Im sick of my life
BlackWolf wrote: my biggest problem right now is the pressure to get baptized. I've told my mom I'm not ready yet but she bothers me about it constantly. I'm starting to run out of excuses.
Has your mom specifically told you *why* she wants you baptized asap??
In my mom's case, she was anxious for my brother(s) to get baptized because she felt that then he/they would become the congregation's (elder's) problem. She just did not want to have to 'deal' with her son(s) training and discipline anymore.
She may say that she is pressuring you out of love and concern. If she does, thank her for her love and concern and reassure her that you are really secure in your own personal relationship with Jehovah.
If you suspect her ulterior motives (like trying to dodge her own personal god-given responsibilities), consider asking her if that is where her 'push' is coming from. THEN you two will have a better understanding of what the real issue is and you can begin to communicate on a more honest level.
Either way, let her know that you sincerely appreciate that she is trying to help keep you safe, but, infact, she is starting to smother you. It's becoming 'smother love', and it just does not feel healthy to you.
I'm guessing that your mother (like mine) did *NOT* grow up as a JW. And likely, as a teenager, she behaved in a way that would not be acceptable within the confines of a Kingdom Hall.
It seems that she has no clue about what it is like to grow up in the JW organization. And she's letting the old guys in Brooklyn/Warwick tell her how to prevent her daughter from making the mistakes she made when she was worldly young-adult woman. In that case, it might help to let her that you appreciate her efforts and you understand why she pushes as she does. But you need to start gaining a little more freedom to acquire necessary life skills outside of the home and Kingdom Hall and you promise to respect her, and her house rules, and you will continue to draw strength and guidance from your relationship with Jehovah. You will aim to continue to make her proud in everything you do.
And you will get baptized when you feel you are ready. Right now, you just feel way too young and too smothered to make an honest, life-long decision for yourself. [See also the comment by 'WitnessMyFury' a few posts above.]
Because, afterall, Baptism is supposed to be a personal decision and committment. Right?!!?!!?
Also, No more finding excuses with your mom about baptism. First find out specifically *why* she is pressuring you to do something that should really just bubble forth from within yourself. After that, when she mentions it, just cheerfully remind her "You are trying to pressure me, mom, for something I know in my heart I'm not ready for", or, "Smother Loving is intruding on [or distracting me from] development of my relationship and trust in Jehovah. It's not helping, mom." Then give her a quick kiss, a quick, gentle hug, a big, genuine smile and leave the room to get on with something more pleasant. Get dinner started. Straighten up the living room. Go for a just walk to clear your head. Take a shower. Something to put physical distance between the two of you but make it an activity that is constructive so she can tangibly see that you are making good life choices even though you are resisting her efforts to conform to her manipulative techniques.
All the best to you as you steadily make your way through the next few months.
There are two things you can say to your Mom when she brings up the baptism issue.
"Mom do you think I'm ready to get married?" If she says no then tell her she's right........that you don't feel ready to get married..... maybe you will in a few years. "Mom that's the way I feel right now about getting Baptized."
Or you can say "Mom, Dad have you even considered the fact that I don't share the same zeal you have for the JW religion. You both chose this religion....... I want that same opportunity. I am not ready to make that choice yet."
Dad as an Elder you know that baptism is a life long contract one I am not ready to enter into at this point. Should I do something, anything the Society doesn't approve of I could be Disfellowshiped and you and Mom would never speak to me again.
P.S. Just read Aude's post.............. VERY good advice!
Parents will pressure their children more so because it looks good on them, it is like a reward to them. To be looked at as exemplary for successfully raising their kids in the Organization. It is more about appearances. Its understandable that Witness parents pressure their kids to get baptized so much.
I appreciate everyone's comments. I do think she really wants me to be baptized mainly because of appearances, because everyone else my age (16) is baptized at my hall. My little sister got baptized when she was 11. I think she knows deep down that I'm not very enthusiastic about jw things but probably just wants me to be baptized so other people will still think of my family as being "strong in the truth" and to avoid suspicion. People tend to gossip a lot in my congregation so I have to be careful.
Oh! I forgot the very beginning of the OP. You dad was just made an elder.
*THIS* is likely where some of the increased pressure is coming from, too. A qualifier for being an elder is to preside over the household in a fine manner. This includes guiding all children toward baptism. If he cannot guide his own child(ren), how skilled can he be with the congregation?? - is what the CO and elder-body will wonder.
I still stand by my suggestions above. It can apply to either parent. No excuses. No yelling. Just calm, respectful logic.
Keep your cool. You can maneuver through this. It will be tough, but not impossible.
Hang in there wofie☺
As for baptism just say that you will not get baptized because you fear being disfellowshipped. Then ask them point blank if you were disfellowhipped would they stay in contact with you and talk to you....if they say no....then you say no to baptism because you value your relationship with them so you aren't ready for baptism.
The young people ask book says that youth that marry under the age of 25 most likely divorce. So, baptism is an even more important step that should not be rushed. Also, don't mind that example they use about the fear of getting a drivers license doesn't scare you.
Maybe you can get a part time job and make friends there. If your parents ask why say you want to give a little more monetary donations to the world wide fund.
DO NOT GET BAPTIZED!!!!!!
Flip the script and say that when people pressure you to do things it makes me not want to do it at all like ever. That should scare them and make them back up some.
BlackWolf_Maybe you could tell your mom something like: "Mom, I know you want me to get baptized now. But I feel that is something between Jehovah & I alone. I want to make sure that I can fulfill my promise to obey him and never disappoint him. As a teenager, I don't feel mature enough to do that at this time. When I do feel like I am mature enough to make the most important decision in my life, I will, and without pressure from you and dad. I don't want to get baptized just for our family's appearance at the Kingdom Hall."
I'm sorry to hear about what you are going through. I have ZERO experience in being a 16 year old girl at this or any other time. So let me just say three things.
1) Get an education. Get good grades, find a dream or something you love that can support that dream, and get educated. Make this a stated goal, so your parents are aware of it.
2) You have to decide if you want to be authentic with your parents about the way you feel (not about the religion.....you probably can't do that), but about being unhappy in life, and dealing with depression. If you and your parents are close, maybe being open with them about this would be good. In the end, it may even help your cause.
3) Get an education. Ok I'm laying it on. But you get it. Do the things that make you happy now. You will find an independent voice (probably at college). Love your parents and give them a break. Learn why this is or os not for you, and try to really have it in mind.
Hold on if you can. Have no qualms about faking it until you reach legal age if you can, JWs have no problem swallowing BS every day and they would cut you off at every turn to prevent you from thriving on the outside. I ran away at 17 because I couldn't take it anymore, and basically jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Unfortunately being cut off from the world means not knowing about stuff other people take for granted, like Pell grants, or career counselors at the local community college that can help you navigate the world as a young adult. If you are in the US, there are programs to help young adults get money for school and you can explain that your parents will cut you off so they don't try to use their income. It sucks to do the time when you want out, but a little patience can keep you from falling on your face as soon as you get out.