I've been having an on going issue with my JW family about my husband & I (and our 4 young children) no longer going to meetings and us having questions/problems with this religion. We are not DF'd nor DA'd (at this point) but have not been to a meeting in about 7 months and have been inactive for probably 3-4 years now. We haven't lived near my parents for several years so they have been a little "in the dark" so to speak as to us being inactive BUT we kind of were given a bit of "lee-way" since 5 yrs. ago when we were happy to welcome our second child into the world, he died within minutes of being born. A truly devastating experience but we got through it and I've since then had 3 more lil' munchkins. Yay!
I have 3 younger sisters, we're all born and raised JW's. Our families have been "in" since the early 20's, I believe. So my ENTIRE family lines are ALL JW's. Needless to say we lead a VERY sheltered life. I'm the oldest sister, then sis # 2 whom I will call "THE TWEEK" is the one that recently called me. She's the one who, as a teen, was a rebel "wanna-be" with Harley Davidson stuff all over her room, empty alcohol cans to decorate etc. (by the way I have nothing against that). She loved to "dress-to-kill" and she's a very pretty girl. She loved to advertise 24/7,with make-up to the hilt, cut-off shorts( showing her butt cheeks out the bottom, LOL) and the tightest shirts she could find showing off her boobs & mid-drift (again, youre free to dress as you like, but I'm doing this to show my point here). But once she snagged her MS/pioneer husband (that our parents approved of, she was 16 years old) all things changed. She turned into the holy roller/pioneer/never miss a damn meeting/keeping the rest of the family in check, JW.
So now we come to the phone call
The Phone Call
"THE TWEEK" calls me. She says she wants to talk to me about how I'm not going to meetings. She said she had heard a little bit from Mom and Dad and didn't want to discuss the details of what I think on these issues but wanted me to tell her the reason why this has happened. She then says...
THE TWEEK: Please, p-l-e-a-s-e tell me it's because you've moved away to a place that has harsh/bad weather. That it's because you have 4 kids and it's soooo hard to get to the meetings and out in service, and please say it's because you don't have any friends in the congregation. Please tell me it's because your family lives so far away and can't help you. Tell me it's because your tired and it's just so hard."
ME: I have to admit that keeping up with the JW cookie-cutter lifestyle is hard but that's not why I quit going.
THE TWEEK: How could you believe that stuff Slaine (my husband) is reading?? Where is he getting his info.? How can you believe man's word rather than God's? How could you be doing this to us (notice I'M doing this to them, not the other way round)? What happened to your faith and trusting in Jehovah? Yes there are imperfect, sometimes bad, men in the Org. but they eventually get found out! Your looking at all the bad, and not seeing the good! Satan is SO crafty Morwen that you have been mislead, he is so dangerous!!! You have to be so careful what you read. The faithful slave knows what's best for us. Independent thinking will not get you very far. What does the world have to offer you? JW's have their problems but worldly people have it so much worse! If they look like they are having a great life they are lying, there is always something *secret* you don't know about. "Worldly" families always fail in the end....bla bla bla...
Any subject I brought up (UN, 607, child abuse, failed prophecy, blood, family "run-ins" with the elders etc.) she either didn't want to hear anything about it or she said there must be a good reason for it. She then asks me if I consider myself to be a JW. I told her I wasn't going to answer that. She asks," Why not?" I reply Im damned if I do and damned if I don't." She wanted to have a definite answer to this so that she could then know exactly how to treat me but if I don't answer it she is left up to her own judgment as to how to deal with me. She wasn't happy about me not giving an answer.
THE TWEEK: What if you are wrong and JW's are right?"
Me: I'm not wrong.
THE TWEEK: But what if you are?"
Me: I'm not.
THE TWEEK: Yeah but I could say the same thing, so answer my question, what if youre wrong?"
Me: Okay fine. If I'm wrong and God see's that I and my children are worthy of death, that I, Slaine and our kids are so evil that we will cause bad things to happen to good hearted innocent people then I don't want myself there.
THE TWEEK: ***silence***
Me: Now your turn.
THE TWEEK: My turn for what?
Me: Answer your own question sis, what if YOURE wrong?
THE TWEEK: What if I'm wrong? Well then I'm going to be a stripper!
ME: LMAO! (You see how her true colors come shining through once she looses her religion rules? I told her that in 10 years from now that she will probably know what I was talking about and she of course had to reply back saying that Armageddon would be here by then. I just laughed at her and said I'd call her on this very day 10 years from now. She then accused me of having apostate thinking (*gasp* yeah!)
THE TWEEK:Aren't you a little worried you might be wrong?
ME: Do you ever worry that you are going to burn in hell?
THE TWEEK: HUH! NO! Don't be stupid!
ME: As much as you worry about burning in hell is as much as I worry about dying at Armageddon.
She then HAD-A-FIT on the phone. She started to go HYSTERICAL and I'm not kidding, she started tweek'n out on me bad! She began uncontrollably crying, like when a disaster happens and you see family members on their knees weeping, loudly uttering sentences of grief and lamentations, well that's what she was doing. She was so loud and completely hysterical I had to hold the phone away from my ear. This is a bit hard to put in writing, of how crazy she was acting but hopefully you get my drift.
She kept repeating I can't believe your saying this....I can't believe I'm hearing this....Your dead Morwen, Your dead! I can't ever see you again, I can't ever talk to you again, our kids will never be able to play together again, OH MY GOSH ........YOUR GONE FOREVER, YOUR DEAD! YOUR DEAD! **uncontrollable crying***
I nearly hung up on her at this point. After she got a bit more control of herself I said;
ME: Right now I'm looking out my window, I live in Alaska on a piece of my own land, with moose that come right up to my cabin windows, I'm looking at the sun shining through the Aspen Birch and Spruce trees and my dear tweeky sister, I'm waving at you. I'm very much ALIVE."
THE TWEEK: I wish I had been told all of you had died in a car accident instead of this.
ME: WHAT? You wish W-H-A-T?
THE TWEEK: I do, I really, really do!
What the? What a compliment. Doesn't that make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. It sure does make it hard to take all I love you with true heartfelt sincerity. I was a bit shocked at this but it shows the broken thinking of a loyal JW. Better for us to die (or rather better for THEM that we die in an accident) and be brought back in the "JW new system" then to deal with this, which is MUCH much worse, in their JW mind.
(Now here's my thought on this....if we were to die as my sister stated then we would actually be gone from the face of this earth, dead, gone, no more us. She thinks we would then be brought back to life in 'JW paradise' and then all would be perfect, right? Okay..... but isn't it the JW belief that you will be SO happy in "paradise" that you will have NO pain, NO suffering, you will have your exquisite delight to the full? And you will suffer no painful thoughts from the "old world"? So, (if there was such a thing as a JW paradise) then she would not weep for us nor feel pain over us NOT being there because the former things/thoughts would pass away. She would be perfectly happy that I wouldn't be there, right?
She's "having a cow" that I'm not going to be with the family in this paradise land and that she'll never see me again, that I'm dead forever but when she gets there she CAN'T be sad, according to the rules, it's impossible to be in "pain" of any kind. So it would be better for her to pretend we did die in an accident and then by the time she gets to her *fake* paradise all will be a-ok. She won't even remember me, right?)
My sis then started to tell me how awful I was for doing this TO THEM and how I'M hurting the family so much. That I have NO IDEA what this is doing TO THEM, especially our parents. She says Mom and Dad can hardly handle each day, they cry often, are depressed and are SO worried about me and the kids (notice she leaves out my husband). She then asked how I felt about an email that one of our other sisters had written to me (I will add that email to the end of this post).
ME: What about it?
THE TWEEK: Well do you feel trapped like your just doing this to make the best of your situation? I mean, you say that Slaine would let you be a JW if you wanted to but are you so sure?
ME: Yes I'm sure. (I was a bit annoyed that they all think I'm being bullied around by my husband, like I can't think for myself and I'm not free to make choices. Whatever! I know why they say this because they are in shock that one of their family members is simply "dropping the hat" and walking away without doing anything "wrong" and I live a good happy life even though I don't need the Org.
THE TWEEK: You know Morwen we love you so much and we would do whatever you needed to help you including coming up there to help you and the kids move back here if you ask us". (notice she's implying I leave Slaine, divorce him, to go move back so I can be free of him to be a JW.) "So tell me, if you would've never married Slaine would you still be a JW right now?
ME: Maybe yes. But I know I would be a miserable JW, that's for sure. (I can tell all of you right now on that I am very thankful that I am with the man I chose. We were both JW's when we meet but he's more of a free thinker and seemed more "down to earth" to me than a lot of the pioneer/servant/Bethelites I had met and/or dated, that my family was pushing for me to marry.)
THE TWEEK:Well Morwen if you really feel this way you need to contact your elders and let them know
ME: Yeah and if I don't, my family will. (they've contacted the elders in this cong. to pay us an unexpected visit to ask us if we were having any "problems". It didn't amount to much, as Slaine kept them outside in the cold (20 below zero, LOL). So they didn't stay long and not much was "talked" about. They just said they missed seeing us and the kids at the meetings. And that was untrue because the two "elders" who came by never even talked to me when I did go, like they "really care"! I doubt they even know my first name nor how many kids I have.
THE TWEEK: Mom and Dad will be calling you soon about all of this, Morwen. YOUR forcing us to make this choice. (My sister is not about to leave it up to each family member to make a decision whether they should continue talking to us or not. She wants everyone to HAVE to go by what she thinks is the "right" thing. If HER conscience will not allow her to talk to me then she feels it isn't fair that someone else's conscience would, which in turn means they could still have a friendship with me while she rejects me.
ME: I'm not forcing you to do anything, you are choosing to do this.
THE TWEEK: NO,YOU are the one doing this, don't try and put the blame on us, it's YOU!
ME: Ohhhhh no, I have no problem talking with you, seeing you etc. even though we have different beliefs. I can "agree to disagree" on religion and still be your sister. Any time you feel like talking to me I'll be here, I'm not rejecting you YOURE REJECTING ME! YOURE the one that's saying I'm evil."
THE TWEEK: No we don't think your evil.
ME: Yes you do or you wouldn't be sitting her telling me your never going to talk to me again and that I'm dead forever and you wished we'd died.
THE TWEEK: Ummmm well I got to go, we have to go to meeting pretty soon...*crying*....I need to go take 2 more Valerian Root pills and so I can deal with this.
ME: Okay but just know this my lil' sister, that I'm always here if you feel like you'd like to talk to me, all you have to do is pick up your phone and call. I'm ALIVE and well, happy and doing good. Don't think for one minute that I lay awake crying or bothered because "I'm trapped" or think that "I'm wrong".
So I ended up being a prop in that conversation. She basically called to tell me how SHE felt and to prove her loyalty to her religion. Which at this point I'm no longer going to discuss anything with anyone. I will keep it simple and just state that I have my reasons and I'm not going back. It is a waste of my breath and time to say anything more to a "purist" in this religion.
If this is what they choose then so-be-it. I have such a GREAT husband and they can't see it. He has NEVER done to me what all of my sisters' husband's have done to them. I have never even called home crying because of something Slaine has done/said or whatever, like all my sister's do. It makes me sad to realize I can no longer speak with my entire extended family..... my sisters, my Mom & Dad, both sets of Grandparents, aunt and uncle, my father-in-law, all my cousins, my nieces, a dear friend etc. But I have to move on, I have my own family to raise. They will serve as an example to my children of what NOT to do. Maybe one day they'll all wake up to the real world!!
I also realize that this is a drop in the bucket when it comes to life in this big world and with what horrible things that have happened down through history to many other people. Compared to other times in history I'm living like a king, so I'm not going to "wallow in misery". Yeah it sucks, but at least Slaine and I are on the "same page" on all these issues and leaving JW's has not affected us nor our children in any bad way. We are far happier now than we've ever been!!
Here is the email my other sis sent me (she always writes in ALL CAPS, sorry if it's hard to read!) Here's a little bit about her.
I REMEMBER WANTING TO TELL YOU THE DAY AFTER YOU TOLD ME ABOUT YOUR VIEWS ON JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, THAT I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT ALL THAT, BUT I GUESS I DIDN'T AND I DIDN'T HAVE THE HEART TO TELL YOU WHEN WE TALKED YESTERDAY, I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU BELIEVE AS FAR AS THE TRUTH. YOU SEEM TO GET A LITTLE CONFRONTATIONAL ABOUT IT , OR YOU COULD GET THAT WAY EASILY. I DON'T LIKE GETTING IN THOSE KINDS OF CONVERSATIONS. I LIKE EVERYTHING TO BE ALRIGHT AND EVERYONE HAPPY, BUT LIFE ISN'T ALWAYS LIKE THAT.
I WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW , AS FAR AS MY BIBLE TRAINED CONSCIENCE GOES I DO BELIEVE THIS IS THE TRUTH . WE ARE IMPERFECT , THUS MISTAKES WILL BE MADE ON OUR PART AS HUMANS, ELDER OR NOT. AND THAT GOES FOR ANY RELIGION. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT YOUR VIEWS I GET THIS FEELING THAT , AS FAR AS WHAT I BELIEVE, YOUR VIEWS ARE NOT RIGHT, AND I CAN'T IGNORE THAT. JUST LIKE YOU SAID THAT YOUR BIBLE TRAINED CONSCIENCE I GUESS TELLS SOMETHING ELSE.
I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW MORWEN, THAT I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!! YOUR MY OLDER SISTER AND I'VE ALWAYS LOOKED UP TO YOU. YOU ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING, AND YOUR VERY LEVEL HEADED. I CAN'T HELP BUT THINK , THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT , BUT MAYBE YOU FEEL TRAPPED OR , CAN'T CHANGE YOUR SITUATION, SO YOU'VE GOT TO GO WITH IT AND MAKE THE BEST OF IT.
I KNOW SLAINE SAID HE WOULD NOT HOLD YOU BACK FROM GOING TO MEETINGS AND STUFF IF THAT'S WHAT YOU REALLY WANTED. BUT LOOKING AT YOUR SITUATION , YOU'VE GOT 4 KIDS (not much time to your self) AND NO ENCOURAGEMENT FROM ANYONE WITH YOUR BELIEFS EXCEPT FOR THE ONES AT THE HALL (and friends & family that don't live close) WHICH MAKES IT HARD .
ALSO FROM MY EXPERIENCE , WHEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN VERY REGULAR AT MEETINGS & SERVICE , IN A NEW CONGREGATION, IT MAKES IT HARD TO FEEL AT HOME THERE AND BE MOTIVATED TO BE REGULAR. BECAUSE OF NOT BEING REGULAR, A PERSON CAN GET PRETTY DISCOURAGED AND HAVE A BUILD UP OF GUILT. (which for me is the case) I JUDGE MYSELF AND JUST WANT TO GIVE UP FOR FEAR OF NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH, OR NOT BEING ABLE TO GET BACK ON TRACK. BUT I CAN'T GIVE UP , EVEN IF I WANT TO , CAUSE I KNOW THIS IS THE TRUTH AND IT IS WHAT I WANT. WHEN I DO WHAT JEHOVAH SAYS IN MY DAILY LIFE AND GO TO MEETINGS I FEEL GOOD . NOT BECAUSE I CARE IF THE ELDERS SEE ME DOING WHAT I SHOULD, BUT BECAUSE I FEEL JEHOVAH'S APPROVAL. AND THAT IS SUCH A GOOD FEELING.
MAYBE I'M OFF ON THIS WHOLE THOUGHT, BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW , IF YOU DO FEEL THIS WAY , AND YOU NEED HELP , WE WILL DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO HELP YOU . WE'RE THERE FOR YOU WHENEVER YOU NEED US. WE ALL LOVE YOU SO MUCH. IF THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT DON'T FEEL IT IS TOO LATE TO CHANGE.
THE WAY YOU TALK ABOUT THE TRUTH AND THE FAITHFUL SLAVE YOU SOUND LIKE AN APOSTATE. YOU TALK AGAINST THE FAITHFUL SLAVE, AND YOU DO NOT TALK AS IF YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A JEHOVAH'S WITNESS. MY FEELING IS THAT I SHOULD NOT TALK TO YOU IF THIS IS WHAT YOU CHOSE. I DON'T WANT YOU TO THINK I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU , OR I DON'T LOVE YOU , BECAUSE I DO . BUT JEHOVAH AND WHAT HE SAYS COMES FIRST IN MY LIFE.
THIS IS SOME OF THE INFO. THAT I HAVE READ, WHICH IS WHY I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION OF WHY I THINK YOU SOUND LIKE AN APOSTATE, AND WHY I FEEL I SHOULD NOT TALK TO YOU.
Rom. 4:20f. doubt comes close to disbelief. . . . Doubt is thus a lack of trust in the act of God which he has still to perform and which men are to await. . . . In the NT the doubter sins against God and his promises, because he judges God falsely." 11 Thus the one who doubts to the point of becoming an apostate sets himself up as a judge. He thinks he knows better than his fellow Christians, better also than the "faithful and discreet slave," through whom he has learned the best part, if not all that he knows about Jehovah God and his purposes. He develops a spirit of independence, and becomes "proud in heart . . . something detestable to Jehovah." (Prov. 16:5) Some apostates even think they know better than God, as regards his ordering of events in the outworking of his purposes. (Watchower 1980 8/1 p.19)
NEVER FORGET , THAT WE ALL LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND WILL BE THERE WHENEVER YOU NEED US.