Yes, I do think we are different from other support groups. As witnesses we were isolated from the world and the people in it, whereas Catholics for instance have never been isolated from the world or its people, but always a part of it and its traditions. We as ex-witnesses are kindred spirits sharing a common background.
WHAT MAKES EX-JW'S UNIQUE TO CREATE A DISCUSSION FORUM LIKE THIS?
In just about every area of life you can have closure and move on when changing your mind.
You can change your job with 2 weeks notice, move to where you want to live, sell your car, redecorate, change schools,etc.or change religions, and no one will question your motives, beliefs, or you as a decent person.
But with the JW's there is rarely closure unless you were in temporarily with no family involved, most likely you can walk out.
The norm with the WTS is if you change your mind you are labeled, shunned, embarressed, separated from any family still involved and made to feel worthless in the eyes of their society. Your very being is questioned.
They will not "just let you leave" or "Fade" ....Old members are continually abused by "in family members", or friends. You can be gone 30 years, (my case) and family members involved will take it upon themselves to punish by shunning at any given time they are instructed to.)
This religion does not leave x members alone.
Any wonder there are websites to deal with this.
Nope, we just have a common interest. I also used to contribute to a Scuba-diving forum.
I post on an abuse board, a video trading board and a Harry Potter board.
Similar interests bring folks together.
In my city you can find different support groups for ex-cult members. I visited a mixed group some years ago and was amaized about how many similartites I could find. They are generally all the same just the terminologie is different. freetosee
IMO, leaving WTS membership is frightening because of all the fear-mongering that goes on within their ranks. It takes a tremendous amount of courage if one has been fully indoctrinated into WTS teachings. Ergo, this forum and other forums and websites of this nature provide a SAFE, supportive and very informative, reassuring venue for self-expression, self-doubts, venting one's anger and grief over not only possibly the loss, whether temporarily or not, of family members and friends, but one's whole belief system. This causes a change of astronomical proportions in one's lifestyle. Surely very traumatic. Lots of questions to be answered. Here's where the answers are provided.
I don't know of another belief system that is based on and controlled by engendering so much fear in its participants..........unless it's something like the Mafia.
I left the Catholics to become a J.W. and while everyone in my family was shocked, I was never shunned or avoided. I was the one who avoided them.
You cannot leave the J.W.'s the same way. When you leave, you might as well have the plague.
So then, this board is very much needed. Thank you Simon!
Nice of you to say so, (((jgnat))). But c'mon...we're freaks.
Let me introduce you to my family, AuldSoul. My maternal grandmother committed suicide in a mental asylum. The family story was that she died of pneumonia. I also have cousins on the same side of the family who committed suicide on the downside of a bipolar episode. My mother is Bipolar. My ex-husband, Schizophrenic. My son, Schizophrenic. My son-in-law, Schizophrenic, though my daughter INSISTS he's only got Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Let me introduce you to my neighbours. Hyperactive Chrissy quietly moved to Canada from the UK to avoid her Psychopathic-Schizophrenic dad, who had tried to burn her house down. With her in it. Julie and Sam are an odd couple. She is developmentally delayed and a permanent flake who regularly shows up at my door looking for a cup of sugar. Sam is a Savant-Schizophrenic, who pulls Heaven out of a piano, but refuses to play for an audience. Neither will answer their door after eight PM.
Me? Probably an ENABLER. How do I FIND these freaks? They are easy to spot. For me.
Life is weird. We found each other and help ourselves limp along. But DON'T THINK FOR A MINUTE your pain is unique. You'd be surprised at what your neighbours are living with.
Not unique at all; there are sites for ex-mormons, ex-sdas, ex-scientologists, ex-postmen... it's a great big world, and everybody is going through something! If you want to cheer yourself up, think of the worst thing that could happen to you, google it with the word 'chatroom', and you'll find a few thousand people going through it.