Leaving Jehovah's Witnesses is a Negative, Depressing Thing To Do, but....

by AllTimeJeff 47 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AllTimeJeff
    Sure it started negitive with a bucket load of guilt and shame.

    Exactly. It STARTS negative. And when you are in that first stage, it is very difficult to see things getting better. Or, to put it more directly, to know how to make it better, to get to good.

    Aussie, many (not all) go through what you did, and because it takes years, it can be discouraging. I think one value that this board and other internet resources can provide is to validate all emotions. I truly believe that while initial anger is necesarry to leave, to keep it is bad for you in the long run. The fact is, many former JW's in the internet world anyway, are still angry. That is their perrogative, esp if they have just left. But I think that for good mental health (with apologies to Frazier) there has to be a point, after some years, where the depression and anger is dealt with. It is my opinion that if you are still so upset that it affects a part of your day years after your exit, then it might be good to try to get some kind of therapy. I mean that. That is part of the healing is to finally leave the negative emotions behind.

    I agree with some of the other posters that there is more than 3 ways to leave. There are those of us that that were born-ins that left before we were baptized.

    I know. Sometimes when I write, I purposely generalize. I admit there are many more, but in general, that is what I observed. It's impossible to touch on every situation that exists.

    The point of it is (with the attempted ironic title of my blog) that the negative can and does become a positive. There are some things you can do that could hurt you as you make your exit and navigate toward your new life. You are right, being a JW for most is a negative. Now, having said that, some get their jollys being a JW. I wish them the best, and will tell them I am not interested the next time they come to my door, just like most everyone does.

  • AllTimeJeff

    Lieu, you didn't read my blog. The ACT of leaving IS negative. And if you don't deal with the issues that being a JW created, it will STAY negative.

    If you are a part of that happy minority that skipped away in a field of daisy's, then I congratulate you. I doubt most had that experience.

  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    I think there are MANY JWs that have convinced themselves that they are happy. They are drinking the Kool-Aid big time. They wll not even ackowledge how unhappy they are or what is causing it. As they down their pills and sip from their flasks and lay in bed with their vague illnesses.

    Truly happy JWs? No, I don't see it in my experience. Too much cognitive dissonance for that.

    Upon leaving , there are many negative emotions. These internet sites are great places to have your emotions validated, like you say. I've never had any other place to do that except here.

  • bsmart

    Time to bump this amazing conversation!

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I adore being "worldly." Well, I always had a preference for the world. I live in it. Sometimes I catch glimpses of myself, being admitted to the bar and taking the oath, attending church, having fun at a rock concert, attending classical music events and I exclaim to myself that I am worldly. I was born worldly.

    During a rough personal patch, a friend suggested that I visited an Anglican convent. I had no idea such things existed. Well, I traipsed over for a service, remarking to myself how worldly, going to a convent was. It was a strict order that specialized in education. The nuns were a mix of feminists and true artists. They were very articulate. For some reason, the young nuns loved me. I stayed for dinner and mass. These nuns in graduate programs at Columbia Universiy had to ask the mother superior for permission to go to the drug store. She granted them permission. They bowed to her during lunch. I started getting the giggles. It was rude but I could not stop thinking about asking my own mom at my age (late 20s) for permission to go to CVS, Even in preschool, I never bowed to my mom. Soon I was pinching myself to stop from rolling on the floor laughing. My church attendance was sporadic.

    The fearless younger sisters begged the mother superior to let me return soon to visit some more. I knew she wanted perfect church attendance from me. Tears were rolling down my face. Oh, to be considered worldly by first my JW family, and now an official mother superior. God is good. I always wanted to achieve sophistication and worldliness. You know, Chanel. The Left Bank. I kept laughing on the subway. God grants some wishes. This was a peak event in my life, ranking with law school and college graduation. Being considered a poor role model for young nuns. Priceless.

  • life is to short
  • Muddy Waters
    Muddy Waters

    Wow, I read the very first post in this thread and was totally blown away.... this is freaking awesome to read... Totally relevant and explains so much.... very very helpful. Thank you for the bump, needed it.

  • daringhart13

    I wrote an eBook on this very subject: "Leaving Jehovah's Witnesses" at www.leavingjehovahswitnesses.org

    I don't believe it has to be negative. I think it depends on getting your thinking straight before you leave. I'm often shocked at how many leave, but don't know WHY they left......it can be a strange dynamic.

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