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.
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
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.