The nighmare Armegeddon images they present to children, the original Paradise Lost Book , with a picture of a small boy falling down a hole with his dog at Armegeddon, how could you not suffer anxiety attacks with those type of childhood memories. At our Kingdom Hall too, some of the parents would take children downstairs for creating any disturbance during the meetings and wail the day lights out of them, the society would encourage them to do so constantly quoting the scripture about do not spare the rod. It was the GB who needed a darn good wacking.
Panic attacks and Jehovahs Witness!
Being a Witnesses is to be anxious. That's the goal.
Your response is lucid enough to deserve its own thread.
While I've never suffered from panic attacks, when I was a youngster I would imagine myself in all kinds of situations 'testing my loyalty.' IE, if I had to hold my breath and hide under water for two minutes could I?
Could I endure the pain of a beating or torture? Would I buckle and confess?
Would I be weak enough so as to buy a political card or would I do the right thing and take a stand for Jehovah?
All of these questions asked of oneself at a young age are harmful to mental health.
I suffered from extreme panic attacks for years before I finally left. I would get sick before I would walk into the hall or bookstudy. I even would down a couple drinks to try and calm myself down enough to get to meeting. I was told I didn't have enough faith, that I didn't study enough, and that I could get through it if only I trusted Jehovah. After I stopped going to meetings and service, I stopped having the panic attacks.
By the way, Gary Busselman- your post was amazing. I really admire the way you can express your understanding of witness culture.
one of the favorite (I suppose you could use that word) pastimes of the young sisters while out in car groups was to imagine themselves being taken captive, losing their virginity for Jehovah. I was in my 20's at the time and the rest were 18-20 yr olds and I said "well I think it would be a terrible experience for anyone, vrigin or not" they assured me as a married woman it would be far less traumatic to me, they were young and beautiful and saving themselves for an elders and I was already "old" (you are in the wt world in your 20's) and what harm would it do me, I could endure this, but they, princess virgin, well, it was so awful and they would spend quite some time agonizing over how it could happen. oneof the girls mothers was there, and she gave her daughter her hand to bolster her so that should she be required to lose her virginity for jehovah. (sort of, well of course they will pick me, i'm young and beautiful and a virgin you are old (20's) and married, who would want you then??)
i can't believe we talked about this stuff.
now that i think about it, we must have all been loony toones.
Must admit I sometimes feels panicky about getting towards middle age yet feeling quite alone since I left the dubs. Have had trouble connecting with 'worldlings' and making new friends etc. Sometimes miss the friendship and social life in the organisation. Often wake up feeling an uneasy, antsy feeling of being very isolated and different somehow. Just my mind playing tricks I know as I work through the transition.
Mentally healthy, relaxed people are not productive members for a corporation that sells impending doom as it's only product.