An Open Letter From Jeff

by AllTimeJeff 58 Replies latest jw friends

  • DNCall

    Hi Jeff,

    I really enjoy your posts and admire your opening up. I think you've gotten some excellent feedback in this thread. I just wanted to voice my support and admiration.


  • AllTimeJeff

    I have been very touched. DNCall, I read your post on freeminds, and you are certainly to be congratulated, both you and your wife, for your bravery. Thank you for your support! (no Bartyles and James reference meant. )

    Kool Aid, thanks so much. and VIII, thank you too!

  • The Almighty Homer
    The Almighty Homer

    Thats fine to express yourself in what your going through Jeff , from reading your posts its easy to see you've got a good head on your shoulders.

    Which again explains why you'd never cut it in a religious cult..

    I don't know about anyone else but when you've been brought up in this religion it takes some time in mind adjusting the JWS mentality.

    I went through that myself, even though its been 25 years ago now and the memory of it all has waned a bit.

    As time presses on you'll see even more of how mind controlling the JWS are on their members. ( mental slavery would define it well )

    In any case take care you'll be all right

  • willyloman

    Hey, Jeff, thanks for the beautifully written, gutsy words. I know these feellings well. None of us gets out fully intact.

    If it helps any, and it does help me, I've come to appreciate that we hold the moral high ground. Leaving a social web that took decades (in some cases a lifetime) to weave is an act of genuine courage.

    It was only after I exited that I fully understood the song lyric: Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. I had already lost my faith in the Watchtower and my self respect, so leaving was my only real option. It did lead to freedom, with a small "f."

    It is probably too late for me to accomplish great things with my life, since I walked away from dubdom when I was almost 60. But I value the years I have left and the serenity that's come over me, knowing that - and I really mean this - I am closer now to Jehovah (or whatever you want to call it) than I ever was as a haughty elder sitting in the luxury boxes at the District Convention directing meaningless traffic that was going nowhere.

    Not having to judge every person I meet, and not having to parrot b.s. that I knew in my heart couldn't possibly be real, is liberating. It is worth more than many Watchtowers, to paraphrase scripture.

    Do not let the past weigh you down. You did what you knew until you knew better, and when you knew better you took action. No matter how difficult it was going to be. You sought truth. That took courage.

    I went into the WT seeking love and peace when all the time it was within me. You'll find that, too. Keep searching.

  • journey-on

    3 years out, uh? Well, let me tell you that it gets better with each year. You will have ups and downs with the psychological stuff for a few more years probably. (Cultish groups do a number on you for sure.) Then one day, out of the blue, everything will become crystal clear. Years of Life 's flow create patterns that you eventually are able to examine. One day you will "see" with clear eyes how it all fell into place for YOU alone and you will smile a knowing smile and think how lucky you were to have had the Life you had....all of it....ALL the hills and valleys. Your life was a cooperative venture with your own ego and your higher spiritual Self (which has an intimate relationship with The Eternal One). Lessons learned and lessons taught. And, Mr. AllTimeJeff, you do more teaching than you know! :)

  • Bumble Bee
    Bumble Bee

    Thats something I would like to do more of... laugh. Just giggle or something

    Laughter is good for the soul. When I ever feel down I put on the comedy channel or some old episodes of AFV and just laugh till my sides hurt, it makes me feel soooo much better.

    Lay out in the grass or on the beach with a friend and just laugh at the sillyness of all the JW crap we did. Laugh at my crazy neighbour that shouted she was going to call the police because these two old ladies were looking through her recycling for any returnables!! There are things in life everywhere we can find to laugh at, and it will make you feel better!

  • palmtree67

    I nearly cried (Sorry, I'm a weeper) when I read about the fear of being homeless. I thought it was just me!! When I first left, I had a couple of panic attacks, realizing all I had to show for my life was in the back of my truck......

    I gradually realized that the fear of being homeless, stemmed from something else - Where the heck do I belong?

    I don't belong with the JW"s. And I don't feel I belong "in the world" yet, either. I'm not real sure I belong here. I'm working on the sense of belonging somewhere.

    But I'm confident it will happen! One day, I will wake up and say, "Oh, I'm where I'm supposed to be!!"

    I'm confident you will, too. You're too smart for it to be any other way.

    Here's to us!!

    *clink clink*

    (OMG, that was my first toast!!!!)

  • AllTimeJeff
    Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose

    Cool, a Joplin fan!

    I probably should have wrote something like this for me sooner. I sense that I still have some good days and bad ahead of me. I appreciate the experience that has been offered. So I am going to be ok??? That sounds great! Because sometimes, I have thought I won't be, for some reason. Just dread actually. I have my good days and bad days on that.....

    With me, I feel old, and I know I am not. Sometimes, I am afraid if I stop grinding internally that things won't go right. I still seem to be in the habit of wearing myself out mentally and emotionally. I am starting to get tired of it......

    I know, I have to laugh a little more at things, and myself. I used to. I actually had the best JW jokes, come backs, and one liners of all time.

    Well, if I have years ahead, I should probably stick around.... lol...

    Bumble bee, I have my own yard for the first time as an adult... I think I will spend a couple of days back there. So far, I only mow it... (when absolutely necesarry)

  • AllTimeJeff

    Hey Palm. I am glad that I shared that now, I know I am not alone....

    First toast? Cheers!

    I think I should try to take advantage of some of the wisdom here more often.... I am very grateful for it.

  • BabaYaga
    *clink clink*

    (OMG, that was my first toast!!!!)

    PalmTree, my Dear, you make me smile.

    I have a theory about the fear of being homeless. What say ye? We were always taught that we had a worldwide family... no matter where we went, across the continent or across the planet, we were told that we had "brothers and sisters" who would take us into their own homes. Whether that is true or not (or, perhaps more importantly, whether that is any more true when you are in the Witnesses than when you are out) is up for debate.

    Within my first couple of years out, I used to have night terrors about leaving the organization. I tried to explain it to my dear friend, who had never been a Witness. I told him, "You don't understand. I've just lost a world-wide family."

    He wisely replied, "You haven't lost a family. You've gained a much larger one."

    Nice, wasn't it?

    I think PalmTree is onto something about the "where do we belong" panic that comes to us initially. I also think it has something to do with BELIEVING we always had a safety net in the organization, whether that was ever true or not.


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