This is my story...
I've been lurking around this site for a while, and I must say that it has been an enormous emotional aid. I have been inactive for about 8 months now, and recently turned in a letter of disassociation. My wife (thankfully) has been inactive for about 3 months or more. We were both raised in "the truth". Her parents have been inactive for a while now. (Thankfully.) My parents are a different story. My mom has been a pioneer for 17+ years, and my Dad has been an elder since I was little.
About a year ago, or so I started letting myself question why Jehovah allowed such horrible things to occur on earth. 9-11 was fresh in my mind, but the book that really got me was called, "The Rape of Nan King." It's a book about the treatment of a Chinese town during WWII by the Japanese. I started asking myself a lot of questions, and felt disenchanted with the standard replies. I imagined someone asking me these same questions at the door, and I would have no answer! Waiting for a New System to miraculously smooth over every injustice since Man's beginning just doesn't do it for me anymore.
Then I started questioning policies I always thought were ridiculous. Things like beards being socially inacceptable etc. Well I guess the fact that I was having all these doubts upset my Mom so much that she couldn't come visit my wife and I , and my Dad came to visit by himself. (THey live several hours away.) I was able to talk with him about this stuff that bothered me about the religion, after the standard answers that I've heard since I was 3, He ended the visit by saying he loved me, but I had to realize he needed to "protect his family". He told me they were servants of Jehovah and they would only associate freely with fellow worshipers of Jehovah. So that excluded the normal relationship we had before. I was amazed at how quick he was to sell me out for the religion. It hurt like hell.
I haven't seen them since. Recently I planned a visit alone but it was cancelled by my Dad at the last minute. "Sorry son, this is just too difficult for us right now." At that point I chewed him out. Bad. I had never talked to my father like this before. I feel bad about that conversation still.
Getting to the point, I mailed in my letter of disassociation this week and it feels wild. I feel really good about being so free, but a the same time horribly pained by the rejection by my folks. I am going to mail them a letter tonight telling them I am now Da'd. It feels like I'm writing them a suicide note. ugh..
Thanks for reading and all of your kinds responses to others..it has been very uplifting in this difficult time.
Well Huxley I wish you all the best. It is difficult how people could change things around so that doctrine becomes more important than family. I can't fathom that.
Glad the forum has been a help to you Huxley...I am sure we will all be waiting here to hear how things go for you and your new status in the congregation.
"Sorry son, this is just too difficult for us right now." At that point I chewed him out. Bad. I had never talked to my father like this before. I feel bad about that conversation still.
You shouldn't feel bad about this. I understand why you do, but how DARE your father tell you this was too hard for him! What about you? Because you can't except a few manmade doctrines you are not allowed to have your own emotional feelings? What a bunch of hooey! You were right to be upset, and your parents should feel bad and should feel uncomfortable because it is NOT NORMAL to cut off communication with family because of religion.
Your statement that you DA letter felt like a suicide note, was very powerful. But you shouldn't feel that way. They are the ones who cut you off...you didn't give up on them, they gave up on you!
Stay strong...keep us updated, and let us know if we can help in anyway at all...
I am so glad you have decided to post on the forum.
There are many on this forum, as you have probably noticed, that have come from similar experiences. For me, the thing that is a common thread with many JWs - is the heart wrenching shunning of family/friends.
Fortunately for me, I have no family that are JWs, but for those that were either raised in it or have family still in the organization, this has to be one of the MOST painful experiences.
Huxley, I have been shunned by former friends and JWs, but not family. That I could not imagine nor even begin to consider in any tangible terms.
I hope...and I sincerely mean this, that you'll remain here and get to know some of us. There are several with similar circumstances that post here, and I'm sure you'll find their words and warmth, welcoming.
Take care Huxley. Best wishes, and I'm sorry that the family are acting this way. It's the organization poisoning their minds. It must be eating them alive from the inside out.
Hang in there.
Thanks for telling your story! It strikes a real chord with me. Ever since my DF'ing in 2000, I have been treated as dead by my own parents. They won't even see my 4-year old daughter when they travel up here over 1,500 miles to visit their parents and their JW acquaintances (I won't even call them "friends").
I recently wrote a letter to my folks explaining why I can never go back to the JW's. My parents are 65 and 70, and have been associated with the Witnesses for over 5 decades each. It would take some sort of miracle for them to change their ways now. So I had to gently but firmly tell them why it feels so unloving to be shunned (things that would seem like they should be obvious to the average parent, you know!!).
Welcome here to the forum. You'll find new friends here and will enjoy the conversations!
huxley, know that there are many people here who love and support you. i have been here only few days, but i know it. we are sorry for your heartache.
I know how you're feeling right now... It's all a bunch of mixed emotions... you feel free and yet feel really bad for your family that is still in... you feel happy and sad and angry at the same time... I've been through that myself... and like you (and a lot of people here) it was all because of a crisis of conscience that made me leave the org... It takes time... but It will get better... I promise... I hope that the little support I can give you with my words along with all the others here you can feel at ease and with enough encouragement to go on...
Welcome to the board... Keep posting...
First of all Welcome.... (shakes hand)
How long ago did this "final conversation" happen? (My story is quite similliar.. same selfish response about how "He" couldnt deal with it)
I was just asking, because if you are like me (and others) you surely still Love him. Please dont make the mistake I did, only calling home every ten years hoping they would change their mind. You may still be able to salvage some of it. If you want to. Try and remember that they are victims here, even though JW's make some of the most frustrating victims I ever met. It's like trying to drag a man out of a burning building, only he has chained himself to a support beam.
Telling them what is "wrong" with the religion, will only get you a badge that reads "apostate". It will only re-inforce what they are being told.
I really do sympathize with you on this. I hate to see anyone lose their family to the "burning building".
When I came to this site a month ago, I intended to "fake" it, so that I could be back with my family. After much thought and the wisdom of those on that post here, I have since changed plans.
It seems that with my own father, focusing on what we have in common, is working better. We both believe strongly in "God" though we refer differently to him.
It also seems, that there is no "right" answer to your dillemna. As far as The DA letter.. I agree with Joannadandy... You know in your heart that this cannot be the path to God, and in time you WILL outgrow... that empty feeling.
You cannot give up on your father though. Family is very important. Who knows... maybe something will happen soon that will open his eyes as well. Whether you believe in "armageddon" or not... one cannot deny that the world is about to become a different place, with all that is going on.
I certainly am not a source of "flowing wisdom"... quite the opposite. But I encourage you just the same, to hang in there, and wish you all the luck in the world with this. You have already taken one step that I KNOW will help you.... you have come here. Somewhere in the posts that these people leave dangling in cyber-space... you will find much wisdom, and caring, and healing. Good luck... my "in-box" is your "in-box"
he needed to "protect his family".
So what does that make you? Aren't you his son!? I get so angry at hypocrites like this. I do not believe in a God of conditional love, nor do I believe he approves of it. Love is freely given. My son is 7 years old. I don't care what he grows up to become, hell he could become Jack the Ripper and I would not cut him off (though I would visit him in prison).
I haven't spoken with my father in over 11 years. In my case that's a good thing since he was such a bad father. But the way I look at it, is I don't consider HIM to be good association and I need to protect MY family. I had my name legally changed. I moved and got an unlisted number. Now I'm not saying that you should consider any of this, but perhaps you should decide how much of a relationship, if at all, you want with your family. If all they're going to do is hurt and reject you, that's something to consider.
Take care and good luck.