by Hendrixgrip 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Hendrixgrip

    I should preface my comments by pointing out that I have no aversion to being disfellowshipped. I fully expect that to happen. All of my immediate family and a great deal of my extended family have moved on with me and we all enjoy a full and satisfying life. That means what I'm about to say won't apply to everyone that reads this and not everyone will benefit from it.

    My standard response in the past when someone texted me and said "The memorial is this week, we'd love to see you." or "We wish you were at the convention with us" has been, "Thank you for your concern, if you'd ever like to understand why I won't be there, please feel free to give me a call." Of course no one has called.

    Last week, the one person remaining in the cult that I care about texted me twice. We are still very close and when she texted me she was staying in my home to attend the convention. The first text said "We miss you at the convention." I replied with something very similar to what I posted above. The second text, which I'm paraphrasing said "I see your son reads a lot and has religious books, would you mind if I talk to him about the bible?" Of course this one was different and I had a hard time controlling my temper. I took a few days to cool off, talked with my kids about it, called her back and said basically, "Feel free, but don't expect my kids to back off asking you difficult questions about your choices. I've never gone down that path with you, but if you engage my children, I won't insist that they're meek." Then I followed up by telling her that her daughter had talked to me about Jeptha's daughter over the course of the week, would she mind if I read Judges chapter 11 to her daughter, from her bible, in her presence. The conversation got very heated at that point and we politely got off the phone with each other.

    That's when it hit me, they're bullies. By her saying "We wish you were here," she's sharing her beliefs and value system. What would have happened if I had replied back, "I wish you weren't." Or better yet, what if I just texted that to her without it being a reply. She gets to share her values, but when I share mine back, I'm being disrespectful. I feel just as strongly about my beliefs and values as she does. Why should this be a one way street. The answer to my own question is, they have always had the ability to control the dialogue because they have the threat of disfellowshipping. This person DOES NOT want me to get disfellowshipped. It would put her in a very bad place. I've been respectful of her choice for years, and she's been respectful of mine. I'm sure she doesn't view what she said as disrespectful, just that she loves me. This is the first time I've had clarity that my beliefs are exactly the same. I love her. She's in a dangerous place. I'm willing to not talk about it, or I'm willing to talk about it. The only thing that's off the table is being talked TO about it. She undoubtedly doesn't believe that's what she did, but I believe I can help her see that, even if she won't admit it to me.

    I would appreciate any additional clarity that any of you can add to help me shape my thoughts.

  • jp1692
    HG: She gets to share her values, but when I share mine back, I'm being disrespectful. I feel just as strongly about my beliefs and values as she does. Why should this be a one way street?

    Because that’s how it is with cults. It’s all about control. Honestly, the specific beliefs don’t really matter as evidenced by that fact that the cult leaders can change them on a whim.

    Since I’ve left the religion, I’ve been able to create healthy relationships with people who love me for WHO I AM, not WHAT (I pretended) TO BELIEVE.

  • tiki

    My only thought is that in communication with this person you need to stipulate no biblical or religious discussion/ interaction. If you truly are friends who care for each other there are plenty other topics to talk about and alternate ways to enjoy each others company. If that isn't possible then you need to let go of the relationship and recognize its toxicity.

  • dubstepped

    Yes, narcissists are often bullies. JWs are often narcissistic if not full blown narcissists. They can be aggressive, but often very passive aggressive. They can't see you or your feelings and the second they are brought up often the JW shuts down. These are typically one way relationships. My guess is that with an open mind you may see other ways that your relationship with this person is very one sided.

    Boundaries are the key. We teach people how to treat us. Give a line not to cross and consequences for doing so and you'll see how much respect a person has for you.

  • carla

    jw's don't want to have any sort of discussion, they only want to preach at you so they can then wipe the dust from their feet and feel superior. They did their job and you are your way to being exterminated by their god.

    "...but when I share mine back, I'm being disrespectful."- this is exactly how my jw acted whenever we attempted to discuss anything Bible related. If I disagreed with him then I was 'persecuting' him, if he disagreed with me and I suggested the same he dismissed me and would try to change the subject at hand. If I attempted to bring him back to the subject then the fireworks would start.

    jw's are asses when trying to have a discussion. Excuse the language but that is the only thing that fits.

  • Hendrixgrip

    jp1692, thank you. My wife's answer every time I ask "how can they not see this?" is, IT'S A CULT. It's gotten to be a joke. I completely agree about replacing the relationships. I've been very fortunate in this regard, and it makes me much less vulnerable to the one bullet they have in the gun.

    tiki, thank you. We've been on the path you suggest with not a hint of religious talk for 5 or so years. I'm sure she wouldn't characterize what she did as religious conversation because she didn't say 1914, or pagan or any other witness trigger words. My family has made a conscious decision to have them shut us out of their lives rather than us shut them out of ours. We are deliberately not DA'ing in order to cause as much cognitive dissonance as possible. I've had 11 people close to me follow me out or go out with me and it always began with conflict. I have to remind myself I've waited patiently for her to open the dialogue and I'm getting exactly what I want. It's just been a while and I forgot how irritating it is.

    In general I wanted to memorialize my thoughts on the bullying aspect. Going forward, I think I'm going to reply to these texts with "I understand you are sharing your values with me and inviting me to the convention/memorial/the meetings because you love me. I love you too and I'd like to share my values with you. I wish you weren't going. If you would ever like to talk about it, I'd love to buy you a cup of coffee." Needs some work to get across a point and be brief, but I'll get there.

  • Anna Marina
    Anna Marina

    In my experience, they don't have any bullets in their gun. They are nothing other than paper tigers and its wet paper tigers at that.

    You have to speak out the minute you discern a deal-breaking falsehood. I did and just got told I was loved. Of course they didn't mean it. They just want to string you along.

    If in truth, if you have family members who want you to stick with something so sick and silly, its like having family members who want you to remain on the Titanic while its sinking. Personally I'd rather get in the life-boat and push off.

    In pushing off, you know what the others are like - some will tut and pull faces like they are sucking lemons, but other work it out and realise you are right. Which ones exactly? The ones that have common sense.

    But if you don't have the courage of your commitment to walk, you stay in the trap. Then you can feel bullied because you don't have freedom of speech. Say it how it is, be polite and kind but tell them straight.

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    A simple statement which I'm prepared to use if my still-in friends ever confront me when they visit:

    "I'm very willing for us to discuss the various scriptures which I feel are not presented as current truth by the "slave." J.W.'s are averse to discussing scriptures which another JW sees in a totally different light.

    Simple example:

    Brother/sister, Revelation 7:14 speaks about a "great tribulation." Do you think it's accurate to say that it refers to the great tribulation at Matthew 24:21, or would you reason that the angel is referring to the great tribulation which he'd mentioned only a few minutes earlier in his conversation with John, at Revelation 2:22? How can something which Jesus said would never occur again, have a greater fulfilment?

    Rabbit-in-the-headlights moment, followed by incoherent ramblings from the cult's literature.

    I wish you well as you try to help your friend see what the org is really all about.

  • Finkelstein

    Yes brow beating and being disrespectful to those who left the religion is an unfortunate common occurrence, usually happens by other members seeking to reconfirm or show their steadfast devotion to Jehovah, the owner of the WTS/JWorg.

    ......and not surprisingly it can come from people who are not as they say the most clean and wholesome type.

    I've experienced that myself and I'm sure many others here as well.

  • Anna Marina
    Anna Marina

    Hi Finkelstein - yes and they'd march Jesus right out of the Kingdom Hall. Wouldn't give him any privileges or allow him on the platform and no answering up unless he was consesus ad idem with the paragraph in the Watchtower.

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