I remember those awful days Empty Inside. Just thinking about them makes my stomach turn sour and start to hurt.
I remember thinking all I ever wanted was happy family life. Happy family life like in the paradise brochure was what attracted me to the religion. But I personally did not find it. The man I married was a very strict interpreter of the Society's wishes for us. We set ourselves up to be the examples of meeting attendance and field service participation. After 30 years of it and much poverty, no children, ill health and dissappointment in life my heart was aching for something else, some relief, some change.
I was told to pray more, go out in service more, study more, comment more. Everything in my soul told me just the opposite! Get out more! See the world more! Embrace life more! Take time off! But the grind went on. Boring boring boring weekly routine to the exclusion of all other interests and activities. I lost interest in the people in our own bookstudy who attended in our home on Thursday nights. I stopped cleaning before they came. They also met in our home on Saturday mornings. I didnt like any of them anymore. They werent people I would normally invite in to my home. They werent excited about me either. And I was expected to go out in FS every Saturday morning rain or shine with these people. I found myself begging off. My soul just wanted to quit everything, the Book Study, the meetings, the constant sacrificing soldier existance we led. Dont get me started talking about Convention days!!!
I was very tired. I had been inducted in the early 70s and here it was the year 2000. I had been through many campaigns designed to excite the public to study with us. Many promises the earth was about to undergo a grand change. But nothing ever happened.
I just got older and more discouraged. The people who inspired me in the 70s died. Their kids married and left town to buy houses in other areas and raise families. New elders came in the hall and changes came with them. One day I looked around during a Watchtower and thought "this meeting today is nothing like the meetings back in the 70s with congregation members all aglow and commenting passionately from their hearts" Why, the new Watchtower Overseer announced that if you didnt have a comment from the paragraph not to bother raising your hand and commenting because he would not call on you if you did not stick to the paragraph. So he wanted comments straight out of the Watchtower which we just read! And my husband conducted the same meeting in our home on Friday or Saturday night with friends over! I was going nuts with boredom. On top of all that my husband began to view me as a Satanic influence because of my constant desire to stay home. So even he was not much of a friend to me anymore either. His pressures on me to attend every meeting and go out in FS and accompany him to halls when he gave talks out gave me the impression he was choosing the Watchtower Society over our marriage and me. He would rather see me unhappy or dead than "unfaithful" to Jehovah. He thought my problem was a spiritual one.
I began to have stomach upsets all the time. I started to throw up all my food on a daily basis. I went to Kaiser and told a nurse my problem. She pinpointed the problem as a need for control over my life. She recommended therapy. I saw a Kaiser therapist and she said I was suffering from "enmeshment". Enmeshment is when your thoughts and opinions are totally knotted and entagled with anothers, in my case my husbands and the Watchtower Society's. I was being controlled and forced and my body and soul were rebelling even while my mind was trying to keep me in the Organization.
After that meeting with the therapist I began to wonder what life might be like outside the Organization. I desperately wanted to be happy. Brothers and sisters heard that I was depressed and offered me the names of their doctors and medications they were on.
But I knew in my heart I did not need medications and that I was not crazy. There was no one in our family to talk to, no one. They were all ultra witnesses.
Well, thats all I want to write about for now. Your letter Empty Inside reminded me of those awful days of despair and agony.
Looking back I think I should have been true to myself and told everyone I needed a break for my mental and physical health and left it at that. No further explanation needed.
Perhaps I could have had it my way and saved my marriage and family ties. But my witness husband would not have allowed it. He was so strict and nagging. I was his and he would not be embarrassed by a wife who was not a fine example.
Fine. But I was not going to stay and just die! I think my husband would have rather I got cancer and die than leave the way I did.
Oh well! That was 10 years ago folks!
And now I have a new marriage with a man 15 years younger! I have a management job I like. I bought a house for the first time!
And I am looking for to fall and harvest time and Thanksgiving and Christmas!
And I havent thrown up in 10 years!!!! Gee I wonder why???????
Because somebody saved her own life, got out, and found some happiness!!!