One Big Family... Except For When You Need Them
When i was in, we all used to claim us JW's were "one big family" all around the world, and how we're the happiest people on the earth. Except that isnt true is it? I knew that when i was in, but i've just had some news which shows me how unloving, uncaring and un-family like they really are.
My ex-best friend (he has to shun me doesn't he?) got married, i was still in at the time and was his best man at the wedding. He was 22yo and his wife 19yo. Which is a common age for marriage for JWs. He and I and his now wife have been friends for about 7 years and i knew them both before they were even dating. Anyway, they rent a small apartment. Last i knew he worked for an elder in his window washing business. His wife pioneers.
I was talking to my ex-wife yesterday as i dropped off my daughter at her place. I asked about my family (i have to get news about my own family from her), and ex-acquaintances. She told me my ex-best friend (lets call him John) and his wife have had a hard few months.
The elder has had to let him go because he cant afford to keep paying him. So John is now unemployed with no real work experience due to always working for this JW elder. The home they're renting has some serious damage to it, damp, rot, leaks, mold on the walls. So much so that their mattress and clothes had to be trashed due to mold building up on it. So they're literally sleeping on blankets on the floor in their home and keeping what cheap clothes they could buy at short notice in plastic containers in another room.
Ah! But fortunately they're part of God's loving organization, one big spiritual family. I asked my ex-wife what the congregation is doing to help.
Absolutely nothing. John's parents wont put them up in their home because his elder dad absolutely MUST have the spare room as an office to write his talks and do research. Her parents are dead. The brothers and sisters are just giving them "encouragement" to keep strong and things will get better. No real help whatsoever.
The elders have said it's not their responsibility to look after another mans household. That's the mans role as head of his house. The elder who used to employ him is using victim blaming saying "he knew when i employed him that there's no redundancy pay or sick pay". His wife is looking to come off pioneering so she can look for work and the elders have shamed her back into pioneering.
It pains me because i really want to help. Wether it be with money or, hey, i have a big spare room. But there's no way they'd even speak to me. They're not allowed to. I dont even know what they think of me, "crazy apostate?" "mentally diseased?" "spiritually weak?" I dont know, but even if they did i'd like to help them to get out of this rut. Even if it was anonymously.
One big family - what a crock.
P.S. The elder was paying him cash in hand. Didnt want to bother the nice people at the Inland Revenue with all those forms. So there's no record of John working AT ALL since leaving school.
i'd like to help them to get out of this rut. Even if it was anonymously.
That's easy to do. Put cash in an envelope, write their name on it and slide it under their door..The big problem is that there's no recognition for those deeds and our egos always struggle with that.
Can this couple file a claim against the house owner's homeowners insurance?
Awful....but John needs to get his arse in gear and get himself a real job. She should too...no need to live like that ....
What if you just went over to their home and offered your help anyway? After all it's not as if you're under any obligation ignore them, you could even argue that it's not a social call, it's helping a friend in need. If that's too confrontational you could just try sending a letter (without writing your name on the return address), perhaps if they saw true unconditional love from an "apostate" it would help to wake them up.
That is how it was when we pioneered, even through there were 10 other pioneers in the hall we were dumped on all the time, we lived on nothing no help from anyone so I got a job there is no reason the wife cannot. I worked 35 plus hours and put in 90 a month in service. It was hell and I hated every minute of it but I was told I was doing Jehovah's will and too keep my blinders on, the other pioneers were mostly wives who's husband were selfish and they burned through their money so when it came to using their cars for service they could not afford to but hey there were my husband and I to dump on,
My husband would get 7 people in our small Honda Civic that we bought with my tip money from work. It was crazy not enough seat belts but they did not care as long as they did not have to use their money for gas it was all good with them. Also I had no say in the matter after all I was just a stupid women and when I voiced that it was not safe to pack out our car my husband always shot back that everyone who showed up at the hall had to go out and it was the best he could do, We beat the crud out of that car with so many in it.
The places we lived in were dumps but I was told Jehovah provided. If this couple is young maybe this is a good thing as they might wake up and not waste so much of their lives like I did.
It pains me because i really want to help. Wether it be with money or, hey, i have a big spare room. But there's no way they'd even speak to me.
Anyway - offer your room to them. Write it down, put some money into a envelope and give it to him.
After all - he will waways remember: NO JW offered real help, only his fried - the EX-JW. There is no better way to show true christian love to him and that this love comes from people - not from an organisation.
In my opinion, "helping" with material assistance isn't the right way to go. Anything given from cash to housing to goods will likely be considered a "blessing from Jehovah" thus reinforcing their belief that their life course is on target.
They're not alone; remember that they each have biological family who have life experience and resources. They've been through the educational system, they have access to information from the media. In other words, this situation, while unique to them, isn't uncommon and there is help "out there" if they choose to use it.
The better course is to allow them how to handle the matter themselves. They'll get there even if it takes a few more losses before it happens. Show them respect, let them work it out as adults; don't play "parent" and stunt their chances for real growth.
I work with several support groups where economic difficulties are part of the byproduct.
I have developed a list or organizations, addresses, phone numbers, websites, e-mail contacts and the services they offer.
Many people have no idea where to look. There are even organizations (non-religious) that are designed to help people through the maze.
With some cash, a list like that could be included and encouragement to reach out. That's what the elders are told to do, help older jws learn what services the government provides and how to sign up. (Of course, hardly any do it)
Look, these are young people who are obviously relatively healthy and are living in the UK. It's not hard to get basic work in the UK. As Judge Judy would say - "get a job".
Warehouse work, supermarket work even at basic wages will pay £6.50 or £7.50 per hour.If they both knuckle down, get 35 hour jobs that is the better pert of £500 p.w.
They're just used to being useless. Next step is to set up his own window washing business part time at the weekends - then he'll turn over £20 per hour easily. Then get some education.
PE. If you want to help them put these suggestions to them in a letter and enclose a cheque for say £50.00 or a £20 note and say you would like to help more but of course you have your own bills to pay.
Jeez this is some England where two healthy young adults sit on their asses and think that the creator of the universe will look after them if they stand next to a trolley 70 hrs a month.