So it has been a while since my last posting and I am happy to report on some positive progress.
In my personal section, I had posted already so I am not going to overextend, but I've found a group of apostate friends. It turns out some brothers from my KH, whom I have lost touch with when they moved, are awaken to TTATT. We got separated when our congo got divided several years ago. One of them ended up moving to a nearby town. We got together again. One of them is fully awake, the other is on his way there. We already got together twice and on our last time, one of them brought another apostate friend along. We have a great time together and I have been also finding out the details of their stories, which expose the exuberant amount of hypocrisy and lack of love going around the JW circles. Some very gut wrenching stories going around. Part of them involves stories of them being led by elders to go to a strip club. Apparently the fact that we are close to the border, makes some elders give themselves permission to go to such places, but only across the border in Mexico. Stories of marital affairs? Even the bartenders get entertained when we show up. This has proven to be great therapy and I am ever so glad to have gotten back in touch with them.
In the case of my wife... well our life keeps getting better by the day. It is slow, surely so. But anything that is positive progress is welcome and celebrated, regardless of how small. While she still sort of craves the meetings, I am glad to see that she has stopped chastising the kids just because they are not listening to the meeting. My kids are spending most of the meeting time drawing or reading whatever else. Meeting attendance is another area where progress is shown. She is not as eager to attend every meeting. Sometimes we miss two or even three meetings in a row. In one particular week, we had missed three meetings and so she had made a plan for the evening so that we would not miss the mid week meeting this time. However, half way thru her day, someone at work asked her if she'd be willing to do some translation work that needed to be done for the next day. The pay (a couple of hundred dollars) was not worth missing "jehovah's blessings" (from a JW perspective at least) but she jumped on it and she asked me to help and I said yes right away. We spent that afternoon sipping wine and translating some letters from English to Spanish.
She has also been very eager to know what gossip I bring back from my apostadinners with my friends. While I do not want to extend myself (there is a LOT going on, more than what I could have even imagined since I was never too involved in the congo) but in summary..
- A brother who is a pianist and is part of a small band. He is pretty good and he has rejected offer from regional groups so he could stay "spiritually strong". He makes a business of playing in JW weddings. There is almost no party he has played on where an elder has not come to him, sometimes even during the part itself, to tell him he was playing inappropriate music. In one of the cases the elder took it upon himself to start asking the brothers to leave the party because he would not listen to the counsel. He is now DFd for other reasons. A brother had already signed him up for a wedding before that. When he was DFd, the groom was told that he had to fire the band or else the groom would not be allowed to have his ceremony in the KH. This was the night before the ceremony was to take place. Talk about short notice.
- Several cases of elders cheating on their wives and go unpunished.
- A group of brothers go out to San Antonio for a business, on their way back they decide to stop at a strip bar. Out of a group of 9, one of them feels guilty afterwords and decides to come clean with the elders. He was the only one who got DFd for the matter. All the others got a scolding and nothing more since they were all sons of elders.
This and many other stories has had a great deal of impact on my wife, who's always felt she did not measure to the standards of most of the people taking the lead. She also felt that all this talk would have a bad influence on me. She said..."if these guys had no problem cheating and going to these places when they still had the fear of God in them, what can you expect of them now (that they are DFd)". This was a great lead to a conversation. I made her realized that she still equated DFing with loosing God's approval. That she still felt that belonging to the group meant anything regarding faith. Fortunately the explanation was good enough that made her realize that it was exactly these thinking that causes this type of problem. It made it obvious that these guys had no issues doing these things because sub consciously they were following men and since these men were not around to see them (and in cases the elders were the ones taking them there), them obviously they were not seeing Jehovah as a real. So long the men were unaware, they were free of guilt.
Later on, I found out that she has talked to her sisters to sort of refer all these stories to them and has began to express her disappointment over all these hypocrisy. We had our assembly day this past Sunday. By 2:00 PM she was consulting the program to see at what time the thing would end. She was eager to leave.
I believe there is still a long way to go... but certainly things are turning for the better
Sorry for the long post