Happy Birthday Sibboleth - and welcome to JWD!!
Happy Birthday Sibboleth - and welcome to JWD!!
Welcome Sibboleth, good to see you post and sorry about all the crap you and so many had to endure. Life has a twisted sense of humor as I heard it said, there is no future in the past and be glad that at least you are out now and haven't wasted another 41 years in before your eyes were opened. I too regret the time that I wasted in the org but take the positive out that I can, I ran wild for many years as a teenager and some of the people I ran with ended up with life sentences in jail or are dead, maybe I could have been there with them so maybe the org saved my life until I grew up, who knows. You said you feel so ashamed of sitting on JC judging others, I felt the same and have prayed for forgivness for my arrogance and self righteous attitude. Give it time and continue to post here until you throw up all that you can. Get busy living and make your next 41 mean something that you wont regret, the ball is in your court, so are many hundreds who post here with you.
Hi Sibboleth, I've recently rejoined this board after about two years away.
I'm in my late 40s and have a wife who is still a practising JW. Like you I was taken to meetings as a child, and got baptised in my teens; but about six or seven years ago, I just faded away and have kept a low profile which means nobody from the congregation bothers with me any more. Although I don't speak to my wife about things – I've already had a close run in with her in the past over some issue with the organisation and I know she cannot handle knowing how I really feel – I do speak with my grown up children from time to time (thankfully I insisted that they would not consider baptism until they were at least 18, by which time they had definitely decided the WTS wasn't for them). I decided a long time ago that I would never be seen in a kingdom hall again, which meant I missed out on a relative's wedding a few years back. Until recently I would not allow myself to open a JW publication as I considered (using their terminology) any such publication to be a kind of mental poison.
When I first came here, I eventually had to stop posting because I felt I was obsessed with the whole JW thing. I was extremely angry and bitter and in the end wanted no contact with anything that would remind me of my own stolen years. But we have to remember, and particularly those who were brought up in JW households from childhood, that our life revolved around this organisation. It became part of us. So later in life, when we start to question, we eventually come face to face with the psychological damage done to us, and that is not easy to deal with.
However, we can take some comfort in knowing that we are definitely not alone. Nevertheless, because we have been denied self expression for so long, it may take a long time before we can consider ourselves 'normal'. I wish you all the best, and the strength to deal with the trauma (and I don't consider that word over the top) of awakening out of the nightmare.
Oh, and don't forget to show love to those close JW relatives you care about. Just because they act in an unchristian manner, doesn't mean you have to. Hopefully kind actions will over time mellow them at least a little and prove that you don't have to be a JW to be a good worthwhile person.
Welcome Sibboleth. I've also looked back on my life and felt the rage over a wasted youth. It's not easy to think about what you COULD have become had it not been for the Watchtower organization's insane rules.
It's never too late though. Go back to school, get your degree. I'm doing it right now, and so are a lot of others here.
The best way to let go of the past is to take control of your future.
I've got a couple thoughts that might help.
I think this board is addicting whether you've lived through the experience or not. Look at me, never been a JW, and I've been here for over four years. There's a lot of exciting interaction on this board, enough to keep me engaged. At some point I did have to switch from receiving to giving, though, to maintain my interest.
Another idea, from my former pastor, has helped me get past old obsessions. He used to say, "Replace the pictures on the gallery of your mind." His explanation is that with the way the mind stores things, you CANNOT remove your memories once they are in there. The best you can do is REPLACE them. I think you might do well to do some goal-setting exercises and broaden your social circle, so that you have a whole bunch of NEW things to think about. http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html
I spent far too many years wondering what "could have been" if I hadn't been a teen mom or battered wife. I would not have had to finish my high school through correspondence. I might have gone on to college. I wouldn't have had to SWEAT so much to get ahead. I might have had a normal dating experience. I've dated maybe four men in my life, and married two of them. But on the other hand, I would not have my two wonderful children, or the richness of my experience. I'm reconciled now. The good and bad made me, as it is for most people on this planet.
thank you all for the kind greetings and good wishes... just got back from my DF'd sisters house - we had a superbowl party - my Colts won!!!
I already have started another topic, sharing some of my experiences as an elder - I hope I can vent and purge all those memories that still haunt me today - and I think it has helped already...
Good nite to all and have a wonderful week ahead.. I come here daily, so I will talk to you all later...
Best regards and agape' to all.
Wow . sibboleth WELCOME !!!!! I can fully relate to your thread . I am 45 and was raised a witness ,and raised my own kids the same way . It has been one year now since I faded away from the congregation .This past year has had it's ups and downs emotionally . I am so glad I found this site it has kept me sane knowing there were others out there going through exactly the same thing as me . I struggle not giving into the bitterness of what I lost (my childhood and freedom ) But as several have said here its okay to be angry , vent , scream whatever it takes let it out ! Then start moving forward ........ It may seem like babysteps at first but it is progress . You sound like you are already moving in the right direction being involved with workmates in sports , rekindeling family ties w/your sister . That is all positive, your going to be fine I'm sure . Really looking forward to reading more of your story and your perspective .
This is a great thread- what's encouraging to me is that it seems many of these posters are no longer actively posting, which I hope means they have been able to move on with their lives. I hope Sibboleth and everyone else are out there living happy, fulfilling lives and have put the WT experience firmly behind them.