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

by Indian Larry 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Old Navy
    Old Navy

    The fear of losing all that we hold dear is one of the strongest powers or controls that The Cult us able to inculcate in the members. Being in the situation you describe for so many is so horribly stressful and debilitating. While in that place all choices that we might normally make seem all wrong. Such is the depth of the programming.

    At some point we must muster the determination to break free even though it may mean the temporary loss of those we think of as our "loved ones." The sooner this is done the better but, it is never without consequences. The Cult has made sure of that.

    The example of the "prodigal son" makes it quite clear that parents are not able to do much more than set an example of what is good and hope that our offspring eventually regain their senses. As a matter of fact it seems that your daughter has already broken free of the doctrine and dogma but is rendered helpless by emotional ties.

    Looks to me that you're doing just what you need to do. I believe that your daughter will in time find the strength to do what she must to break the bonds of emotional deception which are presently holding her hostage. People who are conscientious and loving always have the most difficult time with the process of breaking free. Until they finally realize that their loving thoughts and actions aren't returned with sincerity.

    These sorts of experiences, though heart rending and calamitous, are beneficial in the long run to our growth once we work through them. There is light at the end of every tunnel.

  • Old Navy
    Old Navy

    Ampbel, where are you now in your "walk?" Are you free at last?

    Your story is intriguing. Would you care to elaborate more in your own thread? I believe many here would be interested in hearing the "rest of the story."

    Welcome to the group.

  • days of future passed
    days of future passed

    It is a difficult task indeed to leave and for some it is harder depending on your personality and family circumstances.

    A therapist, even if they don't have the answers are at least a listening ear. She doesn't have to worry about them running to the elders or other family members. Sometimes a change of place helps. A vacation with a friendly non witness family member or maybe a road trip with you. Something outside the bubble of the small world of the JW lifestyle. Everyone needs a break.

    And there are many different types of people here with backgrounds in the JW world that has left scars and loss of family. So of course they speak from a certain perspective. You don't have to take their advice or take things personally. I myself struggle with those kind of issues. But this place has many positive things to find in the people and their experiences.

  • smiddy3

    I think Indian Larry should stop trying to control his 20/ something daughter and encourage her to go to sites like this one and jwfacts etc as they are therapeutic in themselves and do help so many people .

    As a father I know you just want the best for your daughter and want to protect her but maybe your just being a bit over protective .?

    She is in her early twenties is she not ? Give her the freedom to make her own decisions we all grow by making our own mistakes and learning from them .

    If she is really potentially suicidal then she must seek professional help now .

    take care.

  • dubstepped

    You asked for advice. Mine wasn't what you wanted to hear and you ran away. I will respond because 1. I'm not your daughter and you can't control me and 2. I care about your daughter and am challenging the paradigm that got her feeling depressed and suicidal while you seem to want to think that that very paradigm is all good and she just needs a therapist and a good PIMO friend.

    I get why you would be concerned about her going onto sites where she might find things out for herself with her suicidal feelings. She didn't catch those feelings from going online though, she caught them from the life she's already living. Yes, isolation can make one feel suicidal, like living in a cult where you don't fit in and know you don't fit in especially once you start seeing through the bullshit for yourself. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. That doesn't mean that my situation is defining here either. You asked a question. Don't do that if you only want the answers that you want. You can't control everything.

    Regardless, you don't get to control your adult daughter, you coming here asking for ways to help her is kind but also *could* be boundary crossing. Your daughter is an adult and needs to be able to handle herself and stand on her own two feet. She and she alone has to find her way out of this in her own way. It may not be your way, and your way may be unhealthy for her.

    I fully admitted that I could be wrong in my assertions and tried to have a dialogue but you're so defensive (probably because something hit home) that you are willing to throw away ideas and discussion because you seem to be struggling to admit that you might just be in the wrong with some way in which you're handling this. So my question to you would be, is there anything maybe you could have done better? Is there anything you could do better now to be there for your daughter without controlling her to encourage her autonomy and growth as an adult human? I know that you read something about suicide on the internet, but might it be that there could be more to the story? Have you discussed with your daughter what her feelings are and how you could support her rather than deciding on your own what she needs and how to help?

    What is it about someone questioning the situation that makes you run away? Could you be missing out on some potential benefit through the questions of others, something that could actually help your daughter that you care about? Why do you run from this honest and open questioning?

    Do you trust your daughter? Do you feel like you've equipped her to make good decisions on her own? Why do you think that she'll come somewhere like this and be told to rip the bandaid off and be shunned like you said? Do you think that she will simply follow suit because someone on a forum told her to leave? What if disassociating and calling it quits on the JWs was best for her? Could you envision a scenario where that could be the case? How would you feel if she disassociated and was happier being free? Would you be able to be happy for her, or would you feel threatened in some way because she took a step that you haven't taken?

    Yes, I am going to question you (and I know sometimes the questions are hard) and the situation. I do it to help, especially since you have a daughter feeling desperate enough to contemplate suicide. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. Something clearly needs to change. You are her father. In this time she needs you, if you are truly healthy for her, which sadly often parents aren't. With or without you she'll find her own path if she doesn't feel so much shame from violating her promise that you pushed her to make to you regarding finding her own path by researching online. You don't get to be the only source of information for her, procuring and deciding what she can look at and what she can't, or even what she can or cannot handle. In fact, behavior, information, thought and emotional control are the BITE model exerted by cults on people that they want to control. We're all guilty of thinking that we know what's best for someone and trying to control things that aren't ours to control.

    You want to help your daughter and that's a beautiful quality. You wanting to control her, even if you believe it's for her own good, isn't necessarily healthy even with good motives. She has to find her own way ultimately.

  • gone for good
    gone for good

    Indian Larry - good to hear from you.

    Your daughter is lucky to have such a great dad.

    Thank you for arranging care by a professional counselor - she now has one true friend who is not, and cannot be, influenced by cult madness - a real comfort I would imagine.

    A therapist is the perfect person to lend real substantive LEGAL backing to your daughters wishes for a life of self direction, freedom and individual choices.

    Do you think that your daughter is aware that she has legally enforceable human rights? right to freedom of association, expression, speech and freedom to reject any religion without being persecuted for the choice? and without

    Might be an empowering subject for both her and her therapist, as once a therapist records in writing a persons abandonment of their religion, it preempts all future ecclesiastic interference with the persons life.

    Please research Norman Hancock - a Mormon who not only escaped Mormonism but won a large settlement for their violation of his right to be rid of them.

    Hope you keep in touch - everyone here cares deeply about your dilemma and your daughters happiness.


  • DesirousOfChange

    I'd suggest that the most important thing for her to do at this point is to MAKE FRIENDS. That has been the toughest issue for us since we began fading. It's SO easy to make (conditional) JW friends. EVERY JW is automatically your "friend" (until the gossip starts about your "spiritual weakness" and questioning things).

    In the real world, it takes effort to get to know people and develop friendships. Most people do this while in school, college, the military, or with workmates. JW's have been told to avoid all of that, thus NO FRIENDS. Since your daughter is already finished with university, her place of work seems the most likely place to meet people who have common interests. Or, if she pursues furthering her education. IF she plans to ease out of the JW Cult, she WILL LOSE HER JW FRIENDS.

    If she cannot bear the thought of losing her current friends, then she needs to determine if she can "fake it" as a weak, semi-active publisher that is just there for the social climate. There are LOTS of young JW's like that.

  • Ding

    Does the therapist have ideas that might help?

    Part of what therapists do is help their clients break free from destructive thought patterns and situations so they can take charge of their own life and turn things in a positive direction.

    Will your daughter consent to you talking with the therapist? Perhaps he or she can give you good suggestions on what you can do to help or point out things that may be counterproductive.

  • Giordano

    Indian Larry I can appreciate your questions and understand your reactions.

    The question you asked.....I can use some help. My daughter wants out of the organization and I need some advice.

    The first advice most of us can offer you are already doing........ having her see a therapist. And that sounds like it is helping.

    The second advice I'd like to share is the understanding that your daughter has been hard wired from birth in what to believe and now that hard wiring is coming apart.

    Here is a reference that may be of interest to you and her........ if you want to check it out. The JW's are not mentioned.

    What is discussed is how many people have left or tried to leave high control religions and are suffering from Religious Trauma Syndrome. If you've never heard about this....... join the crowd. When I stumbled on to it I was amazed how many are trying to leave their high control religions and the emotional problems they are experiencing.

    Religious Trauma Syndrome is the condition experienced by people who are struggling with leaving an authoritarian, dogmatic religion and coping with the damage of indoctrination. They may be going through the shattering of a personally meaningful faith and/or breaking away from a controlling community and lifestyle. The symptoms compare most easily with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which results from experiencing or being confronted with death or serious injury which causes feelings of terror, helplessness, or horror. This can be a single event or chronic abuse of some kind. With RTS, there is chronic abuse, especially of children, plus the major trauma of leaving the fold. Like PTSD, the impact of RTS is long-lasting, with intrusive thoughts, negative emotional states, impaired social functioning, and other problems.;

    There are three articles available on this site.

    On a more immediate and practical issue how can one 'get out' safely....... meaning you get to keep a reasonable number of family and close friends but still be able to get on with one's life.

    The claim of being 'stumbled' is an approach that works. If a religion says something or does something that breaks the law or endangers a member or stumbling a follower, it has gone down a dangerous road. A religion does not get to cover up a crime.

    Child sexual abuse is prevalent within religious organizations ......... even within the JW religion. Not only prevalent but through the foolishness of the WTBTS it has unwittingly abetted the crime of child sexual abuse through their use of the 'Two Witness' rule. The facts are online reported by independent news sources. Newspapers, T.V. filmed Court cases such as the recent Australian Royal Commission which has been investigating how established religions are handling this crime. You can review this information and actually hear Branch Servants, Elders and in the below site Geoffrey Jackson.... a sitting Governing Body member.

    You can listen here thanks to The Fall Guy's hard work:

    My final advice, depending on your evaluation of this information, should provide your daughter with a protected position, in short she has been stumbled by the handling of the pedophile problem and intends to wait on Jehovah to see this problem removed. Until them she will embrace Jehovah and be guided by him. But her congregational contact will be minimized.

    She doesn't have to make a declaration just that you and/or her Mom can mention that she is getting therapy or 'help' with this child abuse issue. Or simply 'private issues' And let her get on with a life worth living.

    My Best to you both!


  • tiki

    Dear Indian Larry.....your daughter is very fortunate to have you as a support system. I am glad to hear she is seeing a therapist and this should help her sort out her thoughts and feelings...but, she is an adult and has to make her own decisions. Be there for things together, keep lines of communication wide open and honest. But she has to disentangle from the web in her own way and at her own pace. I definitely would encourage her to get involved in non witness activities, and to find friends outside the religion. Hope everything works out happily for all of you!!

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