Love for the Hate

by IronSharpensIron 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • IronSharpensIron

    Greetings all,

    I just wanted to share a perspective related to my experience with leaving the JW. At this point, I have been DF'd since I was 18. I'm 25, happily married with 2 fantastic children. After being miserably at odds with my parents and extended family, I've come to some realizations as follows.

    I struggled with the conditional nature of my parent's love- talking to me until it bothered their conscience, then cutting me off. Sending gifts addressed to my children without talking to me. These sorts of things. In an effort to shield my children from this behavior, I ultimately made the decision to "reverse disfellowship" my parents and cut them out of my own life. They were not allowed to participate in my children's lives without my involvement. An absurd rule and decision to have to make anyway, by the way. However, during this time, I constantly had such mixed emotion as anger toward them for how they treat me, frustration at their complacency with the Organization/refusal to look at it objectively, and sadness that my children weren't able to know their grandparents. They are indeed blinded by the organization and lost in it entirely. My father being an elder, especially self righteous and indoctrinated. For this I pity them. They are essentially slaves at this point. Self imposed, yes. Frustratingly so. So fearful of losing their own relationships and positions in a world they want so strongly to be true that they would agree to whatever is required of them. In effect, sacrificing their son to maintain their purity. This is the reality of their life.

    In order to assuage any guilt or responsibility of their own, they must see me as an enemy. Because the elders said I was. They must see me as an evil, angry, bitter apostate. In their eyes, my reverse disfellowshipping decision was just 'proof' of my own disposition they had been ingrained to see. I had just answered their "hate" with "hate" of my own. In effect, any effort I make to reach them for their own good was hampered by my own behavior.

    As a side point, the guilt I felt from leaving was tied to my own fear of them being right. The evidence of the falsehood of the Organization is simple, compelling, and very real. It does engender some negative feelings toward the Organization itself. I believe these feelings to be well placed. However, for these feelings to be directly effectively, and to undermine the Organization's hold, I myself must be careful that I do not direct them at the individuals caught in it. They are victims as I was a victim. Any ill will I show towards them, puts up their guard, reinforces their own walls and strengthens the firm grip of this Organization.

    My parents and these individuals must see that there is life outside of the Organization and that it is healthy, good, real, and heartfelt. The reality of this life is only worth leaving the Organization if it truly offers something greater than what the Organization offers. The Organization offers conditional acceptance and tentative love, expressed within the confines of a convoluted heirarchy. You are loved as long as you are seen as righteous, without flaws or failures. If you sin, you are no longer allowed access to their conditional love.

    As an alternative to the reverse disfellowshipping, I have now chosen to meet my parents and any Jehovah's Witness with unconditional love. I don't have to disprove their beliefs any more than I have to disprove a Mormon's or other religions. The door to talk to my parents and for them to talk to me is always open on my end. Unconditionally. Ultimately this is what I wanted from them all along. Change could never be effected as long as I thought the way they did. Doing so only legitimizes their erroneous standpoint. Answering in their manner hampered my own progress and could not break through their behavior.

    At this point, my parents still choose not to speak to me. I hope that one day their conscience is pricked by something they see. I hope to be there as I always had been, lovingly accepting of them as they are, ready to welcome them into the big, scary world.

    I hope my perspective can help others in their recovery and in their dealings with their own family.

    Much love to you all,


  • Giordano

    Greetings right back at you Derrick and Welcome to this forum!

    We understand what you are saying.

    MY niece shuns us and she was born 7 years after we faded.

    I have a Brother-in-law who is an elder and to keep his position his DF son had to leave the family home at age 18. Thankfully he was taken in by his uncle and taught a trade.

    There is nothing loving about shunning. Maybe that's why Jesus didn't shun anyone.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    helo ISI--welcome to this site.

    ive been shunned by 2 of my born-in kids for more than 30 years now.

  • Chook

    Hi ironsharpensiron

    You are in the most difficult position beeing born into this religion to have this hideous cult destroy the normal family arrangement is so sad . Your mighty courage to stay away from this cold cult, with the family ties you're giving up because you were born into this and don't blame yourself you're born into this this crime . At least you Born into this you can blame someone for the problems, I was stupid enough to convert. Your young and got along life ahead,hope your blessed because if God is real and he looks for the brokenhearted yes surely you fall into that category . There will always be an ear and heart on this forum to wipe away tears.

  • Crazyguy

    That's nice and welcome, unfortunately the cult has stolen the minds and love of so many. They being members of the cult have lost all rational thought and being told thier in gods only true religion has made them arrogant in thier attitude. A person can show a JW the obvious problem with saying god wants us to kill our selves by not taking blood but cows blood is ok and they'll still not get it.

    So despite your love your parents probably never get a clue or wake up, so don't risk your kids!!

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    Welcome are so right....trying to disprove their beliefs and or return shunning for shunning, is a sure way for them to feel justified in their condemnation of you. However there is no harm in establishing boundaries in how they are allowed to treat you and your children. This helps them realize that you and your family are not to be taken for granted and that you are calling the shots....not the Watchtower Society.

    I have found it best not to bring the JW topic up to family members and if they ask me something, I give two or three word answers and let them know that anything they want to know that because of the way JW's have set things up, (fear of anyone who disagrees) there is no good way for me to discuss religion with them without it ending badly for me. I tell them that anything they want to know or may have wondered about, is available on line and they have to do their own homework...just like I did.

  • jwfacts

    I support your sentiment here. I too have found that I feel better not treating my family as they treat me. I allow my son to Skype with his Grandmother, as I think it is important for him to know her. He knows she is not to discuss religion with him and I follow up the calls to know what was discussed.

    On another note, with your permission, I would like to add your comment to the experiences section of as it perfectly describes the dynamics of shunning and JW families.

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    Shunning the mother and father of children, and laughing and talking on Skype is mean and hurtful. It is not right. It teaches children to feel that they are better than their mother and father. This happened to my niece. She left the organization years ago, married a very nice 'worldly' guy, they have two beautiful daughters.

    My sister would call, and Skype with my niece's daughter.... My niece had to staying the background, and listen. It was devastating. Also, my sister would speak to her granddaughter about "the truth" and 'demons' and 'toys' that she should get rid of, or the little girl would be bothered by demons. Thank God the Borg made Sophia & Caleb videos that convinced her she needed to get rid of those toys.... (sarcasm and irritation intended) All it took was one afternoon, "away from Mom.'"

    My niece & nephew had no idea these things existed, or took place. They have now decided that they shall no longer allow themselves to be treated as "ghosts' in the same room.

    Do not let your mom & dad make you feel bad by only talking to your grandchildren, put your energy into your children, help your children to be proud of their unconditional loving parents.

  • WingCommander

    So you've decided to open your life and the lives of your children, up to emotional and spiritual abuse? Good luck with that shit! Please, tell us how that works out for you?

  • stuckinarut2

    Welcome Derrick!

    Beautifully expressed post. Thanks for sharing.

    Your observations and comments are Spot On! I couldn't agree more with the things you have expressed.

    Just keep your dignity and self worth. Recognise that you and your children do NOT have to play the games or by the rules imposed by witnesses. THEY have the problem-not you.

    Much love and support to you and those close to you!

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