Speaking of depression ...

by easyreader1970 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • easyreader1970

    I didn't want to hijack the suicide topic because it was a bit more serious than what I am about to say. Not that what I am about to say is comical.

    I've been dealing with major depression for the past year and a half or so. Of course, the main suggestion for dealing with this is to see a mental health professional. For me, that's pretty much a waste of time (and money) because I know what the problem is.

    It's that I can't mentally stand being one of Jehovah's Witnesses (I despise the organization) and I feel like my brain is going to explode more an more after every meeting. I ask myself if I would be less depressed if my wife and all of my immediate family left me and I was demonized by my wife to the children as a vile apostate who is going to be ripped to pieces by Jehovah. In addition to being separated from my wife and children, I'd also lose my mother and sister as well. I'd be alone in the universe.

    So I choose to stay within the Organization suffering mentally while I still have my family ties.

    I know that there are those here who are totally against doing things against their will. Probably my kids are the main thing holding me there. If they were grown it'd be easier, but with them still in a stage where I feel they need both parents on a daily basis, I don't want to be the person who is responsible for ending that.

    I know someone who announced that they were leaving the Organization and his child is still pretty much devastated.


  • easyreader1970

    I should add that I am trying to think of it as a long term prison sentence. I wonder what prisoner's use to mentally keep the right attitude if they know they are going to be behind bars for ten, twenty, or more years? They don't all commit suicide so there is something to keep them going.

    I need to find whatever keeps them calm and accepting.


  • LDH

    Oh man ER.

    I am one of the more ascerbic posters on this board....so I'm sorry if I don't have puppies and rainbows to share with you.

    I don't know how long you have been on this board. I'm only going to ask you if you are familiar with the story of Utopian Reformist, a good friend of mine. He went against every fiber of his being, to support his wife like a good JW. He paid the ultimate price, as did his whole family which culminated in the death of one of his children....because his 'theocratic' wife was willing to sacrifice her children to the Gods of 117 Adams Street.

    You body is giving you warning signs. If you are not physically ill yet, you will be. I don't know how old your children are, but in my opinion the best thing you can do is take those kids aside and tell them, "I am so sorry, I have made a horrible mistake and I have put a man-made religion before your needs as human beings. I can't live another day in this joyless made up world the Jehovah's Witnesses have invented. I want to celebrate your lives, I want to celebrate your birthdays, I want to support you doing whatever makes YOU happy, and I can't do that at the Kingdom Hall. Will you please forgive me and let me be your Dad the way I know how best?"

    Your wife is an adult. She has a choice. Your children do not. And she is required by the Witlesses to let you have equal access to your children.

    You will make new friends. Real friends. You will cry. But you will recover and you will move on.

    I hope I helped.

  • LDH


    Pay careful attention to his advice on page 10 of this thread.

  • BabaYaga

    EasyReader... there is nothing "easy" about it.

    There are a few things you need to consider here. First of all, yes, I know that you are concerned for your kids. But... is it right for them to be raised while you are suffering in a mental prison? Is it right for them to live with you while you are living a lie and hating your life? What does that teach them? Do you think they don't notice... because I assure you... they have and they do and they will. Kids always know. You keeping yourself in this state is NOT doing your children one bit of good; not the least of which you are still contributing to them being raised in a cult, and they will die if they need a blood transfusion.

    Another huge thing to consider is this... LDH is right. Your physical body will suffer, if not now, soon. You cannot exist in this state for long without it being reflected in your body. In that state, are you doing THAT for your kids? Don't they deserve to have you in their lives HEALTHY? Yes, they do. Healthy and happy; mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    Your kids need YOU... and right now, you are nowhere to be found, while you are lost inside your own loathing of your "prison sentence".

    This is not to kick you in the head. It is to make you think of what the kids are really living with and dealing with. And yes... a counselor CAN help... whether you know what the problem is or not.

    Love and strength and wisdom to you...

  • FlyingHighNow
    I'd be alone in the universe.

    No you wouldn't.

    Maybe you could figure a way to make things more palatable. There's a poster here at JWD, Amazing I think is his name. He wrote an articel about how he was able to very carefully, and ever so patiently get his whole family out. I'm sure someone knows where to find it. I may have it on my PC in a document.

    I bet you that if you could romance your wife and bring untold joy into her life, make her fall so head over heels in love with you, that she wouldn't want to lose you, no way, now how. There is a lot you can do. Thank goodness they are cutting the book study. And you can do "informal witnessing" *cough* more than go door to door. Cut the personal study to a bare minimum. And do some things you enjoy. But most of all, romance your wife. Dance with her. Dine with her. Flirt with her. Laugh with her. Make her laugh. Help her with the housework and the kids and the cooking and shopping. Make that little girl happy. And then find that article by Amazing and start your slow, systematic, diabolical plan to ease your family out with you.

  • BabaYaga

    Awesome advice, FlyingHighNow.

    And Easyreader, your statement that you would be alone in the universe reminds me of something.

    Many years ago when I first left the organization (needless to say there were no internet forums to turn to) I really did feel alone. I did have my significant other, who is not a witness (thank heavens.) During that time, the early days, I would have night terrors about leaving the witnesses... I had dreams about assemblies, and I would wake up soaked in sweat, yelling!

    I told my significant other that he could not possibly understand, because he did not know what it was like to be a JW. I told him that I had just lost a world-wide family! "No," he replied, "you have just gained a much, much larger one." That was one of the most wonderful things anyone has ever said to me.

    Believe me, it gets better.

    Peace to you.

  • Mrs. Fiorini
    Mrs. Fiorini

    Have you tried to reach out to your family to see what they really feel about the WT or if they might be open to leaving? Many have helped their families leave the organization. You might be able to find good advice on how to do this in Steven Hassan's books and others. He says everyone who is trapped in a cult has at least a subconscious desire to get out. It may take some time and planning to accomplish, but with that goal it could go a long way toward making it more palatable at meetings, etc.

  • carla

    While never been a jw I understand your prison sentence analogy. I know a few ubm's who have chosen to remain in the marriage just so they can have more control where the kids are concerned. They can encourage critical and independent thinking skills. If they are men they can choose to skip Sunday (or other meetings) by arranging fun weekends away or mini vacations or other excuses to keep the entire family away from the kh (guess headship is good for something). Some ubm's who feel this way figure they owe their kids and hopefully they will have a life again when the kids reach legal age. It is a prison sentence of sorts, self inflicted maybe, self sacrificing? yes. Time will tell if it will have been worth it for those with children and hoping they will leave the org as soon as they reach legal age and/or are capable of making it on their own.

    As to your own depression you are in such a difficult position, you are not alone, no need to rush into anything. You have made it this far, plan for a future, seriously take the time to plan and maybe one day make your escape, develop an A & B plan. Maybe right now you could focus on how to get the family to think. There are many good sources and stories of people who mangaged to escape the borg with the family in tow. It took incredible planning and patience. (obviously I will be of no help there as mine is still in! he joined up later in life) I wish you well.

  • LDH

    Call me a cynic, but a man who believes his wife is ready any second now, to turn him in to the Gestapo, well, she can only be seduced by the WBTS.

    I have seen this phenomenon before, women who claim to be 'satisfied' by their relationship with God (or his followers). For them, the rigid structure of the WBTS is all they need for emotional security.

    And if you are just waiting until NOW to treat your wife romatically, believe me, she'll see through it.

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