---- (I'm not including their e-mail address for privacy reasons):
> I have been disfellowshipped since 1995, approximately. As a result, I have
> been missing out on family social gatherings as majority of family members
> are JWs. To get my big brothers' approval and through my sister's persuasion,
> I thought I should come back to the religion. But it isn't easy to come
> back. And I cannot give up my Catholic boyfriend of 12 years, my new
> Pentecostal friends and lifestyle that changed when I got disfellowshipped.
> I thought I have numbed my conscience and hearts so I will not be bothered
> by not following JW teachings and principles. But hey, I have to survive
> psychologically. And I want to have a religion and find God, be good and all
> that, but I find myself not freed of the JW teachings ingrained in my mind. I
> want to get rid of them and find a new religion I can start believing in, but
> I am concerned that the brothers (blood) whose approval I care for will get
> angry even more.
> I keep giving my older brothers false alarms about my coming back and
> finally I took a step which may anger or frustrate them further. I said that to be
> a JW, it entails a lot of sacrifices and a full commitment is expected from
> me. I want to examine the JW religion now from an outsider's point of view
> before I can embrace it. ( I have been reading and maybe this is called
> apostasy by JWs). I wrote my brother that it is easier for them to be JWs because
> they have centered their lives around a community who shares their beliefs
> and lifestyle--in other words they have found a niche in the JW society--they
> are elders and prominent in the JW circle. As for me, I still have my
> boyfriend who although be open to learn JW teachings to please me, would remain a
> Catholic. How could he possibly give up the kind of life he has been brought
> to? I mentioned I had petty reasons too, why I do not want to come back
> anymore which I am embarassed to reveal. (I like the company of the Pentecostal
> friends and I will examine their faith ; it starts with the heart they say,
> and doctrines will follow. A very close JW friend said, it is a matter of
> finding God, whatever the religion is. Another petty reason why I do not want to
> go back to the JW religion is because of the dress code at the kingdom hall.
> I cannot afford to buy skirts to wear at the kingdom hall---very petty but
> At any rate, I enjoyed reading your article. It was intellectual, down to
> earth, and honest. And you had lived the life of a typical JW, and was more
> "convicted" than other JWs I know. I understand how you finally got out and
> was able to liberate yourselves from autocratic discreet slaves, whom I still
> question and followed blindly then; As far as I am concerned, it was just a
> bandwagon why I joined the JW religion. And I want to come back to win back
> my JW brothers who cannot relate or associate with me or even talk unless it
> is very necessary.
> Thank you for sharing your experience. I think, it will help in liberating
> me further by ridding myself of the guilt and accountability about leaving
> the JW religion for good.
Good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing information about your situation with me; it certainly doesn't sound like an easy series of decisions required of you.
I don't know if anything I have to say will be of help, but, I'll try anyway.
First off, your life belongs to you. You build your life out of each decision you make. Conflicts happen when we try and mix things we don't want in our life with things we do want. The two don't mix! When we force things to mix that have no place with each other the conflict is often unsurmountable psychologicially.
Your situation is clearly a case of emotional blackmail. This is awful. It feels awful and it is no wonder you want relief from the draining emotional toll it is taking on your strong natural attachment to your family.
Jehovah's Witnesses have a way of using your very best virtues against you and making it seem like a weakness.
You love your family; but, you see that their religious beliefs are based on counterfeit interpretations and you don't want your values to be bogus too. But, they don't respect your right to choose your own values. No, they INSIST you accept their own and will shun you and make life very hard on you if you try to make an honest choice which over rules theirs.
Pressure ensues. Conflicts arise. Instead of clearly stating the real issue: respect for a person's choices; they paint it very evil and make you the villain if you don't completely surrender! This coercion devalues you as a person; but, they don't care!
In other words, to get along with Jehovah's Witnesses you must surrender your own mind, your own choices and your own values and completely go along with anything they say.
You've correctly identified the next pressure point: THEY WILL NOT ALLOW you to have your own friends or boyfriend!
Most of the JW's I know end up leading double lives; secret lives with hidden friends and illicit relationships because they cannot give up cherished friends just to please religious fanaticism.
If you want to step back and look at this problem more clearly, try this.
1.Recognise that people who really love you will respect your decisions without blaming you and calling it evil.
2.Know that JW's have demonstrated time and again (by setting false dates when Armageddon would come) that they don't care if they are proved wrong; they are going to explain away their errors no matter what! This should ably demonstrate they have no love for reality. What they call THE TRUTH is merely THEIR VERSION OF a man's opinion and nothing more. It is a WRONG opinion because they have had to change their explanations for things they were absolutely certain about over and over.
3. A humble person admits mistakes. JW's are not humble! They are so proud of their quirky view of the Bible they would rather die than face the fact they follow orders from Brooklyn NY. These orders are from old men with very hard heads who run a corporation that makes millions of dollars on real estate deals. If this system is wicked and is going to end so soon---why invest your fortune in real estate and stocks?
4.Even the most devout Jehovah's Witness who has been faithful for years will find him or herself out in the cold in a flash if he asks the wrong questions and shows any willingness to bring a reasonableness to Watchtower interpretations.
JW's are taught to FEAR information that might show the other side of the issue. If they really had THE TRUTH they'd be overjoyed to face any question by any person because they could easily demonstrate how wrong it was. What they fear instead is being proved absolutely wrong by quotes from their own literature!
5.If you choose to spend time with people who accept you for your own choices and decisions you will have companions who will be there for you when trouble arises in life. JW "brothers" and "sisters" will desert you immediately if you have a problem. They are uncharitable in the extreme. They have not learned love; they have loved judgement. That is what you'll get when you have a problem: JUDGEMENT. They will point out how wrong you are and how you are bringing problems onto yourself. Forget a kind word or a helping hand.
6.A person cannot stay sane and healthy if they are forced to live a lie. Psychologically it causes depression and anger. To try and pretend to believe you are connected to Truth which is nothing but a false opinion will eat away at your well-being and mental health.
There are so many sick, depressed and hopeless JW's hanging on by their fingernails hoping the world will end it is just pathetic and heartbreaking!
The largest desire of those people is that millions will be hacked to death by angels sooner than later so they can start living in Paradise! What a sick bunch of people!
7. Being absolutely certain about things which are mere opinion is a sign of mental imbalance. JW's are notoriously close-minded about everything they assert to be true. In any discussion or argument they DO NOT LISTEN; they are in attack mode with memorized refutations on their lips. They cannot even honestly consider another fair and neutral point of view as valid---their whole world would crumble. It does no good pointing out how wacky they are either--they won't listen--they'll close down and condemn you.
JW's live in a black and white fantasy where invisible people run the universe from behind a curtain; gods and devils all. They do what they are told and shut out the real world as though it were a virus. They cannot think for themselves or feel real emotions. Their humanity is drained from them at the Kingdom Hall where countless hours of boring repetition condition them to fight off reality with every brain cell left functioning.
Is that the life you will choose for youself? What will you get for all your trouble?
Is it even a bad bargain? Or, is it really only a choice of trying to fool yourself long enough to fool them so they can pretend to accept you again?
You'll make the right choice. You can see BOTH SIDES now. They can only see one side. Once you've seen the hollow pretense it is impossible not to see it. It is like a magic trick. Once you know how the trick is really done; you cannot pretend that ther is real magic anymore.
Jehovah's Witnesses pretend there is magic. Their magic comes from the old men in Brooklyn who just make it up as they go along.
It is for desperate people who like feeling they are right and everybody else is wrong.
Choose sanity and build a life that is made up of persons and events you value and you'll have a chance at genuine happiness.
Turn your back on your own values and you buy in to life of drudgery, boredom, depression and pretend friends.
Not much of a decision here don't you agree?
I wish you the very best.
Thank you for writing to me.
If there is anything I can do to help; don't hesitate to ask.
All the best,