After reading Nina and Sadie's experience, I couldn't help but appreciate hearing how the brothers are always trying to "encourage" ones. How did they try to encourage you?
What's The Worst "Encouragement" That You've Recieved From The Brothers?
We're telling you the truth.
When I was going through my rough time with my ex before we split, all they talked about was meeting attendence, and field service. One of them wanted to a do a study with me. I looked at him and told him, I have been a witness all my life. What do I need to study for? The fact is that my wife is an evil witch. No amount of studying is going to change that.
We were a young low-income family with a toddler who made noises as children do. Got tired of "brothers and sisters" suggesting we smack our daughter to keep her quiet.
We were lovingly relegated to the last two rows of the hall in a local needs talk. After that we pretty much stopped going to that hall, tried going back to meetings later on in a different city, but it was same crap, different day.
You should have said, ''Smacking YOU would be much more effective''!
Good for you for not going back, the child abusing bastards!
17 pages of WT articles on meeting attendance, being obediant while living with an unbelieving mate, and my responsibilities as the "spiritual head of the household" handed to me by Brother Young'n'Ambitious at my [very last] shepherding call?
or, the response from one of the elders whom a sister and I begged to go visit a recently DF'd, but critically ill in ICU, single parent of two former congregation member (because WE, of course, couldn't) which was, "Why ever would we?"
or, when describing why I felt "lack of love, starting with the elders" was a problem in our congregation, (after being assured that they wanted to hear these criticisms so they could perhaps counsel the offending brothers) I explained, "For example. I told an elder over a year ago that one of my children had overdosed, requiring an emergency room visit, and he never even once asked, 'How is xxxx doing now?'" Taken aback, the PO asked, "Who was that?" I looked him dead in the eye and said, "It was you, Mxx." He at least had the good grace to look chagrined and to say, "I'm sorry."
There are more, but it's too sickening to contemplate, just before lunch.
17 pages of WT articles on meeting attendance
Two elders did that to me. I asked them to come with me. I showed them my extensive WTS library. I told them I didn't need them to xerox copies of the publications; I already had them in my library and was very skilled at finding articles. That if they couldn't use the Bible without leaning on a human publication that they could leave. (They left and took their xeroxes with them too)
"For example. I told an elder over a year ago that one of my children had overdosed, requiring an emergency room visit, and he never even once asked, 'How is xxxx doing now?'" Taken aback, the PO asked, "Who was that?" I looked him dead in the eye and said, "It was you, Mxx." He at least had the good grace to look chagrined and to say, "I'm sorry."
Good one, outnfree. As I say it is best to hang them by their own actions and words. I'm surprised he didn't get defensive and say you were mistaken, that it wasn't him.
But they always turn it around and make you the problem. That if you were more forgiving and understanding, these things wouldn't make any difference.
1. The idiot elder who counseled me on being late to the meetings and said I should take the kids to McDonald's to save time, At the time, my husband was meeting me downtown with our 6- and 3-year-olds at 5:30. Took me 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on traffic, to get back in the vicinity of home. Okay, fine, I tried the McDonald's thing, then had to go home anyway and wash the kids down! NOT a help.
2. The idiot Presiding Overseer who asked about my 6-year-old son being in a wheelchair and when I started to explain about post-viral arthritis, interrupted me after about 5 seconds with: "Well, Jehovah will give you strength to endure." Then he walked off.
3. The "friend" who read my letter to the elders about my dad's suicide and commented only on the people I had copied: "How could you bring reproach on Jehovah's name by sending this letter to the media?"
4. The "friend" who, when she found out I wasn't attending meetings anymore, said: "But you have to go to meetings. How else will you hear those wonderful letters we get from Brooklyn?" To which I replied: "Oh, you mean the letters like that stupid one about child abuse where they used the example of a couple of hot teenagers to minimize the reality of 4-year-olds being raped? THAT letter?"
I could go on and on and on and on . . . .
I know of a sister that was "encouraged" to study more, go to more meetings and get her life in order. The only problem was that she was suicidal, chronically depressed, thought she has a number of multiple personalities, and manic. Still, the elders would "encourage" her to pray and get out in service, as if this would be a cure-all!
A couple of incidents come to mind...
One was actually from from a CO's wife. I had recently stopped pioneering to work full time because I simply could not go on any longer without medical benefits. I had pioneered and served where the need was great for 5 years. I gave it my all. There came a point where I was too tired to work full time and regular pioneer. However, I was still a good publisher and contributing member of the congregation. Out in service one day the CO's wife asked me why I wasn't a pioneer and I told her about needing medical benefits (had some health issues to deal with) etc. She asked me if I wanted to get married someday. I said yes of course - then she proceeded to tell me that a spiritual man would only marry a spiritual woman. And a spiritual woman would be a regular pioneer. If I didn't fit that bill I would end up alone. Ummmm, gee, thanks for the encouragement - woman who's never had to support herself in her life. No mention of 'sorry you've been sick' or, thank you for what you contribute anyway. I wanted to tell her about my friend the pioneer who went to clubs and got drunk on the weekends. Or the young elder & wife that liked to watch a dirty movie every now and then. Yes, having a title automatically makes you spiritual right? -NOT! Of course, I'm no tattletale!! Just an unspiritual, non-pioneerin', lazy 25 hour a month publisher with a full time job, JW loser I guess!!!
Worst spiritual abuse for me was yet to come...
Not too long before I jumped ship for good I got involved in a relationship with a 'worldly' man from work. It was a big mistake for me personally, not just because of the JW thing but because he wasn't who I thought he was and I was devastated to find out the jackass was married. I was young & naive and thought I'd found 'the one'. Anyway, no one knew about it but my conscience got the best of me and I confessed to the elders. I came to them broken in spirit because I thought I'd failed Jehovah and I wanted to make it right. So of course a committee is formed, yada yada yada. The elder in charge told me that even though they weren't going to disfellowship me that because he was a married man (who seduced me, by the way) that Jehovah might not forgive me and I'd just have to 'wait and see' if I survive Armageddon to find out if I'm forgiven. Ummmm, hello? That is soooo not scriptural but sooo typical. I was CRUSHED in spirit even more. It was the beginning of the JW end for me. I'm actually thankful now - it opened me up to hear the real gospel of Jesus from a Christian relative, based on grace & forgiveness. I would have never listened before. It probably saved my life too because I was getting so depressed at that point feeling I could never measure up to Jehovah's unrealistic standards, who knows what would have become of me.
I later confessed to a close relative that I was having 'doubts' and she turned around and told everyone that I was an apostate. -sigh- So, eventually, I decided to live up to their judgment of me!!
Best thing I've ever done for my life!