Fade to white

by Sojourn 15 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Sojourn

    Ever since I was a kid, I felt so lucky - SO lucky (I know, I know) that out of all the religions in the world, I happened to be born into a family that practiced the one true religion in all the universe. It seemed much to good to be true, but I always thought it was such a happy coincidence. My immediate family and grandparents were Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Since Jehovah was very real to me, I was a perfectionist in trying to do everything I was expected to do. The schedule wore me out of course, or a slip up would occur and I'd find myself in trouble with a guy and would sit myself down with the elders in short order, intent on making things right. Instead of growing up as a hopeful young person, I became jaded by the pair of disfellowshippings I received before age 18. My track record kept me paralyzed, and afraid to make more mistakes, so I became inactive. I didn't want to be on a never-ending disfellowshipped/reinstated carousel for years on end. Years later, I gave it one last good shot as a Witness, but it didn't last. The feeling that I didn't belong in with all of these righteous people never went away. They were lifers who never shared my talent for ending up in front of judicial committees. Slowly, I realized that I was beginning to show up at meetings because people expected to see me there, and not out of love for Jehovah. I became consumed with the idea of sincere worship. I became extremely dissatisfied with my own "service to Jehovah" and decided that Jehovah deserved more than I was giving. Why continue? I then started to think about how often the new system, the reward, are stressed at meetings and in publications (at the end of every Watchtower lesson and talk). Have you ever thought about how extremely distracting from SINCERE worship it is to continually hear the "hook" about the new system? There is no need to keep throwing out "remember this reward you'll get if you do this!" at every meeting, assembly, convention, publication and presentation at the door. As I faded away, I would tell any of my friends and family who inquired that I would not engage in a charade that Jehovah would see through anyway. I told them that I refused to make Jehovah a joke and I also refused to jerk my friends and family around any longer. I actually may have stumbled onto the one reason for leaving that can be freely discussed without fear of being disfellowshipped or being slapped with charges of apostasy. I guess you could say that I left because I took what the Society said VERY seriously. I took their words and the Bible's words so literally that I reasoned myself out of being a Witness. Since I have been away, I have slowly done little bits of research on the organization and have been appalled by what I've found. It was extremely difficult to de-tangle my psyche from Jehovah's Witnesses and the society, but I did it with the help of sites like this and my own (other) research. I'm happy to say that my family has lapsed for their own individual reasons, and the chances of them returning are extremely unlikely. We all feel, however reluctantly, like a blindfold has been lifted. I say 'reluctantly' because the de-tox was almost unbearable. You feel like you're in The Truman Show, or Pleasantville. All I can be sure of now is that I can't be sure of anything. I don't know what to believe, and when I see anyone, be they a Witness, a clergyman, or a poster on an "apostate" website interpreting a scripture for me, I will probably always be wise to take it as a red flag. If I am done listening to an elder give a talk and draw conclusions for me, I am done raising ANY person into that seat again-- I know they cannot possibly fill it. Thanks for reading! Happy to answer questions...

  • jamiebowers

    Welcome to JWN! Df'd twice by the age of 18...WOW! You sound like very intersting person.

  • zzaphod

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, very interesting.

    All the best

    Paul UK

  • wobble

    Dear Sojourn,


    Thank you for your well expressed story. As a normal teenager growing up in a high control cult it was difficult for you, as for most.

    A lot of young Witnesses go for leading a double life, which involves a lot of lying and subterfuge.

    You were too honest to do that, and I admire you.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on many subjects, a warm welcome again.

  • Lozhasleft

    Welcome to the forum here...its a good place to be....I'm sorry you suffered the 'pain' of disfellowshipping...its inhumane...

    Loz x

  • Think About It
    Think About It

    Sojourn.........welcome to the forum. Look forward to reading your posts.

    Think About It

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Welcome to the forum Sojourn.

    It will be nice to have you here.



  • wenaolong

    Congratulations. Welcome to the club. I beat you by a year, btw... (Literally turned my back on them when I was 17, and do you want to talk about a talent for DEFIANCE? I was Satan himself)

    But it is about quality, not quantity, as you figured out. It's about essence, not form. "Jehovah" was a symbol foisted upon your mind by others, but the essence REALLY WAS alive in you, and still is. Perhaps some day you will relive with that essence in a healing way, in a way that no one will ever be able to touch in a foul or misguided way ever again. I hope that you do. I have, and it is beautiful, because unlike the saccharine you were force-fed against the grain of what should have been the natural course of your unfolding enlightenment in the flesh as a spirit being here, you will earn on your own the real truth, manifested in you 'realer' than ever, sustained by the capacitance of the sculpted psychical and spiritual muscles in you that you now are free to develop, and they will power your new wings when you are ready, when you are ready.

    Welcome to YOUR world. You chose it, you co-created it. Now YOU decide what to do next.

  • Soldier77

    Sojourn, HUGE WELCOME!

    Your story resonates with me, I too was DF'd twice, and I just never felt that I "fit" in after going back that second time. I tried to "reach out" for a 2 year stint after being reinstated, got assignments and "privileges" just short of an MS. But then something happened, something in me said, wait a minute, this is wrong, this focus on the organization is the only reason for worship here, not worshipping god or jesus.

    Looking forward to your experiences and thoughts. Again, welcome to JWN!

  • babygirl30

    It's like eating at the same restaurant your entire life...swearing up and down it's the BEST food in town!!! You try to 'sell' the place to everyone you know, convicincing them it's SO good and fresh. You make them promises that the restaurants food is so amazing that they will never leave hungry - and they give you SO much, that it's inevitable they will leave with leftovers. Finally ONE (out of 35) of your friends decides to check the restaurant out. Afterwards they call you and tell you that the restaurant - the one you bragged about being SO good and having the BEST food - is disgusting! They tell you about the bad service, how the place smells like something is rotten, the floors are sticky and full of crumbs, there are rodents running around the place, and the food is burned and far from fresh. then another friend goes and tells you the same thing...then another friend. Now YOU go back to the restaurant and objectively LOOK at the place - and you see it - the place IS nasty!!!!

    It's crazy how when IN the JW bubble, you rarely see things for how they really are. You believe what you want to believe because it's all you've known. But once you step back and really LOOK at the religion, what it teaches, how the people conduct themselves...you get a glimpse into the reality that alluded you for so long. Welcome to the board!!!!!

Share this