How to explain it to the children?
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04-05-2013, 07:06 AM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2013 08:03 AM by MuffinPuffin.)
How to explain it to the children?
This is a rather complicated story, but I really need to share it with someone free from religion, and that is going to be you TTA.

I have a stepsister, currently in her 30's, who is a Jehovah Witness. She married and had children at a young age, with a husband I would describe as a religious nutball.
Just above half a year ago, her youngest daughter (7) was diagnosed with cancer.
My stepsister and her husband refused to get her any sort of treatment, because it would require blood transfusions.

Long story, short; they went underground to get away from our social security system. Mainly because it's illegal here to refuse treatment of sick children (even on account of religion).
The police actually found them, about a month or so ago, but it was too late for any sort of treatment by then. The cancer had been eating up my niece, and she died a pretty painful dead in the hospital.

Of course my stepsister and her husband are going to be sent to jail for this (and excuse my language, but I hope they rot in hell for it).
They problem is, they leave behind two other children, and no one is really sure how to handle this whole situation to them.

I mean, how do you explain that your mom and dad basically chose to let your sibling die, because of their imaginary friend?
For most parts, I don't think their children really realize what have been going on. They know their sister was sick, and that she didn't get treatment.
They know that their family went underground to hide from the police, but again I don't think they realize exactly why they had to hide.

Right now the children are in the care of my own mom and dad, and they seem to do pretty well.
The night they arrived, we of course had a talk about it all.
I told them that their sister was sick, and that their parents probably had done what they thought best for her. I didn't know what else to say.

My biggest pet peeve is, that I want them to know the truth - I want them to know that their sister could have been saved, but wasn't given the treatment she required.
But at the same time, I feel like telling them the truth, will ruin them.

I guess my question is, what would you do in my position?
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04-05-2013, 07:30 AM
RE: How to explain the children?
When I saw the thread title (with its missing 'to') I thought you had been taught the 'stork' theory of childbirth and needed some explanation.

Silly me.

OK. I can only give a hypothetical answer because I have never been (and hope to never be) in your situation.

You have my sympathy.

But first, could you tell us how old are the two surviving children?

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04-05-2013, 07:48 AM
RE: How to explain the children?
Yeah, the ages of the kids is real important. They should be told things based on their ability to understand.

A friend of mine went to a counselor/therapist that helped her make the break from the JWs. And to figure out how to work things with regard to her daughter who still lived with her very religious father.

The kids may benefit greatly from a counselor as may the family. This is a very extreme circumstance with a lot going on. Professional help may ease the passage through it.

Edited to add: I am sorry for what has happened to your family. There is a lot of grief to deal with as well as anger and probably guilt. Good luck. And you are a good person to be seeking some way to help.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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04-05-2013, 08:03 AM
RE: How to explain the children?
(04-05-2013 07:30 AM)DLJ Wrote:  When I saw the thread title (with its missing 'to') I thought you had been taught the 'stork' theory of childbirth and needed some explanation.

Silly me.

OK. I can only give a hypothetical answer because I have never been (and hope to never be) in your situation.

You have my sympathy.

But first, could you tell us how old are the two surviving children?

Should it be "how to explain to the children" then?
Keep in mind English isn't my first language.
Also, I'm pretty sure I could explain childbirth, and wouldn't consider it a personal issue.

As for you're question.
It's a boy age 12, and a girl age 9.
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04-05-2013, 08:17 AM
RE: How to explain it to the children?
Put the needs if these two ahead of yours.

It's your pet peeve that comes from your understanding of the situation, the knowledge you acquired over time.

Telling someone their sibling could have been saved and them not know the technical stuff is not only traumatic but confusing as hell.

You need someone else who is a certified professional to guide you on this. I don't feel I can answer this question and it seems to me you're crying out for help in this situation as well.

I'm sorry this happened to you and your family. You have my sympathies as well. Hug

[Image: 3d366d5c-72a0-4228-b835-f404c2970188_zps...1381867723]
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04-05-2013, 08:19 AM
RE: How to explain the children?
(04-05-2013 08:03 AM)MuffinPuffin Wrote:  Should it be "how to explain to the children" then?

Yup. No biggie, though.

(04-05-2013 08:03 AM)MuffinPuffin Wrote:  It's a boy age 12, and a girl age 9.

Thanks.

I think maybe they might be at an age when straight facts would be digested as such. Keep the conversation emotionless and there might not be any trauma.

Other factors, though, that need to be considered are:
a) the emotional age of the children (some are more mature than others)
b) how deeply they love their parents
c) how much JW indoctrination they might have already received.

We have some ex-JWs around here. They might be better at making a call regarding that latter factor.

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