JW's from "The World" have a easier time going "Back Out Into The World"?

by BBOARD 45 Replies latest jw friends


    We ALL KNOW how hard it is, usually, for those rasied in the truth to readjust "outside in the world" once they leave ... so not to undermine them (esp. because I am one of them ) but this thread is not another one of them. The title says it all.

    For those who came in later in life - regardless of how many times from the podium you were instructed not to "leave the love you had at first" many of you are here because you found out the "truth about the truth" whether it was the people or doctrine or combination ... and were willing to open your mind, realize the "truth about the truth" and leave.

    Not to undermine all those years and mind numbing propaganda you endured in the JW's, but I have always felt:

    Witnesses who "come from the world" (ie those who came in later in life and esp. not those raised in) have a MUCH easier transition to "go right back" out "into the world".

    1) You luckily were NOT RAISED IN and therefore escaped the JW conditioning during the formidable youth years (K-12) when Witnesses kids come under extra scrutiny to live up to the model. Sometimes to the point of breaking them. I even see this with my extended cousin who "came in" at 24. She is very confident and self aware than virtually all the other girls in my hall ... (more on that in a later thread).

    2) Unless you still have family now inside you have no reason to stay

    3) Well ... to rehash again ... you came from "the world" so all you have to do (I am being an ass and assuming) is "reboot" your mindset to before you got that first knock on the door. I know it isnt THAT easy (or maybe it is) but just forget JW style thinking. Think and act how you were rasied before you became a JW. Now you know its all fake simply go back to being about self and those close to you others, go back to not being so JW passive-agressive-nice-guy-or-gal, go back disliking agendas or policies that you used to because you have every right to (as long as it isnt racist or stupid) ... go right back to ... you get the picture.

    What do you think?

  • Bring_the_Light

    I don't mean this very assertively, just an idea.

    Is it maybe easier for a "Born-in" to get out? We "Born-ins" never made a real choice, this can build the deep sense of resentment and entrapment that can fuel the effort to "GET OUT". Persons who came in intentionally obviously either "believed" or found "something better" than being worldish as they had already experienced. I never so much "valued" being JW, it was always a limiting force on me. Yeah the brainwashing phenomena had its grips in me, but that's more a psychological tick than some state of being that I look back fondly about after its lost.

    My money is that family pressures/people around you in your life are the definitive conclusion about "how hard" it is to leave. Emotional blackmail and coercion are the real evils here, people believe and fail to believe stuff about god everyday without an excessive amount of drama. The drama comes from how many claws the cult has in you, not so much when it drove the claws in.

  • boyzone


    I was a convert aged about 20 at the time. I left a year ago and have found myself quickly going back to the person I always envisaged myself being. For me, it was like my personality was let out of prison, I could finally become the person I always knew I was - know what I mean??

    For example - I was always a happy-go lucky kind of girl, easy going, etc. life was fun but I was fairly responsible and starting to enjoy the adult world. I had a couple of young boys and was trying to be a good parent and looking forward to the years ahead as a family.

    Then the knock at the door.

    Gradually I was convinced that I had found the "truth" and the best way to ensure a good future for my kids so I took the whole package. It really changed me. I became hard and inflexible. "No you can't watch that cartoon - its bad" No you can't have that friend round, they're worldly" No you can't see that movie, go on school camp, go to that birthday party, etc etc etc. Its as if family life became a battle ground with me trying to rally very reluctant troops to stay in step with me. Over the years the "no's" became more and more serious. No you can't see that girl, no you mustn't smoke, have you been drinking?

    But I HAD to fight! After all my kids eternal future was at stake!!! I can only describe myself as some sort of machine, churning out the correct Society phrase and scripture whenever the occassion demanded. God I was SO uptight!

    Then one day I stood alone in my kitchen and quietly thought about the person I had become. She was horrible, mean, hard and inflexible and I hated her. This wasn't the person I imagined myself to be all those years ago. The truth had changed me, but not for the better. Somethihg HAD to change. I had been on anti-depressants for a while and had regular bouts of bulimia. This wasn't me.

    So how am I faring since leaving? Is the old personality starting to rear its head again? Yes. As a matter of fact, virtually overnight I felt myself lighten up. I cannot describe the pure relief and joy I felt the day I disassociated. It was like I had been given a life sentence and then suddenly being paroled and released!. Again I stood quietly alone in my kitchen and just couldn't help laughing!! Isn't that crazy?? All alone and just laughing and laughing hysterically with tears rolling down my face. I couldn't help myself.

    Despite a year of cruel shunning of "friends" and rows with my dad, I can honestly say that my immediate family and I are just SO much happier. My own personality has come back after being buried for so long and I am nowhere near as uptight and stressy as I once was. The bulimia and depression has lifted. I like this person.

    Funny enough so does my hubby and kids, and that for me is all I had ever wanted in the first place.

    Sorry its a long winded way of answering your question BBOARD but in my experience, yes your true personality will quickly assert itself after leaving if you were a convert as opposed to a born in.

  • Hope4Others

    Thinking about the reasons for this maybe because, they new what Christmas was, birthdays, hanging out with school chums

    and playing baseball, soccer and fun things kids do. They no what they had before they came in and what to expect when they leave.


  • reniaa

    I was born in it and like above found it easier to leave because you automatically assume the grass will be greener with all the freedom outside the Jw's unfortunately all that freedom came at a price,

    Now 10 years later I'm thinking of going back into JW's, two non-witness ex-hubbys one a alcoholic the other to selfish and into himself (not an unusual thing i find) to look after his disabled son, another partner recently abandoned me while I was pregnant....I liked myself better as a witness I enjoyed working for God not just waking each up each day I asking myself what i wanted and what my money could give me that day lol

    Maybe you should ask if once in and experiencing the "world" do born JW's get tempted into thinking of going back like myself.

  • Hope4Others
    Maybe you should ask if once in and experiencing the "world" do born JW's get tempted into thinking of going back like myself.

    Ya, its because the fear syndrome kicks back in!


  • Sirona

    Hi Reniaa,

    Maybe you should ask if once in and experiencing the "world" do born JW's get tempted into thinking of going back like myself.

    You are definately touching on something here which I think many "born in" JWs often think. Gary (my partner) is a born in also Cordelia (a friend of mine) who posts here sometimes. In the early days of leaving Gary says he admits he hadn't really "faced" the whole JW experience, he just went out into the world and tried to live. Cordy has been plagued with thoughts of going back too.

    I think that the way that "born ins" eventually "beat" the JW mindset is if, and only if, they face it head on in every way. Usually it involves counselling of some kind. Being born in has a massive effect on a persons psyche.

    Just think, those (non JWs) who are abused from birth by a parent often care very much for that parent. As a child they believed that the parent loved them and they were confused because the abuse was always mixed up with messages of love. The parent might also have gone for periods of time where there was no abuse. So the child learns that this sort of relationship is normal to a certain degree. This is why, without counselling, the average abuse victim is unfortunately likely, when they grow up, to pick some bad partners. Its because they only learned one type of relationship at home and they learned to FEEL familiar with this type of abusive relationship (despite all the bad bits).

    Liken the above scenario to JWism. I'm not saying that all JWs are abused, but what I am saying is that even in a "normal" JW upbringing there is a certain mindset - the JW mindset. This mindset can stifle normal development (socially, educationally, emotionally). But because the child also got "good" things too, and its all they know, they always....for the rest of their life....will feel most comfortable in the JW environment. Unless they face the issues and get help and move on.

    I think Cordelia won't mind me saying that I think that she is one of these people. She was raised strictly JW. It was all she knew from birth. All of her self esteem and life choices were reflected in JWism. So now she's in the world, she feels like a fish out of water. She knows in her heart that she doesn't believe the JWs, but when she walks into a Kingdom hall all those "nice" feelings return. She remembers the nice memories and the feeling of being elite and protected from the world. When she is out in the world, she feels like every bad event and every bad person is just proving that the JWs were right! Why is this? Because its a LEARNED RESPONSE. The only way out of it is to do some really hard work on your own psyche.

    I once heard a JW say "ignorance is bliss". This person wanted to believe the lie because it was easier. Ignore everything and retreat into the JW mindset - God will sort it all out in the end and we don't have to worry. Unfortunately the reality is that life involves pain and hardship and we learn from that. No amount of hiding is going to change that fact.


  • Casper
    Now you know its all fake simply go back to being about self and those close to you others

    I was baptised at 28, and faded 13 years later.

    For myself, I found it to be very easy to slip back into my old way of life. I have no family that are witnesses, so had nothing to leave behind. My "worldly" family welcomed me with open arms.

    So yes, from my perspective, I would have to say it was very easy to go "HOME".


  • IP_SEC

    Ya but Im glad I was born in. Ive found my voyage into 'the world' to be a hard but delightful experience. If I were born a worldling the journey back would not have been nearly as fun or exciting.

    Its like being a kid again with everything new, except with the cognitive faculties to enjoy it more. I wouldnt have missed out on this adventure for anything.

  • reniaa

    Hi sirona, you do not address the bad expereinces i've had? it's like your saying the Jw's are to blame for the bad experiences i've had since and my mindset from them, which just can't be true.

    Bad experiences still happen outside Jw's, Outside has it's own set of rules, I admit as aJW you are vulnerable because you grab at the freedom like a greedy child embracing it without realising the consequences Ouch!!! but for those that have never been Jw's the dangers are still there.

    Just as a mum, i'm tempted to bring my child up in the Jw's (Mindcontrol aside) Christmas and birthdays are a small price to pay if I can protect her from Druggies and Std's from teen-sex.

    My mum brought up 7 kids as Jw's none of us have become long-term JW's (only lasting in few years those that got baptised) but all of us got a strong sense of morality, shunning drugs and sex in those critical teen years avoiding the greater dangers around us, drugs is the biggest issue where i live atm

    My youngest sister and her best friend were brought up in similar ways on a council estate only difference being the JW stuff, My sister is currently training to be a operating theatre assistant, has a morgage, a husband she would never be unfaithful too and a great kid, her friend became a glue-sniffer then heavier drugs, got raped by a boozed up family friend at a family party, is now in a council house with 4 kids struggling, drugs has turned to booze, they are no longer friends having nothing in common.

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