I did what I was asked. All these weeks, I did all my mother asked when it came to dealing with the matters at hand for her. I didn't say no, not once. I'm nothing, if not loyal.
So over the weekend, when mother called for us to please come and deal with my relatives coming to the house to pick up boxes of my grandmother's belongings. I did so without hesitation, so she would not have to deal with them. Least I could do for her.
Even though I knew it meant that I would likely somehow be either ignored or preached at. I was prepared to pull myself up by the bootstraps after either event and carry onward.
It ended up being the latter; I got a long, indepth lecture on returning to the organization from a relative (authority figure) I was particularly close to as a child.
This person gave me the whole routine...said that I had suffered the discipline for my actions, that I shouldn't feel shame now and should come back. I had enough. I told this person that I felt no shame because my ex was dictating my actions, what he expected of me and how quickly he expected me to do it if I was going to be 'allowed' to get out of the marriage (threat of violence clearly implied by him and enhanced by his habit of throwing things, holding me against the wall so I couldn't leave, sexual coercion and other abuse methods of his choice) But I left that part out.
This person looked shocked and said "he will pay for what he's done but don't let him rob you of everlasting life." They took the opportunity of me being vulnerable in grief over my beloved Grandmother to press the following guilt buttons:
1: (insert name of younger relatives here) "Really miss you and want you to come back so that you can be part of our lives again."
When I told her that I can be a part of their lives anytime they wish, they just have to choose it she even acknowleged that she doesn't believe I'm bad but that to be part of the family again I need to 'come back to the flock.' Then she went for guilt button #2:
"Your sweet husband who is so good to you now deserves to live forever and if you come back he'll come into the Truth"
As if he has no mind of his own and is a little lemming, ready to jump soon as I do! He has read the literature, and he told me at the beginning of our relationship that I could go back if I wished but that he'd be home watching football and see me when I got back from the meeting. *smile*. They couldn't sell him what they have to offer if they paid him to take it. He just doesn't buy it.
When I didn't react to that, she went for the emotional jugular:
"Your child deserves to have a future."
)(*!^%~^$~%! I was so angry by this point. I said "My child deserves to have the choices I never had!"
She says that I took a gamble when I got married, that everyone does, and that she didn't approve of what I'd done after the divorce (new relationship) and I told her again that I felt no shame and that I did what I had to do to get out of the bad marriage alive and that I was glad I was still here to raise my child. Then I reminded her that I had to share custody still with my Ex and that my life would become very different if he saw me making any move toward getting reinstated (even if I wanted to) that it would change, overnight. She dismissed that completely and said "Don't let him stop you, just ignore him!" Obviously, this is a woman who has never lived in fear of the man she was married to.
In the end, she said she loved me (first time in seven years) and held my face in her hands and said "Just do it, just come back. Everyone loves you and is waiting." I told her I didn't believe the way I used to and she said "You can again, read Draw Close to Jehovah and read your Bible. It's time now, come back to the flock and the angels will rejoice over you, you little lost sheep."
I was glad at least to be able to leave with her the knowledge that my Ex had a major hand in my df'ing in ways that no one wanted to realize. She had no problem believing me. I really thought that something positive had come from the exchange even though it still sickened me to be preached at for so long. I figured that maybe I had made her think, just for a moment.
At the end, she said that she couldn't speak to me when she saw me at my grandmother's memorial if I came to the family dinner (like I planned to go, they're all JW's! I wasn't invited!) and then indicated that she didn't want to shun me but said it was "the direction of the organization."
Then, the next day I spoke to her on the phone briefly to relay some info from my mother (another relative put her on the phone, I didn't ask to speak to her) and at the end she said, again, "Remember I can't talk to you if I see you later." That had to be the fourth time she had told me something that I already knew.
That was it. Here I have spent months now running interference between these relatives and my parents, the only one of several grandkids willing to mediate and help iron out important issues like legal papers being exchanged and all...I have put up with the derision of these people for the sake of my grandmother while she still lived and now to respect her memory, but then, I just snapped.
I decided there was no way in hell I was going to validate these people or their hairbrained cult by going to my grandmother's so called memorial, which would actually be an infomercial for the WTS anyway. They would have so called 'worldly' family there who make me look like a saint when it comes to track record but because they weren't baptized as children, they are fine and dandy to associate with. HYPOCRITES! I want no part of any of this. My husband said the only word that fit the way that I have been treated is "inhumane."
I told my husband he could do as he wished, and he said he had no desire to go. "Either they'll not talk to me because I'm married to you, which will annoy me, or they WILL talk to me and that will REALLY annoy me." He responded.
I told him that I was drawing the line. They have abused me enough with this cruel practice, I was not going to show up to be shunned at my own grandmother's funeral any more than I would bring the rope to my own hanging.
Nothing they said would have comforted me, anyway. Now that Grandma is gone the last link between me and that part of my family is gone, and I am no longer willing to let them hurt me.
They know where I am, if they want to accept me without the religion. Otherwise, I wish them peace, I love them, but I just won't let them hurt me anymore.
Know what I did instead of going to be shunned? I said to my husband, "Lets go and buy a beautiful christmas present for your grandmother."
And we did.
To any JW's who are lurking here please think about this: Even murderers are allowed to have familial visits in prison. Most murderers are not even put away for life without chance of parole. It would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
I have never murdered anyone. I was a woman in an abusive marriage, who divorced a man who treated her like trash and then married one who treats me like gold. This is my sin in the eyes of the WTS. This is why I am unworthy to be a part of my own family.
Is that right? Think about that. And if anyone you love has been cut off from your life by the organization...think about talking to them. Just think about it.
No one should have to be shunned for leaving an abusive marriage and finding happiness. That's my stand, and I am sticking with it.
Thanks for listening...
p.s...my husband, and his family who are wonderful people (never jw's) all said they were proud of me for refusing to let my family abuse me this way anymore. That felt good :)