outside but once you're in causes such pain.
Welcome to the board.
I've never been in your situation before, but plenty of people here have. My husband is at a crossroads, he wants to fade away, but hesitates because he knows it will devastate his mom. I have a hard time understanding this, but reading posts like yours helps me to have some insight and empathy for his situation. Hopefully you will find your participation here just as helpful.
I appreciate the kind responses from all of you. I felt the need to leave my initial post after feeling really depressed about all this jw bs for the first time in a long time.
I thought I had moved past it all but I guess you never really get completely over it.
For those of you that are new here I would like to congratulate you on your start of a new life. It can be so difficult to leave at first but after some time you really begin to see things through new eyes. You stop going wild and realize that you can now finally just be a normal functioning member of society without being judged. I think that former dubs are so fortunate in their appreciation of the little things in life that we weren't allowed to have before. Embrace yourselves and your freedom ans thank god for helping you to be free.
Thanks for the support
rnault, I feel for you. Keep strong. Take care of your daughter. Break the cycle with her. DON'T EVER LET YOUR MOM TALK TO HER OR INDOCTRINATE HER! That's what matters. You be strong for your child and know that there are thousands of others in your same shoes rooting for the same goal -- to end it here - in this generation!