"There is no middle ground... you either get no punishment or extremely severe punishment." That's not true really. If you 'humbly repent' and show works of forgiveness, you are just put on reproof, or lose some privileges. Still humiliatin and canmean you can just get treated a bit more coldly for a while, but you are being a bit too black and white methinks.
After being a JW, do you experience panic when someone expresses disapproval
I can't handle it at all. My current boss is very disapproving of everyone who works for her and thrives on literally making some of the more sensitive employees cry. I find myself becoming disgustingly compliant and subservient in order to win her approval. I hate this about myself.
With friends I am overly guarded with myself and my feelings so as not to give them any reason to find fault with me. I hate this about myself also.
In an attempt to put a postive spin on this I tell myself that at least I know that this is how I react to conflict. If I'm aware of this then sometimes I'm able to stop from reacting in the above manners.
To Yaddayadda ~ I disagree with your statement. There was only "black and white" "wrong and right" and "life or death" from my experiences. I saw many truly repentant friends tossed away and not believed. I was told from a young age that if I didn't behave blindly and without question that I would be told to leave. From the stage I heard many, many times that if I even had "bad" thoughts Jehovah was going to kill me at Armaggedon. This was all I had ever heard my entire life. That message and those horrible pictures were burned into my brain, I can remember meetings from when I was 3 and 4. When you hear things like that from such a young age they never truly go away and will affect you in your later life and experiences.
Thanks Else for this thread:
Yes I do. I don't even know where to start. I have a horrible time expressing opinions on a matter, always feel like it is going to be judged and I'll be put into a category. Lol, weak apostate, strong apostate etc. This affects the way I post on a thread or respond in a conversation. More often then not, I'll read but not post, because I'm terrified I'll say something the wrong way or piss someone off. Getting better though. Little by little.
I think the longer a person has been out of the org, the stronger they get. Probably that is why so many stay in and don't express their opinions. They're afraid what would happen if they had one, because they know the outcome. It might not be that these ones are "brainless" or we can't get through to them, but it's the fear of what could happen.
So, maybe the best bet is just to provide an environment (like here) that is just accepting and loving, nurturing, so that when those who are questioning come here (like the ex bethelites who just lost so much) (or our families even though we don't know that they're here) they will find a soft place to land.
(Excellent thread else)
Maybe I'm just an asshole by nature, but I don't care what anyone thinks any more. I've experienced disapproval in many forms in my life, and so far it hasn't killed me. If I lose a job I know there are thousands more out there for the taking. Same thing with friends.
There are very few people whose opinions of me will adversely affect my quality of life.
Not at all.
I wouldn't read too much in to the effect being a JW has had on your life.
I have a friend (never a JW) who is otherwise a very independent strong minded man but he gets panicked by authority figures. He puts it down to the fact he went to a strict boarding school.
My partner (also never a JW) goes to pieces when criticised for anything. She puts it down to the fact her parents were very proud with how academic she was at a young age and since then she's felt the need to be the best at everything she tries or she feels she's letting them down.
Just remember, yes we were raised JW's but there are plenty of other factors wile growing up that could of f*cked us up good and proper like regular children
I used to. I was really messed up. I have come a long way. I remember how I felt, I felt like I had to have resolution or acceptance. Not anymore but it was bad in the past.
I think what changed in me was resolution with the WT, then the time I spent alone getting to know who I really was. Some of us never had a chnace to get to know who we really are. We are JWs for goodnes sakes! uuhhhhg..
Once I went through knowing who I was, I learned to love and appreciate myself. Then when somebody disapproved, who cares. To thine own self be true. It took me years to understand that. From there we learn to love and appreciate all others that are different from us. Thus an end to approval disapproval issues, or a need to validate ourselves to others.