After reading Cruzenheart's post on the letter about her father, and the treatment he received from the CO, William Osbeck, and the elders of his congregation, it brought back my own memories of this particular CO and his treatment of people.
It was 1995 and one of the hardest years of my life. In February of that year, I learned I was pregnant with our fifth child. It was a hard pregnancy, I was almost 39, I was sick most of the time, not able to keep food down and lived most of the time on broth or soup. In June, my husband, our then 4 year old, and myself were involved in a head on collision. The other guy was at fault, he was driving on our side of the road, when we went around a curve, we hit head on. He had no insurance. Our four year old sustained injuries, there was concern that I could lose the baby, our car was totalled and the guy had no insurance. We made it through all of it.
In July my elderly Mom had to have emergency surgery and removed a portion of her colon. The surgery and recovery were very hard on her, she spent weeks in intensive care and stayed at the hospital almost a month. Finally she was able to come home where I could care for her, but she had to return to the hospital two more times over the next couple of months because of deep vein blood clots.
In November, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and the doctor told me to stay off my feet most of the time. Hard to do when you got little ones and an elderly parent to care for too.
During these months that all this stuff was happenning, I had cut back on my meeting attendance and service. There were some months I didn't attend a meeting or go out in service at all. Also during this time, there was about 6 to 7 other sisters who were having babies that year. The other sisters would make a point of cooking meals, cleaning house and doing laundry for a week for the sister that just had a baby.
In December of that year our son was born and had some health problems. We were allowed to take him home eventually but had to take him to the doctor's frequently. I was exhausted all the time, my house was in terrible shape and nobody came by to help me. I was so depressed too, I had difficulty even getting out of bed some days.
Toward the end of December, Brother Osbeck came for his visit to the congregation. Without even calling me, he showed up at my door with another sister. The kids let him in. I was so embarrassed about the condition of the house. The kids were running around in their underwear with towels around their necks pretending to be batman. the carpet was littered with abandoned toys, clothes and dry cereal. I looked and felt terrible. Somewhere in my brain, I thought he had come to encourage me to persevere during this difficult time. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
My mom shuffled out to the livingroom with her walker and started to tell him about the year we had gone through. He hardly acknowledged her.
"Sister Sadie, I'm here to talk about your field service." I could hardly believe my ears. " You're irregular in turning in your time or you have very low hours on the months you do turn in time. Isn't there some way you could do more?"
" If you could find a way to put more hours in the day, that might be possible." I told him.
"Isn't there some sister you are close to, that could watch your children so you could get out in service?"
"No, there is nobody that has shown they care for me. My youngest child is sick, and I need to spend my time caring for him.
He went on and on, saying I was responsible to make sure my family went to meetings and out in service. I could feel myself getting more and more depressed as he "encouraged" me.
I called my husband after he left and he was furious that they had just showed up without calling first. We did go to the Sunday meeting, I couldn't stay very long because his talk just got on my nerves. We left early.
After that I started looking on the internet for info about XJWs, I found the old H2O board, Kent's old board and Randy Watters board what an eye opener it was. My depression lifted, I didn't beat myself up mentally for not doing enough. Everyday I would pat myself on the back for the things I did do. And eventually my family faded away and left.
To William Osbeck, this is what I should have said to you. It was more important to me that I took care of my children and my elderly parent than it was to listen to meetings based on things I had heard over and over. It was more important to me to be there for my struggling sick child, then to run the neighborhoods placing magazines and have some uncaring person watch my child. Let the uncaring person do my share in placing magazines.
And if you think Jehovah wanted me to neglect my family and do magazines and meetings, then that is your opinion. but I have to tell you, it is an unrealistic opinion. I'm glad for the choices I made, my mother is still with me, all my children are healthy and strong. I made the right choice.
Your words and the uncaring members of the congregation showed me who and what you really are. For that, I thank you.