Were You Close To Your Non JW Family?

by minimus 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • OnTheWayOut

    I stayed tight with my never-a-JW father, and had enough contact with all of my non-JW family that they embraced me back into the fold fully when I said I was leaving the cult. They love doing Christmas and including me.

    Only my step-grandmother (all grandparents deceased) didn't understand my leaving JW's as she felt that any Christianity was good. She claims a denomination, but never ever goes to church. But I am also in regular contact with her. Her deceased husband, my grandfather, hated organized religion and would have understood.

  • Diogenesister
    Flipper Oh, and by the way, I do research on Ancestry.com and I've gone back 500 years on both sides of my family , if you get a chance to do it Minimus, I highly recommend it. Fascinating experience.Peace out, great thread by the way.Flipper

    Flipper I'd be interested to know what you discovered, as I was thinking of trying. I did a little digging for my husband which was made easier by the fact he has a large family and some of his distant cousins had already done some of the work. His mother had a family story that a "sea captain had BOUGHT his wife for coconuts". Turns out to have some truth to it - only the sea captain had married the Polynesian gal in order to obtain the food stocks for his crew (unsure if it was coconuts!).

    Fortunately my JW parents didn't avoid their non-JW parents and I got to know them well. In fact, I give major credit to the man I am today to both sets of grandparents and give credit to my JW mom - who never shunned me when I finally left the cult

    I wondered if converts are less likely to SHUN children than born-ins? I'm sure people can give examples of both doing either, but the longer your exposed to shunning the more normalized it would become in your mind, I think.

  • caves

    Well this may bring me to my knees today but I want to share.

    My biological father died when I was 22. he was not 'in' and never was."none of his family." I got to know him well before he passed. His greatest regret was me being taken from him and thinking I didnt love him or want him. He had his problems. And of course I was told he was evil.

    Quite the contrary. He was the nicest man I have ever met. Last dime out of his pocket, shirt off his back kind of man.

    When I got the call he was in the hospital they said he either couldn't speak or was refusing to speak. I rushed to the hospital 9 hrs away. He was hooked up on many machines. I took a deep breath and walked in, he started to cry and held out his hand. I fought back the tears. He tried to speak for the first time in the intensive care unit.

    I could feel the regret coming from him. I did not allow him to hold on to it. I squeezed his hand and let him know I harbored no ill anything towards him and he didnt need to explain if he didnt want to. He got better for a few days and was put in a room.

    I asked him if he wanted anything....He said 'a hamburger', I knew he wasnt supposed to have it but he had hours or maybe a couple of days left. I got him that damn hamburger! Snuck it in and had one last meal with a father that was demonized by the jwcult. We smiled and laughed and ate. My tall adult self crawled into the hospital bed with him and slept by my fathers side.

    He became my only rock....breifly in my very early 20s.. I might have had a chance to assimilate into society better had he lived. Instead when he died I became numb for many years.

    As the years went by I realized that his sister my aunt loved me dearly. For the life of me I cannot find her. I keep trying to no avail.

    I feel if I did it would be a game changer for me possibly. Im still looking.

    That was very intense for me. Time for a breath. Thanks for reading.

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    @Caves, Thank you for your heart felt sharing. So sorry for your dad's so brief time with you.

    By chance, have you done your DNA test yet? It is not that expensive to get started. You will find lots of people who are related to you.

    Have you put your aunt's maiden name into your search bar? Do you know where she used to go to school, she could be on an alumni list on FB. Do you know where she grew up? She again could be on a home town group on FB.

  • millie210

    Dear Caves, that was so moving to read. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • caves

    @LoisLane, I have tried everything short of hiring a detective. FB, Schools, old addresses and more. I found a new number today and called it. It was disconnected. So the tears fell hard.

    I found myself repeating several times while in the thick of it saying "I want my daddy", "I want my daddy".

    How awfully embarrassing to realize, be totally aware and cognizant as Im crying repeating that , that I am a 42 year old man. I did actually remember something from my childhood during that 'meltdown'. I was a daddy's boy. A non jw daddys boy until I was taken by my very selfish jw (great aunt) that could not have children.

    [She (The jw great aunt) raised me from 41/2 until 12. ( at 12 almost 13 I ran away from the sexual,physical,and physiological abuse.) But was indoctrinated in the jw cult. Went back to the jws and was married at 16 ,had a son who I would go on to lose in court. Then my ex wife disappeared with my son mere months before my dad died. The heartbreak of that journey, to find a son that hates me is simply mind blowing. My son was my whole world 'when little'. Then to become my obsession for years. Didn't find my son until he was 14 after searching everyday tirelessly while trying to just live. Gone from me at age 6.]

    Later after my dad passed and I found out via court records that she (The jw great aunt) did not have legal adoption of me then. She lied and told my father that she did. It destroyed him. He thought he could not fight the court legally all those years. As it turned out all he had to do was pick me up.

    I confronted my great aunt (the jw who couldn't have kids and basically stole me) with the court documents. She cried, confessed that she wished death upon my biomom (another story) and secluded me from my father. But then attacked me saying I was under satans influence. ?????WOW! This went on for years until I finally stood up to her verbally. I will never want to speak with her again. Out of honoring myself if nothing else.

    Im not sure why Im opening up like this here today. Perhaps its because the layers of trauma have become more than I can bare this year. I can hide from them no more. I want my story to mean something. I want it to help people. And I have a lot to say. This is still just a tiny fraction of my story. But something is brewing and I cant hold back the Dam of years that have snuck up on me.

    This site has done the trick. In the sense that I am really woke up in regards the jwcult. The tricks they play and the similar heartbreaking vein woven in each story I see.

    I am looking at the world with very sad, lonely, and scared eyes as I now navigate to the 'whats next?' part.

    I have not a clue. But I do know that Im out of the jw haze. So now that the chips are really down for me I no longer lean towards a jw god that does not exist. That leaves me feeling very vulnerable. Like never before.

    Ironically I feel more connected to myself. I feel. All the emotions cognitive dissonance blocked me from feeling. They are raw and painful but I feel them. For the first time.


  • dogisgod

    My JW mother kept us very isolated. I only kind of knew 2 cousins. All of my fathers family and the majority of my mother's family are strangers. Pretty screwed up thing to do.

  • Dagney

    What a story Caves. Thank you for sharing. What a journey.

    We had very very little contact with nonJW relatives. My parents were much older when they had me so all the uncles and aunts are gone, and minimal contact with a few cousins.

    My mother always preached to her sister which I found out later, really annoyed the sister. How could it not! But her sister ended up being very weird and mean, the polar opposite of my uber JW mom. So it goes. Family is complicated, JW or not.

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