A rock and a hard place
I have been in this forum for 2 years now. I have slowed down in posting but only due to being very busy.
When I got here, I was looking for evidence that the child sex abuse scandal was the result of a few bad elders; when I found that it was not, but was systemwide, my brain snapped. I had emotionally left the hall in 1997, but just kept trying to reinvent myself and my faith.
I was determined to strip my faith down to the essentials, and build it back up so that when I went to the hall, pursued privileges and so on I was rock solid. I attempted this three times; each time it made less sense. When I read the book of Acts, I was shocked to see that the real history of the early days was not the logical, organized expression of the slave concept that I had believed all my life. It was a bolt of lightning one Sunday when I read the account about the question of circumcision, culminating in Acts 5:29; it was a concession to the jewish believers, and it was about a dietary restriction!
That the elders were not a hiding place from the wind, this I learned in spades in the mid 90's. After being exposed to lying, scheming elders and circuit overseers, I wanted nothing to do with them but felt I could work around them, or better yet, (hehe) work throught the system to change it.
Like I said, this is where I was when the Dateline program hit.
And that ended it for me. Info about the UN scandal iced it; I was really shocked to see how much they lied and manipulated the R & F to keep them from reading, thinking and analyzing anything.
I am free mentally, that's for sure.
But the reality of my family situation is hitting harder. Wife still attends; she knows most of what I feel but it seems to have hardened her resolve to "stay faithful". This in spite of the negligence of elders in our hall (all halls, really), the stupid policy about large group gatherings; she knows that the abuse scandal is real too. And a million other inconsistencies and outright lies.
I am getting used to not being on the same page about this kind of thing as a family but I am unsure about the future. My teen age son is a real critical thinker but he has strong social ties that will explode if he stops attending or talks about his questions. I think he worries about me and I don't want to ruin his social life at this phase of his life; it would hurt him very much.
And I am tiring of the hammering on non-existent apostates and the fear mongering about the media. It is all such a load of horse crap.
Most days I am OK with all of this; lately it has really got me down.
Take one day at a time.
You are a good parent..
The fact that your wife knows the truth about the jws and refuses to act on it well some feel to comfortable being told how to think and would rather ignore what they know to be true. As for your son give him time and he will do what he feel's is right. The fact that he knows that you no longer believe, he knows if he has doubts he can come to you. I takes a strong person to leave a cult and you have done it and seen the real truth as far as your family leaving ? Never give up hope , i have been waiting for 28 years for my husband to leave and i maybe finally making a dent so don't give up hope . You cannot know what the future holds like Stef says take it one day at a time.
Thanks for the comments steph and kls.
My son wrote me a letter telling me he loved me but would resist me if I tried to "take him out of the truth". It was not a confrontative letter. He also stated that he thought I was intelligent and well read, as sort of an aside to my backing away from the "truth", so maybe he will let that sink in a bit. He is socially committed though, as I said.
It is hard. I think believers are benefited by association; that is hardly the attitude among the rank and file, however; it is "whole hearted" or nothing, and of course no room for informed discussion and affirmation. Being in the social group, if it is not a vicious one can be a real good thing especially for a teenager. It is just that the price is so very high intellectually to belong there; it takes a very precarious balancing act. I know that I am not being honest, but if I am honest I will be punished most severely.
wow...I really sympathize with your situation.
Me and NOdenail are on the same page about truth(tm).......we are both fading.
But we both have children from other marriages.
My sons don't really know about my life. I live on the other side of the continent and only get to see them once a year. I was a very good JW mom...so I can't just say: "I am not going to the meetings anymore........"
I think we have to do it in baby steps....
My rose colored glasses cracked too when I saw that "Dateline" show 2 years ago about the child pedophile problem in the WTBS.
The fact is, I had shelved a lot of things that were "spiritually abusive" to me along the years.
When new hubby and I made our move here 2 years ago we had the worst welcoming visit ever from 2 elders...(I think I have a thread about it)...I shared it with my sons........they were totally shocked at how I was treated. They have never seen that kind of treatment before...
So I am kinda in your shoes with my kids...(even though I don't live near them) ...I know it is rough...
You've probably already seen this, but I found it very helpful when I decided to try to get my family out of the Borg:
Are you still attending? You're not DA/DF or anything? It sounds like you could do what this guy describes. He basically had an open family study, where he allowed his family to explore the bowels of the organization, ostensibly to "prepare" them for when someone in field service would ask about it. But in digging up the answers and discussing them, they came to see the Watchtower for what it really is.
Hope it helps,
PO I too resisted my dad, with the same attitude as your son.
It was my mother who "suggested" I take a close hard look at WTBTS. Keep working on your wife, and if she can come to see the light, your son will follow.
xjw_b12 "Millions Now Living Will Never
Pistoff Many here were the second to leave after a spouse learning the truth about the "truth". Hopefully your son is planning to attend college when he finishes school. Make sure he goes away to school and that experience will certainly open his eyes. Just hang in there, you know everyone here relates and we are always a good sounding board.. PC
I understand your situation - mine is very similar. My wife is still in although I never attend the regular meetings in the KH.
However, I always respect her views and am not pushy with her. I attended the memorial this year and the convention and circuit assemblies. This is because I believe she deserves my support on these occasions. I make comments on what I/we beleived as Witnesses but I am never overly critical.
Hope things work out with you.
I found that in the end no one takes anyone "out of the truth." If their heart is loving towards people, eventually the crap gets too high to pat down any more. I grew up in an abusive household. We endured for awhile mostly because we were kids and had no where and no one to go to. But we planned our education so we could be independent at 18. Adults need to learn how to be independent too. Is it better to have bad parents or no parents, bad friends or no friends, to be with people who care nothing for you or others or to be alone?
As we learn and gain courage, we leave of our own accord.