Ever since I got married and had to return to cult activities to keep peace in my home, I've been having panic attacks. "Let's go over the daily text," she says. I start breathing really fast, uncontrollably fast. "Let's do our Bible reading." Panic. "Let's do our Family Worship." Panic!
Even when it's not a specific activity--sometimes she just talks about the congregation or this particular brother or sister, I start freaking out inside. I think I'm having panic attacks. Is this normal when one realizes one is in a cult and has been his entire life?
I've heard that strange dreams can be normal, too. I had another one recently. I dreamed that I had a talk on the Theocratic Ministry School, but that only two people on the entire school were prepared. (Apparently my mind went back to the era when they had 4 talks instead of the three they have now.) The school overseer assumed I was prepared because I was there, but I wasn't. So I started formulating a talk, scriptures, etc. The theme was weird, though, something about humility, yet the title also said "Be Like the So-and-Sos", naming a specific family that I don't particularly like (actually, it's the father I don't like--the rest of the family is pretty cool, and I don't think they like him much either. I was good friends with one of them, was hoping to help that person wake up, but...it's too late, they've already committed to the Borg).
I woke up before it was time to give the talk. But it's getting weird. I never used to have dreams about congregation life while I believed in it. Maybe once or twice, but certainly not this frequently and this close to the last dream I had.
The fear associated with this religion is unreal. I've gone to the meetings with my wife as much as possible (while subtly manipulating the situation so we could miss this past weekend), but...I honestly feel a serious moral problem with recruiting others to join a religion I know for a fact is dishonest and seriously misled. I don't think I can do it. I may have to fabricate time, or just talk to a co-worker about how cult life is going and count that time. If asked, I'll say, "Well, someone at work was falsely claiming that Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult. I spent a significant amount of time showing them from the Bible and the Reasoning book that that's just not true. Since then, we've had many interesting conversations. I'm hoping it will become a Bible study."
I just...I chose this path because I love my wife a great deal. I married her for that reason. That had nothing to do with belief. But psychologically, this has been extremely destructive for me. I knew that going in. Besides, if I'm right, and the gameplan works out, I'll be on ice soon anyway, once my old brothers chat with my new brothers, if Mom was gracious enough to employ the 'cult of confession' thing. Still, the handbook requires two witnesses of circumstantial evidence, rather than one shaky witness who didn't actually see anything, just couldn't verify my location. So...don't know.
Don't want to go off on a tangent. I was reading the elders' handbook thing online. The section on judicial hearings made me feel greatly disturbed. I'm really done with this religion. I don't want to hold on anymore. I just do it like I go to work, except with a lot less enthusiasm because I'm more likely to spend money in the process than to make money. (I can barely pay rent and keep the lights on, but I'll have to save money to go to a frakkin' district convention? Shell, no. Been holding off on a joint bank account just to avoid contributing to this organization directly. Never did ponder the fact that $700K was given in settlements to people over child abuse--obviously that came from donations. I can't possibly pay the Society's legal fees for them. I'd rather give it straight to the victims if I was going to donate.)
It's my own stupidity, still being in. But I was still not emotionally able to handle leaving--I wasn't ready to make independent decisions. I just have head knowledge about reality, not the strength to face all that is reality, out there. ... Anyone else go through panic attacks? Is that normal?