posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:18 AM
I personally know several JWs. The first two attend the same "church", though their experiences are vastly different. #1 I've known since
childhood - big family, relocated to the area, very active in the "church" - lived by the "rules"- kids never could participate in holiday
parties, no birthdays, etc. The kids had no friends who were JWs, and were always allowed active social lives with their friends, and all went on to
marry non JWs and did not have to convert their spouses in order to remain part of the "church"
#2 A woman in her 70s, married over 50 years, 4 children, grand-kids, great-grand-kids, life-long residents of the community. She did not turn to
the JWs until she was in her senior years. After one year, the "church" made her choose between her family and her eternal soul, and the soul of
the "church". She tried for 3 years to convert her family - all of them refused while encouraging her to follow her own beliefs, just stop trying
to convert them. When she could not get them to convert, the "church" made her choose. She chose the "church", immediately divorced her husband
of over 50 years, and has had no contact with anyone who is not a member of the "church" since.
WHY such different actions/treatment/rules from the same JW church???
#3 Pretty much the same story as #2, just a different family, different circumstances, and a different "church". She contacted her son again after
hearing of his divorce and his gaining sole custody of his son. She came back into his life, not trying to convert him, becoming a part of her
grandson's life, taking care of him while his dad worked, etc. One day, the man was served papers at work. His mother had somehow taken action
without him knowing it, gaining custody of his son. The story is the same as yours regarding what the woman was telling the child, etc. The most
he's ever been able to accomplish has been visitation - he's not even allowed to celebrate holidays with his son.
Apparently, it happens a lot, though for some unknown reason some members seem to be immune to the extremes of it. I've heard of so many stable,
loving families being torn apart by the JWs. How is that doing the work of God??? They actually encourage divorce!!
My heart goes out to you - I've never had to endure all that you have, but I've gone through a messy custody case. It was the worst hell, and even
though I "won", my child was the only victim in the end because of what we all had to endure. My child is grown now, very responsible, does all the
right things, etc. But my child is not happy and has serious commitment issues. We are very close for the important things, but having a real
relationship is next to impossible at this point with either parent.
You can't change past decisions. It does no good to beat yourself up over them. Most of life's important lessons are painful ones.
The only advice I can give is to be there for your child, make sure your child knows you are there for her, talk to your child about what happened in
the past on YOUR end, how you felt, why you took the actions you did, etc., without bringing your mother into it. Have as little contact with your
mother as possible, and have some agreed upon ground rules for when contact can't be avoided.
Have you ever gone to talk to the JWs to discuss any of this with them? I would. But that is just how I do things.