Letter to my mother

by pandora 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • pandora

    Hi guys,

    Haven't come by in a while. I've been so busy. I missed all of you. I need some thoughts and opinions, if you don't mind.

    Recently I got married to a wonderful man I have known for about 4 years. We just went to the justice of the peace. Nice and simple. But we wanted to have a celebration with our friends and family. So on the 3rd of May we will hold a reception. Here comes my mom.

    She has never met my husband. She has never asked to. I have never offered. She was against my divorce from my first husband. When we spoke, she never asked who I was seeing or anything, for that matter. I didn't care if she ever met him. He is a staunch athiest. She a staunch JW. Oh, the fireworks I see in my future.

    I want to send my mom an invitation to my reception. She is my mother. I love her. I would like her there with me. The problem: I have 3 sisters. All 3 have been baptised as JW's and disfellowshiped. One went back. But all three will be there. I was never baptised. That is why my mother feels she can talk to me. Anyway, the one that went back to the JW's talks to all the sisters for the most part. She was my maid of honor when I got married and she threw me a shower. She invited mom to the shower, but because one of the disfellowshipped sisters was going to be there, she wasn't going to eat. So the sister in the "truf" told mom she couldn't come.

    I wanted to carry on that theme. I realize it is probably petty but I think mom aught to know how I feel about it.

    Here is my rough draft. Other than me being petty, I would appreciate your opinions on this letter.

    Dear Mom,

    I would like to start by saying that I love you and Dad very much. This invitation is my way of saying that I wish you could attend our gathering.

    K* told me of your stand against Sh*, and there is no reason to think that you would not take the same stand against L*. Since they will both be sharing this special moment with me and my husband, I see there is a problem. I cannot allow you to disrespect them in such a way and therfore ask that you not plan on attending.

    If you can find it in your heart to treat all of your children with respect and love, you are very welcome to attend. Dinner will be served at 4:30p. Bring an appetite.

    I hope I'm way off base here mom. Nothing would please me more than to have my family around me on my special day. I would love for you to meet J* (my husband) and his family. They are a wonderful group of people. His mother and I made the invitation you hold in your hand. We have worked very hard, side by side, to bring this day to reality. I will not risk any conflict on that day. I won't allow shunning, and the pain it causes, to be apart of it.

    This is all I have so far. I'm sorry this is so long.

    Thanks for your honest opinions.


  • blondie

    Pandora, it is a great letter. It is specific and to the point. It doesn't drag up any past baggage. It simply states you want to have your family together to show them love on this special occasion. I love it.


  • cruzanheart

    I think that's beautiful. You speak with dignity, love, and determination. Congratulations on your marriage, by the way!



  • JamesThomas

    The last sentence is usually the one that hits home the hardest. perhaps you could tone yours down just a little from reading: "I won't allow shunning, and the pain it causes, to be apart of it. " To something like: "I will not allow un-Christ-like shunning and the pain and suffering is causes others into my blessed home...there is already enough evil and lack of love in the world." JamesT

  • Sentinel

    Putting together a letter like this always carries so much emotion. You are loving and kind, and this is an example of how you project that to others. But, you request something from your mother that she may not be able to "freely" give you, since other members of your family who are being "shunning" will be present.

    By nature, mother's and daughters have this unique bond--even if, at times, they don't agree on things. You did the correct and loving thing, and bottom line, it's your mother's choice.

    The first time I married, neither of my parents attended. They showed no interest in my life at all because I was making my own choices, and they didn't agree. I was df'd at the time, and unacceptable. My new in-laws refused to believe that they wouldn't attend their own child's wedding, or help with the planning or the expense, so they attempted a personal invitation, which my mother promptly rejected. Of course my new in-laws did not understand, but they gave us a small wedding reception and made it as nice as they could. In those days, I was beside myself with grief and saddness amid all the wedding stuff. Of course they took it personally, and they also felt rejected. They didn't understand. It was only the beginning of friction. First marriage got off to a rough start and didn't survive past fourteen years. Many reasons.

    Later in life, after leaving JW's for good, I met wonderful person and we were engaged. Later I sent out invitations. I knew my folks wouldn't come, but I did it right the second time by personally inviting them myself. I didn't even get an acknowledgement from either of them. Was I surprised? From my mom, no. I did think that perhaps my dad might come, but he didn't. My husband and his three kids didn't understand. No one in his family understood. Right now, the popular opinion is that my mother is "senile"; however, I know she is very much in her right mind, and this is just how she has always been.

    Later on, after years of being ignored as a married couple, my dad finally did make a visit to meet hubby and stepkids. My mother relented some years after that, and for awhile was quite nice to hubby, so we made many vacation trips to see them at my husband's urging, to further cement relationships. After some ten years of association in a more normal fashion, the shunning began again after dad died. Mom never did get to meet the stepkids. Not once. Everyone believes my mother is weird. They don't understand, and I have stopped trying to explain it. Her behavior, like other JW's is rigid and cold on the outside. Inside, I know her heart is breaking. I can't change her. She doesn't intend to change. We have each made our choices.

    My life is moving along and I am living my life in a much healthier way these days. This is because I don't allow her that "power" over me, to make me feel guilty for my choices as an adult. If your mother doesn't attend, please don't let it mess up your lovely day. I wish you joy and happiness always, and hope that your husband and in-laws will give you more of a family closeness and love you so deserve.

  • Francois

    That's a great letter, and I don't think you need to take a chance on mucking it up by making it any longer. I think you need to re-write your sentences to be more direct and less passive.

    For instance, you say, "I cannot allow you to disrespect them in such a way and therfore ask that you not plan on attending." I would say: I will not allow you to disrespect them as you did others at my first wedding, so please do not come to this celebration. This is my special day and I will not tolerate you or anyone else ruining it for me.

    I may have the relationships off kilter in my re-write. But you see the difference? Yours in red is passive, mine is active, aggressive. It means what it says and it doesn't give the impression that maybe I don't really mean it. Other than that, I think you've done a great job. It's a helluva dilemma in which to put your children isn't it?

    God, how I hate this small-minded religious cult.


  • Granny Linda
    Granny Linda

    I'm so glad you are taking a positive step for assuring those in attendance won't have to be subjected to the mindless and unloving attitudes of JW's. Moreso on what is meant to be a joyous, happy occasion. Oh, congratulations.

    I just wrote a very short and direct letter to my one jw sister telling her to not bring mother by my home when they are in this state visiting my other "going back to meetings", younger sister. (long story), but after a recent reminder of their judging attitude, just one of many negatives, I have closed the door on all my JW family, period. I tired long time ago of listening politely to them while they slam the world and everything/everyone in it. I refuse to remain silent for sake of "family"; a family that has been non-existant for years anyhow. I'm proud of you, dear lady. It takes courage to confront the obvious...and jw's are pretty obvious when it comes to shunning. You deserve to be treated with the utmost respect as do your guests.

    I think it's high time more former JW's such as ourselves begin dis-associating with the likes of such people. If we do not look out after our own mental/emotional well being, who will, eh. My suggestion is not to sit long on your letter. Just finish it up to the best of your ability and mail it off. And then treat yourself to a long soak in the tub with some scented oil or bath salts. And always, always...or so is my opinion, thank your self for having common sense, and a heart that chooses goodness over a mind controlled family. It ain't easy, but by golly it works.

    Happy marriage,


  • kelpie


    I am in the same situation as yourself. Let me know how you get on...

    Email if you wish.


  • pandora

    James & Francois

    There are so many things that Could be said here. I could call it un-Christ-like, unChristianlike, childish, petty, and even cultish. I'm sure there are more. But they all amount to name calling. While I would enjoy it, heehee, this letter is accompaning what amounts to a wedding invitation. This occasion is a dignified event. I do not want to sully it by back-biting and name calling.

    The wording of my letter may come off passive to you. But to my mother, the wording used here will be very harsh. Her daughters just don’t speak to her in this way. I appreciate your thoughts and I will ponder how I word those sentences for slightly longer. Thank you for your opinions.


    I understand so completely what you have gone through with your mother. Although mine has found it in her heart to speak with me, it is not without its controversies. I can remember way to many screaming matches with her because she spoke to me but none of the other sisters. I never thought that was fair. And there are many times I almost wish that she would shun me so the questions would never get asked. You know, the question of will she come or not? Will she speak to me this week or did she actually hear what the kingdom ministry said about non baptised ones being just as bad? There are always questions where she is concerned.

    My husbands family will never understand how a parent could do such a thing to her child. I would hope that they never will. They have brought me into their wonderful family as if I was their own. As I told my mother, they are truely wonderful people.

    I would really love it if my family could be whole again. I love and miss my mother terribly. But I know that what she is doing is wrong. And I feel a need to let her know that I feel that way.

    I am so glad that you have moved on from the pain your mother has caused you. I think that this letter might help me move forward also. I have been complacent when it comes to her. Many times I have not said what was truely in my heart simply to spare her feelings. But when I think back, I realise that she never did that for me. While I do not want to be rude or mean, I want her to realise how I feel.

    I take a chance sending it. It could be the last correspondence with her. But I would rather be honest and go down with the real truth, than cow-tow to her fake truth.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    And 'Thank You' to everyone for your well wishes.


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