UPDATE: telling my parents I dont believe in God

by filip 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • Narkissos
    Have you thought about telling your school councilor? Explain your feelings about not wanting to be a JW and your fears of what you parents will do if you tell them. See what he/she might be able to do. Perhaps have him/her write a letter to the WTS inquiring as to how JWs respond when their children decide not to be JWs. Odds are the WTS will respond with a very politically correct letter from the PR department... they want the schools to view them as "normal". Once you have that letter from the WTS that plays things down you might be able to show it to your parents to get them to cool their jets.

    Excellent suggestions but I would keep them for a second stage (if it turns bad). Doing this as a first step could cause your parents to feel betrayed. Give them a chance for a smart response (even though it may not be the immediate response).

    But sometimes it does turn bad and a third party is very important. When my younger half-sister was sixteen she told our father she didn't want to attend meetings anymore. My father beat her, dragged her down the stairs by her hair and locked her in the bathroom for several days, with her own mother encouraging him. When my sister finally could get out of the house, the first thing she did was getting to the minors Justice. There was an inquiry and an educative control decision. As a result our father had to step down as an elder. Any religious pressure was impossible from that point on.

  • Gill

    A lot of great advice hear filiip! Take it!

    By the sounds of it your parents are probably a step ahead of you. Be honest. They'll get over it even after a small difficult patch and I don't believe, if you treat them well, that they will ask you to leave at 18. They're worried about you. Maybe they'll surprise you.

    Good luck!


  • Gill

    A lot of great advice hear filiip! Take it!

    By the sounds of it your parents are probably a step ahead of you. Be honest. They'll get over it even after a small difficult patch and I don't believe, if you treat them well, that they will ask you to leave at 18. They're worried about you. Maybe they'll surprise you.

    Good luck!


  • under74

    I would look into what Elsewhere has suggested as well. And keep in mind the example Narkissos gives. It's something you have to be very careful about.

    I was in the same position as you once but I was fortunate in that my mom wasn't attending the KH regularly herself and when I told her my feelings there wasn't any violence -but just my mom blaming herself for not studying with me enough. In my story there were some complicated family dramas that resulted in my whole immediate family leaving the Society. It shouldn't be expected that this will happen all the time.

    You have to take into consideration how your parents will take the news you have to give them. Will it make things even harder to handle or do you think by them asking you your feelings now that they are truley trying to understand where you are at?

    I hope everything works out for the best with you and your family.

  • ColdRedRain

    From a former teenage religious skeptic to a current one: BE PREPARED FOR HELL!!

    And be prepared for fallacious reasonings.

    And remember, they're going to have years of arguing false points against your months of athiesm.

    Study these sites. You're going to need them, Private.





    If you need any help, PM me or one of the other members of the messageboard.

  • filip

    yeah, I also hear that "AS LONG AS YOU LIVE UNDER MY ROOF" thing almost everytime we have a conflict, lol.

    I havent thought about telling a school counseler, but I might do it now. Although my parents have always raised and told me NOT to talk about JW-stuff with for example my teachers or schoolcounserlers, cause they were afraid that somebody would come and take me away from them.

    Now I see why, they didnt want me to talk to anybody about it, if I had any problems with JW-ism.

    Thanks for all the links - so now I can be prepared with arguements to anything they might throw in my head.

  • AlmostAtheist

    Maybe I missed it, in another thread or something, but what is it about JW's that you don't buy? Blood? 1914? If you can nail down exactly what it is and support your position from the scriptures, maybe you can casually bring those things up with your parents over the course of a month or something.

    "Pop, why is taking a blood transfusion considered the same as eating blood, but taking a liver transplant isn't considered the same thing as eating liver?" (The watchtower has itself called blood an "organ" and quoted a doctor as saying that a transfusion is a "transplant".)

    Maybe you've already prepared yourself for this, but it might be better to show why you don't accept their beliefs rather than outright telling them you don't believe in God. "There's no God" is an utterly unprovable statement, so you'll be in a tough spot to take a stand. But there's ample evidence that the blood doctrine is baloney (I can send you what Gina and I have put together) and that's a false doctrine that can cost you your life somewhere down the road. "Pop, I'm not sure God would want me to risk my life over the blood doctrine, since I'm not convinced that we have that doctrine right." Then it becomes a "But Son, Jehovah expects us to obey the organization" discussion. We just had a thread on that, showing that God punished his own people when they obeyed the "organization" (Aaron) when it told them to worship a golden calf. (See http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/12/83217/1.ashx) So obedience to God is more important to him than obedience to his organization.

    Some people say arguing from the Bible when you don't believe in the Bible is a waste of time. And for some topics (Trinity comes to mind) I would agree. But I think you can force JW's into a corner on a few doctrines. Their only escape is to say, "But we have to obey God's organization", and you can make a decent argument against that, too.

    Gina found that with her mom, presenting her reasoning on various doctrines helped her mom to understand that she wasn't getting out of JW's just because she wanted to sleep in on Saturdays, or get into drugs or whatever. It might allay your parents fears a bit if they could see that you're making a decision based on not agreeing with their doctrines rather than based on what they'll consider laziness.

    Hope it helps. Take care, Dude.


  • Mastodon

    I was in your position once. I was asked directly if I was still interested in studying the bible and become a JW and instead of being honest, i said yes, and ended up wasting 20 years of my life. Remember that the more time you stay the deeper they'll drag you in, and then it will be harder for everyone. If you get asked directly, just be honest and get out. You might save yourself a lot of grief later if you go through some discomfort now. God Bless

  • Balsam

    Hi There,

    I have two sons one 21 and other is 17. I went through this with my oldest son before I finally left myself when he was 18. His rebellion started when he was about 16 in earnest. I worried my self sick about him, because he was obviously hating attending meetings, and sitting on studies we had as a family. He tried to tell us in a nice way that our way was not going to be our way. It was so painful, till I started doubting it myself. I eventually left his Dad (my sons had witnessed bad realtionship between me and their father for years) and my sons were so glad I had left JW's. My youngest son took a stand against his Dad at 15 to stop meeting attendence, and succeeded. He was 13 when I left the JW's

    So here is what they told me after I finally left: They didn't believe that following the bible (the way JW's do it) was going to mean happiness for them. I asked them why they couldn't tell us how they felt? They said because they saw the pain in our faces. And because of their Dad and I feeling they would be destroyed. So they hid it as best they could.

    But as a parent, I want to know what my kids are feeling even if I don't agree with it. You need to tell them how you feel, that you love them. That you understand their fears. That you don't intend to flip out and start using drugs and end up living on the streets as a homeless person. (Every parent fear when their kids leave the troof) Let them know your plans for the future, and that you appreciate their efforts to give you a loving home. Reasure them the best you can that you are not planning on ruining your life. That you hope they will respect your feelings.

    Let them digest that, then gradully stop attending meeings and see what happens. Respect their home, don't bring your new (worldly) friends into it. Don't flaunt a worldly lifestyle in their faces, like taking up smoking, drinking, etc. This is stuff my son did and it only scared me more before I left. He showed no respect for me or his Dad which made things worse. You young folks don't realize how you can break your parents heart by acting out. Though you don't feel it, be respectful, but stand your ground.

    Be kind, try to understand where they are coming from too. They want only the best for you even if it is screwed up religion.

    Thankfully my sons and I got past the worst part of it and all of us are doing fine outside the JW religion. You don't have to go nuts to leave the religion.

  • BrendaCloutier

    Filip, hon, (auntie Brenda here, that's why I think I can get away with calling you hon and pinching your cute cheeks!) You have received some good advice here. What you do with it is up to you. Do drop the guilt.

    I havent' caught on if you're baptized or not. If not, don't! No matter what.

    Here's my 2cents:

    You are being honest with yourself. Good for you! Since your parents have already asked, be gently honest with them, too. Like someone else said, without provocation.

    Since you are underage and require a roof and food, they may require you to go to meetings. As long as you and they know where you're at, go. Be respectful. You don't have to believe what you hear. Since you don't believe, they will probably not make you go in FS. However if they do, don't talk to the householder. Just be present and respectful. Go through the requirements of your parents to continue living in their home. (If they take away your computer, you can go to the public librabry)

    Being a respectful teen and holding your own opinion without guilt is very powerful. It will be recognized as such. And it may also be recognized as stubborness. Hey stubborness is ok, too, especially when you're being fed crap.

    Now, here's the really, really important stuff:

    Keep up in school. Be an excellent student! It may be your only way out, to make enough money when you're old enough to leave home. Go to college, at least tech school, if you can. Maybe an apprenticeship in the trades like electrical or plumbing, HVAC or construction. All well-paying in-demand trades. With a direction and education you can avoid being a janitor, burger-flipper, or carpet cleaner.

    Talk with your school counselor about what is happening at home with your parents being JW and you not believing. Ask about continuing education and what your options are for college, tech school, or apprenticeships, without their support.

    I was pulled out of HS after my sophomore year (with a 3.4 average) to go into the ministry because I had enough education to be a pioneer or a wife! I've since been successful in self training on computers and had a really good career in computer software and opsys. I took night classes when I could, but never finished a degree, but I was still good at what I did and learned from everyone I was around.

    Hang in there. You sound like an ok kid.


    Auntie Brenda

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