by VampireDCLXV 29 Replies latest jw experiences

  • VampireDCLXV

    I'm a 38 year old man who's seen too much. Too much hypocrisy. Too much apathy. Too much self-righteous arrogance. Too much guilt. Too many broken promises.I grew up in the so-called truth and I never felt like I was part of the "family". Most friendships and congregational relationships have been tenuous, shallow and temporary.

    It seems to me that I had three strikes against me from the start:
    1. My parents are both immigrants and my mother still speaks with a heavy accent. Despite JW's claims of being caring, loving and non-discriminitory, my family, for the most part, was left out in the cold. (Mom is still in denial about that.)
    2. My dad never accepted the JW religion, leaving spiritual matters entirely to my mom. Among many in the congregation, I must have been seen as a bastard child (spiritually speaking) and because of this they treated me accordingly.
    3. I had an un-diagnosed case of ADHD, leaving others free reign to ascribe unto me all sorts of negative motives, character flaws and moral failings.

    Despite what most thought, I wasn't a "bad kid". I did poorly in school while JW children are expected to be perfectly behaved academic achievers. I had few friends either inside or outside of the congregation. Occasionally someone would try to take me under their wing but it would never work out. After enduring a childhood filled with isolation, loneliness, bitterness and depression, I had enough. I stopped attending when I was 17. I didn't go wild though: no drinking, drugs or sex.

    Because of ADHD, I graduated high school with an inferior GPA, lousy social skills and poor prospects. I had no social network, thanks to my time with the JW's. I collapsed even deeper into depression. I spent years navigating a maze of inadequate social services. I had one lousy job after another and couldn't live independently. For too long I was at the mercy of my parent's good graces which put the kibosh on any romantic aspirations. Over time I started finding steady employment and a midling sense of self esteem.

    In contrast, my younger sisters have done well for themselves. They were perfect little angels in school and in the KH. They studied, progressed and got baptised in their mid teens according to accepted practice. They moved out and married young to a couple of nice "brothers". They're still happily married. They have lots of friends. Life is good... for them.

    Eventually I started to get sucked back in by my mom and sisters. Maybe life would be better if I gave Jehovah another chance. I started to study and got baptized at 28. I started to gain friendships. I got a good job and my own appartment. There were romantic possibilities. Life seemed to be on an upswing. The world was my burrito.

    Unaddressed problems started to surface. Living the single life and the rigours of personal study and field service was almost all I could tolerate but people were pressuring me to advance spiritually and be a MS, take on even more "priveleges". I started to feel guilt over various things I wasn't doing good enough, "bad" things that I couldn't give up on and new "bad" habits creeping up. Negative thoughts and paranoia started creeping in. I was feeling like a fraud. Peolple in my peer group started avoiding me. I felt like I was merely being TOLERATED, no longer loved. Friends either moved away or just drifted away. The small handfull left would mindlessly stick up for the rest of the cong who was ignoring me. I'll admit it: I wasn't a perfect angel. I just couldn't bring myself to confess my "secret sins" to any elder. I just coundn't stand to disappoint them and humiliate myself. And something just felt wrong.

    The congregation was troubled as well. Apathy abounded. "Lesser ones" were being ignored. My cong was always coming up short when it came to hospitality for visiting speakers despite contant urgings from the elder body. There were tighly knit cliques that just couldn't be broken. Lots young people living corrupt double lives yet thinking they were better than most others. Several spectacular divorce scandals rocked the local congregations over the years, elder's marriages being casualties as well. Yet all seemed fine to overseers because of good numbers. It all made me so sick. I got into arguements with my family over my feelings about this. I could no longer see the positive.

    One final romantic dissapointment of many was merely the last straw. I again slid into depression. My meeting attendance and FS eventually went to zero. A brother befriended me and tried to play the hero, wanting to be the one who brought me back from the brink of spiritual death. He tried pressuring me back into FS but I no longer had the heart for it. I started doing to the cong what they were doing to me. I avoided THEM. They tried calling, texting, emailing, knocking. Some went so far as casing out my house to catch me coming home or going out, which I found especially upsetting. I crawled under my rock and didn't come out until recently.

    Looking back, I'm sure my intuition was telling me something. I think I would have been railroaded if I had confessed anything to the elders 'cuz they are not the good guys. JW's are not as loving, supportive and forgiving as advertized. I just can't play by all their rules. There's so many shoulda, coulda, woulda's that it makes my head hurt.

    Now I'm looking at moving away from my hometown of 30 years because there's too many bad memories, as well as there being more practical reasons. I'm seeking a diagnosis for my ADHD. I haven't given up my belief in God but right now we're not on speaking terms. I've lost all stomach for religion, especially christianity. I'm feeling a little lost. My mom and sisters are still in the GB's grip and I don't want to rock the boat. I'll just keep drifting away.

    Appologies for my Magnum Opus of a post here. If there seems to be a lot of whining, I'm sorry for that too. I'm new here and I still have a lot to say. Thanks for your time.

  • yknot

    LOL.. you are going to fit in just fine here!

    I am glad you joined!

    You aren't whining, you are telling it like it is and speaking truthfully without fear, regret or concern of rejection is freakin' awesome!

    Good news is there is no rush to decide everything, life is a journey and sometimes you just gotta let nature's force take you fro a ride!

    I am betting in no time you will be the man you were always meant to be...........new romantic attachements included!

  • yknot

    arrg ..... sorry about the spelling... I have 15 stitches on my left hand and a finger splint! (sigh, recovery isn't coming fast enough)

  • Hadit

    Welcome to the forum VampireDCLXV! Thank you for sharing your journey. I have to admit - it made me cry. It hit upon many a memories and nerves. I'm so sorry for your pain. You are not whining at all. It takes courage to share hurt and fears with others. Your intuition was certainly right and it has led you down this path of seeing the truth for what it is.

    You are so right about this religion not being as loving, support and forgiving as advertised. It is very much the opposite and has made a mangled mess of many lives - including ours. Talking to others who are in similar situations is a great way to help in the healing process. It really helps to see how others have handled things and to gain other people's perspectives. It also gives hope in that others have survived this and have gone on to live full and fulfilling lives. It's a scary journey and there are many others sharing it with you. There are many great people here and much insight to glean from.

    There is an excellent book I highly recommend regarding ADHD it is Scattered Minds, by Dr. Gabor Mate. It links ADHD/ADD as products of life experiences, from in utero onwards. It also presents a program of how to promote neurological development in children and adults. It goes into many topics such as self-esteem, autonomy and addictions. It is very much worth reading and I believe would give you a lot of insight into your ADHD.

    I wish you strengh and all the best! You can find people here who truly care, will hear you and empathize. You can come here and be yourself!


  • EmptyInside

    Welcome, and thanks for sharing your story.

  • wobble

    Big Wobble Welcome !!

    please accept my thanks for your story too, I hope we can all be of help and support to you as friends on here,

    kind regards,


  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    It's nice to meet you VampireDCLXV.

    Welcome to the forum.


  • Little Imp
    Little Imp

    Welcome VampireDCLXV - I am new here too!

    I read your story with sadness as most of us have experienced some of what you have been through.

    However, what I wanted to say is that though you mention that your education wasn't what it could have been your post is so well written! You have obviously picked up writing skills very well.




    Firstly your story reads as very open and honest, thank you for sharing it.

    I have had many thoughts reading your story - boy do you cover lots of themes.

    To be an outcast (and many are) is very tough. Apart from being self critical about how much you're not doing in the truth, the people around you are re-enforcing these views. I moved KH and was very popular in one and an outcast in another. I found it an interesting situation and was immediately aware that no sister would take me seriously unless I was part of the "in crowd". For a young man that was weighing pretty heavily on my mind. Your comment on romantic aspirations whilst living at home - know where you're coming from with that!

    Also what you say about discrimination is perceptive. I tended to find people at the KH had a superficial friendliness - they could turn on the love bombing - but generally grouped with people who had a similar background or viewpoint and judged others harshly. I see more tolerance on the football stands than at the KH.

    I'm sorry that you were not understood or treated fairly by this group of people who professed to be so loving. They view health issues from a spiritual perspective so for example depression = weak and lack of appreciation of what jesus has done so the answer is to become more active in FS and at meetings. I wonder if this is why your mother didn't see signs of ADHD when you were young.

    I also see how logical it would have been to get back into the truth in your 20's. Your sisters seemed to have the right formula for happiness so why not give it a go?

    How you seem to have drifted out must be really common. I've heard so many examples of people hiding in their home and not answering the phone. Householders would do this on FS all the time - they'd just not want to face us when we went back on the same RV's over and over - see the twitching curtains or the car in the driveway and know they were in.

    If you can move away it does solve a lot of issues - of bumping into JW's or being in an area with so many negative memories. I moved away, chose carefully where I was going and it was a great feeling like I was free and didn't have to look over my shoulder.

    You have started the ball rolling by being on this forum and I can say from experience that it can be a great help - in understanding and accepting why my life was as it was and how to handle the issue of still having family in.

    welcome again.


    PS (YNOT - ouch!!)

  • LaniB

    Welcome to the forum.


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