How many on JWN still trapped in Org. & will it get easier with time?

by Kensho 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • Kensho

    I have only been mentally out for just over a year and I find it difficult to live this double life, ( ex-elder/reg pioneer)

    I'm still in for probably the same reason as most who post here=

    a wife that I cherish= who would be destroyed and kick me to the curb

    lifelong (40 yrs.) close friends= who would totally disown me the second the announcement is made no questions asked! ( I don't blame them, I blame the Org. they are just R&F prisoners)

    The absolute constant being in a state of shock that I have wasted my entire life serving the org. who have lied to us.

    I have told myself I can deal with this for the sake of keeping the above in tact, but it has become a big cat and mouse game, always on guard not to slip up saying something that would out myself (although it's obvious I'm on edge), field service without the “faith” it takes to do it is almost impossible, and the meetings...well you get it.

    So some comments from those who are in this situation on what you have done to cope and not loose your mind would be appreciated.

    I must say this forum has helped immensely as being stuck-in you really don't have anyone to talk to or vent and their is some comfort in knowing you are not alone.


  • blondie

    I think the hardest situation to fade into inactivity is for those with mates still in, still invested, under the same roof with them. It is one thing to go out with a bang either df'd or da'd, jws are strongly told with possible punishment if they do not shun those people. But inactive is still tricky, still technically a personal choice. It is hard to hide under your own roof from someone you care about.

    No one leaves without the pain of loss. You just have to weigh it against the pain of staying.


  • sizemik

    Kensho . . . my heart goes out to you my friend.

    When I chose to stop attending my wife and children still went to meetings. Fortunately this lasted only a few months. It was not so much my influence . . . she held many doubts herself and was just reluctant to forego things for a while. I still recall however, the terribly empty feeling as they would trot off to the meetings without me.

    Coming to terms with the lost years is also tough . . . but it helps to remember the good times . . . even as a JW. It's only when the deception is uncovered that we feel unhappy about it.

    You can never know for certain what the future may hold . . . just hang in there mate. Remember never to attack the Org or their beliefs and create an adversarial situation at home. Time is a very necessary ingredient in this recipe. Feel free to post threads asking for specific advice on how to deal with situations that may arise. Many here have experienced it and will be of help . . . more than I can be.

    All the best to you.

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    It took me a few years to come to terms with the time I lost. I lost friends and family but not a spouce. My heart goes out to you. You never know they may just follow you?!

    Best wishes


  • erbie

    Just read the posting on staying in the Watchtower Organisation which, of course, is exactly what they are. No more and no less. And certainly not to be feared!

    Its interesting that you mention losing the love and respect of your wife which has become your reason for continuing. That's not unusual. In fact it is exactly why I carried on for a number of years until I revolted, which is inevitable if you think about it. Doing something against your will is a recipe for a broken mind in my experience.

    I'd like to offer you a magic bullet that would fix all but have failed to find one. The only advice I could offer, if indeed we should give advice in such matters, is DO NOT destroy the faith of you wife. I am in no way implying that this is your intention but if you did she would not thank you for it but would still resent you long after the seven headed beast has descended in the the pits of doom. Ah, I remember the Revelation book well!

    Anyway, I was in a situation very similar to yourself with congregational responsibilities and a wife and young family to support. Intelectually I struggled with it for about five years or so but could not reconcile many of the Watchtower teachings with common logic. I think that I made a mistake in showing my wife where the Society is left wanting. I used to tell her that she would one day see that she had been hoodwinked from a young age and that she would abandon the religion. Well, she did but she was not good to be around. Once she realised that all she had been force fed on was a lie (or the larger part of it), she went off the rails and is now full of hatred for the Witnesses and religion in general. Although I left a number of years ago I am not disfellowshiped and have pleasant conversations with some of the brothers and sisters in the locality. I may not respect the Watchtower Org but I still treat with respect those who are genuine but have been fooled. We've all been there haven't we.

    I think that in your case you will struggle on for some time but it does seem that once doubt has entered our mind it bursts the bubble and lets reality in which makes it very difficult to carry on as before. I tried to convince myself that it was the truth but failed miserably. You can not make white black and black white. Having said that, I do hope that you manage to reach some resolve, even if that means accompanying your wife in the service. You never know, she may, in her own time, reach the same conclusions as yourself and there is certainly no harm in giving her a gentle nudge in the right direction. But be careful! Lead gradually but do not push. Gosh! I sound like the serpent in the garden of Eden! Where did that come from?

    With very best wishes

  • Mad Sweeney
  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Kensho, there are ways to subtly get your wife started on the path to mental freedom using Family Worship night. Below are cut-n-pastes from older threads where I posted some of my personal experiences with this:

    Cantleave makes a good point about using Family Worship Night to get yourself and your family on the same page. I did it with my wife and we were both able to leave the organization together. We stopped using publications and just read the Bible. Usually entire chapters without cherry picking and jumping around. John 14 or Romans 14 for example. When I'd ask what the verses mean, I'd first get the indoctrinated answers. For example, if we read John 14 I would ask, "So who does the Bible say answers our prayers?" They'd say, "Jehovah." And I'd have them read it again. The first time it took several re-reads for them to see that Jesus says whatever we ask, HE will do it. After a few weeks they start getting it: the Watchtower answer isn't always the Bible answer. From then on they were more and more willing to read and trust their own reading comprehension. Revelation 19:1 kind of blew my wife away, as did reading Revelation chapter 7 in context.

    Long story short, there are a lot of scriptures that just don't support Watchtower doctrine and even outright contradict it. Read those as part of a family study and slowly, patiently, get your family thinking for themselves.

    I don't know if it always works or how often it works. But I know it ended up working for me. After a few months I felt my wife was open minded enough to entertain the thought of a Watchtower scandal and so I introduced her to the pedophile cover ups and silentlambs. That was all she wrote. At that point I had to work to get her to attend a meeting now and then so that I could fade slowly. It turned out, we had to just quit cold turkey because she couldn't stand the meetings anymore, even though she had only known "the truth" for a few months and I had been studying outside the Borg for a couple years.

    Here's a pretty good starting point for scriptures to use in Family Worship Night. Aside from some trolls it's a pretty good thread.

    And here's another one:

    You can't TELL a cult member anything the cult personality doesn't want to hear. The cult member needs to find and discover it him/herself.

    STICK WITH the Family Worship Night arrangement and use ONLY the Bible without any Borg publications. Start training her to read what the scriptures SAY without loading on the cult-indoctrinated meanings. Don't jump right in with dozens of scriptures that the Borg ignores or misinterprets to support their own dogmas. Sprinkle them in now and then, here and there. Even when you do, DON'T tell her the Borg interpretation is wrong. Simply ask, "what do these verses say?" If/when she tells you what the Borg taught her they MEAN, simply say, "not what they MEAN, what do they SAY?"

    If you are already a suspected apostate, it's nearly too late to try this. But over a period of many months it finally worked with my wife. One night during Family Worship Night we were reading and discussion John chapter 14. You could see the light go on behind her eyes when she realized that the Bible says JESUS ANSWERS PRAYERS HIMSELF.

    It may be a minor theological point but it is a HUGE step when you see your spouse comprehend and accept that the Bible says things contrary to what the Borg says. Once that chink is in the armor, keep gently chipping away. Ask questions. Lead the discussion with questions. Let her come to the conclusions.

    I can't say it's foolproof but it worked for me. My wife and I got out together. Family Worship Night with straight Bible reading was one of the key tools I used. It can be effective because you are obeying the FDS by doing it; you can do Family Worship Night without ever letting on you're mentally fading. I had to keep on doing it for almost a year after I was mentally OUT, pretending all the while, to make sure my family came with me. It's a sacrifice I would gladly make again.

    Good luck. Takes a lot of patience but progress can be made.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    I try not to think of it as being trapped but more of a grand social experiment- that's just my kind of scientific way of handling it.
    My wife basically knows my feelings but is also in denial. She revealed to me what scares her most about the things I have said is that she feels almost the same way. She can't just throw it all away and I don't expect her to.
    I do not see it getting 'harder' in the future, just different. I am hoping that in the years to come, others will start waking up and maybe we'll see a mass exodus. Wishful thinking, but nothing wrong with that.

  • leavingwt

    Kensho: You must begin having regular, meaningful INTERACTIONS with your wife. Please read Steve Hassan's second book, 'Releasing the Bonds', to become familiar with his 'Strategic Interaction Approach'.

    If interactions are not taking place, you should expect her to never leave the WT.

    These interactions have little to with WT doctrine. They are about empowering her to think for herself. She's intelligent and she values freedom. Once she can think for herself, she'll see that you love her and WT doesn't.

    Please hang in there. I know it must be difficult.

  • agent zero
    agent zero

    i'm in a similar situation, and speaking from my own experience, i would say that faking it whilst you know what you know about the "truth", becomes impossible after a while as your heart just isn't in it anymore, and that eventually becomes apparent to those around you.

    in my experience, i'd say this makes it get easier in certain aspects. for example, expectations of me got lower, and they eventually give up hassling you about missing service, you don't get asked to do as many "privileges", stuff like that.

    it does get harder too, in that with time you just get more and more fed up with being at the meetings and dealing with the social pressure, and some friends start to seem more distant.

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