Stability to Chaos - A Survival Guide

by LittleToe 19 Replies latest jw experiences

  • LittleToe

    The thread title is a reference to how I hope this thread will evolve, rather than my own pretentious aspirations.

    For many of us, perhaps especially if we were raised as JWs, the whole world was pretty black and white. We knew what we were doing, why we were here, where we were going, in the midst of a chaotic world we had a stability that others envied - or so we thought...

    For most of us reading this site our eyes have likely at some point been opened to realise that many of our previous strongly-held beliefs were dust. If we have left the WTS or been forcibly ejected then we have also experienced shunning. If we have attempted to keep up a facade, for the sake of family, or other personal reasons, then we have the continual battle of cognitive dissonance and living a double life of disparate thoughts.

    Many here have expressed feelings of anger, depression, or in some cases even a desire to commit suicide, dealing with an often subconscious grieving process that includes the whole range of human emotion.

    I'm going to be candid and say that I got off pretty lightly. Though I lost my wife and most of my family I seemed to shrug off the whole JW thing like a shroud, even though I had known nothing else and had been a true believer. Life has its ups and downs, but I have far less to complain about than most. That having been said, I can relate, and at one low spot turned to poetry as a release for some of those feelings.

    Embracing the chaos of normal life was singly the hardest thing I ever had to do. What has your experience been, and what tips would you suggest for others attempting to make that transition?

  • Brigid

    Little Toe,

    Your poetry is breathtaking not to mention poignant. Your post reminds me of something a friend (and fellow poet) wrote about chaos being the canvas upon which we paint our lives. Our sense of order, whether spoon-fed from the org, or just the rule of law that we humor ourselves with is only an illusion that we use to stave off the fear of the fact that underneath it all, we are ruled by chaos ("time and unseen circumstance befall us all").

    However, from the Void; the Aleph, comes form. We create our own realities by our thoughts, actions and beliefs.

    Anyway, beautiful poetry.

    Love and Light,


  • jgnat

    Little Toe, you and I have talked about this. I empathize with the wrenching experience you brave people go through leaving the society. I've been surprised sometimes by the depth of despair on leaving, especially amongst the men. This may be a gross exaggeration, but men may be less inclined than women to express weakness to their friends.

    Poetry is one way of getting release. Opening up to those vulerabilities on an anonymous forum like this could be another. I think building a "safety net" of trusted friends, especially if you can manage it pre-exit, can help a lot. Are there other ideas?

  • diamondblue1974

    Is there really stability in that high level of control we experienced or is the stability a facade for something much more chaotic going on inside?

    On the outside we were living normal dub lifestyles...meetings, field service and so forth but on the inside our minds doubted, our emotions contrasted with most of what we were being fed.

    Did we swap one form of chaos for another more positive form of chaos?


  • diamondblue1974
    Our sense of order, whether spoon-fed from the org, or just the rule of law that we humor ourselves with is only an illusion that we use to stave off the fear of the fact that underneath it all, we are ruled by chaos



  • daystar

    Solve et coagula. All things are created and all things are destroyed.

    We are like God in that we are little creators. We are little gods.

    But when we are seduced by the illusion of ultimate Order, Chaos will ultimately take it all back. Ashes to ashes...

    We who are no longer within the confines of such a structure as built by the Witness religion, are forced to come to terms with this illusion, first. But then, "where will you go?" Will we attach ourselves to some other prescribed structure? Or will we choose to take upon ourselves the mantle God has ultimately given to us, as little gods, in His image, little creators of our own realities and our own Order?

    Woman whose name is Chaos, Nuit, goddess of the night, thee I love wholly, from whence I came and to whom I will return one day. Hadit, the great god, the lord of the sky, secret serpent, the flame that burns in the heart of every man, grant me the spirit and the power to create as is my True Will.

    I am your Crowned and Conquering Child!

  • jgnat

    Another thought. Most people manage to float through life without seriously questioning their base values or motivations. Exiting JW's don't have that luxury. You all have had to do some major soul-searching to leave, been through the fire so it were. What is left is fine gold. It's a pleasure knowing you all.

  • freedomlover

    I recently re-read "the four agreements."

    the author talks about how everything in this world is an illusion, a dream. a dream that the whole planet and almost every human buys into. I remember reading that for the first time and it was a breathtaking realization. I began to see the fragility of *normal* life even more so. How quickly disaster can strike, and how fleeting life can be.

    this *dream* that most of us humans have is just that - a dream, a facade. when we left the *dream* of the org., did we really trade up for something better? I don't think so. Like you LT accepting the fact that life is full of harsh realities has been one of the most *heady* experiences yet. some days I actually long for the *simpleness* of the illusion that the org. created for me. everything was cut and dry - black and white. other days the simpleness of that state of mind makes me sick to my stomach.

    still glad I'm out though. I don't have all answers, but I'm glad to be free from the mental yoke of slavery.

  • kid-A

    Embracing the chaos of normal life was singly the hardest thing I ever had to do.

  • kid-A

    "Embracing the chaos of normal life was singly the hardest thing I ever had to do".

    All I can say Ross, is that for what you have been through, you are probably the most balanced person I have known in a long time. From what I know of your story, you did go through a considerable amount of hell and came through with even greater perspective. A rare achievement for anyone.

    I agree about the difficulty of learning to embrace chaos, particularly being raised a JW and having the entire universe presented to me in the simplest and most inane black and white terms.

    While it is terrifying to leap into the unknown, the inevitable freedom that is born from that metamorphosis is incomparable.

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