Living for Ourselves

by Crystal1982 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Crystal1982

    Dear Friends,

    I have been reading your postings for months now, and I finally got bold enough to register so I can participate with the group. I always love getting on the computer and pulling up this site, and seeing what's new and going on. I find encouragement in everyone's "posts" and I think its terrific all the input that I read. Everyone's stories, and everyone learning to cope with old belief systems. And wow to learn how much our pysche is affected by being involved with this religion (or cult as I call it now)! Please let me tell you a little bit about myself.

    I was raised a JW, all my life, from infancy. My parents had both been raised JW, my mom was raised by her grandparents, very devout JW's, my great grandmother being labeled "the annointed" and my grandfather staying loyal to the "cult" right up until he started going senile around 93, then he started living in his childhood again as a Methodist... anywho. My dad's parents converted to JW from Methodist in the late 1960's right around when my dad was about 6 yrs old I guess. Then they had 4 more children, and raised them all as JW's. Even though my dad's dad never did get babtized, he claimed himself as a JW and still does to this day.

    My dad went on to become and elder, and so did his 2nd brother, who serves in California in the spanish cong. as elder and PO. My dad also had 2 sisters, and both of them left JW, the youngest sister left when she was a teenager, for wanting to go to college, and then going, and older sister left when she was in her early thirties, after having some issues with "never feeling like she was doing enough" and her health was failing her to the stress of JW.

    Then my dad has a younger brother who my grandma tried so hard to instill JW in him as a child, but his dad never dedicating himself to the religion, and seeing his other kids not doing so well in it, decided it wasn't that important for this youngest child to go to the meetings.... so he ended up growing up anti-JW, and now lives happily here in my area married and 2 children. He is 4 years older than me is all.

    My mom's side, well they have chosen to stay in the religion, but have learned to self medicate through various forms of addiction. Its been a sad journey watching them live and not with real happiness and purpose. But rather pleasing of people, which is impossible.

    My childhood was like most of yall's that I've read on here. We had our fun times, but my dad battled with major depression throughout, and looking back now, I also believe alcohol dependency. He was often abusive to my mom, and to me. I lived my life always trying to be the over achiever, however my younger brother always seemed to get the praise, as he was the one always saying " I want to go to Bethel, or I'm going to pioneer this summer" and I just never wanted too. I dreamed of college, which never happenned, even after graduating at 16, and moving out. I got disfellowshipped when I was 16, it devastated me. So since I had already graduated highschool, I wrapped myself up in working 3 jobs at a time, and chasing after bad relationships, abusive ones. I did everything I could to get reinstated, changed how I dressed, walked on my tippytoes, whatever the elders told me to do, and trust me there was some stupid stuff. And oh how humiliating it was to have to divulge such personal information to them, every time I would try to get reinstated, with my dad in the room. They finally reinstated me, I was 17 1/2 my dad and mom were so proud, and I was so happy, so I thought. I continued to seem to bend the rules though , not wanting to do things the JW way. Found more bad relationships, and finally dove head on into one, and married the guy, (a good JW) 5 weeks later. Well it lasted 6 years, but he wasn't a good person, and I realized what a huge mistake I'd made only a few months into the marriage.

    6 years past, I had 2 beautiful little girls. Meeting attendance never was that great, but I would try. I worked for a few years, received lots of critizim from the other mom's. Their husbands were all elders and ministerial servents, they were all pionerring. I was materialistic. But my husband was up to no good, for along time. I always suspected of his double life, but just never had the "proof" the elders needed. And finally after 6 years, he had me thrown into rehab, so he could take the kids, hired the most expensive lawyer, and then was mad when I didn't come running back to him.

    I found my spiritual journey in rehab, even though a year later, and several therapist's opinion later, find out there is nothing wrong with me. I believe God knew what it took to snap me out of a situation I could have been stuck in for years. I found God, and started over. My entire life.I wrote my letter of disassociation in May of 2007. After the elders told me that AA and NA would not fix me, but rather just coming to the meetings would.

    I moved town's and hired a lawyer, throughout the ordeal, became best friends with a wonderful guy I fell in love with. We moved in together and a few months later I got pregnant. I keep moving on with my custody case, especially now seeing the JW's for what they really are, its like looking at the world in a whole new way. I have done more with God in my life, then I ever have. And I've endured through the most. My dad, who is still an elder, has had trouble actually applying the shunning doctrine on me, so he goes back and forth alot. Which causes me alot of pain, but I feel it is God's way of trying to speak to him and show him the truth. My Aunt sent me this email today. I have joined an ex jw group in my area, and I suggest anyone leaving the JW to find this support and use it. It will help you so much with the healing process/ And also I wanted to share that no matter how bad things get, God always has a plan and a way of working things out. And I hope that this e-mail helps someone today. Your e-mails always help me so much. With God's grace may you love your life and cherish every moment like its your last.

    God Bless


    Your friend, sent you this email from DailyOM, the daily source for nurturing your mind, body &
    spirit. Every weekday, DailyOM will turn you on to ways to make your life
    happier, less stressful, more fulfilled and provide you with tools to
    stay centered in our hectic world. You can sign-up for your free daily
    email at


    After I read your posting on the JW site, this was the next thing I
    opened! Talking about us, it sounds like! I love you, and am proud of you
    making the best of things and living a happy life despite it all! You
    know what, your dad's been emailing ME TOO lately, and talking to
    Justin without preaching about anything...pretty shocking if you ask me!
    Just wait till your new baby is born- he won't be able to stay away!
    All my love,


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    March 4, 2008

    Living For Ourselves
    Trying To Please Others

    Most of us come to a point in our lives when we question why we are
    doing what we are doing, and many of us come to realize that we may be
    living our lives in an effort to make our parents happy. This realization
    can dawn when we are in our 20s, our 40s, or even later, depending upon
    how tight a hold our family of origin has on our psyche. We may feel
    shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is
    coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would
    mean to live our lives for ourselves, following the call of our own
    soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s

    One of the most common reasons we are so tied into making our parents,
    or others, happy, is that we were not properly mirrored when we were
    children. We were not honored as individuals in our own right, with a
    will and purpose of our own, to be determined by our own unfolding. As a
    result, we learned to look outside of ourselves for approval, support,
    and direction rather than look within. The good news is that the part of
    us that was not adequately nurtured is still there, inside us, like a
    seed that has not yet received the sunlight and moisture it needs to
    open and to allow its inner contents to unfurl. It is never too late to
    provide ourselves with what we need to awaken this inner being.

    There are many ways to create a safe container for ourselves so that we
    can turn within and shine the light of awareness there. We may join a
    support group, go to therapy, or start a practice of journaling every
    day for half an hour. This experience of becoming is well worth the
    difficult work that may be required of us to get there. In whatever process
    we choose, we may feel worse before we feel better, but we will
    ultimately find out how to live our lives for ourselves and how to make
    ourselves happy.

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  • ex-nj-jw

    Hi Crystal and welcome to JWD.

    Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to hearing from you more. Good luck with obtaining custody of your children and congrats on the new baby


  • Hortensia

    Hi, nice to meet you!

  • momzcrazy

    Welcome to the club. As you have read, your story is similar to many here. I'm glad you found love, and I hope you get your babies back soon.


  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Thanks for sharing your story and Welcome!

    I really liked your attachments as well, esp "Living for Ourselves, Trying To Please Others"


  • lisavegas420

    How wonderful...welcome. Loved reading your story, thank you for sharing. I'm looking forward to your posts.


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