Do you ever shed the Jw experience?

by AK - Jeff 17 Replies latest jw experiences

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    I have been out for 5 years. My wife and I left together. She saw the sham long before I did - though neither of us could 'put our finger on' what was wrong until we read CoC, found the internet, etc.

    I believe my wife leans toward atheism more than I do - I consider myself agnostic of the whole matter at this point. We don't discuss religion at all in our homelife now - unless it is bashing of Jwism from time to time.

    But why can't we ever 'let go' 100%? There are good and fine people on this board who have been 'out' far longer than we have been. They too, seemed trapped in the Jw enigma, unable to fully let go of the experience. Of course, I know that lifetime experience is hard to let go - that may be the entire explanation. I know of a veteran of the Vietnam war who cannot have a conversation without bringing up his experience, and he wasn't even in a combat zone. So, it is certainly not just former cult members who struggle with living in the moment.

    Well - just rambling as usual at 0300 before I head out the door to work.

    Comments? Does this cloud that hangs over us, bother you too at times as it does me?


  • boyzone

    Yeah sometimes. But to be honest Jeff, its part of our lives, for many of us a really significant part which can't be ignored. I liken it to being in prison (think Nelson Mandela) for many years. You may be free now but the years spent incarcerated can't be ignored or dismissed as never happening. Our experience shaped us and made us part of who we are today. By acknowledging that, we can accept what happened to us and enjoy what we have now. But that takes time, and for some, more time than others.

    I still need to visit here as it helps me make sense of the delusion I was under for many years. It helps to see that others felt the same way and there is comfort in cameraderie, especially with talking to those who really "know" what you're talking about.

    I see posters here that have been out for years and their posts are lighthearted and jokey at times. Me? I'm still very serious about so much because I still feel the pain, I'm not ready to laugh yet. But, in time, I hope to again. I hope to get to a stage when I can look back over the 21 years as a JW and laugh at my "silly" years.

  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    I agree with boyzone's post.

    I have been out for a very long time. When I left I was young. I put all that JW stuff "in a box" and went on with my life pretending that I had never been raised as a JW. I didn't want to think about it ever again. I wanted to be "normal".

    A little over a year ago my mother reached the last stages of her terminal illness and she died in May 2008. My experiences related to my mother's illness and death along with some conversations with my sister about our religious upbringing brought all this JW stuff back into the forefront of my mind like some kind of big powerful storm.

    It can't be ignored. It has made me into the person I am now be that for better or worse. ( I think more worse than better) I am grieving for my lost childhood and lost family now. I am acknowledging my anger now. I am trying to reach acceptance now.

    But I will never shed the JW experience. I can live a happy and fulfilling life but the JW experience is always a part of my makeup.

  • rathfear

    Some things are easier to get rid of than others, the meetings and field service I just threw out the window, but all the rules and regulations that runied my childhood are something that I am stil coming to terms with. Well its my birthday next week and I'll be celebrating it so I'm past that point, then I have a date with a wordlyâ„¢ girl and no chaperone , its taken along time to get to this point but everynow and then I cast off another vestiage of my past. I voted in an election for the first time yesterday felt good to vote for a real governement and not a hypothetical one in the sky. There are some things that I would not do still, but I probably wouldn't have done them even if I was never a JW so they're ok.

    I still have problems dealing with my extended non-JW family, even though I'm out I don't see them because they cut off contact years ago when my parents first got involved, its a legacy that I have to deal with.

    The there are things likes like phycis and other stuff like that, I don't know how to view alot of these things, is it a case of doing all the things that were forbidden for the sake of it? I don't want to do that, but I find that I have to figure out who I really am and what I want. I still think that some of the experience will always be with me and I can never totally get rid of it.

  • sspo

    It's tough to let it go when you spent decades involved in something that you do not believe in anymore

    and for many of us have ended with broken marriage and lost relationships because of the cult.

    It's been 3 years that i have not attended a meeting but a day does not go by that i waste time thinking of JW's

    and the Watchtower.

    Some on this board left 25 years ago and it seems that have the same problem of letting go.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Some have passed through the board and never or virtually never post anymore. I say it depends on the person.
    We have Blondie and Minimus (and me and you) hanging on a bit longer and staying active on the board.

    I think there are so many variables along with each person's own personality:
    Time in Borg
    Family in Borg
    Loss of something to rules
    How much life actually revolved around "the truth"

    I imagine that I will always keep some contact with things ex-JW, but it will lose it's prominence in my life.
    It would lose it faster if my wife walked from it, but even without that, it will be less and less important.
    When my mother passes away (or leaves it), hopefully in 30+ years (in her 90's), I will not care one bit about my DA/DF/Fader status.

    I recently had time to contemplate funerals. I will not attend a single KH funeral just because I knew and cared for the person. I see no point in it. I will attend a KH funeral if I care for my friendship/relationship with a living person who loses a loved one. (example: I never met JK's mom, but I would go for my friend, JK.) Even my mother- if the family has a funeral home gathering, I don't need to go to the KH. If the KH is the only real "memorial" to her, or if my step-father insists on going to that, I would go and be by his side. For my own wife, I would arrange a funeral home talk and gathering and I would not bother going to any additional arrangement at the Hall. Can you even imagine what they will say when I don't show up for "their" memorial to her? Who would care by then? I need to arrange for my own untimely death so that they don't have a KH arrangement, but I will be dead so does it really matter?

    I mention that because it is part of the shedding of JW things. Some never let go. Some partially let go. Some totally let go. I suppose I will always be partially letting go, but mostly letting go.

  • mindmelda

    Unless I get traumatic amnesia, no. But, I'm integrating it into my life as part of my past. When my daughter died 20 years ago, it gave me the realization that you don't get over some things, they're always part of you and have lasting effect both that is both negative and positive. Not every single thing about my JW experience as bad. Some of it was neutral, some fairly good.

    I have to say the times when I was with other JWs and we were acting LESS like JWs and we were just friends and being ourselves were the best. Backpacking trips, socializing, it was all pretty normal and that's when I enjoyed it the most.

    In fact it's one of the things that made me realize that more "normal" in my life would be a good thing. *G*

    Trying not to throw out the baby with the dirty bathwater here. *G*

    It's also my opinion that the WTS has descended more into reinforcing cult-like behaviors and attitudes in the last 20 years.

    I think the big "apostasy" of the 80s really shook their monkey tree and now they're seeing it everywhere, and ironically, are contributing to that very thing by less flexibility in doctrine than they used to have in some respects. It IS everywhere, but whose fault is that? They set people up for heresy by their very inflexibilty and literalism. If every question or doubt is seen as the seeds of apostasy, well, of course it's going to be everywhere! It's normal for people to question and doubt. Suppression of question and doubt is not how to diminish it, it only increases it.

    They're getting more paranoid as society changes around them because they're sure that everyone is going to turn on them before the END. Even Fundamentalists are getting more complaining about government and personal persecution. They share a belief with JWs that Christians will be more persecuted in the End of Days scenario, so they're inclined to interpret events according to expectation.

    It could turn into self fulfilling prophecy as the more radical and more removed from society the more fundamenalist or fringe Christian religions get, the more the government will tend to scrutinize them.

  • oompa

    no........i am prob flucked up forever............oompa

    i really liked this guys are so really hit home..........

  • Ri

    The only time I think about my experience in the WTS is when I think of the book of revelation and the anti-christ. The speech Obama made to the Muslims got me thinking and picking up the red book on revelation to read again. How the anti-christ would subdue the nations of the world. etc etc etc

  • wobble-reborn

    I cannot shed my JW experience, I was in for 58 of my 59 years!

    But I have shed the mind control. I do not fear death, armageddon, what Elders may do, etc. etc

    I really do not give a flying ****. I do not believe that the WT has ever had the truth, or been used by God.

    I can read the Bible with an open mind,and see for the first time what it is saying , not that I understand a lot of it, but I will continue to try.

    The only thing I cannot leave at present is this site ! I have had trouble getting logged on, and have opened this new a/c just so I can read and post, but one day the need for this will fade.



Share this