Need help. Daughter wants to leave org but does not know how.

by Indian Larry 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Indian Larry
    Indian Larry

    Long question, but very important.

    I can use some help. My daughter wants out of the organization and I need some advise.

    Here is my background in a nutshell. I am fully faded for 10+ years. I go to the memorial each year and that is it. I have retained friendships with anyone I care about in the organization. I have been keeping my views to myself for the past few years. When I first learned TTATT I did try to convert some in my family, but when I could see it was going nowhere I just decided to fade and it has worked out for me.

    Fast forward a few years later and my daughter got baptized. At that point I totally gave up on trying to point out the problems with the organization to her and for the most part to my wife. It is worth keeping in mind that I very much am in love with my wife and have absolutely no desire to leave her (or to hurt her). I think she may realize there are problems but she is very very close to her family and there is no way she would possibly be willing to leave the organization if it meant not being able have them or to be there for her elderly mother.

    My daughter has been baptized about 5-6 years. Then about a month or so ago she told me out of the blue that she does not want to go in service any more and is not interested in going to the meetings. I did not see this coming at all as I had not said anything negative about the org to her for a fairly long time. She is very depressed and seems to be pulling away from her friends at the hall. Of course these are pretty much the only friends she has so that is a problem.

    One night she even confided in me that she had considered suicide. She does not see a future with a witness guy and feels that if she sees anyone else she would let everyone down. She is very well thought of in the congregation and they have no idea at all that she is having issues.

    I told her that I would be there for her no matter what (of course), I also encouraged her to see a therapist and helped her find one. She has been seeing the therapist for about 6 weeks or so. I asked her how it is going and she said she really likes the therapist. I have not pushed to find out anything else since she seems reticent to share.

    I did tell her that she does not need to go in service if she does not want to. But I have not said that she does not have to go to the hall. Her mother just assumes she will go with her and so far she has. She is torn in two (as many of us were) and does not see a way out.

    I have been through the anger when I found out that the GB lied, when I researched the history of the org, when I found out about the UN, the pedophile problem, the false prophesy, and so many other things. I have researched the society for hours and hours. I have read every page of JWFacts, Crisis of Conscience, In Search of Christian Freedom and many many other books and sites.

    In other words I know what that anger is, when you find out that the people you trust have been lying to you your entire life. However as time has gone by my anger has cooled. I still know they are wrong (more so than ever) but I just don’t think about it as much as I used to. I don’t bring it up in conversation and it is just not much of an issue in my day to day life . . until now.

    I have done so much research that I KNOW without a doubt that the society is wrong, I know it. However, from a social standpoint, at least for me, I would rather keep touch. All of my friends know I don’t attend, from time to time I even wear a beard. But I still go out to dinner with them, have them over to my home for dinner, even go on vacation from time to time. For me personally a long slow fade was the way to go. Everyone seems okay with don’t ask don’t tell. Also, I know many on this site no longer believe in a God but I still do.

    However it is different with a young girl. How does she do that? Who does she date? A witness that she would have to lie too? That won’t work. Someone from her work, a “worldly” person? That may drop over the line for some of them.

    Plus, she is very very sensitive to what people think about her, if she was to be shunned or even partially shunned it would hurt her so much.

    What should she do?

    If she continues to go to the hall the cognitive dissonance will be very painful but she will retain her extended family. Of course she has me no matter what, and her mother will be hurt but she will still love her. I don’t see her mother shunning her. However if she was DF’d for any reason the extended family probably would shun her and that would destroy her.

    When looking up reasons that people take their own life, one of them is if they “feel rejected by friends, family or colleagues” another is if they “feel like they have let other people down” and another reason is that they tell themselves “I will never find a way out of my problem”

    I can’t see a way out of this for her. Does anyone have any suggestions? How can she get out of the org without being rejected by friends and family, how can she do it without feeling like she it letting people down? How can she find a way out of this problem?

    BTW. She likes the brothers and sisters at her hall and they all love her, she is not having any personal problems. She just sees that what they are teaching is not scriptural. She did go to college (4 yr degree) and took classes on critical thinking. I am fairly sure that is why the GB does not want anyone going to college, I think that may have been the deciding factor.

    Also, how can she find others that are PIMO that she can be friends with? That would be a huge help if she could find even one other PIMO sister in their early 20’s. Problem is that if they are PIMO they don’t advertise it, (just like she doesn’t) and it seems impossible for two PIMO people to meet. I looked on meet up in our town but there are no XJW groups anywhere near here. Suggestions?

  • Ampbel

    Hi Idian Larry,

    I'd have to say your daughter is lucky to have you. I understand and am in the midst of that same depression. It is very difficult to stay positive with a head full of fatalism , a heart full of love, over developed need to be accepted . knowing that no one in your life understands you. It's brutal.

  • Ampbel

    I think You have a brilliant strategy of slow fade. If a person feels obligated from integrity to confess , then states their dis-interest in "towing the line" being dDF'd is inevidable . my exits have been a scandal that I chose not to attend. That's where I have many times in my what I call "self deating, copeing, NoN-SkiLLs"

  • Ampbel

    3 DUII. Always with I. 3 months of a breakup with a witness girl

  • Listener

    Here's YOUR biggest problem - that you can't see a way out for her. There are thousands of ex JWs have found it but it is very difficult. It can take a long time. Still, you need to be positive so you can help her.

    Its natural for you to find it hard to deal with serious problems like this but it's easy to see that you want to do what's best for your daughter.

    You are in a tricky situation yourself as you need to be careful how you show your support or there will be reprecussions for you also, both from your wife and fellow JWs. You need to consider how far you are prepared to go and what your priorities are.

    The best way to take this is one step at a time and you've already taken a good course.

    You support her in stopping the door to door work and you hav made sure she is seeing a therapist. Since she is seeing a therapist as you recognise she is depressed then now might be the time for her to stop going to meetings (midweek first) if that is what she wants to do. If she is questioned about this you can get the Elders to speak to you as you are the head of the family and explain that due to her health you feel she needs a break.

    It's hard to get a handle on the whole story through the Internet and I do wonder how much her situation with dating a JW that she has decided she no longer wants to, plays into this? It's tough breaking off a relationship as a JW because it has reprecussions in the congregation. Just one aspect is the guilt feeling that you should only be dating with a view to marriage.

    All this (the boyfriend) may be the root of the problem and once she can find her way of getting out of this without any scars she will be in a much better position to decide what steps she wants to take about the religion.

    I am trying to say that you need to be careful so as not to add to her problems, if you encourage and push her or are negative about the religion at a time when this is not an issue with her you may end up regretting it.

    It is such a difficult time for a young lady to deal with her own emotions and know what she wants.

    You sound like a lovely father.

  • Ampbel

    Was engaged to be married at 19 years old. Both families all supportive and gungho for us kids in love get married so we could be alone AT ALL together. In the final hour I backed out of getting married. I broke her heart. I felt so horrible. I couldnt just say I wanted to wait to get married and simply continue to drag her little brother everywhere as chaperone .

    I got drunk. I smoked crack. I lost every thing and became homeless. Until I met a girl who had many major issues and she took a liking to me and her parents really liked me and her siblings befriended me. So I spent the next seven years wrapped up in that codependent drug centric life.

    I just had ZERO self-esteem. All the while having a highly tuned sense of social grace. Everyone liked me. A well spoken basket case

  • Indian Larry
    Indian Larry


    I think I may not have been clear. She is not and has not been dating anyone JW or otherwise. It is just that she is looking but does not want to even look at a JW because of the issues associated. The same thing with a "worldy" guy. So that kind of leaves her in a dating limbo.

    As far as pushing her negatively about the religion I have not done that barely at all over the past several years. I did in the past but then decided that once she got baptized it was her life and I should not intervene. She brought this up to me out of the blue a little while ago but apparently it has been on her mind for a couple of years. I am not sure what the ultimate trigger was that made her look at the org with a critical eye.

    I have made her promise not to research the organization online because I know from personal experience that it will really make you very mad when you realize the full extent of how they have deceived people over the years. On the other hand I am not going to lie to her either. She knows how I feel about the organization, it is not a secret.

  • dubstepped

    So she "likes the brothers and sisters at the hall and they all love her, and is not having any personal problems", other than the fact that she contemplates suicide, is very depressed, and has pulled away from her friends. One of these things is not like the other.

    You sound like a good guy and you care about your daughter and that's great. Your daughter is likely to face a lot of pain because if she truly wants to be herself and be free, she doesn't have the luxury of faking it like you and she doesn't have a good example of taking that stand. She doesn't just need one PIMO friend, you're fooling yourself. She is suicidal. That's what you wrote. She may feel trapped, or like she's worthless because the cult she's been kept around makes young people feel worthless. So she's already going through pain, you can't save her from that nor is it your place to.

    Your best plan of action is to let her be her, support her in that, be a shoulder to cry on, point her to professional help outside of the cult, etc. If she wants worldly friends she should go get some. If she wants to date a worldly boy she should go do that. Be careful that you don't let your own compromised position with the cult impact how you steer her in these matters. She's got a long life ahead of her and she will have to try to pull off a fade unless and until her real life on the outside catches up to her, which it likely will because you're in a cult where that's kind of their modus operandi. You got to skirt by and you're lucky. Some are. Many are not. With her being so young she may likely have a hard time playing the long game. She could move far away and start over if she wanted, but of course she won't be able to be around you guys or the rest of the family.

    Maybe it's just me, but although I see you as this loving dad with a kind heart I (fairly or unfairly) worry that you're a little too deep into the JW weeds to fully see what your daughter is saying to you. There were giant red flags of depression and suicide and that's as things are today. I know you're worried that if she left totally and was shunned that it would get worse but it might get better. My depression and anxiety nearly vanished when I put that cult behind me and disassociated. I haven't had suicidal ideations since leaving that garbage behind.

    I really hope your daughter finds places like this or the exjw reddit or videos online or podcasts like I do or something so that she can feel less alone and start to find herself. I firmly believe that one of the biggest reasons for depression in life is living a life that is inauthentic and she's been doing that. If she can live a life true to who she is she will be far happier than playing games with cults.

  • dubstepped

    Oh my, now I see that you made her promise not to research the organization online? I can't fathom that. It might actually help her to realize that she's not crazy in seeing what she sees that makes her so depressed. You have to let her be her and if that means she researches stuff she researches stuff. That's not up to you to decide. To make her promise? After saying that she sees the stuff they teach isn't scriptural? You're putting her on an island, and your non-stand taking self is leaving her on that island all alone.

    Ugh, maybe I'm reading into this too much, but I see you reading in your own views and trying to push your daughter in ways that may not be good for her because you're projecting. Again, maybe I'm wrong, but what you're writing is all over the place. That may be because you're literally riding fences yourself. You want her to stay inauthentic and to hide the truth from her unless it comes from you. That's not healthy. This hiding of everything has to stop. It's time for everyone to put their big girl and boy panties on and to have some real heart to heart open talks putting it all out on the line instead of playing games. The fact that she came to you with this says that she trusts you on some level. But the way you're playing this where you let her keep going to meetings even though she doesn't want to go, the way you make her promise not to research, that doesn't sound like trustworthy behavior.

  • Indian Larry
    Indian Larry

    So I guess the thing is not that I am trying to hide the problems from her, I am not. I warned her against going to sites like this full of people who are willing to make a snap decision for someones entire life based on a two page synopsis of the general situation. In retrospect it was stupid of me to ask, I should have known people would jump to conclusions without full knowledge.

    To be clear I am not hiding anything from her. I have played her videos of EXJW Critical thinker on YouTube, audio from Crisis of Conscience and ISOCF. I have share many things with her. I asked her not to go online by herself because I know from personal experience that a successful fade takes time. I also know that going online will get a person going, charge them up with self righteous indignation, and many times encourage them to just tell the organization and all their family members to piss off and go for freedom.

    Also I know that on this site in particular you will be told over and over that if you are not an uber dub that everyone will shun you. Not true. I literally do not even own a suit but to my knowledge I am being shunned by only 1 person and I could not care less about them. That worked for me.

    Instead I look at someone who I love more than anything, I read on websites that suicide is caused among other things by people feeling they let others down, by people being rejected by family and friends etc. Yes the org sucks, but how much worse would it be if she goes online, finds a bitter exjw who was ripped from family and friends by the org and who just tells her to rip the band aid off. Then she is rejected by family and friends, she is crushed by letting others down. Forgive me if I would like to manage what she sees, not to protect the org but to protect her.

    Dubstepped. You seem pretty sure of yourself, I am sure you are planning on replying to this. Save your time. I think this entire question was a mistake. A one page synopsis can not begin to cover the complexities of years of a relationship. It was stupid of me to think it could. At this point I think I will take my own advise and just keep my web browsing to JWFacts and YouTube for a while. I may come back to this site at some time in the future but I think for now I will take a vacation from it. Thank goodness for pseudonyms and a VPN. It makes it very easy to take a break. Bye for now.

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