What will it take for me to stop this?

by sibboleth 48 Replies latest jw friends

  • Bonnie_Clyde

    Hi Sibboleth - I found your picture on page 8 of the 11-15-78 Watchtower. I was at the same convention and I remember going out in service with my children--probably the last time I ever went in service at a convention. Seems like they didn't have service arrangements at district conventions much after that date.

    I didn't think anyone in that picture looked happy or maybe the sun was in their eyes. I know how you feel about all the wasted years. But at age 41 you should still have lots of good years ahead of you. Hope you can develop some new friendships--some real friendships. I have had so many similar feelings to yours. One thing I keep telling myself, "It's not what happens to you--it's how you react to what happens to you." That's easier said than done, but it really does help.

  • truthsearcher

    Welcome Sibboleth and Happy Birthday !

    That was nice that your Mom called to say she loved you! I hope that you are able to eat lots and lots of cake today!

    Your questions are ones that I have been considering lately. My Mom was raised in a high control cult and we have dealt with the emotional fall-out of that over the years. I have been wondering what it takes to move on and heal from the process. I think it is important to note that often, people do need to have some counselling to help them.

    I have found some articles that might be helpful. If there is interest in this topic I will post more of them.

    This one was from http://www.csj.org/infoserv_articles/furnari_leona_bornraised.htm


    I have conducted interviews with a number of adults who were raised in CHDGs. In addition to developmental deficits, these individuals identify a myriad of other personal losses. These include, though are certainly not limited to:

    childhood, self, family, God, meaning, sustaining beliefs, language, identity, learning capacities, problems sustaining relationships, problems reading social cues.

    Many of these former members describe deep feelings of shame, guilt, isolation, doubt, confusion, and mood swings. The following statements express some of the difficulties faced:

    "I felt, and continue to feel, like a stranger in a strange land."

    "I had no pre-cult self, lacked basic survival skills, had/have many relational issues, had lack of understanding of normal human emotions and expression, lacked critical thinking skills, and needed to re-define ‘normal’."

    "Everywhere I went upon leaving the cult I tripped up on my own undone developmental work."

    "I will be in recovery for the rest of my life. The damage I suffered was profound."

    "It was deprivation, abuse and developmental lack."

    "Lots of re-defining of terms, i.e. good bad, etc. I had to come to grips with the sad, apparent truth that good people suffer losses all the time."

    "I had no reference to go back to – this has been the most difficult piece. I had to give up all the meaning I had learned – everything I learned was wrong. Accepting this is the key to my recovery."


    Though recovery will not be explored in depth in this paper, it is important to have an overview of the recovery process. Martin (1993) discusses stages of recovery following cultic experiences. These stages are similar, though with a unique twist for those born or raised in CHDGs because there is no pre-cult identity to go back to, so I have modified Martin somewhat (e.g., "re-evaluation" becomes "evaluation", "reintegration" becomes "integration"). The stages are:


    Evaluation of the experiences - often in tandem with finding a support network, including any former members and/or extended family who have been on the outside; education on cults/mind control; therapy; reading; journaling


    Reconciliation/Adaptation, Conciliation – moving slowly, taking small steps; explore redefining of terms; set small goals, tend to personal health; discover personal strengths


    Integration – occurs over time

    There are many things that will likely impact the success and degree of recovery. Developmental tasks of safety and trust are paramount, and are usually not quickly or painlessly achieved. Rosanne Henry, a licensed professional counselor who works with cult survivors says that "we can’t expect to do recovery the way we do cults," (personal communication 2004) meaning that there are no magic bullets or quick fixes, and that time, patience, and self-care are very important. This cannot be emphasized enough. In the cult recovery field one of the theories is that most people, at times of vulnerability, are susceptible to being indoctrinated into a CHDG, and that one need not come from a dysfunctional family or have family-of-origin issues to have become involved in such a group. Treatment usually focuses on the cult experience first, and then family-of-origin issues, if there are any. In the case of those born or raised in CHDGs the two are inseparable and must be dealt with simultaneously. Since the trauma is relational and occurs over time, the individual may be dealing with complex PTSD, and professional help may be important for understanding and decreasing the symptoms.
    Healing is a process, and adaptation and integration occur over time. It is very important to remember that human beings are resilient. As one begins to experience small successes and builds a foundation of personal strengths and skills, one’s sense of safety begins to expand. As one’s sense of safety expands, so do self-confidence, autonomy, initiative, and identity, just as in the normal process of healthy childhood development.

  • Dr Zhivago
    Dr Zhivago

    Welcome Sibboleth. And, Happy Birthday!


  • LeslieV

    Welcome to the board...you will find alot of healing when you talk about your experiences. Happy Birthday, I know you will have a great year to come!!!!!


  • Carmel

    It's said "life begins at 40" so I don't see what the problem is! You've probably another 40 or so to enjoy the bounties of life. Live well, It's the best pay back to the elder's club. carmel

  • juni

    Welcome Sibboleth to the forum. I just read your post and answers to it so far. A lot of good suggestions. A lot of new people have joined us here. Never feel that you are the only one trying to figure things out. We all have/or are still going through this. For everyone it's different.

    Just know that you've come to a good place where you can vent and get heard and also a place to learn the facts about the JW religion.

    We all come here for support. Group therapy!

    Happy 41st Birthday !

    And GO COLTS! I'm from Wisconsin and I'm rooting for your team! Have a fun SuperBowl Sunday and enjoy brother Prince's 1/2 time performance!!! Ever wonder Sib why he gets to remain a JW in good standing and JW kids shouldn't play w/worldly kids, be in sports, listen to certain music, idolize celebrities, etcetera, etc.

    Well.....we didn't all fall off the turnip truck yesterday. $ speaks. The religion is pathetic, but there are a lot of nice JWs. Just allowing themselves to be led around by the nosering. Actually we should pity them. By having that attitude it can help one move on.

    Enjoy your life and peace,


  • PEC


    Welcome And, Happy Birthday!


  • anewme

    Welcome Sibboleth! We are so glad you are already enjoying yourself here on JWD!
    We are also hooked! After a while you stay on just to help others escape or deal with their feelings of tremendous loss and anger over the years spent in Watchtowerdom.
    Its true that many of us will be in "recovery" in one way or another for the rest of our lives because of it.

    We are your new friends and family!!


  • AudeSapere

    Happy Birthday and Welcome to JWD!!

    -Aude Sapere (meaning: Dare to Know; Dare to Have Wisdom/Understanding)

  • Bumble Bee
    Bumble Bee

    Happy birthday and Welcome!

    I too lurked for a while before joining. There are alot of people that have gone through similar experiences and we can all commiserate with you over shared experiences. I've come to learn that what has happened in the past has to be dealt with. I came from a family that never ever dealt with problems, that it would all go away if you just pretended it didn't happen. My brother and I are slowly starting to deal with our past and move on. I come here, he goes to a therapist. We all have different ways with dealing with things.

    I remember being at that convention and getting the little yellow plastic bag (Montreal, Quebec for me). I still had it up until about two years ago when I finally cleaned out some JW stuff (still have more to get rid of).


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