Why can't I just shut up about the JWs?
You know, I'm pretty smart and pretty dumb all rolled up into one. I have a pretty decent relationship with my JW mother who basically never says anything about religion one or the other. Well, I got into conversation with her about Hindu music and how I really liked it (Ravi Shankar is awesome!). But, she said she didn't like it because it is "weird." Pressing things I got her to relate that she really didn't like it because of it's religious connections. We talked about this a little and, well, one thing led to another and we got on the topic of her religion. She asked me if I "hated Jehovah's Witnesses." I said no, but that "I find certain of their teachings abhorrent." Well, she just about flew through the roof. This turned into a drawn out conversation about how "good" the JWs are and how I was raised one and how much it beneffitted me . How could I "offend my family by disgracing [their] religion!" All this went nowhere.
Well, I apologized for what I said. Needless to say she continued to proclaim how great her religion is and how she "doesn't hate any religion" and how "the Society doesn't teach us to hate any religion." Well, that was too much for me to handle. "Oh, so you don't believe that all other religions are the harlot of Babylon?" She dodged the question. Mentioning that "something wen't wrong with me" and that I've read "lies on the Internet" she just made her presence harder and harder to tolerate.
How in God's name (if He has a name) could she say this rubbish? I have to relate that my mother is usually a very logical, clear-headed and liberal person. But, when it comes to the JWs, she's been suckered into what I call "mindless liberal JWism." Liberal? Yes, she truly doesn't hate other religions and promotes things like college education and "feel-good" Biblical injunctions while downplaying the nasty stuff. Mindless because she, for all her relative objectivism, cannot bring herself to questioning her faith. She pulls all the tricks of your slickest JW apologist (ie, "We never said that exactly" or "The light has gotten much better" or "We are such a force for good in people's lives -- all partial baloney).
Anyway, I have to admit, the fault was mainly mine. Why can't I just shut up, nod my head in agreement and go along with her silly superstitions? Why must I be the idealist who just has to say something?
So, what? Should I continue my foolish idealistic course and speak my true feelings? Tell it "like it is?" My mother says "I'm the one that left" and should just keep quiet since all the rest of my family are JWs. God, I just hate selling out!
Why can't I just shut up, nod my head in agreement and go along with her silly superstitions? Why must I be the idealist who just has to say something?
Because unlike JW's, the word "truth" really means something of value to you.
It has something to do with integraty. Sometime we just can't shut up.
Your mom sounds like a very nice person. Sometimes, the situation just isn't right to get into it. Regarding music, what is beautiful to one, is annoying to another. Pick your battles better and her defenses probably won't be up.
Logansrun, I'm so sorry and really do understand. I walked the walk on eggshell talk for years and years. It got me nowhere but in honesty I was not working to "free" them. Debating things IMO is healthy. I just did not know any better. Everything was no big deal until they started in on my kids. I told them no and that did not go over real well. I told them that the religion is not going to be a part of the relations with us or the kids. They freaked. In honesty (again) I am happier with them gone. And, so is my family. It was just too much drama all the time. If your Mom is like my family was then to her this will be no big deal. If your relationship is working the way it is then try and brush it off. It is who she is. You be who you are. You stood your ground and that is good. I guess your mom did the same. (Even if I think she bats for the wrong team):) "Releasing the Bonds" is a very good book to learn what is good talk and what is bad talk. It might help you in your relations with her. Jayson
I must commend you, it is good to question one motives on ones behavior. And I think I know why this bothers you so. You love your mother. You care a lot about her. You like her as a person, but are frustrated by this inconsistant side of her. You are an adult and want to have adult conversations with a person you respect and have concern for. You see the flaw in her reasoning and want to help her. But she would not have it and that hurts. Since she can't be objective you will have to be objective for the both of you. Be the loving child you want to be by overlooking her weakness in this area. Do the dance, after all she has been doing by leaving religion alone when with you. The only difference is you will know you are stepping around the issue and she is doing it subconsciously. Deep down she knows you are right. Give her time and love. Maverick
Bradley, exactly the same thing happened to me last night.
My mum said the same things to me about how it benefited me etc.
It’s amazing isn’t it how JW’s live in two different worlds mentally and can justify one against the other. Like your example of religion. All the Christendom bashing they did and now it’s happening to them, the same issues. They say the love people but they are told to hate them and be no part of them because they are in Satan’s system. Everything they say contradicts in reality. All the extreme idea’s are exposed at their safe environment –the KH, group study etc but they know how to hide there extreme views in the ‘real world’ so as it sounds acceptable. We really got into a discussion about it and the truth came out in the end. She said she was very offended at how I talked about the brothers and sisters. I said I’m not talking about JW’s, I’m talking about the WTS, the organisation behind it but she’s trained to think they’re all lumped into one, like if you attack any little thing about it you attack everything in it. It’s as if they have a conscious mind working and a subconscious WTS mind just kicking in but not consciously at all because if it did they would realise themselves.
I'm looking for advice on this myself but I know exactley what you mean.
Since last June, when I first found this great forum, I must admit, the JW thing once again became an everyday topic of conversation with me, especially with my husband. I mean, there was just so much interesting stuff and I was sharing it with him.
At first, he was jealous, and then he just got angry, and told me that I needed to remove JW from my vocabulary. Considering all the additional crap we have gone through with my mother through the years--of shunning, not shunning, and shunning again, my husband has had his fill. He told me point blank that as long as I continue to "wallow in all the past stuff" then I will not ever fully get past it; whereby, he indicated that I needed to learn to live life more in the present.
He helped me to see that I was nearly becoming "obsessive compulsive" about the JW thing--yet again, only in a different way. So, I've learned to come on here now and again--and NOT share anything from here with him, unless I share it and he doesn't know where the information comes from. Of course, we still have to deal with my mother. We just consider that my mother is old and set in her ways; and that the best way to treat her, is as if she doesn't know what she's doing, but it makes her happy to do it. We are very careful of our "words" whenever there is contact. I manage to write my one-way letters to keep in touch. I let it be her problem and I just act "normal". My husband helped me to see a behavioral pattern was developing, and I appreciate that he cared enough to suggest alternatives. He's happy. I'm happy. Mom's happy.
Should I continue my foolish idealistic course and speak my true feelings? Tell it "like it is?"
The Borg would like us all to shut up, that way they could continue their vile escapades unchecked. Bradley, just think about the effect speaking out has had on others! If exJWs hadn't spoken out there wouldn't be this forum, the grave injustices meted out to Raymond Franz, Carl Olof Jonsson and countless thousands of others - especially the sexually abused - would never have been known. Physically and mentally injured souls would also have had to suffer in silence. As it is, their bravery has enlightened us all and WE'RE CALL THE BETTER FOR IT!
DON'T EVER STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
People contain within them a spark of the Spirit. Because of this our sensitivity to truth, justice, morals, and ethics is far higher that it would otherwise be. Some people have learned to quash those feelings and can work wonders with cognitive dissonance.
My mother is exactly like that. Of course, she's lived in a dysfunctional relationship with my father for almost sixty years, she's got lots of practice, and can deny that truth which is staring her straight in the face. It's sickening.