chasing me for a report
I'm fairly new on here and I've told a lot of my story but to recap, after 60 odd years I've stopped going to the meetings. My husband had already left the truth years ago and my children didn't become JWs.(phew!)
I had a horrendous childhood growing up as a witness which included sexual assault by a close relative, also a JW. This past year through counseling I confronted that person by letter with the full support of my elders who, I thought were going to have my back. Turns out I was wrong. After a few weeks they suddenly didn't want to know me. Refused to talk to me about it and one even ran away from me in the supermarket. I know what's happened. My abuser is an elder in another congregation and no doubt the branch was contacted and my elders were told to drop it. Well, that was the final nail in the coffin for me. I had bravely lay bare the thing that had ruined my life and all but destroyed me and my elders, who knew all the gory details because I told them everything, abandoned me. I decided then and there, I'd had enough and stopped going.
But get this....for the past 3 months...at the end of the month they send another elder round the house or he rings me up - for my report!!!
They don't want to know me. Don't care about me and yet they bug me for a report at the end of each month!
I told the elder they send that he's aware I'm not attending meetings so it's pretty obvious I'm not reporting. He is such a nice elder and he always says to me 'they get on my back if I don't do ask.' I feel sorry for him.
I do not want to DA because I'm not giving them that final power over me. But how do I handle this?
Wow - so many things you could say!
Maybe something like "When the Witnesses start behaving like Jesus, I'll give you my time for the month."
Another reply that comes to mind is "Put me down for 60 hours. I've done a lot of "witnessing" online!" Keep telling them to put you down for 60 hours. They will eventually stop asking.
My personal experience was that I stopped field service and stopped turning in my time. I would get calls, texts, emails. I would delay the replies more and more until I finally ignored them.
Did the Apostles report their time preaching?
Sad story, Phoebe, i wish you all the best to overcome bad things and to find some happiness outside of a cult.
About reporting, if you feel sorry for that elder (and you want to keep snoops away from your life) just text him each month "1 hour" or something like that. Don't let your conscience to disturb you, they stole much more time of your life.
But how do I handle this?
First, big hug. It's quite A story and that's the least that we all can give you.
I don't know the specifics about your relationship with other JWs or any other attachment that you may have, even if you decided to stop going. I say this simply because it's impossible for me to completely erase my first 23 years of life born-in and raised a JW, leave alone 60 years.
I'm also inquiring because I could tell you what I would do, which is not advise, nor is it something I necessarily encourage you to follow.
What I would do is that every single time that every single JW contacted me, I would not drop the topic of the abuse and the letter, and talking to the elders, and them turning their backs on you. I wouldn't miss the slightest opportunity to give them a reminder.
To me, doing that: (a) would give me the power to let them know what needs to be addressed if they want to deal with me at all, (b) will force them to either address the issue or leave you alone once and for all.
Again, this is what I would do. Another course of action is just letting them go. Be always busy, always "will call them back", always have something to do and never have all the time in the world for them. remember, you are no longer supposed to be obligated (you never were, anyway) to drop everything and talk to them just because they say so.
One more thing is that you have a great asset, which is your non-JW family, and a husband who knows where you are coming from. Use them, get closer to them, get their support. I'm sure that they will be on your side.
When it comes to sexual abuse, the trauma is not just the event; it's also that disgusting coverup that people do. Sadly, religious organizations (many, though not all), are as guilty of doing that very same harmful thing.
I hope this helps, and another hug.
Hugs from all of us to you. My heart hurts for you. The very spiritual people who are supposed to be there for us.... ah well.
My advice? Do nothing. Just ignore them. Begin to heal and live YOUR life, because by removing their power over you it truly becomes your life.
As far as the elders "chasing" after you for a report: what does this and everything else that has happened tell you about the religion? I think it's obvious they have no regard for any individual and you are being run over by the callous machinery of the religion. It is only a delusion and wishful thinking on anybody's part that they are going to get justice or empathy from that group.
I'm sorry about your awful experience in the Witness religion. Yet another story of sexual abuse in the religion...You did what you had to do as far as confronting this person. You say your abuser is an elder in another congregation...You didn't say if you told authorities.
For your own mental health: Just get out. Do a "fade". Screen your calls and texts. Try to get some happiness out of life, you deserve it.
So sorry to hear that the elders initially supported you but backed off - as you say, undoubtedly due to the branch getting I contact with them. When push comes to shove, elders tend to protect their own.
And sending an elder not to find out how you are but to get your field service hours - as shocking as this is, it feel distressingly familiar!
As regards their wanting a field report from you and sending the "nice" elder, if you do not feel inclined to put into words to him where you are at, fake it: Grab a number out of the air and write it down. "I did X number of hours last month." Repeat as indicated as the months pass.
Given what you've been through in your life as a JW, one less hassle (reporting time) is to be welcomed.
Fake your report.
Thanks for sharing your awful account Phoebe. Much love from all here!
I agree that every time they reach out to contact you (for whatever reason - such as reporting), calmly ignore that question, and mildly ask "So how are we progressing regarding my abuse letter? I haven't heard from anyone. Feel free to contact me with an update. Have a nice day"
So that sends a powerful message that you are in control of any interaction. Not them.
Phoebe, I can't tell you how supportive I feel for you. I don't know you but I feel for you every inch. Reports, huh! Some poor put upon elder going through the motions, huh!
You are in the enviable position that nobody has a hold over you, you don't have family in the truth. You can report the crime against you if you can face the trauma or you can walk away with your head held high. I think that either way, if you draw a line and refuse to let anyone drag you across it you healing will start. It is never too late to take your life into your own hands.
I speak as a person of similar age to you (i think) who understands the weight of guilt and oppression you are trying to throw off. Don't let history and the years of bad investment in a broken idea ruin your future. Decide to nail them or just walk away on your own terms. But decide.