I really do need to go back to college.... already been there, but didn't finish the degree course, as was pressure to pioneer and window clean.... I decided to go with it and gave it a real go, but the elders kept hindering my ministry (!?!) ... half a degree is probably worse than nothing, because whenever I send anyone my CV, they never reply.... I quit a degree course that was government funded to clean windows.... not impressive... and cleaning windows doesn't provide enough money to pay the heating bills, etc., let alone college. I am looking beyond window cleaning now, for other options, focussing on what I know, what skills I may have.
Friends... life after JW
Looks like you already have friends on this forum.
As time goes by you'll gravitate to others and they to you. Rome wasn't built in a day.
It's also about putting yourself in a position to meet others. Down the library, join a rock band, do some night school, at a job as examples.
Most of us have been where you are. Give yourself time to breath in the air of freedom.
When I exited from the cancer of the bOrg an aposta-friend told me that those people that still loved me despite my religious or otherwise views were my TRUE friends. Those that dropped me because of loyalty to 7 paedo-protectors in Brooklyn were not worth spit!
When you are able just get up and run as fast as you can away from the WBT$ and never return!
Leaving the Washtowel Slaveholdery after being in it for life is a lot like moving to a foreign country. There is a cost, often great. You are going to lose your parents--unless they themselves leave the cancer (which is not too terribly likely). You are going to lose your false friends who only value what they can get out of you. The witlesses went out of their way to make sure you are not able to take the step into the world and succeed there. This is no different than trying to emigrate from a country that has an oppressive regime to one where the government is benign.
And, in a way (they keep proclaiming to be a "nation"), when you leave the Washtowel Babble and Crap Slaveholdery, you are emigrating. As long as you are in it, you are a "citizen" of their "nation". But, if you decide to leave the religion, you are effectively expatriating from that "nation". Like that totalitarian regime, your "nation" will encourage its "citizens" to make things miserable for you once you expatriate. But, unless you expatriate, your opportunities are simply going to be wasted.
Yes, there will be costs. And especially if you are still physically near the congregation, they are going to make a point to rub it in your face. You will get annual hounding calls from the hounders (at least that's what they are supposed to do) to "repatriate" into the Washtowel Slaveholdery "nation". And your family will not be allowed to help. However, your new "nation" (the world) has its own resources.
To start, try regular church. Try several. If you still want to serve God or Jesus, that is the only way to find a religion that will allow you to serve God or Jesus (or Allah, if you so choose) without being held hostage to a totalitarian "nation". Most of them will let you audit them by attending a few sessions and then going to another church for a few sessions until you settle on one. Some countries have a good YMCA or YWCA. There are social clubs to check out. (I do not necessarily recommend psychosocial clubs unless you are mentally handicapped to significant degree, since they are not designed for people to mainstream into the world.) You might check out community service (no, it's not just for people found guilty of petty crimes--it can be used to integrate into society, particularly through a regular church). If you can afford it, college might help you to expatriate from the Jehovah's Witless nation.
And, if they keep rubbing it in your face, real expatriation might help. Or, locating to a city that is about 200 km or more from your old congregation, within your own country, will make them waste resources trying to rub it in your face. Yes, you will still lose your family and "friends(??)". But, moving to a distant city (or even a new country) and taking advantage of social programs there (including community service) will go a long way toward integrating into your new "country" of religious freedom.
Quite the tail you have there. You've certainly been through a lot of mental anguish, stress, and being made to feel worthless. I rode the fence for years, from my teens to my late 20's. Let me tell you, in the end all you wind up with is a really sore ass for riding the fence so long. In my opinion it's not worth it. Make the leap, draw the line, or just fade.
You can't cram your brain into that tiny little box of JW insanity anymore. Get free.
Maybe look for other ex-JW's within driving distance on some of the more popular JW message boards and meet up. Go back to school, but talk to the other people like a normal person would. Take up a hobby/sport of some sort that involves other people. Date regular real "worldly" girls - trust me, once you've been a JW that's only boned your wife, being able to sleep with girls within a couple dates is really awesome lol. And no guilt or lightning bolts from Jee-hovah either!
I have a great GF at the moment, but am still struggling with the friends thing a lot. Currently working on 2 approaches though. I don't think I'll ever feel or act normal after what I've lived like/been through, but bullshit goes a long way towards filling in the cracks when it comes to socializing and being human.
"Read "apostate" websites lots, and Crisis of Conscience, and didn't find that to be the demonic, promotion of moral depravity as claimed,"
That's exactly it. They TELL you that it is demonic promotion of moral depravity and filled with hateful lies. The only real reason anyone leaves the borg is that they've found out the real truth. And how do you find out the real truth? You have to associate with or read from apostate sources. But you've been told....therefore you believe that such sources are demonic so you stay away from them. All the while you think you are preserving your "spirituality" and your relationship with God.....but really you are depriving yourself of truth.
What are your hobbies? Do you live in a populated area? Odds are there is a "club" around you that likes the same things you like. Live in central Kentucky and like to cycle? Join the central Kentucky cycling association. They probably meet every weekend for a ride. Live in southern New Hampshire and like to fly kites? Join the nearest kite flying association. Contrary to witness beliefs...there are good people everywhere. You just need to know where to find them
The moving country analogy is good! Thanks I am tempted to try night school, to get a better job, though working is a real struggle after a nervous breakdown, but somehow making ends meet, partly due to pioneering teaching me to live off nothing.
Don't really know the local ex-JWs, because I moved town to escape the elders who were phoning up, and dragging me into the second hall, etc., trying to make me submissive, worried about what the CO may think. I wasn't the only servant to object to their bullying - they lost 4 servants in about 6 months.
It was blatantly a power struggle - some influential elders were removed on well-known bizarre grounds, then one elder with an incredible temper (often displayed by tantrums in K Hall) harrassed two others until they moved congregation, leaving this fiery character who obviously had some mental issues and a few old quiet shy elders. It was like office politics, but then this was the holy spirit appointing leaders (?!) It was easy to see what was going on, and some in the congregation told me quietly that they didn't like how I was treated. Brother insecure fireball became co-ordinator, appointed some servants who liked him as elders, and turned on any servants who didn't feel were 'humble', removing them on strange grounds (at the end of the day, you can play up even make up an imperfection to remove a brother, and objections to elders don't go far) - congregation had two servants after all that. I was unfortunate to have caught the guy reading porn, so I got silenced quickly - once removed for being "belligerent" and "slander" as in I supposedly faked the evidence, so my reputation was mud; I lost friends, and anything I said was not taken seriously - Bethel didn't seem to listen to my side; though they did move a new elder in
They were no shelter from the storm; this was no lifeboat from the evil of the world; no spiritual paradise. During all the mess, lots of publishers didn't decided this wasn't the truth, but didn't see the WTB$ at fault, but rather just those brothers. Naturally, they still like the morals, the hope of a better world, without such bullies. Clearly upbuilt and encouraged by the elders, they moved to the sister congregation. I can't see that as the holy spirit at work, but rather it seems more like this elder needed a B-Scan http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3392233.stm
Hobbies? ...err... wasn't time to develop any of those while pioneering, so as stupid as it sounds, not really sure. Were things I did as a kid when not reading the Bible, such as drawing. Tempted to sneak along to the local martial arts centre, so as to build some confidence in myself and learn to protect myself so as to face the world, instead of hiding in the congregation, but if I get caught, will mean no more family contact.
It's a bit weird going to most meetings, etc., just to put a front on, so I can still talk to my family, because I know they couldn't cope if I left, though ironically, a lot of the stress etc. that they are struggling with is caused by the Witness lifestyle. They are so worried by some comments I made on 1975, and I could see the fear of loosing me. They need to leave, but I don't think they can face the outside world!! It's a crutch to escape problems, but then for me it is the opposite - why?!
The irony is that the more one is stressed or struggling, well, the more they are encouraged to give, because drawing close to Jehovah will help - when I was nearing a breakdown, because I could cope with the hypocrisy, I shouldn't have tried harder to follow the guidelines, but stopped worrying about it. Eventually, it struck me as I learnt more about these elders, that they seemed to be incredibly narrow-minded, narcissist, and I kept thinking of how I had read that emotional trauma as a child can stop mental development; hinder maturity.... how many brothers had had traumatic childhoods that pushed them to the organisation or if they grew up in it, stunted us emotionally, so we stayed in it. Especially it struck me, when I went to see them about a sin by an elder, but they didn't want to take action, but meanwhile kept picking on me for minor imperfections, and we all do have weakeness - it was blatantly all about running others down, to make themselves look better, because that's the only way they had to keep control. I lost interest then in trying to please these men behaving like 3-year olds.
EKRUKS- Hello my friend. I too was raised in the JW's from birth. Before birth as my folks had been in it for 8 years prior to my birth. I exited at age 44 almost 8 years ago. I'll make this simple. I've come to realize that we have to believe in ourselves to have freedom of mind, to be happy, and not have fear in our lives. The WT society and JW's took all of our self confodence and self esteem and ground it into dust by telling us what alleged horrific " sinners " we were. But it was and continues to all be bull$hit. Don't believe it. You are a beautiful person, a human being with capacity for love in your heart unconditionally for everyone. If you start making good friends outside the JW's you will find that many people in what the WT society calls the " outside world " are decent, loving, caring, compassionate individuals.
Try it. Reach out to others and you'll get good vibes back I assure you. It's worked for me and others, I know it will work for you. And oh yes, one more thing- please read Steve Hassan's two books " Combatting Cult Mind Control " & " Releasing the Bonds - Empowering People to Think for Themselves ". It will not only help you to understand yourself, but will help you see how the WT society was able to control and manipulate many of us. Take care, nice to have you here on the board ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper
Thanks Flipper.... I used to watch your TV series as a kid It used to bother me that you didn't go to meetings
I really have difficulty to trust people. Well, the brotherhood is not what it portrays itself to me as, and well, people outside are taught to me as immoral, and that lack of goodness causes wars, etc.. It is difficult to not be looking over my shoulder, expecting guys to rob me or something, but then brothers have robbed me, so is a worldly guy so different
marked for later
Sending you a pm. Click on the blue envelope in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Hit your back key when you get an error message. Click refresh, and you should be able to get my message.