Penquin: I know alot of people that said, they'ld be dead if it wasn't for the Borg.. I came in at 29 and was emotionally abused by mother and father..all my life.. Alot of JW's have some mental problems.. Some seem to like the control aspect as they are controllers...So I'm not sure what to conclude..interesting though...
Abusers and Abusees love the org...
I grew up in a highly dysfunctional household with all the abuse/neglect that goes along with it. When I was 12 I went to live with my grandmother who basically just provided me with food & shelter (not guidance) so I effectively raised myself (as parents gave little guidance also). Had an aunt who was a JW so I had bible studies on & off throughout my childhood. After a failed engagement, I dived into JW'dom head on. They became my surrogate "family", but at the end of the day, I never really fit in with them. Having "the truth" and being so "certain" about everything was very comforting back then and artificially raised my self-esteem. Today I still struggle with depression/self-esteem issues and am trying to not be so submissive in nature, yet even in my personal relationships I tend to be drawn to strong personalities that dominate me. At least I am aware of it and trying to choose more positive relationships.
Thanks Star Moore for your comments. It is interesting indeed.
Maryjane: "Today I still struggle with depression/self-esteem issues and am trying to not be so submissive in nature, yet even in my personal relationships I tend to be drawn to strong personalities that dominate me. At least I am aware of it and trying to choose more positive relationships."
It is this awareness that will make the difference for you. It's often a long road to break these patterns but being aware of them to begin with is the first step. You're doing great!
Thanks Lady Lee. I just find it so interesting that just about everyone I know who converted to jw as an adult fits into the abusee/abuser category. And I've also noticed that the more help these ones get (as in therapy or education) the less likely they are to stay witnesses or be active. My experience anyhow.
I would have to say the same applies to me. Almost every JW I knew came from some kind of family problems while they were growing up. I think that as people get the therapy they need or find ways to distance themselves from toxic people and toxic environments they will be less attracted to high control group. Just a thought about the ones who become controllers (and in the WTS that would apply mostly (but not entirely - I've certainly read enough stories about controlling elders wives plus I've known one or two) to the men. Few of the JWs I knew were successful in the world. Not too many had an education past high school and very few had office jobs or jobs where they were the boss. Most had service jobs where they had no supervisory responsibilities. (This BTW only applies to my expereince in the cong where I was). Being a JW gave them some way to gain authority and responsibility. The abusers found way to misuse that authority. it gave them an opportunity to get something they would never get in the outside world. Star
I know alot of people that said, they'ld be dead if it wasn't for the Borg.. I came in at 29 and was emotionally abused by mother and father..all my life.. Alot of JW's have some mental problems.. Some seem to like the control aspect as they are controllers...So I'm not sure what to conclude..interesting though
I am one who realizes that my life could have gone down a very destructive path if it had not been for the WTS. it did give me rules to follow and a lifestyle that kept me out of trouble. I too have a long history of abuses from just about everyone in my early life. But as I finally got into therapy I began to understand I just traded an abusive family for an abusive cult.
There were no abusers in the congo where I was, they were just people without any warmth or brotherly love not very different from the "worldly" people. Cases of child abuse were unheard of in that area.
Just because you didn't hear about it doesn't mean it wasn't there.
Forcing a small child to sit still and quiet for two hours under threat of being taken to the back and spanked is a form of abuse in itself. Forcing children to read and believe that all the kids they go to school with are going to die is a form of abuse. This list could go on and on.
I knew 2 elders who had teenage daughters who were forced to sleep in the living room and had absolutely no privacy. Both these elders had jobs that could have paid for an apartment with an extra bedroom. Interestingly one of these elders had a wife who was an alcoholic and regularly had her booze delivered to the back door of the kingdom hall (they lived in the basement apartment)
The whole concept of the lack of brotherly love is also a form of abuse. People need to feel they are loved and appreciated. WTS teachings continually negate the skills, talents, abilities of the individual.
Their motto seems to be "If you are good at something it is because you are a JW but if you are bad it is because you are a sinner."
This breeds a lot of very unhappy people who wander through life pretending to be happy because they are told they are happy. Nothing healthy about that if you ask me.
one of the things i have observed, because of my experience with an abusive family i think it is easier to deal with some of the attitudes i encounter...if i can tell my non jw family to f***o** i can certainly tell someone that i have known for a relatively short time and have far less emotional attachment to. of course over the years i have learned some tact, but the idea is the same. as an aside, it always makes me laugh when posters to this forum assume that every jw obeys mindlessly every order given by any window washer that comes along...if i didn't obey my abusive parents why would i obey an abusive stranger? the trick with both groups is to make them think you want to obey, but somehow you just never do...
Lady Lee, Maybe I didn't see anything wrong with the WT's ordering around and controll because of emotional abuse..like you.
Lady Lee Maybe I didn't see anything wrong with the WT's ordering around and controll because of; emotional abuse..like you.
Even though it doesn't feel good it is familiar. I never would have dreamed the WTS was using thier power to control and manipulate people. I was out for 10 years before this even began to dawn on me despite having gone through therapy for all the rest of the abuse I went through.
Has this been your experience? Think of all the jw's you know that converted as adults. Are they abusers or abusees?
There is a theory, and one I subscribe to, that says in a dysfunctional home there are 3 roles: (1) offender; (2) victim; (3) denier.
(1) Offender: the one who causes all the chaos, all the evil in the home. He/she will hurt their own children for their own selfish needs, wants and pleasures. I am intruged by the thought that one can choose the offender role as a way to seek control over their own out of control feelings and thoughts.
(2) Victim: Can be more than one in the family, although the theory says the family usually (and subsconciously) ascribes the best and the brightest of the family to this role. These are the children that receive the worst of the abuse the family has to offer. However these are also the children that, when grown, act as "ambulances", leave the family seeking help and aid. Of the 3 roles in a dysfunctional family, the victim role is, according to the theory, the one most likely to break out of the dynamic of abuse.
(3) Denier: These are usually the rest of the family, including the non-offending spouse/parent. These are the people who enable the offender to rape and abuse. As children, a denier is so overwhelmed they cannot process the horrific experience and so bury it so deeply that to their cognitive mind it did not happen. Unfortunately, when they are grown this same behavioral dynamic is in place and they will often act out this denial on real victims ("oh surely not"; "well maybe he ..." and so on).
IF this theory holds a modicum of accuracy, and it is applied to a high control sect like Jehovah's Witnesses, one could see how and why folks behave the way they do. One of my therapists told me (back in the late 80's) that dyfunctional families were more likely to be attracted to high control or fundamentalists religions/sects. It is possible that the prorportion of dysfunctional families is higher in this organization than in society at large.