Do you have to respond?

by JustTickledPink 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • JustTickledPink

    I continually battle with my emotional feelings as the daughter of a devout JW and my beliefs as a reasonable educated individual.

    Problems arise when my mother makes some sort of contact with me via email and always has to put in some dig such as "since you have turned your back on Jehovah's people" and then I get furious because if God does have people on earth I am sure the Red Cross volunteers would be on the list, not the JWs I know. The statements she makes always irritate me and I sometimes choose to defend my beliefs, my morality, my truth vs her truth. I spend time writing not only factful but sometimes emotional charged testimony about what it means to be Godly.

    Once I make my point it opens up a can of worms and I get bombarded with emails or magazines from her trying to make her point. There have been many times over the years when I walk away from the argument because it's pointless and senseless and I really shouldn't expend precious energy hitting my head against a brick wall. Then I don't hear from her for months on end, then one day I out of blue she reaches out again.

    If I choose to ignore her rants, the emails, the occasional card filled with scriptures I feel as if I have conceded. My silence is maybe a clue that she can continue with hopes that I will change my views. My defending my choices leaves me spent and frustrated with not only her but the Org that perpetuates these lies and demands her devotion to them and not her own family.

    There is no win-win situation. The other factor is although she is a JW, she is mentally disturbed. She does things that a normal person wouldn't do, such as freezing her pets in her freezer that she keeps food in... I have seen dead birds, dead pet fish, even a 3 foot long iguana wrapped up in her freezer. She dresses like a bag lady most of the time, she can't usually hold a job longer than a few months or maybe a year, she has health problems and is aging, but the most stubborn person. If the JW thing was removed I know we'd still have problems connecting, but I think I could understand better.

    So how do you handle it? It's been 10 years for me and I still struggle, and I continue to battle the question of responding or just being silent, which is a form of shunning I guess. She plays tug of war, gives you a little crumb on the floor and then when you get close you get kicked from under the table.

    How do you reconcile your emotions from your heart and your beliefs in your head with your family?

  • franklin J
    franklin J

    it sounds like the JW thing is just making an existing problem worse.

    Be easy on yourself; you cannot convince her to stop preaching to you. Take it in kind to yourself and in your reactions to her "theocratic rants"....

    in the end you still have to look yourself in the mirror.

    You cannot just walk away from your mother; no matter HOW MUCH she is preaching to just limit your interactions ( sounds like you have done that) and go out and do something nice for yourself.

  • JustTickledPink

    Everything with my life is great and happy.

    It's just when I don't respond I feel unsatisfied about not defending myself, and when I respond I feel like we are communicating in 2 different languages. Almost like she is talking chinese (which I don't understand) and I am talking english and no one is getting anywhere.

  • iiz2cool

    First of all I remind the person that, because of my status, they are prohibited by the Society to have religious discussions with me, and doing so could lead to their disfellowshipping. I also make it clear that I will exercise my constitutional right of freedom of religion to express my beliefs (or disbeliefs) to them if they insist on discussing religious matters with me. I won't, under any circumstances, allow them to make a religious statement to me without a rebuttal.

    Also, I usually ask them if this is merely a convenient way for them to count time.


  • Why Georgia
    Why Georgia

    Are you describing my mother in law?

    Are we related?

    With exception to the dead animals in the freezer this could be my mother in law. She keeps her dead animals in the backyard it's like a pet cemetary back there!

    I think you can either accept her for the way she is and realize she has a serious mental illness exacerbated by the WTS or just disfellowship her from your life.

    My husband and I are on this path. I have disfellowshipped her from my life and want nothing to do with her.

    I realize a lot of it is mental illness but a lot of it is also pure meanness and manipulation.

    I don't think you have to respond because she is not going to hear what you have to say "Remember she gets direct communication from Jehovah through the Org." She may feel some real mental turmoil because you are not in any longer and you never know what the idiots at the hall are saying to her that may make the situation even worse for both of you.

    Sorry everyone can't just play nicely together on the playground of life.

  • chrissee
    I continually battle with my emotional feelings as the daughter of a devout JW and my beliefs as a reasonable educated individual

    I feel that way too. On my trip to Florida to visit my folks I was tied up in knots on what would happen. I arrived on a Sunday and said nothing of not going to the meetings until nearly Wednesday. (they didn't go to tuesdays study, my dad had a dr's appt.) I told my mom first and got the typical response "I guess you'll take those beautiful girls of yours to Armaggeddon" I said, "that's one of the reasons" She said, "oh you don't believe in it?" But what I really meant was the instant guilt trip I received, a hateful response instead of anything loving. I guess she thought she was trying to bug my conscience. My dad came to me that same evening and said, "your mom tells me you aren't going to the meetings with us? Why?" I said "I can't go into details, because mom said you wouldn't talk to me or the girls anymore." Which she said several months earlier when I talked to her about DA-ing myself.

    There have been many times over the years when I walk away from the argument because it's pointless and senseless and I really shouldn't expend precious energy hitting my head against a brick wall. Then I don't hear from her for months on end, then one day I out of blue she reaches out again.

    I find myself doing the same just so we don't have to argue, to the point of tears in most cases. Then she doesn't talk to me for a few months. But she still calls & talks with my girls.

    I just try to take it one day at a time. My dad's an elder & my mom was a pioneer for many years although she doesn't pioneer much anymore due to poor health.

  • Why Georgia
    Why Georgia


    What are you going to do when they try to talk to your kids about "The Truth" ?

    We have already made it clear to my mother in law that is not how we are raising our children and she is not to butt in with her books or thoughts.

    It's because of this that we barely see her.

    No hours to be earned at our house.

  • Elsewhere
    I don't hear from her for months on end, then one day I out of blue she reaches out again.

    Tell her to stop contacting you if she is not willing to respect your beliefs.

  • bikerchic

    What works is to simply state; "Mother I respect your beliefs and as adults I expect you to respect my right to not discuss this anymore, lets agree to disagree." Then do not talk about it again with her! NEVER, NEVER, EVER if you wish to be taken seriously. When she brings it up state it again just like a broken record and if she persist, walk away, or hang up and let her know you would be happy to talk to her about anything except religion, restate your statement.......remember broken record.

    I promise you you will have to do this many times but persistence pays off. You are an adult and you are the only one who can set up your boundaries and you have the right to do this!

    Good luck! Be strong! Be tough!

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    I understand, as many do, your frustration and hopelessness, of being the daughter of a Mother who just "can't see." It's all so pointless, logically, to want a Mother to "be there" that we can go shopping with, on trips with, etc. and not be so different theologically that that hurdle cannot be overcome. Especially for those that have been DF'd. My Mom doesn't bring up the religion much with me anymore because we get into fights.

    For months, I tried, as you, to bring the facts that I know about the WTBTS to the forefront, but she usually manages to get very defensive and unreasonable and hangs up on me. Now I know it's a useless expenditure of emotional energy. As long as her "cognitive dissonance" continues, there will be no turn-around. She has been taught that anyone attacking the Society is apostate, and the "seeing eye" in her brain just closes. She tells me that I have been listening to "those people" again, and I "know it's the Truth" but *I* am blinded because of the apostates.

    It's not uncommon for people in cults. Something has to really be shaking the foundations of their beliefs before they may open that eye to avoid a fall. That has to come from their internal discomfort. Until that happens, there's really no point to it.

    I told her one time that I was thankful that she did not raise me any more strict than she already did, that I was grateful that she took the time to give me art, music, etc. lessons, and let me participate in school sports, go to some dances, etc. She turned around and told me she wishes that she had been more strict! Yikes! I told her that my teenage years were already miserable enough with having the restrictions that I *did have, and if she had been MORE strict, that I would have committed suicide most likely. I was a teen full of angst.

    Just goes to show how differently our parents in the JWs percieve things than we do.

    All we can continue to do is love them and hope that something brings them around. That's what I try to do. But she does know now of my participation in the XJW community, especially Silent Lambs, so calls from her are very rare. That's okay, I understand. She's also not a very emotional person as far as those in our family who have "turned their back on Jehovah" because she doesn't want to get to close because we are going to be destroyed in Armagheddon. I was never baptized, but still, with this participation she is wary of anything I say to her regarding the JWs. We don't talk about it much anymore.

    It's a rough and tough feeling, but diminishes with time and working within one's boundaries. Reading, counseling, and support groups have helped immensely. It's like a death, really. But I'm sure they feel the same way, too.

    Good luck in the future and keep on hoping that one day, she will be freed of this evil cults' grasp.


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