I feel like a coward weakling. Not like a man. It doesn't feel good.

by easyreader1970 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • easyreader1970

    I'm trying to figure out a way to deal with these feelings of cowardice, worthlessness, unmanliness, etc.

    I'm not afraid of anyone or even what would happen to me (nothing), but I do not want to witness the utter destruction of my family. So I shut up and go along. I am often reminded of the scene in Ben Hur when Charleton Heston's bravery is threatened with the loss of his family. So he restrains himself and he ends up as a slave in the galley of some ship. He wasn't a coward. He just wanted the safety of his family. I don't think I am a coward - even though I have been called such even by at least one person on this forum (though not recently). Were it not for the children involved, I'm sure I would have broken camp quite a long time ago.

    But I feel neutered. I can't express myself or act in the way I think I should. I feel weak and worthless. Some people cry out that I should just go ahead and bite the bullet, allow the deconstruction of the family, and just move on in whatever shattered form my life will take on afterwards. I need to be there for my kids, not just a few days a week or every other weekend. I like being there every day. It'll be quite some time before they are able to take care of themselves.

    My brother-in-law did it. He broke free and appears to be happy. But he only sees his daughter once a month, during the summers, and on holidays. That's enough for him. But it's not for me. And for those who say I should sue for custody, it's not really possible or likely. I don't have the network and resources to assist me in taking care of them (since I would be shunned by both families) and furthermore even if it was remotely possible, I think it's wrong to separate them from their mother since I am partially responsible for them being here anyway.

    There isn't any solution to this problem. I'd just like to not feel like a bunny all the time.

  • james_woods

    Just as a word of friendly advice - don't get an ex drill sargent as a counselor.

  • sd-7

    You're not alone in how you feel. So many have been there. I guess...this reminds me of an article in the JW Recovery magazine, someone mentioned a thought of...not forgetting to use your heart just because you started using your mind. Much as I disagree with that--as I was willing to risk destroying my family, since my family was willing to sell me up the river--it's still worthy advice.

    I think for me, I wanted to go along with it all for my family, but...I hated the WT so much that I didn't hesitate when the time came to face the situation head-on. The cult took so much from me, so much from my soul. It was the villain behind everything, all along. I couldn't hesitate. I had to pull the trigger. There was no other way to go, even if it cost me everything. Although it hasn't cost me everything, at least not literally, it could have. But you know what? I would've lived, if it did. And I would've learned with time to breathe again, to love life.

    But you're not a coward for making this choice. Remember, Ben-Hur returned from the galleys. So can you. ... I think, in the end, the only way you're willing to risk losing your family is if you become like them--cold, unfeeling about the decision. The fact that you haven't may mean you've got more compassion in your heart than I ever will, so I respect you for it.

    Ever seen "Roots"? Kunta Kinte decided to stay with his family and live his life out as a slave, in the end, but in his heart, he was a free man till the day he died. I would hardly accuse such a man of cowardice. There is nothing wrong with your decision. Nothing at all. You are strong, selfless, and brave for enduring this for the sake of your family.

    It won't be easy, but you can endure it. We're all here to support you.


  • wasblind

    Don't be so hard on yourself, everyone has their limits,

    and when you have reached yours, you will take the steps you need to

  • Satanus

    You have chosen your path. Now, it's all a matter of how you view it and how you walk it. To hell w what others think. Keep your target in your mind.


  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Life seems to move really fast and in the present it is easy to think nothing will ever change fast enough for us to be happy before we're too old to enjoy it.

    But really, your kids are going to grow up fast, too, and if you play your cards right there is a good chance they can grow up to be free thinkers who use their intelligence and free will to do what is right and get out of the Borg.

    When your kids are in their 20s and "in the world," then you can leave the Borg, too. If anyone else in your family follows you or not it's their problem. I fully understand staying in for your kids, IF the goal is to make sure they get OUT.

    Good luck. You're not alone.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    easyreader1970 - I realize this may be of little consolation but I know exactly how you feel. I could have just as easily written that post. I wish I knew how to fix it or offer some words of wisdom. If we leave and our families break apart, the WTS gets to demonize us as apostates who hate their familes and use it to rally the local congregation and thus wins. If we stay, trudge through the JW parts of life at the meetings and occasional service group to keep below the radar, the WTS keeps their numbers up and thus wins.

    The more I reflect on the situation, the more I want to impute sinister motives to the WTS management. Folks in our situation really are between a rock and a hard place. I take solace from the fact that the retention rates are so poor among the JW youth that there's a better than average chance the kids of folks in our spot will make the break when they get the first opportunity.

    At least now, you can influence your kids to do as many normal things as possible and above all to avoid getting baptised at least prior to 18.

  • Finally-Free

    Sometimes there are no "right" answers. You can choose between different paths, and each will have its own consequences. You alone can decide which consequences you're willing to live with, and they all require courage.

    I bit the bullet, DA'd, and left it all behind. While I have the freedom to live as I choose, I can't honestly say that my quality of life has improved or that I'm a "happier" person. I simply exist.

    All I can say is, don't let the comments of others determine the direction your life takes. You're the one who has to live with the outcome.


  • jay88

    I have just one question to all that participate in WTBTS activities that have families? Do you invest the same (or more) time involved in the things that

    you and the family enjoys in relation to the WTBTS routine?

  • Heaven

    ER, I like what Satanus posted.

    It takes a very strong person to endure the Borg to save their family. It's tough. A couple of things from Stephen Covey help me in tough situations.

    1) Begin with the end in mind. What would you like to or what are you trying to accomplish?

    2) Look for a third alternative.

    One thing you may consider is to start doing some real 'family' things that don't include the Borg. Make these times fun and memorable.

    Stephen Covey talks about having special 'dates' with each of his kids separately. He and his son (as an example) would set up a special day of the week or month where it was just their time to do something fun together. Let your kids decide what they'd like to do.

    Another suggestion would be to ask your family how they feel about Christ's message of helping those less fortunate and how we as a family could do this. Have a family meeting where you all put forth your ideas and brainstorm on what you'd like to do as a family. Maybe start off with how you feel and ask them how they feel. One idea to help get your creative juices flowing is helping out a local food bank. Perhaps do a special 'grocery store' run with the family just for food for the bank. Set a budget and frequency schedule with the family. Collaboration is an amazing process to be a part of and all feel good and valued in this type of environment.

    I have not read Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families" but if it's anything like his "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" then it is well worth reading.

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