Have awakened to what fooo-king sh1t (sorry!) I've been living in these last years.... well since I was born.... I am left if quite a weird state. I think you all must have been here.
Can you please let me know where to go after this?
I have some weird friends.... JWs.... I used to think they were normal. To be honest, they are still all I really know. I never went to school ...like many Witnesses around here... was home taught, to avoid problems in schools. Then other than a stint in further education, where I did well, I submitted to the pressure to be a window cleaner... no work colleagues. The only people I've known up to now in my life are Jehovah's Witnesses... suppose that's partly why I've been in it so long, because I don't really know what the outside it.... I've only seen the outside in TV, or occasional very casual conversations while cleaning windows.... when studying for a degree, I avoided all non-work contact with the other guys to keep the elders happy.
I don't know how people even find friends in the world. There is also the fact that if I come out and open about not believing this anymore and thinking we are in some abusive, cult that frightens us into staying, then well, exactly that, I will loose contact with my family. It will be like the US government's purges of any citizens it decided were communists during the Cold War.
Has anyone been here? ...not believing in this anymore, but not wanting to loose family.... but not being able to cope with what this cult is doing to one's brain; depression, etc., this feeling of being trapped..... it's obvious now that the reason I had a breakdown was because I couldn't cope with the bullying by elders trying to make me submit and stop questioning their weird behaviour.... they are an old boys club... not that I think they all realise what they are doing; perhaps they are ill, I don't know... some show signs of passive aggressive disorder, but I think with others, they live in denial; there is a lot of passive dissidence, and blatant Stockholm syndrome..... looking back, I was always trouble by the behaviours of brothers and sisters, who were very irrational at times, with paranoias, and often a lack of common sense..... but I was swept up in the flow of it all and didn't really know any different.
Having a breakdown has meant for a while meetings and ministry suffered. It resulted in me for the first time, being able to sit back, away from the pressure, to analyze things. Especially when the pressure of being told I had had a breakdown; elders saying it was just that the holy spirit was no long upon me, because I didn't pray enough. Man, I prayed, sometimes for hours, on my knees, crying, begging, even hitting myself, begging for forgiveness! I was desperate, and lost. We are encouraged to question things and make the truth our own, but always from within the Watchtower guidelines, but this always troubled me, because it was the Watchtower itself that told us not to look beyond it. It didn't quite make sense. It was after the time that an elder started a meeting late because he was yelling at me in front of the congregation, that I went through to the restrooms, and the stress, the pressure, it was crushing me, and I collapsed on the floor, crying for a few minutes, begging Jehovah to give me a different assignment where I could actually serve him. It was never the same; never so beautiful, never so innocent....
I just lost interest, especially after two different judicial committees fail to disfellowship me on false charges, e.g. reported an elder, with solid evidence that he was blatantly reading porn, and instead of him going before the committee, I was tried for slander. I had to appeal, and the appeal committee was in disagreement, and so it was referred to glorious bethel. The weird bit being that I was immediately taken off as a servant, for a rebellious spirit, but permitted to pioneer, though technically both have the same qualifications. I was an absolute shambles; it wasn't a divine spirit at work, but simply imperfect men, and hence, an imperfect result. We talk of the perfection; the canonicity in the Bible, so what of the very opposite in Jehovah's organisation, though I do accept the Israelites were also corrupt, but such a comparison is never made by the Watchtower, as if to say there are false Christians amongs Jehovah's people.
Anyway, I just can't buy this anymore. But what did you guys do about family?
Maybe it was your parents? Didn't want to break their heats? Folowing the Devil, etc., must cause so much pain.... I can't bring myself to hurt them like that. What of being married? It's such a vile situation! How does one live like this?! It's how they control us!
It's so lonely! Friends is a tricky one, because those in the faith don't get my lack of interest in ministry, etc., and I can't discuss my real feelings, stresses etc. with them. I can't look outside for friends, because that will rock the boat and I will loose my family! Lonely life! Doing my head in! I feel like I'm in prison! I don't like the Witness firls; never have, as so many are only interested in marrying an elder (as if they are the Senator's wife!), or worried about how many return visits I have, while others pick and choose, doing something worldly like playing rap and wearing short skirts while chasing pioneer brothers and talking of Gilead. What bothers me more is the blatant signs that the pressure of this life has, especially on marriages. I don't like the naive arrogance, though I know it's just how we are taught to be.
....but how can I look to the outside, without loosing parents, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents.... so many, so much pain, so lost.... not to mention, having spent quarter of a century in this movement, being born in it, I don't know how to live outside it. It's like an illness!! Like I have some disabilty. How did you guys cope with this?