Help! I'm drowning!
My wife and sons don't know how far I have gone in withdrawing from the organization in my heart. I've been faking family worship. I got angry and almost showed it while watching the March tv.org. My son is getting married to a very nice witness. It broke my heart when my wife told me that what he likes about her is that she is like me (very spiritually strong). I have not abandoned the Bible but we know what he means. An elder is trying to "help" me right now. He knows I've gone downhill since i discovered we worshipped Jesus. Just adds another huge issue with 1919. He is even having a hard time with that one. No one is really helping me. No sound reasoning. No scriptures. One elder said "your here". You haven't left Jehovah. I said that's true but it doesn't explain the worship of Jesus. He commended me for not spreading what I know . He then said, "well, that is why they are called "the discreet slave ". "What would happen if they told everyone that? That is what makes them discreet." Wow! I feel so trapped. My mom who is 64 will die if she finds out where I am right now. I have two adopted children, ages 9,11. They love this organization. My 9 year old last night after watching tv.org said Bethel is the most spiritual place on earth. I have to go to an assembly this weekend. People know I'm not quite the same. I haven't been commenting or having my normal conversations. You see I have returned to my original congregation after being in sign language for 4 years. Why the return? My wife knows I haven't been doing well. I feel so lost and lonely. The Kingdom Hall feels so different now. It is like I'm walking into a haze. Literally. A huge weight is lifted once I'm in the safety of my car. I just don't know what to do.
Be honest with them all.....humans are amazingly resilient. I dumped the org about 8 years ago after having been in for nearly 50 years, been an elder, M.S.----the whole sheebang. I endured hell at home for over 2 years until my wife (still in and a die-hard) finally accepted that I'm not a horrible person just because I dropped everything in the j-dub world.My head and heart now live contentedly with each other, and I haven't had a depressive episode in at least 7 1/2 years. So, just be honest with them all. It will probably be the hardest thing you'll do in your life. Drop the whole deck and let the cards fall where they may. You will experience a sense of freedom and well being that you had not here-to-fore imagined. I wish you the best. Don't delay.
Welcome vinman, I'm sorry that you feel so alone. You are not alone and you do have options. You just have to initially deal with the confusion and stages of grief that you are feeling and then move on to making plans how to help your loved ones to start critically thinking for themselves.
Don't rush into telling JWs how you feel or what you learned until they tell you their doubts. Learn how to ask simple questions of JW family and friends to plant seeds of doubt in them and how to overcome thought-stopping platitudes that they say like "Where else would we go?"
Post how you feel on JWN so that you do not explode your feelings on your family and to learn what options that you may have. Is there a non-JW who you can talk to about your feelings? Can you afford to talk with a counselor?
Have you read information by cult-exit counselors like Steven Hassan's books (i.e., "Combatting Cult Mind Control", "Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves", and (his latest book) "Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs), visited his website www.freedomofmind.com, and watched his videos like Strategic Interactive Approach explained 2003 (1:23:23)?
Best of wishes making your plans to live free from the Watchtower's use of BITE manipulation techniques and using undue influence to victimize JWs.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
I hear you vinman.....we hear you.
You have two choices........ a slow thoughtful fade or set off a bomb. You are in a construct you contributed to as every JW contributes to unless you are in outright rebellion.
If you know The Truth About the Truth concentrate on being a force for good, for intelligence, and education. If you don't know TTATT then learn it on jwfacts.com in the Watchtower's own words and on this forum.
Convert Family worship into reading the bible and commenting on it. The Minstry of Jesus has a way of refuting the JW falsehoods. Jesus got baptized when he was 30. He never mentioned Armageddon or blood. He also never wrote down anything but that's a subject for another time.
Encourage critical thinking......... encourage some level of higher education.....maybe a community college or trade school at the minimum.....pioneering and getting married should not be an option. Reality is the option.
If people 'know i'm not the same' you will no longer be viewed as the same, fact of life in the JW world. That part of your life is over. Being a loving husband and father is on going..........So a quite fade sounds like that is what you may need to do.
Your son admires your spirituality. Maybe he really admires you devotion to family and your moral compass. Would you continue to demonstrate those things if your no long a JW? I would think so.
Avoid outright rebellion and continue to be a husband and the dad they love.....but not by compromising yourself. Help them to understand that Dad is going to take a spiritual break for a while. Maybe it's the pedophile issue, recent changes perhaps someone unnamed has stumbled you at the highest reaches of the Society and you are praying about the matter.
Eventually your family will adjust and perhaps take a page out of your book.
As I stated in another post I made today....... I loved the respect and attention I got from the friends. Knowing I became a disappointment was difficult for my ego and sense of the person I was. But eventually it was a small price to pay for keeping my family together and becoming a much better person.
There's no point in serving Jehovah if it's making you miserable. Just become inactive and enjoy whatever time you have left with your family.
Actually, the WTS went further into apostasy when they outlawed worship of Jesus Christ. You are not unspiritual because you know the truth about the WTS. One is unspiritual when one gives allegiance to men that belongs solely to God.
You still believe in God and the Bible. I suggest you read the New Testament carefully, without WT literature and ask your heavenly Father daily to lead you and your family into the center of His will and to give you the grace to follow His lead. The matter then rests in His hands as you trust Him to answer your request.
Go slow, don't tell anyone you know about your doubts and then learn about the teachings of Christ (if you still believe in the bible) and then during family worship teach your kids the teachings of Christ. In time it will become plainly obvious to them that there is issues with what the Borg teaches and what Christ taught. This may be the best way to wake them up. If I had a way to do it over again this is what I would do.
Get your support and do your venting here not to any family or friends they will turn on you in a second. Remember its a Cult that's all about their leaders and the Organization nothing else. One last thing plant seeds and teach your kids to have a questioning mindset.
My heart is breaking for you. I've been there. Without the man-duties. It's not an easy road. One step at a time.
I still want you to tell me about this Jesus worship! I don't know about it.
Your mom is probably not going to die if you leave, and your life won't be completely in ruins for ever and ever. It will be one of the hardest things you've ever done, but the sun will rise tomorrow. It will be ok. Do the right thing and you will feel a sense of peace and relief.
Your kids belief that Bethel is the most spiritual place on earth will be tempered the day they read some of the Bethel experiences by those who have been there. But that knowledge is not for now. Now they probably like the association of others and they haven't hit the puberty yet or the need of high schools for assignments.
Be kind to your mum but keep in mind we are ever children in the eyes of our mothers and your concern for her is understandable and commendable ... but it is an invisible requirement part of being a jw that OSFA one size fits all. She will still wish to influence your life. ...(!) BUT, You did not grow up in her generation and she has never been a male or a dad in this one.
In my slow release from the wt (I had not even heard of these sites and the web wasnt invented as we know it now) i used to make notes and sketch and doodle. i avoided others in the hall after 'hello' and 'baby is doing well' etc because others will require your attendance to be part of their support structure.
I guess its this we are all on our own journey dont do anything rebellious and the advice above from caring folk ie Giordano could not be bettered. Be kind to your kids and yourself. Do you have a hobby? Very therapeutic.
peace love and warm wishes.