I’m so sad . . .

by HappyBlessedFree 18 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut
    What works best is to attack the credibility of the leaders/organization.

    Attack may not have been the best choice of words. Any kind of perceived attack would very likely put him into defense mode and close his mind off even though he sees that things you are saying are indeed credible.
    What worked best for me was to ask legitimate questions about the Bible that lead to a JW explanation and in the process the flaws in the doctrines that weren't noticed before, were revealed.

  • jwundubbed

    My dad had questions pretty early on after joining up. But he stayed in and raised his kids in it. I know that he and others either had questions or their cognitive dissonance wasn't fully intact because I remember get-togethers where he and my mom, and the parents of two other families would talk about what they disagreed with and what didn't make sense. It was a lot like the conversations here on this site. I know he had questions of his own because I remember him learning Greek so that he could read the Greek scriptures trying to translate them himself. I remember him sitting in the KH with a Greek scriptures bible studying it hard while the meeting went on.

    Having overheard those conversations when i was a kid, actually helped me when I left. There was logic and reasoning in those conversations. Those conversations made my own questions feel less stupid. Those conversations helped me use my own logic and reasoning.

    What I don't understand to this day, is why my dad had questions and didn't share them with us. He has a lot of guilt now for raising us kids to be JWs. And in my mind, I feel that is a reasonable feeling for him to have. He had the questions but he never gave us the tools he had. He joined up. He had a huge frame of reference that us kids were never privy to. He could have shared that with us.

    I mean, if you really want your kids to make up their own minds then you have to give them all the tools. Not just 'the truth'. You need to help them learn how to think critically, logically, and with reason. You need to show them how important context is. You need to give them a frame of reference. What my Dad did right was that he made us kids look up and write a report on all the religions we didn't celebrate. He made us use resources outside of the JW books. So we learned the truth about the holidays and where they came from. Then we talked about the JW beliefs for not celebrating... but we ended up agreeing that we shouldn't be celebrating pagan celebrations because we aren't pagan. We didn't agree to not celebrate because we were JWs. That is critical thinking and it means we held the same practices as the JWs, but we had logic and reasoning that works behind our actions. That was pretty smart of our dad.

    So, why not let them go to the memorial and then have a talk about what happened, why, what it means, etc. Give them crticial thinking choices now. Really offer your kids ideas and options. Your kids aren't stupid. And they aren't too young to talk about anything if those things are discussed with knowledge.

    I grew up hearing about incest, rape, masturabation, and etc. and it was inappropriate because it was all taken out of context, some of it was abiguous while other parts were graphically clear, and none of it had any real logic or reasoning. I remember the bible story book about Dinah. She layed down with a man and then a lot of people were murdered. If anyone had ever said, no that isn't what happened. That man forced her to have sex with him. He hurt her. But their laws said that everything was okay because he married her. She was still hurt and her brothers were angry. That is all very understandable. There is logic and understanding in that story. It never made sense to me the way the JW presented it. And even worse it made me feel even more scared of normal choices because all that girl did was lie down next to someone.

    If it were me... I would (if I were emotionally capable) I would go with my children. And then I would give them the tools to see it for what it is. I would help them. I would allow them to have good or bad feelings about it. But I would discuss everything they saw and why. And then I would take them to midnight mass or another Catholic ceremony where the members all get up and partake. And I would discuss that and how it is different and why it happens. And then I would see if there were any other religions that have any similar ceremonies and see if I could have my children attend. And we would talk and discuss afterwards each time. I would give my children a frame of reference of their own, because I don't have a frame of reference myself. If you can't attend other ceremonies then you can certainly look them up and learn and discuss them. Even if your husband is there, the same way my mother was there, you can have these discussions. Knowledge is power. Teaching your children about other religions isn't wrong in the JWs. You can give them critical thinking skills even if your husband is telling them what to think. You can also teach your kids to play chess or any game of logic. You can discuss anything with your kids using logic and critical thinking and it will help them fight the cognitive dissonance.

    You can't make other people see what they don't want to see. But you can give your children options and tools and you can help them to be critical thinkers. Critical thinking is always a first step in leaving the cult because the cult doesn't make any real sense. Both of my parents taught myself and my siblings to be critical thinkers. Three of us left the cult. One stayed in because she can pretend to live in her perfect world that she controls. You can't make people see what they don't want to see.

  • HappyBlessedFree

    Thank you undubbed, that is an excellent point. This is all very new for me , it’s been about 4 months since I woke up. I absolutely will teach my kids how to be critical thinkers, but first I have to learn how to do it myself. This has been such a hard emotionally draining journey. Sometimes fear gets the best of me. I guess because everything is up in the air and I don’t know where it will all end, it honestly terrifies me. Your advice gives me a sense of peace and calm knowing that if the worst case scenario happens and my husband remains a JW for the rest of his life, I will teach my children how not to be a victim themselves.

  • roberto avon
    roberto avon

    You recieved some good advice here. I will go after that I missed the memorial for 10 years just to accompany my wife. I promised her 10 months ago but tried to change my mind some days ago. She was very disappointed and sad so I told I would have come but took the opportunity the explain why I changed my mind.

    We spoke about the usual issues as " blood " doctrine, the many times announced end of the world etc.Also bout Noah and his ark and why the penguin lives in the south pole and not the middle east. She is very " liberal " and knows very well that her religion is not the truth. The fact is that I didn't want to go un spite my promise ist that so now and than her family ( brother, sisters and mom ) pushes her to do more and attend meetings/ assemblies etc. I hate people that don't mind their own businesses but that said I don't want that she changes religion for any other reasons than her own.

    By the way; our three kids are " safe ".

  • smiddy3

    H.B.F you have been given a lot of encouragement and advice on here so far that I hope will benefit you .

    I can only give you my 2 cents worth that also helps you .I know its not easy .

    So here goes :

    The G.B.of jehovah`s Witnesses claim that God -Jehovah approved them as the "true' religion and rejected all other religions around the time of 1919 on what the International bible Students as they were then known under Charles Taze Russell were teaching.

    The thing is ,if that were true and Jesus christ /Jehovah God did in fact approve of all the teachings that the IBSA preached and taught all of those years ago in 1919 and approved them on that basis .

    Then i`m sorry but Jesus Christ /Jehovah God would have to reject them today as his "true religion " simply because the Jehovah`s Witness religion does not preach or believe what they taught back in 1919.

    So simply stated if they were approved by God in 1919 on what they believed and taught and now in 2019 they reject as old light what they taught in 1919 and not applicable today ,they would be rejected by Jehovah God and Christ Jesus as the true religion.

    they can`t have it both ways .

    I hope this helps

    Take care .

  • carla

    I am a ubm and I never, ever let my kids step foot in a kh. Today? they are not and never will be jw's, thankfully. I played hard ball and do not regret it. If my jw wanted to take kids to a kh then my kids would next go to a Mosque, Catholic Church service, Lutheran, Temple, Wiccan, Methodist and so on to all the religions of the world for every moment spent in a kh. It was no idle threat, I would have done it. I think the threat of the Catholics was enough for a jw.

    Today my kids and their spouses are Christians with their own churches. They know full well the cultish nature of jw's, they saw it in jw dad and his behavior. jw's are their own worst enemies.

  • DesirousOfChange

    What worked best for me was to ask legitimate questions about the Bible that lead to a JW explanation and in the process the flaws in the doctrines that weren't noticed before, were revealed. ~ PETE

    Yep! There you have it!

    Ask "sincere" heartfelt questions about the issues that truly woke you up. Then SHUT UP and force him to research to answer them. Once he opens his own Pandora's Box, there is no going back.

    Good luck!

    The greatest revenge is living a happy & successful life!

  • BereanThinker7

    Teach the kids critical thinking and let then have open information to judge things by, the rest works itself out imho.

  • Incognito
    ... it’s been about 4 months since I woke up.
    Sometimes fear gets the best of me. I guess because everything is up in the air and I don’t know where it will all end, it honestly terrifies me.

    As a JW, you likely put your full trust and beliefs in everything they claimed. They appeared to have all the answers which on some levels, can be very comforting.

    Unfortunately, their indoctrination is so insidious that attendees do not recognize their thinking process and reasoning is being conditioned and modified with every magazine and book that is read and every study and meeting that is attended. If you were a JW for any amount of time, you can't realistically expect to undo progressive and longstanding indoctrination within a matter of months.

    Even as she suffered from advanced dementia and couldn't remember what happened 20 seconds before or do anything for herself, my aunt never forgot what she was programmed to believe as a JW.

    While my SO and I have broken away from JWs for more than 15 years, even after all that time, old JW thinking and ideas will sometimes reemerge.

    if the worst case scenario happens and my husband remains a JW for the rest of his life,

    Just as WT claims that as a JW, a non-beliving spouse may be won over without a word, it can also be true that a non-believing spouse can win over their JW spouse, although this will be crazy difficult due to the cult indoctrination.

    As a JW, unless something within the religion negatively affects him personally, he will usually defend and rationalize anything you may say that is critical or proves the religion is not 'The Truth'. Think back about something that doesn't sit well with him in which to further investigate and discuss.

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