18-Year Old Daughter Moves in with Boyfriend and studying to become a witness

by RunAwayDaughter 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • RunAwayDaughter

    My 18-year-old-daughter, who has not finished high school, left South Carolina on January 31 with her 22-year old boyfriend to move in with his family in California. They are Jehovah Witness. There are 12 people living in a the house. My daughter has known him roughly eight months. Please read the former posts about this topic.

    She finally called me Sunday night to tell me she made an A in English (high school). I could tell she was upset. I told her I was proud of her and if she were here, I would give her a great big hug. She started crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she missed us and asked if she could visit during her brother's Spring Break. Her oldest brother's birthday is April 1, so we talked about her coming home for his birthday and staying a couple of weeks. She also said she was finishing up her high school work and would graduate early. I invited her to come with us to Britain to see her grandmother, her two cousins and aunt (one cousin had her first baby yesterday - March 18 - and Ciara has been so excited about Becky's pregnancy). I told her we had rented a house next door to Becky and her aunt rented a house in Wales so the entire family can honor her father by spreading some of his ashes in the Welsh mountains and on the cricket field where he played. (The spreading of the ashes is NOT a religious ceremony. Just a remembrance ) She said she would like that and would think about it. We discussed her coming home to visit March 25 and returning April 11. I sent her the information to her email address.

    On Monday morning, she sent "Is there any chance for us to fly out April 1st? I've made a commitment to Bryan & hs family on March 31st."

    I wrote back that April 1 is her brother's birthday and I'm going to be with him. I asked her to call me so we could look at other options together.

    Long story short, she called yesterday afternoon - much happier. I told her that she and Bryan said that his family is very "family oriented" and that they should understand her wanting to spend that Sunday with her brother and family. Also, her brother, who is learning disabled (complex II mitochondrial disease) He is excited about her coming home for his birthday. He is only three months older they her and they grew up like twins.

    I asked if the commitment was related to the JW church. She said yes. She said it was a special meeting that happens once a year and it was a really big deal. I asked if she attending JW meetings and she confirmed that she is studying to become a witness. (Finally, a grain of truth!) I stayed calm.

    I asked if Bryan was a witness. She said yes. I asked wasn't he shunned. She said yes, but he was working to get "reinstated." I asked wasn't it against JW for them to be living together and having sex? Couldn't they both be shunned for that. She said yeah, but didn't address it and I didn't push it. She said she was going to send a link so I could learn more about JW - a publication with daily "devotionals." I told her to send it that I was open to learning more.

    We discussed the dates of the trip to come home. I explained that since she is becoming a JW, this would probably be her last trip home, so it was important that she stay two-three weeks to finish up her driver's licenses, tie up loose ends, etc. to be prepared for a permanent move to California. Also, this would be the last birthday she celebrated with her brother and she could always celebrate the annual event. She didn't argue the point - I think she knows that she will have to give up her family. (I think she was crying Sunday because her boyfriend and she got into an argument, not because she misses us. If she missed us, she would want to stand up for her family.)

    I asked about the trip to Britain to celebrate the baby's birth, honor her father and celebrate their graduation. She said she was not going because she would rather walk the stage with Bryan's cousins. I said okay. She said that she would FaceTime us last night to talk with her brothers and grandmother, who was in the hospital Sunday night. And, to firm up the dates for the visit home. She never called. And, she never sent the link to the JW information.

    This morning we had to following text exchange:

    Daughter at 8:16 a.m. EST: jw.org

    Me: Thank you. They've got some great articles. Any specific one you would like me to read?

    Daughter: I'm not going to be able to come down until the summer.

    Me: Ok. No problem. Can you call me?

    Daughter: Not at the moment since I'm still at school. I just wanted to let you know.

    Me: Ok. I was hoping you would call last night. I talked with Evan and he was okay with me coming to get you on April 1st. Is that still adoption? We were looking forward to spending Spring Break with you. /even if it is only a few days.

    Daughter: I need to just focus on school right now. I'll come down once y'all come back from England.

    Me: OK. Will you call me after school?

    Daughter: If I'm able to.

    Me: ?

    Daughter: If I am able to call you I will

    Me: OK I love you

    Daughter: I love you too. Break's over so I have to go. I'll try to ttyl

    Me: K

    Four and half hours later I wrote to her: Just looked at jw.org. What I read looks good. Glad you are reading the Bible and learning. Love ya.

    I believe my next step should be to sit tight and wait for her to call or text me.

    She is getting sucked in to the cult. I'm in South Carolina and she is in Arleta, CA. Other than waiting for her to come to her senses, do you have any recommendations or guidance?

    Why wouldn't she want to see her new cousin and spread her father's ashes - something she wanted to do?

    How can she be studying to become a Witness when she is living in sin? Living with her "shunned" boyfriend and having sex? Why would the JW elders allow this?

    How long will it take her to finish the classes to become a Witness? What happens after she finishes the classes? I truly believe she is only becoming a JW to marry him.

    She does not have any of her identification (no passport, birth certificate, adoption papers, driver's permit or social security card). Can she get married the JW temple with her identification?

    Why would his mother and grandmother allow them to commit this sin?

    Do you have any insights to offer. Do you know anyone former members in Arleta, CA? Are there any intervention groups and if yes, do they work? (I'm not thinking of forcing her. If I had been in California when she called Sunday night sobbing, I believe she would've left. She is all alone. Are there former members that I could refer who to who would be willing to help her in a crunch? Something happened Sunday and will probably happen again.)

    Do you know any former members in South Carolina who could talk with me? Any support groups?

    Thank you for your support. Don't be surprised if my joins the group. Emotionally, she is where I was last week and I started posting.

    Thank you.

  • All or nothing
    All or nothing

    Where are you?

  • Brenda Cook
    Brenda Cook

    I'm the grandmother of the runaway. The mother is in Columbia, South Carolina and granddaughter is in Arleta, Ca.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Teens are almost grown but still just kids. They need so much help from their family just to process and interpret what they see in the new people they meet. But yet want so badly to be independent. Being 18 she's legally entitled to make her own decisions, I guess. It is awful when your kid thinks they are exercising free will, and all they are doing is letting strangers take over their life. Hopefully they are kind people who won't do her any physical harm.

    You sound to me like you're doing the right thing by just listening and being calm, asking questions, not jumping to any conclusions on the phone with her. It's really good that those people live so far away, because when she gets sick of them and comes home, they probably won't come after her.

    That special once a year "really big deal" maybe will cause her to compare real celebrations she's enjoyed, to what the JWs call a celebration! There's nothing celebratory about that boring meeting that's supposed to be so exciting. The whole JW pattern of life is excruciatingly boring. What 18 year old who has never been around a religion like that, will be able to put up with it. Being able to live right in it will maybe help her get done with it all a lot faster.

    Keep telling her you will be happy to have her come home anytime and for her to call you anytime, that you're there for her. She may be back a lot sooner that way. If you can afford it, try to sock an amount away big enough to buy her an emergency plane ticket whenever she wants to come home.

    I hope you all will come through this ordeal safe and soundā™„

  • millie210


    Just read all the above and wanted to say that I see how hard you are trying. I know this has to be so very difficult for you.

    Keep posting, we care.


  • Vanderhoven7

    Welcome to the forum Brenda. Glad there are two of you working together on this and that your daughter has your support.

  • All or nothing
    All or nothing

    My suggestion would be to start a new post asking if anyone in the Columbia sc area would be willing to help you, meet or face time. I'm sure there is some ex Jws up around there. Or just keep posting your questions here- a lot of us are willing to answer the questions you both havešŸ˜Š

  • RunAwayDaughter

    Thank you

  • Wild_Thing

    I am third generation JW. My mother married when she was 15. My sister married when she was 18. My other sister married when she was 17. They will make sure they are married. Probably this summer. I'm so sorry. Always keep the door to communication open. She'll need someone to turn to once she realizes the truth.

    Also, this exact same situation happened with a family where I grew up. They moved the girl in with them. Helped her finish high school, got her baptized, and married to their son before the end of the summer. The local JW busy-body sisters even got involved and helped her dye her white wedding dress in tea because "white is supposed to symbolize purity" and she was not because she wasn't a virgin anymore. It sounds so cultish as I type this out.

  • moreconfusedthanever

    You have been to JW org site and showed your interest. Now you can further research and when you can, share your research with her. Go to JW facts and read there and encourage her to do the same.

    When she shares this information with her new family they may very well send her back. Reading anything about the JWs that isn't written by them is a sure fire way of getting thrown out.

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