View Full Version : Religious Upbringing, My Father and Morals

05-09-12, 11:07 PM
I don't know if I should just stop trying with my father or what I can really do to get through to him. Anytime I try to share anything about ADHD he cuts me off or changes the subject or suddenly is "busy" with something.

Also my relationship with my dad has a DAILY impact in my life bc for those of you unaware of my other posts me and my 3 boys live with my parents who generally are very supportive and will do anything they can to help me in whatever way they can.

The bottom line is this: My parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and while my mom continues to have an open mind and wants to learn about ADHD my father absolutely REFUSES to believe that my actions and attitudes have anything to do with any disorder - to him I have no values or morals. If I would just "think" before I did/said something or "chose" to "do the right thing" then my life would be fixed. Apparently he thinks I just refuse to be a productive citizen - my life is a choice I have consciously made and decided on.

I'm not sure the specific religion is as big of a deal as the fact that my dad feels hurt, and that IN HIS EYES I abandoned everything he ever tried to teach me.

I know all of us here have done things - MANY things - impulsively that we regret and ESPECIALLY when we were untreated we may have tried to come up with reasons for why we did what we did but in our hearts and minds we really didn't have ANY CLUE why.

He says to me all the time things like "I just don't understand. We taught you right. You KNEW better." or "Why did you do (xyz)?!" and the worst "If you cared about us then you wouldn't have done ..."

Yes, I NOW know that a lot of my behaviors were simply seeking stimulation or a way to fill the emptiness or quiet the static in my head that I didn't know everyone else didn't have. I understand now that I wasn't a ***** or druggie or didn't care - I did what I did bc in short, it made me feel better at the moment. And as we all know THE CURRENT MOMENT is the only one that exists.

I have a feeling that he somehow thinks that ADHD is tied to bad parenting and/or believes it is some excuse I have come up with to avoid responsibility and so he just won't hear any of it.

I just wish there was some way to help him understand it isn't WHO to blame it's WHAT's to blame. That it isn't a moral issue but a neurological one.

05-09-12, 11:08 PM

05-10-12, 02:53 AM
This is part in response to what you posted in Joker Girl’s thread too.

I am so sorry that you have had to go through this. (((((HUGS))))) I try to find the best side of religions that are different from mine, but to see faith twisted and made hurtful makes me really angry. Partly this is because my faith has been really important in helping me cope with dyslexia and ADHD. When I was growing up often my mom would tell me that God wasn’t worried about my mistakes, that he didn’t care if I went to college or not, or made a lot of money. He only cared that I try my best with the gifts I have and try to be kind and understanding. I was His beloved child no matter how I messed up, and I am always making messing up.

I don’t know if anything can get through to your dad. I suppose you could ask him why he thinks a god who would throw you into oblivion, and probably his grandkids too, is such a great god to believe in. (I pass on eternity with that kind of god.) He has put god in a box – put restrictions on Gods love and mercy. Putting restrictions on unconditional love is not a good idea.

Don’t Jehovah Witnesses ever have kids with disabilities?

I know you say your parents are supportive, but it might be good to start finding a way to live away from them even if it means public assistance. I think you should be concerned about how these attitudes might impact your kids. Hearing you talked about that way has got to be bad for them. I think it could even be toxic.

For your own spiritual journey, think about anyone you know who seems genuinely kind and giving and maybe sort of at peace, even if it is the checkout lady at the grocery store or a person in history. Ask him/her what their faith is. Just stop by a church and talk to someone there – get some ideas. If you like to read maybe look through some stuff at the library. People like to talk about their beliefs. Stay away from the fire and brimstone beliefs – they are putting God in a box again.

You can always pray to the “God who I am not sure is there”. Ask for help finding him.

05-11-12, 06:37 PM
Maybe he will read this, it is taken from the official Jehovah's Witness web site

When Someone
You Love Has a Mental Disorder (

Although some one with ADHD may not be as sever as the example given it does allude to the idea that it isn't necessarily the Jehovah's Witness faith system itself that is at fault but some thing more personal inside your dad that is at the heart of his inability to accept your diagnosis.

Some parents see their off spring as extension of themselves meaning your ADHD is some how a reflection of him. Unless he becomes willing to actually learn different there may not be any thing you can do about it.