Advice on my JW Mother

by InjusticeSystem 12 Replies latest social family

  • InjusticeSystem

    Hello Everyone,

    I need the advice of those of you who are exjw's on what to do about my still in Mother.

    Briefly, here's the situation: I am a born-in, never got baptised (thank the FSM), became an athiest about 2015 but haven't come out to anyone but My wife and some trusted friends. My mother was raised in the Society and is a true believer, but was never as strict about it as some parents are when I was growing up. We went in service and to meetings and assemblies, belief was always kind of a given. My father died when I was young.

    Now, my mother left the Organisation for several years after she met a new man who was "worldly" and married. She has since divorced him and blames "leaving Jehovah" for all the emotional and otherwise issues that plagued that experience. The divorce broke her emotionally. During the time she was "out" I was also waking up and researching, and we would talk together about some of the things that were wrong with the Organisation and how silly some of it seemed to us. She never stopped believing in Jehovah and the resurrection, but she was inactive.

    Now, post-divorce, she has thrown herself back into the Organization 1000%. She's pioneering, attended an International Convention, the whole deal. No doubt in her mind. I've had conversations with her in the interim and tried to reason using what I now know, but to no avail. Since I'm not disfellowshipped and I'm not brazenly apostate with her, she's still open to having a relationship with me as well as her grandchildren.

    I've heard many times from activists and disfellowshipped people that if they could have any kind of relationship with their family members, even if that meant never talking about religion again, they would. However, I keep finding that I can't stomach the hypocrisy and it feels like a betrayal that she would go back now. I feel guilty because I know how many people would kill to have the opportunity for a relationship with their family members like I could have with her, but knowing that she believes that again seems to be more than I can bear. It's a burning feeling of resentment, knowing that she knows how much I feel that this religion stunted my life and caused me to waste so much valuable time, and she still clings to it.

    Am I crazy? Do I need to just suck it up and figure out a way to have a relationship with her? Or can I just say that for my own mental health, I can't have her be a part of my life anymore?

  • former2free

    First off you are very fortunate to still have her in your life. You made a valid point about the religion and the relationship you can have with her. Ultimately the decision on how you want to proceed is up to you. But I would work the truth about the truth in small ways to help her to think. Maybe bring up some other things as time goes on she will have to ultimately wake up fully herself though. Cherish what you have I recently had a reunion with my parents who are considered apostate as I am physically in but mentally out. I know once I leave fully my wife will lose her parents to the indoctrination. So hang in there friend and just do what’s best for your situation.

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    What a tough choice!

    For the best possibility of helping her, though, I would think that the more she sees you, does things with you and your family, the easier it would be for her to 'come back to you' and 'leave the Borg' if she 'woke up.' Right?

    If I was "the mom", and my son kept close to me, talked with me even though "I returned to the evil", I wouldn't feel bad leaving WT in the future, and admitting it to my son, because he was always there for me as a friend, even though I had 'returned.'

    If you don't lock her out, and then she blocks you (in the future) you won't have any question of "What if I had......?"

    She might draw the line in the sand, who knows?

    Until then, you have your best chance to help her out. She wants friends, she wants things to do. If something happens in the org, or to her to change her mind, you will be there.

    On the other hand, I know how you feel when things are hypocritical. It's hard. I hate injustice too.

    Personally, getting her involved in other things (hikes? bike rides? beach trips? lake? river? dancing? BBQs? going to the movies? a concert? playing games at your house, fun stuff) might help her see that "the Borg" is not the best way to have fun, and that there is life outside of the organization. Plus, she will have less indoctrination. (try to take her on a Sunday or a "Tuesday night", etc. )

    Good luck, let us know


  • scotsman

    I’m not dfed but the relationship with my mother was fraught, tense and one sided and depressed us both. Neither of us have contacted each other in 2 years and it’s much healthier for me. It’s sad but I find loss easier to live with than toxicity.

    But only you can decide what’s best in your situation.

  • Giordano

    I had a thirty to thirty-five year relationship with my still-in mother.

    The 800 pound gorilla was always in the room with us.

    If you love your mother suck it up. Stay away from the Gorilla conversations. If she allows it help her along having a good, decent and safe life.

    Forget about getting her free of being a JW. It"s all going to be the same if she passes as a witness or non witness. The important thing is that she knows you have her best interests at heart, her comfort and well being.

    I have been there and done that. When my mom passed I read her diary page after page and finally one paragraph about me. "Poor Giordano he doesn't understand that Armageddon is real and coming. He will not survive if he doesn't come back to Jehovah."

    That's the best you are going to get. So you attend her because it's the right thing to do but also the most difficult thing you are going to have to do. You do it out of respect for her and more importantly for you.

    Its what we Xs do because we have not lost our humanity

  • Xanthippe

    You're an adult, if you really can't bear that your mother has gone back to the religion that ruined your childhood then you have to make decisions now for your own well-being. Your mother was a widow and started a relationship with a married man that turned into a very bad marriage. The divorce damaged her and now she's blaming a wrong choice on leaving the religion.

    I don't have a relationship with my siblings, my JW mother died years ago. After a while I couldn't stomach their silly passive-aggressive games to bring me back. I realised that the so-called acts of love, shunning, we're just punishment for hurting them by shaking their faith when I left. I just get in touch if I hear they are seriously ill, then watch them drop me again, which I can handle.

    So it's up to you, make your decision for your own health and happiness. I assume when you talk about coming out you mean telling your mother you're an atheist. If you decide you do want to keep some sort of a relationship with her, why tell her what your beliefs are now? People don't normally talk about beliefs or lack of them outside the JWs. It's up to you but if it's going to shatter your relationship and you do want to keep it to an extent, why mention it?

  • smiddy3

    You don`t want to shun her because she doesn`t believe what you believe do you ? Otherwise wer`e not much better than them.

    If their is any breakdown in your relationship with your mother let it come from her and not you.

    Much good advice from previous posters I think.

  • snugglebunny

    It took me years to realise it, but the only way that I was able to maintain any sort of relationship with my still-in mother was to avoid engaging her directly on any given subject. Any opinion you have on anything will be offset by a WT-imprinted opinion that will be carried by your mother.

    Stick with the weather, colour schemes, recipes, anything that's just general chit-chat. In particular, avoid politics, health, disasters, marriage and relationships etc - anything that you suspect will have been covered by a WT article.

  • carla

    Is it possible to simply agree not to discuss anything jw related? yes, the gorilla is always in the room but at least he is sitting quietly by himself in the corner. Works in my house, most of the time.

    If any children are involved do not allow preaching or indoctrination of any kind! You must become the grizzly bear ready to protect innocent minds then. All bets are off if kids are involved, do whatever it takes to protect them from this cult.

  • EverApostate

    My mom and wife are still JW. My mom lives seperately and I got myself disassociated in a far away congregation. So far, the relationship with my mom and wife is as usual, except sometimes I start an argument with my wife to make her think

    My mom is too old to make her realize TTATT. Hence I dont open any Bibilical Issues with her. I dont react for any of her WT activities. Just getting along with her and doing all I can for her as her son.

    Had my mom been in the same congregation where I got disassociated, the elders would have poisoned her mind.

    My advice is, Just maintain your relationship with your mom and make the best out of it. Its totally impossible to make an old woman realize that they are in a cult.

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