I cut this out of a letter I wrote to someone close to me, thought it might be good to post.
It’s hard to me to express myself verbally, that’s no secret. But why may be a bit of a mystery, maybe hell, we both know it is. Why is it? The only way I know to explain it is perhaps to refer to something else. You know how there are things that we feel and remember and think that are beyond words. There is no way to state what those thoughts are, and attempting to do so is an exercise in futility. I’ve so much of that in me, and I don’t even know where to begin. One thing that keeps coming back to me in everything I’ve read and researched is that in order to get past something as tragic (for lack of a better word) as realizing that EVERYTHING you knew and believed and based your life on was wrong you have to go back to it in a way. Even though I had pretty much decided I was just a bad person and had no real hope of ever being anything else, even that decision was based on untruth. Everything changed the day I allowed myself to consider that these people that were chosen by God himself might be phony. Everything I thought was genuine and true, every expression that was on someone’s face that I read a certain way, all of it was fake, an act. I was stripped of any self confidence and even questioned my own perception of reality, like I was the freak.
After that, and I know you kind of know this, but I had to go through it all again, from start to finish. Layer after layer of memories and my perception of them had to be peeled away, examined, and then replaced in the order they really belonged. So many lies I was told that the truth may as well have been Spanish. That’s why the seeming obsession with everything ex-jw related. That’s why I wanted to meet others like me. In all the trips I made and people I met, I had hoped to find just one person that had made it out and was either something close to what I wanted to be, or at least further along than I was. When I say the person I wanted to be, I don’t mean the type of career, the personality, etc. What I meant was free from the feeling that haunts me that I am a bad person. I know in my mind that I’m ok, and I’m going to get better and better every day. I know I’m a good person that has made the hard decisions that are critical to success in life both for me and those close to me.
At the same time, that same mind and heart is still struggling every moment against feelings and thoughts that are implanted so deep that I really don’t know if I’ll ever be truly free of them. Almost constantly I have to THINK about how I feel and make myself perceive things differently. It’s so crazy when you lie to yourself long enough that it feels more real than the truth.
So, that struggle goes on constantly, and with it the feeling of low self worth, like I’m still that bad person, even though I know I’m doing well. The only way I can keep track of my progress is to reflect on how much more or less I even think about The Organization during a certain time period. As far as that goes…most of the time, I think of it very little. But lately, especially after the trip home, it’s back in my face. Now that my brother is gone from *****, I hope to only return two more times, one for a funeral to see the end of something that has caused me so much pain, and the other for my personal satisfaction as I face it with a smirk because it can’t bother me anymore. After these things are done, I plan to never set foot in either a Kingdom Hall or ***** again for the rest of my life.
Remember the movie we watched the other night, The House of D? One thing said in that movie really struck a chord with me. That was, in order to be truly free you have to be the person you are wherever you are, and you can’t move on from something tragic until you can stand in the face of it and be yourself. That was probably the one time that something I was trying to figure out how to say was said just as plainly as it could be. I want to go back one day when I am ready and face everything that still makes me act and think differently when I am in the face of it. Perhaps the two visits will come as one…I can only hope.
There are several things in my life that I want to achieve in my time. These are goals I have always had, and struggled to achieve, but always found out of my grasp.
Ultimately, as what people call the end-game, I want to build a happy life, one that is peaceful and full of beauty every waking moment. I want to live freely, without having to plan and scrape and strain 90% of the time just to be able to enjoy the other 10%.
Another goal of mine is to help my daughters to become the people that will make them happy to look in the mirror at themselves. Granted, I can’t do it all and there are a great many factors that work against me on that, but I want to be certain that any failure or shortcoming in that area is not due to my lack of good decision making.
On the way to the other two, and perhaps as a means to them, I would like to be able to say I generated the resources to accomplish everything I want by helping other people to better themselves. I know that’s a lot harder than just writing it here, but I also know that it is possible. I refuse to believe that the only people who can live the life I want are the ones who do it by profiting unfairly from other people’s hardships.
Other than that, I want to be happy to wake up every day. Again, that’s not always going to be the case, but over the past year, the amount of times I’ve been happy have FAR outweighed the times I have not.