My sister is down and out...

by DanTheMan 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • DanTheMan

    The thing is, is that he does like our side of the family. We have a lot of fun with him, and he is one of my favorite people to hang with. But right now, he is way under the spell of the church and his dad's ego. So once again a comparison to JWism is fair: no matter how much he likes his mom, to choose her wishes for him over his dad's is not only a rejection of his father, but a rejection of the the cornball "Christianity" that he is being relentlessly indoctrinated into.

    I don't know how the next few years will play out. He is 15 years old, but he only weighs about 90 pounds and is still very immature physically and socially, very much like how I was when I was his age.. And you know, in all fairness, perhaps a smaller school might be a better deal for him, where he doesn't have so much distraction. Crap, I don't know. Sometimes I think my sister is guilty of having a little bit too much of unalterable plan for him in her mind: finish high school, go to college, get a degree, start a career. Just like she did. But IMO, he's just not the type, he's not an achiever the way she was. I'm not so concerned about his success education and career-wise as much as I am concerned about losing him altogether to the tribal we/they "Christianity" that is all the rage right now. His dad has gone in for it absolutely. It hasn't happened with him yet, he's still pretty normal when he's around us, but someday soon he will reach a crossroad.

    My sister can't seem to take a long view of things. If he doesn't follow her plan exactly, she views it as a complete failure. And I can't seem to de-catastrophize it very much for her. She cries all the time, it's just messy man.

    As far as the church and school discouraging college, I don't think that's the case. I think it's more like, you should go to college, but which one? Big ugly secular Ohio State or something similar where they teach EVILution and such godless nonsense, or a nice fundy Bible College where you'll be taught right (i.e. never exposed to anything to challenge your Christian values/outlook).

  • misanthropic

    ((((DanTheMan & sister))))

    What a hard thing for your sister and all of your family to be going through. I wish I had some good advice to give, but I really am at a loss for words. I know she can seek legal advice, but then the legal system is a sometimes a long drawn out process (not to mention expensive). Hopefully your nephew will not like these arrangements as he gets older, and he will realize he has been solely influenced by his father.

  • DanTheMan

    Thanks misanthropic.

    Clever forum handle, by the way. Nice avatar pic too. ;)

  • BluesBrother

    A really tough situation... Yours sister has my deepest sympathy.

    All I can say is that at 15 many of us were diehard dubs. But as life goes on and we grow a little we saw the light and left. (In my case it took too many years, but hey, I am stupid ) Actually living there and seeing it all from within might change his perspective.

  • jgnat

    Too bad the whole religion angle got entangled with this. I'll have some suggestions to address that at the end of my notes. First of all, I want to talk about the very common phenomenon of teenagers from split homes picking an alliegance. Invariably the teenager finally ends up with the responsible parent.

    Teenagers do not discern grey, only black and white. This factor of teenage development happens anyways, it just gets compounded because the parents are not working together to raise the child. It is very common for a teenager from a divided household to pick an allegiance. Very often the child will pick the immature parent, because of promises made.

    There is hope, though, on several fronts. Immature parents can't keep up the pace. Often the parent gets tired of the responsibility and hands the kid back. Also, the child eventually clues in to the long list of broken promises. I know a couple of children who moved in to a home where there were locks in the kitchen to restrict how much they ate. Teenagers are hyper-sensitive to hypocricy, broken promises, and their own long list of needs.

    Now, for the religion thing, attacking it head-on is not going to be productive. As you know, if you attack his religion, he will assume you are opposed to his spiritual growth. Instead, encourage his independent religious growth as much as possible. There are many funky religious-right websites out there that cater to teenagers. Encourage this boy to develop HIS OWN beliefs, and eventually he will OUTGROW the religion of his step-parent. If she opposes this growth, I promise you he will in turn reject HER brand of religion. Above all, teenagers cherish independence more than anything. This boy HAS NOT been raised in an environment (as JW children are) to fear eternal rejection by his parents if he develops independence. Foster that.

    Your sister has to take the long view and get ready for when her son to comes back with tail between his legs. He will need lots of TLC when he comes out of this.

  • DanTheMan

    BB & jgnat, I hope you're both right. And I hope he comes out of it sooner than later. I don't think it will happen though without him having to all but completely cut himself off from his dad, which I don't see happening any time soon. His dad has made quite a lot of money in real estate, which is ironic, considering that one of my nephew's parroted complaints about Bexley schools is that it's a bunch of snotty rich kids. His dad grew up in Whitehall, close to where I live, which is more of a rednecky, blue-collar area where people don't like those Bexley snobs, but truth be told his dad now makes more money than probably the majority of Bexley residents do, but in his mind it's probably a direct gift from Jesus for being such a good boy. But I digress - he has scads of electronic gadgets and games, the promise of a car when he turns 16, big house with big TV's, the whole business at his dad's. Disneyland dad as we have come to refer to him. And my nephew is all about play, play, play.

    jgnat, without going into the details, suffice it to say that my sister is definitely the responsible parent in this whole mess. His dad never takes him shopping for clothes or school supplies, never takes him to the doctor, never makes sure that he is prepared for school, never makes my nephew do anything that he doesn't want to do. I do think that someday my nephew will be smart enough to realize which parent really has his best interests at heart, but right now he isn't close to being mature enough for that.

    I went through the same thing when I was 17 or 18 when I moved out of my mom's house and lived with my dad for a while. It was a disaster, and when I finally moved back in with my mom, as much as she drove me nuts in some ways, she was the parent that really cared for me, and I knew it.

  • katiekitten

    Dantheman, I am so sorry, it must be tearing you all apart, and it would tear me up too to have my own child turned against me.

    Its not much comfort but I was a pompous religious little git when I was a teenager. I took on what my parents had inculcated in me then it bit t hem on the ass. My dad left the dubs before me and I was pretty snotty with him, as well as having been turned against him by my mum. When I reached my 20's I saw what had happened and it didnt do my mum any favours. Im back to having a loving relationship with my dad now. But I know thats a long wait.

    I hope it all works out OK. Im absolutely certain your nephwe will return to loving his mum again, and wanting to be with her, its just a case of when.

  • Leolaia

    Sometimes there may be a chance for a better relationship down the road when your nephew gets married and has his own children who want to get to know their grandmother. He may also realize in raising his own kids what his mother sacrificed for him. I dunno, who knows....

  • LyinEyes

    Dave,,,,,,,,,I know what you mean about the Pentacost religion, I thought JW's were the only freaks out there.

    The Pentacost in my area, are very strict........ cant cut their hair,no makeup, if you wear earrings they can only be a certain size, no pants for the ladies. I know most of the thing the women can't do because my Son's b/f was a pentacost.

    She had to move from her church to another one because she was not fitting in with a certain bunch and was basically ran off.

    She and her son went thru some things with this and she left her husband . She moved out of town, cut her hair and put on some pants, and became her own person. And she really did love Jesus. She was always , always talking about the Lord . But she never held it against me for being a JW and she never preached to me , nor I to her.

    She is still not going to church, she even has some beer now and then. She and her son are much happier now.

    Honestly, I NEVER thought they would walk away from it.........they were also heavy duty in that religion. I guess like me and JW, the right thing and the right time,,,,,,,,,,I walked to.

    Maybe in time you nephew will have something that will hit him and he will decide for himself to walk away. Let's hope so.

  • DanTheMan

    Katiekitten, glad to hear that you were able to re-establish your relationship with your dad. It gives me hope. I think the next few years will only see an escalation in the tactics currently being employed by his father and their church to turn my nephew against his worldly family, I just hope my sister holds up. She is very emotional and like me in a lot of ways, which should tell you something if you've known me on this forum for any length of time. lol

    Leolaia, the longview is certainly what we should all be looking at at this point in time, but it sure isn't easy, watching such a bright and likeable kid being sucked in by such a Nazi religion.

    I thought JW's were the only freaks out there.

    Man, this is such a common thing among ex-dubs, the perception that our experience was somehow wholly unique. It wasn't, not at all.

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