I Flew Across The Country For My Mom’s Wedding. When I Arrived, She Uninvited Me.

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Some brides get cold feet before their wedding. My mom got cold feet about seeing me at hers.

My phone pinged before I stepped off the plane that had taken me from my new home in Southern California to my home state of South Carolina. My mom texted: “Trisha, I love you very much, but I can’t let you come to my wedding.”

I’d flown across the country for this; it was a rare opportunity to see her. 14 years earlier, I’d been disfellowshipped by the Jehovah’s Witness elders, which means I was considered spiritually dead and was excommunicated from the congregation ― including friends and even family.

In the 14 years since, I tried to remind my mom I was still alive. I’d occasionally text photos of my cat or let her know about big news, like when I got my Ph.D. Sometimes she’d respond. Most times she didn’t. She refused to attend my own wedding, but she did send a gift. Her wedding was my last chance, I felt: I would show her I was still her family, even if I was no longer part of her religion, and she could still love me. But as my plane landed, she once again refused to see me.

She raised me to be a good Jehovah’s Witness girl. Just before my 21st birthday, though, I rejected her God, and she rejected me in return. I had a tricky habit of sleeping with my friends: boys, girls, fellow Witnesses, and neighbors who were “worldly” — the term Jehovah’s Witnesses use for everyone outside of the congregation. I straddled two worlds: Tuesday and Thursday night were in the Kingdom Hall, their house of worship. On Wednesday I’d abscond with a friend out to the South Carolina back roads, and into the back seat of my green Chevy Corsica.

Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain loyalty by monitoring members’ actions and looking for any sign that they may step off the narrow path. The Governing Body, a group of eight men said to be appointed by God, dictates a litany of complex rules.

Content retrieved from: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ex-jehovah-witness-mom-wedding_n_63c85bc1e4b01a4363842c89.

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