Help with acceptance for JW family still in
Fantastic advice here and welcome to all the recent posters!
But never say never. Just don't hitch your hopes and dreams to that wagon.
I'm a born in an ex-elder of 30 years and it took several years to wake up. But I did.
That things will be always be like this with their family, that they will always be JW, that they will never change, that they will never have doubts or at least doubts that they will act on until the day they die? If so, how? Does it still make you very sad? Do you think you'll always be sad about it? Are you still angry? How do you deal with it?
Slightly different to you in that my family don't have anything to do with me so I don't have the frustration of getting preached at. Yes it makes me sad that they will probably die in that religion.
Occasionally I remember something from when we were kids and I feel sad but then I think they're not those people anymore, your life choices change you. My sister saving a bird that had been hurt and being so sad when it died. Where is that little girl? Subsumed by the cult monster religion.
I deal with it by just enjoying my life. I'm here if they want to leave. You can't stay sad or angry the whole time, it's a waste if life.
Help with acceptance for JW family still in
YOU just need to accept that they are happy being JW`s in their delusional state of mind and get your head around the fact that they never want to know or believe they are in a false /cult religion.
You getting frustrated because of their continued trying to influence /convert you to their way of thinking is not doing your health any good
Maybe you need to step back and minimize your association with your family and take a low key and just see how much they want to keep in touch with you once they know for sure you dont want to be a part of the JW religion.
You are not going to change their thinking however they believe they can change yours.
Once you make it plain to them they cant you will be dropped like a hot potato.
Don`t put yourself through such trauma go and find new friends and acquaintances.
What sort of family will only truly accept you on their terms only.
Just to answer the questions you pose at the end such as does it make me sad? With regard to my parents saddens me to see unwaivering loyalty to such an uncaring group and even worse that they have so litre self esteem they can't see it. For example even in very poor health and inclement weather they still 'cart' or attend meetings late at night. With online stuff there is no excuse too big or talk too small to miss. I've rarely seen people round offering to help. I see wasted lives, my parents aren't drones they are quite odd ball and very middle class I suspect the only reason they haven't been pulled up for fraternizing with us is that they give handsomely to the Borg although I have no evidence of this. We do family ccassionally have spiritual ding dongs but I've found these counter productive its better to show love and when praised for our kindness I drop in stuff like- ' I don't think you're used to this' or ' that's what Christians do" and just shrug not making a big thing of it.
My sibling on the other hand had woken up and started to fade, he then married a devout JW and has been awful ever since, they virtually shun us. We did have a close relationship for many years but that's just gone. This makes me feel sad angry and frustrated i cannot see how he cannot see but i suspect he isnt in it for the belief but because his Mrs makes him toe the line. Her family are very presurizing so i see him as weak.
The only other issue with trying to wake someone up is it reveals to them just how apostate your views really are. If as in sibling and in law they return they have even more ammo to use against you and shun you.
In my experience, the first thing that I can say is that not all families are the same. Therefore, my approach to my JW family may not be suitable for others. That said,
So, the point of this message. I'd love to know - has anyone been in my situation and truly successfully accepted this?
Yes, it is not realistic to expect that they accept you as a non-JW without you accepting them as such. Granted, they are more in numbers and brainwashed to believe that any conflict that arises is because you're not a JW, but you still have to recognize what they chose to do with their lives.
If so, how?
Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. In my family, they are not the kind of people that are very respectful of each other. There was a lot of domestic violence going on left and right. We were never taught to be considerate and respectful to each other, so there wasn't (still isn't) any civilized way of setting boundaries with them without yelling, screaming or becoming loud and disrespectful. As I said, not all families are the same. In order for me to have them "get it', I had to be disrespectful to their faith. Otherwise, they just don't listen, period. Sadly, the same holds true to my non-JW relatives who also left.
I needed to step away from all that, both the JW crap and my disrespectful, violent family. My family of choice emerged from that. My family of origin are now secondary. Their choice/consequences.
Also, it was interesting that they always wanted to be the ones calling the shots. Many of my JW siblings and my parents had a problem with me, except when needing something from me. I wasn't a "bad association" when I can solve their problems, most of them financial. Again, boundaries. Also, they made the attempt at being nice for as long as they don't know anything about my life. They wanted a one-way relationship, and expected me to be ok with that. Nope. More boundaries.
Does it still make you very sad?
Yes and no. When I look at my life, who I am, what I've become, the things that I have lived and experienced, and most of all, the fact that I do have my family of choice, compared to who they are and what they have done with their lives and are still loud and disrespectful to each other, no, I don't feel as sad. I feel sorry for them. I feel sad when I see loving families that are united and have each others' back and I never got to experience that. But gratitude for what I do have is the key. My family of origin lost me by their own choosing. I don't assign blame, but I hold them responsible for their decisions and actions.
Do you think you'll always be sad about it?
No. I came to terms with the decisions and actions I needed to take regarding them. Please bear in mind that I am gay, growing up in a messed up family, a messed up religion and a messed up society. When I look at the strength of character that I developed, when I know of people who have killed themselves for less than half of what I've been through, and when I look at my insane superhuman resiliency, I feel happy and grateful for the many opportunities I've had, and for the life I have created for myself. The world isn't in black an white, not everything is all good and happy, and not everything is bad and sad.
Are you still angry? How do you deal with it?
I was, and it makes me angry to think about all that could have been with my family. That anger is never going to leave. It's a matter of what to do with it/about it. The way I deal with it is by gratitude. I have a lot to be grateful for. And also loving where my life without them has taken me.
I'm not sure I have ever truly accepted it and that's what I really think I need to do.
You're right. They are JWs. You should accept that. However, you are not. The challenge is them accepting that reality, them respecting you as a person, your decision, your believes and your boundaries.
Not sure if my experience helps, but that's how I came to terms with my JW family of origin.
MaryKN, Have you ever thought about moving somewhere else where your JW family will never find you again? You do not deserve to be bothered by depressing conversations! You can make sure your name will not be in the White Pages, etc...Google about it! Some people will NEVER leave the cult. That is one of the facts in life! Try to move on!
I always find it depressing and difficult to talk to my JW family. I am constantly treading on eggshells, I do not wish to offend them, some of them I do not wish to rattle their cage, those particular ones are elderly, and would be totally lost if they had to leave the JW bubble. It is so difficult to hold my tongue.
I am resigned to the fact that probably none of them will wake up and leave. I am lucky that they simply do not speak of what they would call "spiritual things", it is just family news and chit-chat.
I do plant the odd crafty seed when I can, because I know that with me it was years of accumulated information that finally made me wake up. I do not totally give up hope, especially for the internet savvy younger ones.
I wish you all the best with your family, I think the main thing is to keep communication open, whatever the cost to you, that will show them you really love them.
My two JW siblings remain distant, although we talk occasionally. I have accepted this, as I don't believe in wishing and hoping for things that will not be. It's sad, but I feel it's as if they were alcoholics or addicted to drugs, I wish them well, would love to see them give up their drug of choice (magical thinking), but I have zero control over the situation, so to worry about it would only do me harm, and that would be stupid and do them no good.
I find meditation to be very helpful.
Yes...my spouse and I have accepted that the family (on spouses side) will NEVER change. It's something we just have to accept. We ask them to respect us as inactive and I guess we have to respect their beliefs as well. We tell them that it is just better to keep things as they are. We will talk about the weather, the family, the kids, etc. but not JW issues. We are not afraid to warn them that they may not like or agree with what we say. They seem to be fine with that.
My family, however, is a different story. Pushy, manipulative and abusive. Once they found out we are inactive...the jig was up. Good riddance to em!
Quote from Summer Angel:
Initially they were pretty awful lots of comments etc like ' we will be in paradise without you but you will be erased from our memory" my mum can be quite spiteful at times.
Good point. All Jws seem to buy into this very un-Biblical belief. If only they could read The Word with a clear mind apart from all of the Cult Indoctrination.
They (All Jws everywhere) will be very surprised to see EVERYBODY there when it is done. Not a single soul will be lost or left out. Oddly, most of Christendom has difficulty with this Truth.