An Update

by Quendi 11 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Quendi

    I've been away from the board for a while but thought I'd put my head in the doorway to say hello to all and give an update on what's going on with me.

    I have been unemployed for nearly three years and finally had got to the end of my tether. So, at the end of March, I left Colorado, my home for the last thirty-one years, and returned to my family in Alabama to regroup and recharge my batteries. Leaving Colorado and the Rockies was heartbreaking but I am grateful that I had a home to return to and didn't wind up on the streets. Many who find themselves in my position have suffered that and I am fortunate to have escaped that situation.

    My homecoming has allowed me to reassess many things as well as become the primary caregiver to my aged mother. That is proving quite a challenge in more ways than one. But she as well as practically all the rest of my family were overjoyed at my return. I am getting some long overdue medical attention and when that is done I will begin actively seeking a job. Many think it will be much easier for me to find a good job in Alabama than it was in Colorado because my college degree will mean much more here than it did there.

    I have been pleasantly surprised by how easily I have adapted to life in the American South again. Being surrounded by supportive family and friends has meant a lot. But my goal is to eventually return to the West, even if it is only to retire there. That is my true home and I will be working very hard to make that a reality. There are some other things going on, though, that will mean big changes in my personal life.

    I have not contacted any of the Witnesses I knew in Alabama from the past. I told my family that I had lost track of them, which was true enough, and saw no reason to hunt them down again. I want nothing to do with the WTS or its supporters. On the other hand, I have seen that religion in the "Bible Belt" can be a very, very powerful influence on the lives of the people who live here.

    There are not one or two, but seven churches within a half-mile walk of my mother's house in Birmingham. Fundamentalist preachers are on all the TV and radio stations on Sundays. Many businesses are routinely closed on Sunday in Alabama despite the repeal of blue laws. When meeting new people, one is often asked what church one attends. My mother routinely tunes in to religious broadcasts. Listening to these charlatans fulminating about damnation, demons and death simply turns my stomach. As I told one of my Colorado friends recently, next to these false shepherds, the WTS sounds positively enlightened.

    I have attended one church service since I returned because my brother was preaching a sermon there and I went to show my love for him as well as support. That's something I would never have done as a Witness in good standing. But that has been the only service I've attended, and I've told the family I am no longer a regular churchgoer nor will I be going to Kingdom Hall meetings ever again. I tell them that the Witnesses and I have had a falling out, and can no longer see eye-to-eye on matters of importance. My family fully supported me on my refusal to go to Witness meetings and have respected my wish not to go to church--something that was a most pleasant surprise.

    The other major development has been my decision to live my life as I see fit. I am proceeding somewhat cautiously there because although I am a gay man, I have yet to come out to my family. Eventually I will but with other items taking priority now such as looking after my mother and finding a job, that can wait. I have found a gay church in Birmingham, something I definitely did not expect, and will check it out during the coming summer.

    For those who might be interested, you can read more about my life here in my blog South By East. And to all of you here, thanks again for all your love, support and counsel. Although I may not be as active on JWN as I once was, you are in my thoughts. I know I can always come here for answers to questions, latest news on WTS happenings and other details religion- and Witness-related. Thanks again, and feel free to contact me anytime.


  • palmtree67

    Good luck, Quendi.

  • paulnotsaul

    Sounds like a plan, man. Family always comes first! Best to you and your loved ones. peacefriend paulnotsaul

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Don't you want to look up the local JWs so they can shun you?

    Your energies are certainly better spent elsewhere. Good Luck!

  • tiki

    Make it work - make it work. Organized religion is a sham - reality is what matters. Wishing you the best!!!!

  • moshe
    But my goal is to eventually return to the West, even if it is only to retire there.

    My mother used to say, "you can't live on scenery", which was her way of explaining why we were stuck living on her father's farm in the middle of a corn field- I would like to live in Santa Barbara, California and wake up to 75 degree sunny weather with a view of the Ocean- I just need 10million dollars-

    Alabama is not my cup of tea- I'm a burger and steak kinda guy--

  • jamiebowers

    Good for you! Good luck.

  • Quendi

    Thank you, my friends, for your encouragement and loving words of support. I know that I did the right thing to return to Alabama, especially as paulnotsaul pointed out, to take care of my mother. I believe that I will find a decent job here and so regain the independence I had lost during all the jobless years in Colorado. Once I start working again, then I can attend to other items on my agenda.

    I am fascinated by the changes that have taken place during my long absence from Alabama. Many of them have been positive. Then there has been reintegrating into my family. Quite a few are older and grayer now, but there is also a new generation that has been born whom I am getting to know. That is especially true of my nephews and nieces. Being an uncle is not only a wonderful privilege, but also a very joyous one. My siblings' children are all fascinating young people and range in age from twenty-one to three.

    I have been especially happy about not getting involved with the WTS again. There is a Kingdom Hall close by and I used to go to meetings there. The congregation had a very interesting history because it was the very first congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Birmingham. I knew some of the oldtimers who could recall those days and they related interesting experiences. I will miss some of the people I used to know, but there is no point in seeking them out. They would only shun me and I've got better things to do than associate with those who can no longer think for themselves.

    I am excited about what lies ahead. There is a tremendous amount of things to see and do in the American South and I plan to explore as much as I can. From Civil War battlefields to antebellum homes to natural wonders and splendors, there is enough just in Alabama alone to keep me busy for years. Then there is the rest of the old Confederacy to see as well as getting to friends who live elsewhere in the East. The town that was my birthplace outside of Philadelphia is only a day's drive from Birmingham, and I want to get back there to see it one more time. I have friends who want to see me in the Washington D.C. area and New England too. So there's no reason for me to be inactive and idle.

    My blog will detail my travels and other activities so feel free to check it out. Let me also wish all of you the very best in your own life journeys. I have been surprised to see this thread has had so many looks and I hope that what I have shared will be encouraging to them as well as others. Having escaped at last from the clutches of the WTS, I am free now to work out my own destiny, and with the help of friends, family and God, I will do so.


  • Giordano

    Hi Quendi, congradulations on making a successful move back to family and congradulations to them for welcoming you back. I can tell you are going to do right by your Mom at a time in her life when a family member is needed. This will have it's ups and downs to be sure but you can make a strong statement about your worth and love for your family by doing the job most can't or don't want to do.

    I've visited Burmingham and enjoyed the city and it's people.

    I also agree one issue at a time, one step at a time. I'll be checking out your blog.

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