A blog written by the fiancé of an ex-jw
I couldn’t imagine the flood of emotions I experienced this evening. . . .
I need to start by saying it was a beautiful day with my family. From power washing the house, to planting flowers, then off to softball practice where Clint and I coach our 9 years old girls.
Today was a bit different though because although it was our weekend to have all the kids, his girls were picked up by the mother due to the divorce decree stating that she gets them the day before their birthday. It happens to be his youngest birthday tomorrow. Why is this odd? Well they don’t celebrate birthdays. So instead of allowing their daughter the time to celebrate with her family, they interrupt her weekend and take the girls “some place special” to show them how NOT to celebrate a birthday.
About 20 minutes into practice I notice that Clint’s 9 year old is not here yet. . . . I ask him if she is coming and he laughs. “Likely not. Do you think she would interrupt her non-celebration of a birthday to bring her to an organized group sport practice (also not frowned upon because it is unnecessary association with non-believers)? I am a bit agitated that a parent would be so selfish but he seems so used to it. That is sad.
In fact it breaks my heart for the girls but I would be lying if I said that the majority of my sadness stems from watching this amazing father try to save his girls from a lifelong imprisonment in a cult. And he is doing so with incredible strength and dignity and all I want to do it unleash the 90s Leah and go off on this woman and her husband for being so ignorant and putting their children through such pain.
I grab ahold of my emotions and continue to practice secretly holding out hope that at any moment she will show up and join her team on the field. . . . . No such luck.
On the way home Clint explains that the girls will be dropped off at the house by their mother and her husband at 7pm. I then get the weekly update that the girls’ step father still refused to speak to him at the girls activities and during exchanges this week. Obviously this is nothing new.
See. . . . being excommunicated from this cult means that Clint is shunned by anyone who is a JW. The only communication that may take place is “necessary family business” which is why his ex-wife will discuss the needs of the children with him. Her husband, on the other hand, is not required to speak…therefore he doesn’t. This means that a simple greeting like hello is consistently not acknowledged. And not only is there a lack of acknowledgement his genuine simple greetings are flat out ignored.
Imagine every time you said hello to someone they glanced at you and then looked away saying nothing. . . . NOW imagine that eventually these attempts to make peace and greet the other parent for your kids sake . . . . turn into them not even acknowledging you are standing there. You say hello nicely and they act as though you are completely invisible. Imagine how this would eventually start to hurt you regardless of how strong you are. Now imagine how a child might feel seeing you treated like this time and time again.
For people who claim to be loving and kind to everyone because it’s the Godly thing to do. . . . . this sure does seem down write EVIL. (that is for another blog entirely)
So back to why my evening turned into an absolute flood of emotions. . . . then causing me to immediately sit down to write.
I am out shooting a session on our property around the corner from our house. I’m in creative mode. . . happy about how beautiful life is. . . how amazingly beautiful this day has been. . . in the zone. . . on cloud 9. I wrap up the session and drive the 30 seconds home and round the curve to see a car in the driveway parked smackdab in the middle. Irritated I realize who it is and that they will likely be pulling out now after dropping off the girls so I pull to the side of the drive and wait a second.
Wait. . . . no one is in the car. It’s off and it’s JUST sitting there. Are they in OUR HOUSE?!!!! I see no one in the yard. . . . .No one at the door. . .
I park in the garage and walk into the kitchen to find Clint standing at the fridge asking me what we should make for dinner. He is cool, calm and collected. I on the other hand have every hair on my body standing up and am puffed up. MY HOUSE. . . OUR HOUSE. . . . I look at him and he senses immediately where I am in my head and says, “Calm down babe, there was nothing I could do…the girls wanted them to see their rooms.”
UMMMMMMMM So wait . . . . This guy stood at our door. . . . you greeted him genuinely and he acts as though YOU ARE INVISIBLE IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN . . . IN FRONT OF OUR CHILDREN. . . IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN . . . . . . . .THEN. . . . . WALKS. . . INTO. . . OUR . . . . HOUSE. . . . TO . . . GIVE THEMSELVES A TOUR?!!!!!! WTF?
Yep. . . that’s exactly what happened. I walk into the living room where my son sits, a very wise 14 year old boy who can immediately see where I am in my head as well. “I know.” He says as he glances down the hallway. I then hear her ask Clint’s youngest daughter if she can take some decoration home for her younger sister for her room. . . .LOL wow. . . . this is getting good! She runs past and into the kitchen . . . . “Dad dad dad . . . can mom take this and give it to my baby sister?” Clint replies, “Sure pumpkin.” My blood is now boiling.
How do you treat a man like absolute dirt. Like he is scum. Like he doesn’t exist. Like you are so righteous and above him . . . . . Like he is INVISIBLE. . . THEN walk into his house? THEN ask to take something out of it??? Forget the ex wife. . . . I wouldn’t put anything past her. But a MAN. . . . As a man. . . . . how do you not only completely disrespect him by acting as though he is invisible but then you WALK INTO THAT MANS HOUSE AS THOUGH YOU OWN IT!!!!
Now I go from blood boiling to feeling absolutely heartbroken for my soon to be husband. How is he so calm. . . how is he standing here in the kitchen asking what to cook for dinner as these evil people troll through his house after disrespecting him?!
No I am sad because I realize the reason he is so cool calm and collected is because he is used to this. He has grown accustom to people treating him like this. This is nothing new. For years and years he has had to stand tall, be the bigger person and attempt to not let this effect him. He also needed to allow this to happen for the sake of his children. If he had not allowed his ex-wife and husband into the house, they would have used that against him. They would have told his girls that THEY…THEY were the ones that were being mistreated. So as much as it sucks…he had to allow this to happen. He had to, so his children could see it, give his ex-wife and her husband the chance to treat him like a human being IN HIS HOUSE.
I am one of those people who take everything personally. Hell, when I have an upset client it puts me out of commission for a day. I am down in the dumps. I feel like crawling in a hole.
Here he is comforting me. Trying to calm me down.
I am now near tears. My future husband is so used to being shunned by people he once was loved by. . . people he used to be friends with. . . . that this is like an everyday occurrence for him. Like he just experienced a rude waiter or cashier and rolls his eyes and laughs it off.
No one should ever get used to this type of treatment. No one who is living and breathing should be treated like this. No one should be soooo disrespected. Especially in their OWN HOME!
I was not a Jehovah’s Witness. I have had my fair share of issues growing up. I have gone through years of not feeling loved or wanted my people I cared about . . . BUT I never in a million years could have imagined anything like he goes through.
The really sad part is. . . . he is one of the lucky ones. Imagine your mother treating you like this. Imagine running into your mother in public and her acting as though you don’t exist. This is the sad reality for many.
So incredibly ungodly.
That man will never be allowed in our house again. He was given the opportunity to be a decent human being and he failed. If he wants to treat Clint with disrespect in public, that his his choice. But it won’t happen here again. I am proud of Clint for putting up with what he went through for the sake of the girls. But I will be even more proud of him the next time this happens and he sends the man back to his car. And if he doesn’t I will! Someone has to have this incredible man’s back.
My heart breaks tonight for every ex JW that is treated this way daily. Please know that there is good in the world. There are people that will love you unconditionally and stand by your side no matter what.
You have all been though so much. You all have your own stories. You all have had to find your own strength.
This Sunday night. . . my heart breaks for all of you.