Rec'd a letter from my Dad - need some advice...

by Fadeaway3pointer 60 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    They are thoroughly indoctrinated and the only way they can go against their natural instincts is to not see you. Your father has gone the cowardly route by sending you a letter because he doesn't have the heart to do it in person. I'm sure he and your Mother were cringing as they dropped it into the mail. I suspect that if you respond, anything you say will fall on deaf ears and may make him feel justified in his actions. I'm guessing that if you remain silent, they will not only be eaten up with curiosity and guilt but their natural affection will eventually override whatever has triggered this sudden hard line they've taken.

    As hard as it is to do, you can give them what they've asked for and if you do, I wouldn't speak of this with anyone you know who may report to your parents what you've said or what your reaction to all this is. Let it be as if you've disappeared off the face of the silence.


    You could pretend that you didn't receive their letter and call them or visit them as if nothing has happened. Let them tell you to your face that they want to cut ties with you. Don't defend yourself or discuss the matter. Simply have a brief calm response prepared and make your exit.

    You: Just so I don't want to hear from me unless there's a family emergency such as when one of you eventually becomes seriously ill or is hospitalized.

    Them: Well yes...

    You: It hurts me that it's come to this but I have no choice but to honor your wishes. (say goodbye give them a hug and leave immediately)

  • Fadeaway3pointer

    Good advice from all. I like the total silence stance.

  • dubstepped
    What is tough is that we have been close for past 15 years. I call my Mom weekly and speak with my Dad a couple times per month. Visit them at least once per month. Took them out to dinner in October and then brought food over and had dinner with them early December.

    I have to ask. Everything you said above is what you did for them. I noticed this because this situation just happened in a group I run and we talked about these things. Do they call you regularly? Do they visit you? Do they take you out to dinner or bring food over? Or is this purely a one way street?

    I ask because the reality is that many ex-JWs have very narcissistic parents that they fawn over and are codependent with, doing anything they can for them and calling it love when really it's servitude in the hopes of one day being good enough for their parents' love, much like the way people serve Jehovah hoping to one day be good enough. People sometimes say they love their parents when in reality they seek love, they don't have it.

    If nothing else, your parents just showed how shallow their love really was, and you had to hide your true selves all of this time. So although you had good times with them, there were always conditions to it all, they've now added another.

    I'm sorry this happened. It's typical. JWs are typically incapable of real love. It's about control. Guess who gets to decide what "necessary family business" is? They do, not you. I've spoken to people that were homeless and that didn't qualify. They want you to fail. They want you to hurt. They want that to make you come back because once again, it's about control, not love. Control is the opposite of love.

    If you get an opportunity at some point to show them what "unconditional love" is, my assertion (from my own experience) is that they won't see it and won't care so you would only be doing it for yourself while in essence not effectively loving yourself, allowing yourself to be their doormat once again. That's not loving to them, as they are enabled to act poorly with no consequences, and you hurt yourself once again not being authentic and spending life looking more codependent and obsessed with their feelings than caring about your own.

    From what I see these relationships get truly twisted, including the feelings around them. That's my view, yours may differ.

    In the end what they did was awful and cold and typical of Jehovah's Witnesses, destroying another family. That's what they do, and honestly for many the family was effectively destroyed the moment that virus came into their lives because something was always in between their relationship. I'm so sorry. So much unnecessary pain and suffering because a cult stole the minds and hearts of people and their base humanity has been stripped. Hugs to you and yours.

  • Fadeaway3pointer

    Interesting take. It is one way mostly. But they were like that when we were “in” to some degree.

    And you are spot on regarding who decides “family business”.

    I have always wanted my Father’s approval and love - because he never showed it. As you can tell by his letter, he is not prone to emotion, yet he is very sensitive and quietly assumes the martyr/victim role. He gave all his extra time to the religion he chose. So you may be right with regards to my motives.

    What I fear is that they when they die, I wont be in their lives - even to a limited and one sided degree - and that saddens me.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Are they 'born in' themselves, or did they choose the cult of their own free will?

  • Xanthippe

    Why don't you carry on phoning them once a week and assume that's what they meant by limited family business? If it isn't what they meant they'll have to tell you. As you want to keep contact with them why not do that? You don't have to talk about religion, you don't anyway I'm sure.

    My siblings have shunned me for over thirty years, but if I want to contact them if I hear of a serious illness or a death I contact them. I'm not the one shunning, I'm not being obedient to a stupid cult. As your dad asks you not to phone immediately and talk about religion, fine, but why give up your weekly phone call? You're over fifty hears old, who you phone is your choice. Good luck, I know how hard this is believe me.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    Just because they shun dont have to shun them just carry business as usual.

    If the subject of you returning to jehovah does come up....just reply that IF you decide will be on Your terms..and in your own good time...and any further shunning from then will only serve to drive you further away.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Your parents are obeying the dictates of the Faithful and Wise Servant. Association with you will violate Jehovah's instruction and therefore compromise their chances of surviving Armageddon.

    They will be permitted to stop shunning you only when you crawl back to Jehovah. Any chance for you to be accepted by your parents before that happens is nil unless, of course, they see what they don't want to see...that their religion is a sham.

    My advice is to stand strong and honor their decision to shun you. Your strong stand to avoid contact with them as requested may help them to eventually see the real problem. There is never a reason to beg for acceptance or love or pity. Commit theirs and your situation to God and be strong until they are ready to come to you.

  • dozy

    Sorry that you received that letter. Albeit you didn't celebrate Christmas in 2019 , it does seem to be a time of year which tends to focus the minds of JWs regarding "bad association" as it is something very tangible that they can use to judge faded family.

    Some excellent suggested replies from the posters but we are dealing with lifetime indoctrinated cult members here , so it is impossible to draft any kind of effective response. Best wishes..

  • pale.emperor

    What did Paul say about juding those outside?

    What did Jesus say about juding at all?

    Sorry to read that, mate. It sucks.

    I decided last year to always be nice and friendly to JW family even though they treat me like shit. Get on with living a good and decent life and always be there if/when those people leave themselves. I dont talk about religion at all to people who do (very rarely) talk to me. And I even sent non-xmas presents to my neices and nephew in December. One sister returned them to me, the other accepted them and thanked me.

    That's all you can do in this situation, take the high ground and be the kind one. I'd either ignore it or reply with a lovely loving letter signing off with "I love you no matter what religion you are".

Share this