Last night was one of the toughest nights to date in my adult life.
My parents and grandmother had been repeatedly asking Mrs. Kwin about arrangements to get to the assembly this comming weekend. She isn't going and my family were unaware of her change in beliefs regarding the WTS.
So, instead of putting things off, not giving an answer, avoiding the situation, we stood up.
I'm not sure how long we were there for, an hour, maybe two but it seemed like forever. We didn't go there to preach, or prove anything or anyone wrong. We went to explain why we're taking a leave of absence from the JW faith to sort things out.
Well...not so good. What can I remember???
"Lies, Lies, Lies" "the UN is a tool of Satan and put it on their website" "Well, you can use your free will to stop serving Jehovah" "Where are you suggesting we go to? who else uses Jehovah's name?"
You all know the script.
I've never before seen my mother talk with so much hate in her voice and words.
When we were leaving my grandmother was just staring forward and crying.
It's hard to explain how I feel right now, but both Mrs. Kwin and myself know we made the right decision.
And that is why it is called a cult.
You break my heart and I am so sorry. You and your wife are so strong and brave. Having your family treat you this way has to be the most diffucult thing..I know it was for me. I am not as brave as you and I admire you both for it.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. Be strong and lean on each other (and us!)
If you and Mrs Kwin know of any local examples of JWs that would be considered to be "stumbling" others, use them to your advantage - say that this really bothers your conscience and that you cannot in good conscience preach from door to door and say that JWs are in a Spiritual Paradise?, or that you cannot invite people to meetings in good conscience, if you are not experiencing the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy where he identifies his disciples as "having love among yourselves".
For example: "How can I - in good conscience before Jehovah - go door to door and invite other families to worship with us, knowing that Brother Touchy Feelie has a problem keeping his hands off little children and the Elders won't do anything about it??"
Put your doubts about doctrine on the back burner and focus on the behaviour of JWs - individuals, congregations, book study groups - if they are anything like JWs here, there are cliques galore - in the congregations, in the circuits, you name it. There are JWs who will not work in service with certain other JWs. There are JWs who kiss the Circuit Overseer's ass by giving gifts of money, providing them with hospitality, etc. Use the bazillion requests for money - for new KHs, new assembly halls, new circuit overseer's vehicle, the World Wide Work fund, the maintenance of the KH - as a stumbling block to upset your Bible Trained Conscience?.
If there is one thing I've learned over the last year - when you throw down the gauntlet of your Conscience? like this and ask them what they think Jehovah feels about whatever activity the local JWs are doing that you choose to highlight as bothering your Conscience?, the JWs back off really fast. They have been trained well by their Masters to be in awe of the Conscience? and not impose their Conscience? on another's Conscience?.
It's like flashing Kryptonite at Superman. Honest.
Sorry man...I know that empty feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you realize the truth is not the truth and trying to convince a faithful dub is near impossible.
This may sound funny but if your not already thinking this remember they truly probably hurt as much as you and think your eternal welfare is at stake. The situation sucks all around for all parties.
Sorry, kwin, I went through that the last time I was inactive. That is why this time I just refuse to discuss it. But then you are probably closer emotionally to your family than I am now.
Be glad you have each other. I treasure that my husband went with me in my escape from the WTS. Not everyone here has had that experience.
((((Kwin & Mrs. Kwin)))
I'm so sorry to hear they were so closed to hearing your words. What heartache. I'm thankful that you have each other for support right now, because I can't imagine handling that kind of response by myself.
"I've never before seen my mother talk with so much hate in her voice and words."
I'm sorry you're going through this. I experienced the same thing with my mother.
the ripple effect is all around us. Scully is exactly right. and really the whacky doctrines are only secondary when the practice or investigation of such break up the love between people. Husbands wives, parents, kids, brothers, sisters, dear friends. You know it all too well even n your own home.
My heart aches for your family - they are really the trapped and desperate ones. I cried for months (still do) when our household was first breaking up (5 yrs ago). That behaviour is NOT natural - hate is not natural, it is cultivated. and it is not you personally they are reacting to, it is only how they have been programmed to act.
Sounds crazy I know, but this is the only thing left that I can use to excuse behaviour like this so that I can still feel hope that love will conquer all.
stay in touch....
I'm sorry for your trouble and sadness, Kwin. The turmoil. My wife and I got similar reactions from simply expressing doubts about the birthday issue. Despite a relatively calm discussion, my sister-in-law broke down in tears because she thought we were "losing the truth".
As has been stated, your relatives believe you are at the same time thumbing your nose at the only true God, and handing over your free pass to paradise. From their perspective, you're nuts. Something must be wrong. You're deluded. You've snapped. Etc.
If you don't find yourselves out-and-out disfellowshipped, they will likely continue to associate with you. Despite this first explosive meeting, do you think you can still fade without getting DF/DA? Or do you intend to DA anyway?
All the best to you and your wife. Enjoy life, it is truly wonderful.