No Name Given - Losing a Child
Well, my story isn't as exciting or as tragic as many are, but it's mine so I'll tell it.
The Early Years:
I was raised in the truth but we were inactive for many years. When I was in my pre-teen years we became active again. I really started taking it in. By the time I was about 12 or so I was gung-ho. I loved to go out in service and to answer at the meetings. After a few years' things just kinda cooled off. I dunno what happened for sure but I think that even at that young age I started to figure things out. But I stuck with it, when you are raised as a JW you just do it. When I was in my late teens I felt I needed to get baptized. Not because I felt I needed to get close to god and that the society was the way to get there. It was because that's what everyone else did. So, I started going in service more and told the elders I wanted to get baptized. The elders called me in the back room and asked why
my publisher card showed X amount of hours each month but they didn't see me out enough to make that believable. Well, I told them it was because with my work schedule I usually went out early morning (street witnessing) and was often time with a small group since it was usually about dark-thirty in the morning. Well, I was pretty pissed off that they were
a) keeping track of how much they see me out, b) thought I'd add hours to my records as if god would never know and c) the general attitude they has while interrogating me. This should have tipped me off that these people aren't exactly what they say they are, i.e. loving.
Anyway, I got dipped figuring it would fix all of my doubts and everything.
The Good Years
I was baptized and seemed to be looked over for any "privileges" in the congregation no matter what I did. For that reason and a few others I changed congregations. I was immediately taken under the wing of a truly caring brother who helped me and encouraged me. Within a few years (2 I think) I was appointed a MS and was engaged to be married. As a servant I was extensively used, I had at least one talk every ministry school/service meeting as well as numerous other responsibilities. I gave public talks and loved that immensely. I even traveled to other congregations to give talks. I was married shortly after to a wonderful woman. All of this time I was trying to help my mom and the rest of my family with their spiritual progress. I asked EVERY ELDER in their congregation, EVERY MS in the congregation for help with my parents and sisters. Nothing. I asked for about 6 years and they never got a shepherding call. Ever. How loving is that. After about 6 years I asked the CO and he eventually did stop by with another brother or two. They stayed for about 10 mins. The other brother told my mom he would call to set up a time to meet with the whole family and really get things moving. I was very happy until that never happened. He never called. I almost wrote the organization off with that issue but I soldiered on ..
The Bad Years
My wife and I had been married about 4 years and had moved to another city and another congregation (the one she grew up in). We found out she was pregnant and the happiness
ensued!! On February 8th, 2000 our dear son Cole was born and died. Of course the grief was intense. The elders were caring for a while, for a short while anyway. I was having a VERY
hard time with it and depression was taking hold of me. My wife was doing better, but not much.
I asked a number of elders for help and received next to none. I actually had an elder tell me that while it is a bad thing for a child to die "at least you won't have kids in this system of things and you'll be able to serve Jehovah better. That's what the bible tells us." Man, I wanted to stab him in the eye with a pencil for that one. I was so stunned I just walked away in shock. As I tried to deal with this, my service hours dropped off, my zeal dropped off and my opinion of the organization changed.
Now, while we were dealing with this there was this sister with 2 ill-behaved kids in our book study. This lady was always complaining about changing diapers, feeding, and taking care of her new-born son. She was actually complaining about this to a couple who just held their dying son in their arms just months ago. Well, after this kept happening in service and at the meeting and everywhere else I wrote her a letter (she moved away and I didn't have nor did I want her phone number). I basically told her that she would do well to watch what she says because she is hurting people terribly. I put a LOT of thought into that letter and let others read it before I sent it to make sure it made the point but wasn't rude or mean. A few days later an elder pulled me aside one night after a meeting and asked me if I had some time to talk to him after the meeting. He wanted to meet back at the hall at 10:00 that night (he had to have time to help his wife put the kids to bed) I asked him if tomorrow would be ok since I had to get up at 5 the next morning. He insisted it be tonight. So, I met him at 10. He told me I shouldn't have written her that letter, that it hurt her and was insensitive. I tried to explain that what she did was having an incredible effect on me, my wife and both of our parents and that what she was doing was insensitive. Well, he told me I am the MS here and should be an example. I was shocked but took it like a good lemming. After a few days of "meditating" on it I thought it the elder was wrong. I asked the PO if he could come over with this brother. I stated the issue and after the PO agreed that I did nothing wrong in writing the letter, Brother Jerk denied he told me that. I was simply mistaken. This elder lied about what he said. I was pissed!! He lied!! That was kinda the straw that broke the sheep's back. That's when the doubts really started taking hold in my mind.
I gradually lost interest in serving God in this way. For the next year or two I just lost my zeal then we moved again, another house, another congregation. The elders received the letter from my previous congregation stating that I should not me an MS. Funny, they realized that my spiritual state was weak enough that I shouldn't be a MS but they didn't care enough to help me as I slipped. I just lost my son and they didn't even help out. The only shepherding call of any sort was when I called the PO about the situation with the letter. At that point I was done mentally as far as being a JW. But I soldered on because of my wife.
Well, as some of you know, I'm DF'd now and taking the time to research what I have built my life around. I'm finding most of it to be untrue but am trying not to make a decision until I've done all the research I can, and 'till after I get reinstated. I need to open family lines of communication before I do anything.