Wanted to bump this thread up as it has loads of experiences from people who have left the witnesses and how they've been able to move on. Thought it might assist some newbies on the board. All comments and observations welcome. Thanks, Peace out, mr. Flipper
Newly Exiting JW's ( Last 5 years ) How are you Doing in Life? Let Us Know
I agree with cognizant dissident. There is so much damage being done to kids in this cult. Their sponge-like brains are absorbing everything coming from the platform. Do NOT think that they're not being hurt. I know. I was one of those kids.
SCARRED FOR LIFE- Yes, I agree. Children ARE being damaged by the JW cult mind control. So it's up to us as seasoned adults to help the younger generation to see the positive possibilities available to them outside the controlled walls of the WT society. I'm thankful out of my 3 adult children and my nieces and nephews - 4 out of 8 are out of the JW cult now. In time I hope my daughters 23 and 21 will exit. My son 25 is out - but I'm gonna keep plugging away . My girls are still young. I'm sure the cult will treat them badly enough in time. WT society has a way of screwing everybody in time
Wanted to bump this up for newly exiing JW's the last 5 years or so to see how things are going ! Let us know ! Take care ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper
I'm a little outside your "5 years or so" window, but things are going pretty great. Lots of laughing and joking, and new friends, and adventures. Business is pretty good (that business I created once I finally had free time to get some training...,) I have two spoiled rotten dogs - never "had time" for dogs before. We had a delightful time last weekend with some visiting friends, and had a lovely dinner and a couple of bottles of wine with no worries about getting up in the morning in time to go for Sunday Browbeating, I mean Meeting.
There have certainly been casualties of our exit - my mother no longer speaks to me, it has been almost 2 years, although I'm not sure that's a bad thing, it certainly cuts down on the crazy in my life. We don't have as much contact with husband's parents though, either, and that's kind of sad. Certainly don't miss the preaching from them.
The JWs come around here periodically, but I don't think they even remember who we are, or if we do, they skip our house, and send JW n00bs who don't know us, so we're not afraid to be out in the yard on a Saturday (and at this point, wouldn't be anyways.) If they come by, I just politely tell them "no thank you," and they're on their way.
I still get angry about all the lies, missed opportunities, lost years, but feel such a great weight off my shoulders and such freedom! I know active JWs can never believe that, but I never knew just how imprisoned I was until I was free of the WTS' iron shackles.
I have to agree with Odrade's point about having time to actually live now.
There have even been times recently when our family has had to split up and go off to separate rooms for some quiet alone time because we've got SO MUCH time together since quitting the Borg. That NEVER happened before. Before there was constant guilt. Either I was guilty of ignoring my family because I had meeting parts and talks to work on or I was guilty of neglecting "spiritual things" while spending time with my family. There just wasn't enough time for both.
One had to go.
It was the Borg.
What's sad is when I would see other guys in the same situation and the family always got the short end of the stick while he was being praised for being SO spiritual. Sucks to be a JW kid with that kind of dad.
the family always got the short end of the stick
No kidding, huh? I feel sorry for my dad. He really tried, but he was often so tired, and always there were people "needing" his attention. And his obligations to the WTS made it so he really couldn't say no. I've known elders who resigned because they weren't able to spend time with their families, and felt their wives and small children were being neglected, but sadly they were often guilted into being reappointed.
What a waste of good minds and good hearts.
We've been out 4 years. Doing great. Never going back. Ever. We don't miss the grind or "the friends". Our immediate family is active and does not care that we walked out the door never to return. Have made some good friends who love us unconditionally.
Freedom is wonderful.
Things that are good:
(1) No more anxiety (2) no waking up at night with panic (3) no more guilt and dread on meeting nights (4) new personal growth and strengths (5) I don't expect myself to be perfect or even near perfect (6) No more pretending (7) personal honesty (8) internal calmness (9) No more feeling responsible for defending Gods universal soverignty 24/7 (10) Seeing the scales fall away from my Wifes eyes after years of denial about her doubts, (11) Reconnecting with former/ex Witness friends and finding people from school on Facebook I used to know and the joy of discovering that we still have a bond.
Things that could be better:
(1) Letting go of anger toward the Org. and the condesending JW's that are still in my life that pity me for no longer being in the club (2) Letting go of the desire to show the JW's still in my life how mislead and brainwashed they are. (3.) I'm glad to have a good job in an Engineering Department but because I wasn't allowed to get a degree when I was young, instead of being a Supervisor myself, I'm supervised by foriegners who were just recently part of the "Unwashed Masses" and can barely speak English. They have less practical experience,interpersonal skills and common sense than I do. I am constantly undoing their mix-ups and yet they earn nearly half again what I earn for doing the same job. They think I'm a fool for not having taken advantage of the opporutnities that were available to me, especially since they draged themselves up from the depths to get where they are today. I am ashamed to tell them(so far anyway) that I was caught up in a religion that prohibited higher education for fear they would think me a bigger fool,in this regard, than they already do. I made it to where I am by luck yes I said Luck...and sheer determination and because I have learned to mold myself into whatever I needed to be, to survive. Guess where I learned that little trick ?
All in all, I feel a new hope for myself even though I am middle aged and am starting over. This forum has been a great help in sorting out my head. I can't say how thankful for the insightful comments, encouraging words and feelings of warmth that exists here and has helped me get to where I am in the leaving process.
ODRADE- I'm glad your husband and yourself have enjoyed being free of the WT shackles . Good for you. Freedom of mind is a great thing ! Sorry to hear about your parents shunning you- I go through the same thing with my JW daughters 23 and 21 yrs.old. It sucks big time. But getting together with friends who are our friends unconditionally is fantastic ! We just had our Lake Tahoe fest last weekend and it is great getting together with folks who have traveled down similar roads we have. It's nice being friends with people who don't judge as for how often we raise our hands at meetings or knock on doors . I'm happy for you that things are going well.
MAD SWEENEY- I'm glad that you and your family have more time for one another now. I'm glad you dumped the organization and saved your family. I had one of those dad's you mentioned growing up- he was City overseer for years and quite the popular elder with assembly parts, etc constantly. I never felt like I could ever measure up to hs expectations. But funny thing is - after LEAVING the organization- I felt a lot better about myself and my accomplishments - didn't need his approval anymore. Funny things happen as we learn to gain our freedom. I'm happy for you Sweeney. Keep it up buddy.
CULT CLASSIC- I'm so happy that things are going well for you and your family ! Freedom is wonderful isn't it ? I'm glad you've made good unconditional friends outside the JW cult. They are TOTALLY different from witness friends we used to have. Keep it up !
EXWHYZEE- I'm so glad you have experienced positive things since exiting the witnesses. As for the things that aren't so positive - take courage , it gets better with time. There will always be challenges in our new lives after the JW experience- but it's how we rise up to those challenges and deal with them that will educate us along the way. Enjoy the ride my friend with the experience comes closure on many things