Good job, Merry. Shorter is better, but I see little that you can cut. Yes, perhaps removing the Malawi reference will help, as you have plenty of ammunition as it stands. The disfellowshipping policy alone, I figure, is enough to justify keeping your daughter out of harm's way.
letter from mom/letter to mom
Merry...welcome! and thanks so much for sharing that. I had received a long time ago when my daughter was 4 a letter similar to that from my mother, she even asked if she could take over as my daughter's spiritual guide and start studying with her....I told it wouldn't be necessary and that I was still taking care of that in my own way. We had exchanged several letters, but to no avail...she will never understand and just feels that I'm lost...my daughter turns 14 now, and I have a son 15 mos old....she doesn't keep in contact anymore, even after I've sent pictures.
You are very brave for going at this on your own, with all of your family still in that faith...good luck.....it's very strengthening to hear experiences like yours.
merry; very good letter. from your mom's letter her only disire it to drag your baby to the hall. she could care less about you , unless you go and or let your child go. remember she gets brownie points for bringing in some one else. and a df'ed one's child will make her look like a saint. how cold to tell you, you can write her , to learn how the brain washing of xox is going , and why xox is learning to hate you. that takes a lot of balls!!!!!!! imo you might as well turn over guardianship to her. I would rephrase the part about letting xox go to the hall . to say you would not allow it , till she reaches 18 yrs. and at that point she is free to do as she wishes, till then it's your job to be protect your child by law. etc this is not a time to play footsie with your mom . she's laying it on the line with you . i would do the same in return. just myu thoughts you know what's best for your family... john
IT IS CLEAR THAT YOU ARE DOING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOTHER AND AT THE SAME TIME PROTECT YOUR DAUGHTER AND AFFIRM YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS A MOTHER.
MY ONLY COMMENT IS, BE READY TO ACCEPT A VERY NEGATIVE RESPONSE FROM YOUR MOTHER OR NONE AT ALL.
REALIZE THAT SHE IS SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE AND IN ADDITION A PUBLISHING CO. THAT WILL NOT ONLY SUPPORT HER PRESENT STANCE BUT ENCOURAGE HER AND THREATEN HER IF SHE ACCEPTS YOUR POSITION AND REQUIREMENTS.
I WONDER SOMETIMES, IF A RATIONAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INSANITY OF THE JW RELIGION IS THE BEST THING TO DO, OR IS A SIMPLE "NO I WILL NOT" A BETTER RESPONSE.
Merry, Welcome to JWD. Your letter is great . One of the best things is that it is in written form so Mom will be able to re-read it anytime. Or you can refer to it anytime she starts in on you....again and again and again. " Mom did you forget what I wrote in my letter?" "Mom please re-read my letter."
Homeschooling is so popular now that you'll find a support group. They are always helpful for sharing books (expensive) and field trips (sometimes you get better rates with groups.)
Did you send it?
Thanks for the ongoing suggestions and comments, all so insightful and helpful!!! You people are wonderful. So many things to consider... Yes, I will keep a copy of the letter. I just finished editing it a bit to make it more concise and to invite a response. It's now in an envelope and will be sent off later today (the 8th). In a way I feel a weight has been lifted but I also feel anxiety over how she may respond. I'll keep you posted.
My stomach is in knots and I'm starting to get angry all over again at what an absolute nightmare this organization has put (and continues to put) so many through. My "live and live" attitude is giving way to the desire to march around those 'tower walls, blowing my trumpet, until the whole thing comes tumbling down. Barring that, I hope I can reach a place in my own experience where I can at least be of help to others, the way so many of you are!!! Keep up the good work and don't forget to count your time
I have to think I survived in spite of the best efforts of my parents.
Parenting is the unqualified attempting to do the impossible for the ungrateful.
I wish I had been a better parent to my sons. I didn't do my best. I did what I thought was my best. I made decisions based my my own ignorance and delusions. I was raised by Witness parents who were raised by Witness parents who were ignorant German immigrants. My father had an 8th grade education. My mother thought he was the smartest person she had ever met. They believed in beating children and some malevolent deity was watching in approval.
My biggest error was believing I had turned out alright. That thought condoned my parents behaviors.
If I had a magic wand, I would give it to each of my sons and I would change their childhood to match that which they wished they had but missed because of me. I would be slow to speak and slower to act. I would be all accepting and not at all expecting.
There would be a huge conflict between what my parents wanted me to be and that which I could be, or wanted to be. If I could give my parents the magic wand, I would wish them to be comfortable while I am being comfortable.
The tough thing about acceptance is it doesn't involve change. I can't accept Witness people (parents) until I have accepted myself. It's tough to respect the unrespectable and it's hard to honor the dishonorable but it can be done with training and will.
As Witnesses we were trained to use subterfuge and hide our agendas and walk behind a facade and move and manipulate all in the name of love and promoting "the truth". Witnesses try different approaches to see if they can find one that works, shame, guilt, friendship, and exploiting relationships. Probably some just are trying to establish an honest relationship the only way they know how and based on our experiences with them we can't trust them and we block their efforts.
The profile of the average Witness is becoming that of a lying manipulating psychopathic pedophile. Unfortunately, that is accurate for more than a few. Also unfortunately, the many accept and embrace the defective few. This paints them all with the same wide brush because they have lost (or willfully given up) the ability to select and avoid the defectives and they become identified with the worst of the lot they choose to associate with.
So they have become discredited due to their tactics and their associations but in their own eyes they are still the select righteous. They don't know they are incredible.
I still say treat them like they are mentally retarded and mentally ill and we will not be far from the mark.
I'm glad you got your letter off to you your Mom. Loyalities to a religious organization can fragment even the most loving family. It happens to Mormons too. You have to be strong for your daughter though. She does not need to be exposed to the mind control of the WTS. I feel sorry for those in the organization, that have the cocky attitude that a they are 100% right and everyone else is wrong. As the bible says pride is before a crash. False pride is particularly hard knock in the head when it is finally realized. I think of the time while I was in the JW's for 29 years and viewing those who I considered not as strong as me as hanging the fence. I was so throughly brain washed and incapable of reasoning on my own. I am thankful that me and my sons escaped it finally, but it is tough isn't it. I know your daughter will have so much better a live than your parents were able to provide for you. Such a brillant future awaits her hopefully.
I know your heart aches though for your Mom, her feeling of loss when it comes to how you feel about the WTS not being the source of truth. Faith is blind isn't it, whether it be in God, or religions, or people, if it restricts free though and reasoning? You'll be on pins and needles till you get a response from your Mom, but you might be wise to not expect one. The Elders will likely tell her to drop all contact with you including her granddaughter for fear she will listen to you. Will she be able to do that?
Merry - I think you did a great job and I love the healthy boundaries you are setting. Lets see how your mom likes being disfellowshipped right back! I also think that she will probably now move you from "DF" catagory to "apostate" catagory. At the very least she will respond by attacking your mature and open minded philosophies.
Yipee for you protecting your daughter from that sick cult!!!
Good luck and keep us posted!