What is wrong with my family?
I love my family. But I've been stressed and depressed because of them. And I just need to gain some understanding.
Being raised in a JW family laid alot of pressure and guilt on me. And now I'm finding myself having a hard time making a full transition to adulthood. I'm 22 years old, but still having problems with being independent. When I do try to make decisions for myself, I find myself being told that I'm just a child who doesn't know anything and that if I do what they oppose to, then I'd make Jehovah unhappy and make Satan smile. That has always been used against me. "Jehovah doesn't like that." "Oh, you want to make satan happy?"
I made the choice to make a 4 day trip to New York for personal reasons that they disagree with. Once again it was explained that I'm not mature enough to go and that if I go, I'd go against Jehovah because New York is a filthy and dangerous place. I've been in a relationship for 6 years. And yes, he's not in the "truth". But to be honest, I never intended on being in a relationship with another JW because I'm sick of the strict nature. I'm sick of the attitudes everytime I go to a meeting. The gossip and judgements. And I've been labeled a "rebel" because of that. I'm trying to move forward with my life.
People say to just move out, but my family are ridiculous and actually try to literally block me on some things. One independent move sends them up in arms and literally in my face trying to put me back in my place. I found myself on the phone with my grandfather tonight.... and that nearly broke my heart how he shot me down. I felt so belittled.
"You're nothing but a child and know nothing. Listen to your mother and do what she says. Do you want to make Jehovah unhappy? Jehovah wants you to do the right thing. And that is to listen to your mother."
He then went on telling me about horror stories about New York. I could be attacked, raped... he was putting the fear into me trying to make me change my mind. Why? Because my mother called him and asked him to "talk" to me.
I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes because I just don't understand. Am I the crazy one?
What is wrong with my family?
You're not crazy. Yet. Your family is trying to drive you to that location, however.
JW's have built an elaborate control system that depends on fear and shame. Do you remember the scripture that says "there is no fear in LOVE, perfect love throws fear outside"??? So which trait is your family reflecting, love or the installation of fear?
They are following their masters. You are trying to break free and be yourself.
Will you move out on your own? Will you pursue that relationship? (There must be something good about your relationship partner, for it to have lasted so many years....) It depends on when you decide to outgrow your family's control mechanism.
You know how as JW's we were trained to view any opposition, no matter how negative or emotional, merely as an "objection to be overcome"?? You need to learn to do that with the hysterics thrown at you, whether it be from your mom or your grandpa or whomever.
Once you are able to stand up and say "well I appreciate your input, but I have chosen to do X, Y and z", then you will start to take control of your life. And eventually they will respect that.
Make that trip to New York a test case. For God's sake you're 22 years old. Consult a travel agent to see how a single lady such as yourself can watch out for herself, what to do, what to avoid. Then go and have that trip! If you get objections from your family, you can tell them you've consulted with your travel agent as to how to best conduct oneself as a female tourist in New York, and that life has no guarantees. (Any one of them could get run over by a bus on their next trip into a city... Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one!!)
The choice is yours, Nickey. To live your life (and to do so wisely, but aggressively if you know what I mean) or to sit there and be squashed forever by your family.
Nickey, you have youth on your side! Take advantage of it, your only young once. Learn to be and to think for yourself. You have an interesting challenge ahead of you. My only suggestion, be very cautious. Think!
He then went on telling me about horror stories about New York. I could be attacked, raped...
This is true, it could happen no matter where you are or will go at any time. It even happens to JW kids by fellow members and then covered over, tell them that when your ready to cause some uproar. Undue fear is a tactic the JW's use every minute of every day to control others. It may even be pushed in your face by them if something were to happen with much finger pointing and "I told you so" attitude. Well things happen to every one, good things or bad, dwell on the good things in your life and also be careful. But isn't that what people do anyway even you at 22 ? I don't know anybody who goes out looking to be hurt or abused by others. It will be dificult to go out on your own with family against you but it can be done. Find some friends or other realitives not JW's , but go slow, learning the nature of people does improve with age.
What is wrong with my family?
Their JW's, does anything els need to be said?
I'm all for taking advice from parents - after all, I am one - but you are 22 and are likely capable of making some choices on your own. The jws frequently use the Jehovah-Satan battle as a way of controlling their own and other jws' emotions and attractions to certain things. The problem is, it's just plain hard for some people to live every day of their lives thinking that they are just pwns in this struggle for universal domination on the part of two spirit beings. It almost smacks of the ancient Greek and Roman mythical characters' squabbles.
It should be obvious to your mom by now that you choose not to particpiate in this battle of the gods, but rather that you want some freedom to make your won decsions, and that you are willing to bear the consequences of such decisions. Most parents would at least respect that, but keep in mind that jw parents are conditioned to think differently. Also, with regard to travel to NY, with proper precautions, as one would take when traveling to any big city, you should be fine.
Of course NY is a filthy, disgusting place. That's why the WT chose it as it's world HQ. In ancient times I'm sure they would have located in the thriving metroplex of Sodom/Gomorrah.
What were your parents and grandpa doing when they were 22 years old? I bet they had more responsibility and freedom then they want to allow you now. Did they have family telling them that they were just a child who doesn't know what's good for themselves and someone guilting them into submission?
Try to start becoming independent and take more control of your life. It's difficult with family who have mastered the art of manipulation, I know. Unfortunately, this will probably continue until you can move out and be on your own so maybe you can begin thinking about how you can do this. Sorry, I wish I had better advice.
I take it you're not going to NY to take the Bethel tour?
Of course NY is a filthy, disgusting place. That's why the WT chose it as it's world HQ. In ancient times I'm sure they would have located in the thriving metroplex of Sodom/Gomorrah. LMAO....too funny... Nickey, Now is the time to break free. You are 22. Do you realize that a lot of people are already finished with college at your age, beginning or already settled into a career, married, have children, etc? You are an adult. You are able to make your own choices and live with the consequences of those choices. You are at an age where you are aware of what the consequences of those choices will be and can make an informed decision, knowing full well what will result from your actions. If you want to go to NY, then go. Just do it. But if you would rather please your family, then don't. But realize the power and responsibility is in your hands. You may not like the fact that if you decide to go, that your family will be angry, but that is beyond your control. That reaction is their choice. Realize what is in your power to control, and what is not. You can choose what you do with your life, you cannot choose how others will react to it. Go..... Have fun in NY!!! Sadie
At age 15 and then again at age 19 I traveled to France and for much of it I was alone or with another teenage friend. Traveling is one of the best ways to expand your mind and claim your independence. Maybe find a friend to go along with you? It would be more fun and safer and would give everyone less to worry about. You're not crazy, just starved for freedom and happiness. Be firm, tell them you're going and do what you can to make it safe and then tell them that you've put thought into it and you're still going. Stand up for yourself now and it will get easier and easier for them to accept. Once they see they can't change your mind, they will try less and less to do so.
Good luck! and Bon Voyage, it will be the best time of your life!
Nickey, I have a 23 year old daughter who lives away from home in the city of Toronto, which I think is a dangerous place also, as it is a big city. I do worry about her, but she takes care of herself. She has her own apartment, is attending college and doing very well for herself. She has been there since she was 19.
At 22 Nickey, you are not a child, you can think for yourself, don't let your family belittle you like they have been doing. Stand on your own two feet and do what makes you happy. I hate this control b.s. that the dubs have.
that's my 2 cents worth.