As a child growing up on the inside, I believed that every day of my life. Working on quick builds, and at conventions seened to solidify this view. Everyone seemed so loving and accepting of me. Then as I turned 18 and didn't fully step up to the spiritual plate I began to see it all change. The elders went from encouraging to judgmental and wary of me. That was when I got my first inkling that all was not as it seemed.
JW environment and emotional well being
There is too much emphasis in all the meetings and talks on the obligation to preach to the world.
Even the old prophets complained of their assignments!
Now you've got mothers being urged to get out there and preach.
Fathers who work hard all week to preach on the weekends.
Handicapped and retarded people are urged to be very active.
Why why why??????
I dont want to be a preacher!!!!!!
I want my conduct and the love I show my neighbor to be my witness about my religion!
Witnesses are under an enormous amount of pressure to be free salesmen for the Watchtower Society.
Why Why Why?????
My marriage of 20 years to an elder was all about the preaching work! My sacred precious marriage was spent door to door calling on not at homes!!!! Door to door in the searing heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. Can we stop for a warm cup of coffee honey???? After you finish that side of the street!
My whole marriage was practically a threesome! Picture my husband and I at a door with a stranger!
That was my whole stupid marriage! No vacations, no fun, no memories other than wanting to scream out to God for help to get me out of this situation. HELP!!!!!!!
I was a soldier, told to chin up, put your boots on, get in the car, we'll break after you finish the block.
I was a slave.
To stop preaching and just enjoy life was not an option.
Thats when it dawned on me THIS IS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT SERVING JEHOVAH WAS GOING TO BE LIKE!!!!
When you read in the Bible about Sarah and Ruth and Mary you dont picture them as salesmen going to strangers doors with weird householders coming to the door in towels fresh from the showers offering to drop their towels for you. I never dreamed I would be asked to sit in front of Macy's dept store during Christmas time and hawk Watchtowers for some old men in Brooklyn.
I never dreamed I would be giving up all my aspirations (and my family inheritance) to be associating closely on a regular basis with so many limping gimping strange people whose only connection to me was that they want to live in a paradise someday.
I went nuts 4 years ago.
I CANNOT ALLOW THAT EVER TO HAPPEN TO ME LIKE THAT AGAIN!
YOU WILL GO DOWN! THEY WILL GO DOWN! NOT ME!
I NOW FIGHT VIGOROUSLY FOR MY EMOTIONAL HEALTH!
How many of you felt
I was told to feel that way. Believing it is another matter entirely.
I have to apologize for the way my comment sounded. I was just reacting to the very notion that such a place existed anywhere. Humans are not evolved to be blissful and satiated. 'Normal' is being resolved to accept that the world is not always kind and our own minds are conflicted. A certain contentment results from laughing at ourselves and the foolish contradictions we entertain.
My world was often cold and unloving. I was an outsider at school and when I wasn't at school, there were constant meetings and service that I really dreaded.I was an elder's daughter and had to be the perfect example at all times. I had to turn around and around to be inspected for proper attire before getting into the car for meetings. One day, I just stopped eating. My stomach hurt constantly and I had no appetite. I dropped to 94 lbs. I was 17 and I now know it was from stress. It took alot of medication and finally moving out into my own place for me to recover. I nearly died from the stress and the toll it took on my health!
The congregation of which I was part in San Jose during most of my eighteenth year was exactly as you describe, and more. Had I not, for some reason I cannot now recall, moved back to Michigan I might conceivably still be a JW. The congregation in Michigan was cold, cliquish, racially segregated, gossipy, spying, back-stabbing, and an all around bummer. Bummer.
I never felt this way about the org. I would parrot those words if anyone asked about what it was like but the exact opposite was true. I didn't fit in at school and I didn't fit in at the kh -- it was a miserable lonely existence growing up. And sadly I stayed in it too long because I was worried that giving up that miserable world would be even a worse fate than staying in it. I was so wrong!
In my experience, all the kids that were born in, at least in my old congo, were social misfits. Pointed at for being different, in that weird religion----get this part--AFRAID of their parents finding out if they stepped out of line.
I think most of us who were born-in, carry alot of baggage IF we left. I have no idea what kind of baggage the ones who stayed in carry since they won't speak to me. I spent my WHOLE LIFE waiting to DIE. That sucked!!! Then when I was around 35 I stopped believing. Now I mourn my youth because I could have actually DID SOME LIVING instead of WAITING TO DIE!
If you could read my life story for the last 20 years, THAT would be an answer to the question about emotional well-being and the JW's. Hey I just noticed I can post 74 more times. Somebody bring me some coffee. Pretty please.
Although I was told that was true thousands of times, it obviously wasn't. It was an atmosphere that promoted paranoia, guilt, and fear. I find now that sometimes I cannot even bear to walk into any sort of room that resembles a B school without experiencing severe anxiety symptoms.