My sister is on Public Reproof... Will she fade (our relationship grow) or will she go back...

by Butterflyleia85 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • Butterflyleia85

    Odds are in my favor but I been so heart broken I don't even want to be optimistic about it.

    So a few weeks ago my sister has opened up our relationship. She hasn't had much contact with me for 5 years because of my disfellowshipment. I did post in the past on this site a few points that showed we had bad breaking because of my disfellowshipment. We were very close growing up so this was devastating. As an older sister I wanted to protect her and I also blamed alot of what happened on myself. So the space was good for her to grow and she has, well we both have. She's at the early stage of the mental toll that Jehovah's Witness mentality brings (she's doing the flighty phase I went through... which as an older sister I warned her about), the stage where she will have to decide will this brake her or make her stronger. She is mentally still in, meaning she believes in Jehovah and the organization. She made it clear that she believes in Jehovah and she wishes that we don't discuss religion... (Than she ended up bring it up when she visited second time, me keeping my part but her open, my husband told me to stand up for myself by cutting her off and reminding her of our bondaries... part of me says yes but the other part of me says this is how she can connect and I gain her trust... if I can just hold back from commenting). She is finding that the reasoning isn't matching up with her desire so she's struggling in what she calls "finding herself". Her husband wasn't supportive (got the elders to side with him). They are split so now it's our mom that's helping her emotionally through this.

    While my mom still seems to be a mystery to me, because she gives the gifts on the holidays and is supportive she doesn't want to celebrate herself and still believes in Jehovah (this may be a front because she still wants to keep the trust between my sister and me), she has fully left and dates men outside the organization. She hasn't gone to the halls for 5 years. She has been to the memorials with my sister but I doubt she will if my sister doesn't go. I'm very happy to gain a sister but very emotionally anxious... The books are working that I have been reading. Emotionally Intelligence by Daniel Goleman is one I'm on now. It's making sense why I have less coping skills then my husband or any other person that face struggle.

    I do have my guard up (weither that be the truama and all the mental work it took to "let go") but then again I can't be afraid to reach out (she is my sister). This is me going to have to reach out of my comfort zone (self help books in practise) and make sure to keep close to those who have established trust and reliable, shown unconditional love.

    If you have any wise words, prayers, experiences, anything... much appreciation.

    Thank you for reading.

    And just wanted to say how honored and proud I am of my sister. She is in nonprofit organizations to help those that's been sexually abused. She wants to go back to school to become therapist and help women with confidence. Right now a strong lady, business manager, and independent.

  • Bonsai

    Sounds like your sister is moving in the right direction! Take things slowly and carefully with her. She has to figure things out for herself. Ask her where in the bible people got publicly reproved. They reprove her without telling the congregation why, which leads to vicious and slanderous rumors that poisons everything. In Isrealite times they carried out a public hearing to see if the accused was guilty of a grave sin or not. Nothing like what they do today.

    By the way, I LOVE your avatar! I'm an avid lepidopterist and very involved in conservation projects locally to protect endangered butterfly species.

  • TheListener
    Butterfly this is really exciting news! I think you are handling the situation really well. It is so hard not to comment when someone we love is right there in front of us discussing something that we are so passionate about. I really am impressed with how well you are dealing with the stress and your sister. I hope it keeps going well and she fully wakes up.
  • Butterflyleia85
    Thank you Bonsai for your comment! Yes take it slow is my plan. And so neat to hear about butterflies. I'm glad people are doing something about helping protect the little creatures of this plant. Our honey bees also are in trouble I been reading.
  • Butterflyleia85
    Thank you TheListener! Yes I will try to continue to be honest but respectful and kind first to her. I appreciate the incouragement TheListener.
  • jhine
    Hi , check out my thread about shunning , Ex Walkhill Bethelite seems to think that rules about shunning have changed . Jan
  • DesirousOfChange

    Be a good listener.

    When she complains about things in the JWdom not making sense or not "being right", just agree that there were many things that disturbed you, but that you DO NOT want to discuss "negative" issues with her. (Boundaries.) Suggest that she research it for herself to find satisfying answers. That's why we have GOOGLE!!

    Be there for her. Many people fade away and their status of "on public reproof" never changes and it never affects them. For a woman in the Cong, it only means that they cannot qualify to aux pioneer. So what?

    If she really wants to get her reproof and restrictions "removed", she could change Congs. Unlike being DFd, when it is only Reproof, the NEW Cong determines when to restore privileges and say that one is again in "good standing".


  • LisaRose

    I just felt finished reading Combating Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan. If you haven't read it yet I would encourage you to do so. At one time he was in a cult, so he really understand what is going on with the thinking. He has helped hundreds of people to break free of cults. In the first edition of the book he didn't mention JWs, he didn't know they were a cult, but the latest edition specifically mentions them.

    Basically, a direct approach where you try to prove the religion is wrong just never works. Never, ever. Even if they have doubts, a direct confrontation just causes the defenses to kick in and they will shut down. This is why they talk so much about us "mentally diseased apostates" it's a phobia instilled into every JW, saying anything negative about the organization causes the fear to come up and you will lose them every time.

    It's better to work on building the relationship, gaining trust. Every person that is in a high control religion has two personalities, the person they are because of the religion and the natural personality, try to connect with the natural personality. Talk about things outside the the religion, what she wants to do in her life, her dreams for the future, that kind of thing. Bite your tongue if you have to, but don't talk about the JWs, especially at first. When you do get to that point, ask questions to get her to think, and so you know what her doubts are, work on that.

    Good luck


  • Butterflyleia85

    Thanks jhine I will check it out!

    Thanks DesirousOfChange for the advice. I hope to keep it positive and avoid the negative as much as possible especially early in conversation.

    Thank you Lisa Rose very helpful! I will try and build trust and stick to talking about every day life enjoyments and connect with the natural personality.

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