lol queerydog, sure, thats JUST how it works!... Welcome to the forum. Always nice to see a new apologist on board!
Thinking of becoming a Witness again and my reasons for doing so :(
Well, I didn't take the time to read all four pages of responses, but let me tell you about my "experience" in the "truth";
1/ I married a girl who was raised in the "truth". She started to sleep around on me after only 3 years of marriage (I didn't know it at the time). Seven years and 6 lovers later, I finally caught on. Even though I was the "innocent" mate and it was supposed to be my decision, she insisted on divorce. She has since married a "worldly" guy and gotten reinstated. My two kids with her have suffered ever since!
2/ When my wife and I began our fade a few months back, all of our so- called "friends" suddenly lost interest in us. No one called. No one came by. We would bump into some in the grocery store or whatnot and they would give us the ole' "We miss you" speech. Yeah- they miss us so much they had to pick up the phone and call, right?? Now we get shunned when we're seen out in public by our so- called "friends"! Proverbs 17:17- "A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress." Notice it says "ALL the time"? Notice also that it says "when there is distress"? If a person is missing meetings for 3 months, wouldn't that be an indicator of "distress"? Sounds to me like what I have at the Kingdom Hall is false companions, not "true companions"!
3/ You already know that being a JW means that you will be judged by your meeting attendance and field service report. No one, especially the elders, cares whether or not you're good to people, that you share your time and material things with others, that you help those in need, etc... All of that means diddly- squat unless you're turning in at least 10 hours a month and never miss a meeting! Otherwise, you're just "spiritually weak" to them...
Honestly, your story just sounds like you've made some bad, maybe even desperate decisions. I don't mean that to be an insult, because everyone does it at times. You either already knew your boyfriends were selfish alcoholics or they became that way afterwards. In either case, the blame is not on the fact that those guys weren't JWs. I was worldly when my raised in the "truth" first wife married me. Evidently I had a better upbringing and stronger moral character than she did, yet I'm from the world (and, as far as JWs are concerned, back in it)!
If being among false companions is your idea of happiness, then go for it! If having your mind force- fed to believe lies is fulfilling to you, then go for it! I may not agree with your opinions, but I firmly believe in your right to have them! Good Luck!
"what can the world offer me that is good now?"
A more relavent question, if you are in search of a meaningful life, is what can I offer the world that is good?
You have been offered some good advice here. Have you noticed a recurring theme? Let me echo it, as it was my first thought as I read your post. Therapy could be very helpful. I'm not advising something I haven't done myself. Therapy helped me a great deal. We have been mentally conditioned to accept a certain view of reality. Evidence of it is all over your posts. If I could offer one modest piece of advice to get you started on recovery, it would be this: never, ever, ever use the terms "the World" or "the Truth" again to refer to Witnesses and non-Witnesses. It is a mind control technique that puts you into an us vs. them mentality. It is very 1984. Their religion is not the Truth, I and many others can prove it in short order.
queeniedog, you have already gone against your masters even being here. For this I congratulate you. Here is an exercise for you: google 587 B.C.E. Or go to your local library, college, Barnes & Noble, museum curator, or any other reputable source you like and try and find out the date for the Babylonian exile, and their reasons for so dating. Here's a hint: a lot of this info used to be in the Aid book. When they released the Insight books, they took it all out. It was the single largest revision. I guess you didn't need to be able to make up your own mind based on, you know, evidence. Have fun with that.
I agree with those who have suggested professional counseling. Going back is only going to expose you to more abuse and control. A troubling question we must always ask ourselves is up to what point our suffering and failures are the product of the bad choices we make.
After I'd been out of the JW's for 10 years, I got married to a self-professed born again Christian. Three years and countless affairs for which she'd been "forgiven," it was over. Many of my relationships from that point had moments of unsettling abuse. I drank quite a bit. I hated myself. And my mother, of course, tried to tell me that there were plenty of suitable partners for me back in "the truth." Only it wasn't the truth. You know it's not the truth either.
The thing is, I stuck it out just a little bit longer. I made more careful choices. I did a lot more introspection, sometimes with therapy, sometimes with friends. I had to build my own support network, because nobody else was going to do it for me, and I was far too stubborn to fall back into a decision I knew was wrong.
Eventually it worked. I struggled and built friendships from the ground up. Those friends multiplied into other friends. At the end of it all, I got into a happy marriage with two beautiful children, and (this is the kicker) an actual career with people who respect me as I do them.
Plenty of people return to cults because they're all they've ever known. I understand the world's been tough on you. I'd just ask you to tough it out a little bit more, to look at some options you might've rejected because they seemed too hard or too involved. There is a lot more support than you've come across. I guarantee it.
At the end, you have to ask yourself: Are you willing to defend Jehovah's Witnesses as we've come to know them? The pedophilia scandals, the blood scandals, the recently changed (again) New Light, the isolation from the rest of the world, the division, the moral turpitude of Bethel? Because if you go back in, you'll have to defend every single one of those aspects of Jehovah's Witnesses, or they just won't let you back in all the way.
That's not the love you're seeking.
Please take care.
Honestly, and I say this from the heart... Pray to God to come into your life and show you the way... PLEASE do this... You need a personal relationship with him, not one that you need to go prove yourself to or wait for someone or others (elders) to tell you that your good enough. God loves you... Open a Bible... read it. Study it. Read the bible that isn't a translation... I will pray for you.. God is waiting for you with open arms, please don't pass that by!!!
This is what you can expect if you rejoin that religion:
First, if you are disfellowshipped or disassociated, you will be shunned for a period of time. This can vary, but for sisters it could be a year or longer (they are less "useful" than men in the organization). All the while, you will be expected to go to all the boasting sessions, and no one will talk to you. Getting reinstated will be made needlessly difficult, since they will need to be sure you are "repentant" and will test you by repeatedly denying reinstatement and seeing how long they can play that game and still have you going to all the boasting sessions.
Once you are reinstated, you will have the "friends" back, but only so long as you are totally in agreement with what the latest teachings of the Watchtower Society are. That can be very confusing, since they do that on purpose to make themselves look special. If you disagree with something or break one of the rules, they will start shunning you again.
You will be expected to devote hours of time in field circus. This amount varies. The good news is that, for a year following reinstatement, they cannot hound you to pioneer (you couldn't do it even if you wanted to). They will want to see your field circus time up to 10 hours a month, consistently, during that first year. Now, that might not seem like much--however, it spoils Saturday mornings every single week. And, of course, they would always like to see more.
Now the hard part to take. You will have to agree with current teachings, even if they blatantly clash with the Bible and you can prove them wrong, or you will be disfellowshipped again. You will have to follow the rules, or you can expect more backbiting, hounding, and threats. There is widespread envy in that religion. People in that religion tend to be at least as abusive as those in the world--and they point to every abuse that happens in the world as proof that they have the truth (and "forget" the abuse that happens within their ranks). I suggest going to www.freeminds.org and reading all the personal experiences you can find on that site that someone has had a miserable time while in that organization. I highly recommend making sure your puke bucket is ready, since you are likely not aware that that crap goes on so much in that religion.
Only after you have seen all angles of that religion should you decide whether you want to go back or not. If you see all the abuse that goes on in there, the rules, the constant confusion, the chances of personal goals being sabotaged by envious hounders, and the pedophiles that are protected in that religion and still want to go back, then by all means do so. But, if you go back without first looking at all those sources, you will likely regret it. If you are going to puke, better at home than in the Kingdumb Hell.
Welcome to the forum (I hope you are still reading all your replies 4 pages later!) My heart truly goes out to you and I wish I could just give you a hug and be your friend and tell you everything will be OK!
Basically all I want to say to you is try and be a bit introspective and try and figure out what it is that you are really needing or lacking. What you put out, you will attract back and to me it seems that you are putting out a lot of negative energy and that is what ou are getting back. Do some things which will make you feel good about yourself - volunteer at a charity or something. You need to build up your self esteem.
Go back if you wish, but please only do it because you truly believe it is the truth and not for any other reason!
The problem with my sister is that I think in essence she does believe it is the 'Truth'
Ive seen too many failings and unfairness and I DA'd 4 years ago, but still have times when i feel I want to go back, esp at times when I feel lonely. I realised that I find it difficult to trust and make friends, and this came from the JWs, Id confide in sisters only to find out that everyone knows, and these experiences have affected my ability to form friendships and keep them. My best friend in the world, the closet friendship i have ever had, slept with my ex-partner last year, Ive forgiven it, but it hurt me so much. I find now that Im very much a reclusive, now. I speak mainly to my sisters, one of which is renaii, Im lucky I have four very close sisters. I dont think Renaii will go back because it would be very hard to go thru every one of her sins for a start, I went thru that once and believe me, it was shameful and embarrassing to ever go thru that again. I shall keep plodding away at thins in my life and eventually I know I find some kind of happiness,
Thank you everyone :) I have read all 4 pages some I agree with some I don't,
The therapy is the way i'm going atm because I do think I am being choked by my bitterness at life and I don't think any religion can cure me of that.
Someone asked if my feelings of going back were because I'd had a hard time in the world. It's more that i'm dissilusioned with the world and the other faiths within it, I've always avoided other religions because your right JW's teachings make you pretty much incompatable with them and a tendancy to avoid them, but nothing I saw recently made them seem much better as humans than the witnesses, to be honest the only thing that changes from religion to religion is the teachings, all other aspects are very similar, they may not DF like witnesses do in some cases but if you fall away you do become a non-person to any faith.
I do recognise 'my people picker' is very damaged as someone called it, my therapist said I am drawn to those that don't want me subconscously,
So why do I really want to go back? is the question I ask myself, maybe because unlike many on here in the JW's at least I haven't had the bad experiences, I left because of a mixture of guilt and unhappiness in my own life, I just didn't have time for the Witnesses I was so wrapped up in my unhappiness, I have had happier times since (despite my crap choice in men) my children have been the blessings of my life so guys I'm not so unhappy as you think, just frustrated and needed something, I guess you could say I miss God.
Questions I have asked myself recently are...if there is a God which faith would he be using? Would my children be more protected by being in a faith? (this is a real thought although I think I'd have to see figures of whether being in a faith makes much difference that way) Is the bible God's word?( I did wonder if i'd been pre-programmed to christianity but my researching other faiths has always led me back to the bible)
As you can see my current life has led me questioning things around me not just unhappiness at my own wrong-headed choices.
I don't expect you all you answer my questions, but your answers have given me food for thought and I appreciate them. I've enjoyed the chance to empty my thoughts and situation in writing thx again.
Some of you at least do understand why the pull of Jehovah is there for me again :) (always in the back of my mind is that one thought! you will also know maybe as ex-JW's is... why are they the only christian faith to use his name, no one has ever been able to answer that question for me)