My Story - Abbreviated but still way too long

by jamesmahon 25 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Starfish

    Hi Jamesmahon

    I love stories..the longer the better. It must of taken you hours.

    I find it very sad for the children who are raised as JWs .. seldom do they grow in a loving, secure and positive environment.

    Well done for keeping your head straight despite your hard childhood.

    Keep posting.

  • Quandry


    Thanks for clearing up the "popped his clogs" expression. I enjoyed your comment about having a happy fourth to the person in Walmart. Sad thing is, so many people that are younger today probably don't know enough about history and geography to "get it."

    Many of us on this forum have gone through terrible times as a result of being a JW. I am glad that you are here with us. I hope recounting your story was somewhat cathartic for you, and that you have gained some measure of peace in your life now since you have your own family. At least you can insure that your children have a very meaningful life filled with love and encouragement. Experience can be a harsh but effective teacher.


  • jamesmahon

    I thought I better add something. When I was writing this out I relaised this sounds unnerringly negative. The reality is that whilst some pretty crappy things have happened, there were long periods that were actually quite boring, mundane and dare I say normal. For the past ten years I have been married to a wonderful woman - yes we have our ups and downs but on the whole far more ups. I have two beautiful children who can be little bastards in their own special way but you love them more for it. Unlike many on this board, I got out early enough to go to university and be in a position where I am financial secure at a relatively young age. The damage the WT did to me was at least not there. I miss having brothers and I miss having parents - that is not neccesarily the same thing as missing my own brothers and parents. I suppose the thing I could have from it all is something I find quite hard to describe. I do a lot of social research and we talk about resilience quite a lot. You cannot really measure it but I know it is like a steel core inside you that stops you getting too low and will not let you be beaten.

    I worked out when I was a child that you often don't have a choice about what happens but you always have a choice in how you react to things. Since leaving psycho teacher woman I have also always had the attitude that if I have an idea to do something just do it and never be a person who just talks about doing things. Hence why I live in Scotland now amongst other things. People ask why I choose to live in the middle of nowhere and I just tell them, in all honesty, that it was something to do and once I (and my wife) had the idea we had to move. If we hadn't we would have just stayed where we were. I don't know if anyone reads Terry Pratchet (I find his books get samey but on the whole are quite thought provoking) but he says of one his characters that whilst some people wanted to collect money she had preferred to collect memories. Whilst a lot of my memories are bad I feel 'richer' because of them. The downside of not having anyone to talk with who was there as well is that memories get forgotten when not discussed and so you become poorer because of it. I think the sharing of common memories is one of the real benefits of family and perhaps the thing I really miss.

    I don't think I developed that resilient core that enables you to think like this - I think it is something you are born with. But there are two downsides to this. Whilst I never really get depressed I never get really excited. But I think these are any case just transient emotions and what I have is real contentment. The other thing is I can come across as being a bit (well, ok very) unsympathetic with people. Moaning is great and I will listen to moans but then either do something about it or stop moaning. Maybe it is a failing but I have never seen the point in wallowing.

    Anyway, don't think I had implied it but didn't want people to think that I was really psychologically damaged by all this. I may be of course, but aren't we all: as the Larkin poem goes "They fuck you up, your mum and dad" see if you have never read it. Don't agree with his conclusion (he never had children himself) but I think the gist of it is right.

  • Hadit

    Welcome Jamesmahon! Wow - thank you for sharing your story. Seeing people go through all that and coming out a decent human being is encouraging.

    I worked out when I was a child that you often don't have a choice about what happens but you always have a choice in how you react to things.

    Very profound realization for a child! I'm sure that it has served you well in your life. I wish I would have come to that realization as a child.

    it is like a steel core inside you that stops you getting too low and will not let you be beaten.

    That struck a chord with me as I feel the same thing. Something inside that says I'm worth something and nobody is going to take it away. Some times in life we have to have only ourselves to rely on and this helps us get through them.

    I am very happy that you have a supportive wife and children who are free of this religion and are loved.

    I wish you and your family all the best.


  • jamesmahon

    Hi Hadit

    Reading it it sounds a bit arrogant - 'I worked out as a child'. It wasn't an epiphany though, I can always remember thinking like this. I don't know, maybe I read it somewhere or my mum might have told me it, although none of my brothers ever said the same thing. It is a good mantra to live your life by though and I am telling my own children the same thing now. Whilst it is hard sometimes and you want to really get mad with things that are out of your control it is really empowering to take control of what you can manage - yourself.

    I am sure there are lots of other people out there who have this resilient core but it is not something that anyone else has ever mentioned so glad that there is someone else who knows what I mean - it is exactly as you put it. I think it is something you are born with so am neither proud or otherwise I am like this - it is just who I am.

    Thanks again


  • Hadit


    Your comment didn't come across as arrogant to me at all. As for the resilient core - I've ALWAYS felt it. Even as a very young child I have memories of it. As I got older I attributed to my intense stubborness. However, it goes much deeper than just stubborn - it's a 'knowing' that is just there. I do believe we all have it but perhaps some people ignore it or don't know how to describe it. I think it is what gets most people through the most horrific adversities and allows them to triumph. I'm glad we have it though - I don't know where many of us would be if we didn't. I hope we are successful in bringing that out in our children. As far as I'm concerned they are one step ahead because we shed the conditional love of the WTS and can show them that our love for them is unconditional.

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