Is the grass greener on the other side?

by What Now? 34 Replies latest jw experiences

  • TheClarinetist

    The Witnesses are not special. There are many, many groups out there who behave morally as the JWs would define it [and on that note, as you are leaving the religion, you really need to discover for yourself what moral behavior is. Some things aren't all black and white].

    Personally, my parents were pretty liberal for Jehovah's Witnesses. My dad was inactive for most of my life, and my mom was just struggling to raise two boys basically on her own. Despite that, though, I spent most of my developmental years terrified, depressed, and suicidal. The inundation of threats of death and destruction and fear which Jehovah's Witnesses get is not healthy for any child, and there is no sure way that you can both participate in the culture and protect them from those influences.

    By the way, my experiences outside of the religion have been extremely difficult, but I have never been happier in my life even with all my problems.

    Research other religious groups, and even religion itself. Make an informed decision, and don't let the "we're God's chosen people who are different than everyone else" mentality affect your decision.

  • return of parakeet
    return of parakeet

    "I try to imagine raising him as a witness ... and the thing is, I can picture it going well. I know I can make it fun, something he'll enjoy and want for himself. I know he'd have a great group of friends, whose parents I would trust."

    Maybe you can picture it well. I'll bet dollars to donuts that your son will not picture it well when he starts going to school. I don't know if you were a dub kid, but from my experience and many many others on this site, a dub childhood is an unadulterated hell.

    As far as having a great group of friends and their trustworthy parents, remember that their friendship is conditional on your kid's being a dub -- they'll cut him off at the knees if he decides to leave (as you are considering doing yourself). So will their parents.

    "Then there's the other side, the crazy, culty side of the religion, that I want to protect him from."

    This side is the only side of the cult. Any warm fuzzy feelings you get from being around dubs is dependent on your adherence to the crazy, culty WTS rules.

    Your mom's lukewarm response to your fading is not the norm. When other dubs get a whiff of it, and they will, they'll cut you off and pressure your mom to do the same.

    If only for your son's sake, continue on your path away from the WTS. Don't subject your kid to a dub childhood.

  • ABibleStudent

    Hi What Now?, Are you having second thougths about losing your relationships with your JW family and friends? You have way more power over your mother than you think. You have her grandchild and your child, who you are responsible for. Which is more important to you? Your child's well-being, health, and happiness, or your mother's phobias that the WTBTS indoctrinated into her and she into you?

    It sounds like you need to talk with a cult exit councilor, so that you can get rid of your phobias that your mother helped to indoctrinate into you. Have you read Steve Hassan's books (i.e., "Combatting Cult Mind Control", "Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves", or (his latest book) "Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs"), visited his website, or watched any videos about Steve Hassan, like the following video?

    Live your life cult free with your family. If your JW family and friends start to shun you, send them lots of emails with pictures of you and your family being happy and enjoying life. Eventually, their authentic personas will awaken and take control of their lives from their cult personas.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • clarity


    There are no guarantees in life. None.


    There are good days & bad days, mostly determined by

    how you look at things.


    Where ever you go, ... to this church or that synagoge,

    to a new city or stay at home ...........there YOU are.

    It is still you ......sitting at the KH or stretched out on a

    park bench take YOU ...where ever you go!


    You get to decide which grass is greener.


    Your life won't be better in a high control cult, and it

    won't be bad in the (so called)world.


    The cult will put it into your head about how terrible the world is,

    but, the world isn't in control of your life ...YOU ARE!

    Trust yourself!


  • happy@last
    [email protected]

    Hi What Now, it is always tough when you are at the crossroads, when the path you need to take is one you've never taken before, it's always easier to go for the one we think we know.

    The path you know however is not reality, it is a veneer, it is superficial. The people you believe you can trust are not who you think they are. Could you trust them with any doubts you may have about the Watchtower society for instance, or would they tell you to see an elder about it?

    As to instilling morals in your son, that's your job, not any religion or school, there are people all over the world who are not JWs with high moral standards, and there are many self help books for bringing up kids if you need a bit of guidance. You will never find a perfect society of people anywhere, but please for the sake of your sanity and your son live life for you, and not because someone else is telling you what to do and living in fear because you're not doing it according to their rules.

  • jhine

    Hi, good for you for taking a stance and thinking about your son's future . I am puzzled by your veiw that because you leave the Watchtower you will be leaving religion . The Watchtower teaching about religion is skewed and false anyway . Many ex witnesses find faith , company , love and acceptance in other religious groups . Just because the Watchtower is flawed that does not mean that God is . Try reading ths Bible for yourself , not with the "help " of Watchtower literature . Have a dig into early church history for yourself . Come to your own conclusions , you are a free , intelligent person endowed with God given thinking skills . Enjoy your life outside of the org.

    Like one of the other posters I have never been a witness but I have been faithfully married for 40 yrs , drink moderately , don't swear and have never robbed a bank! honest . People outside of the org. even us terrible Trinitarians are not nearly as bad as painted . Give us a try .

  • dreamgolfer

    Following points you wont read in the WT

    I you live by the Golden Rule,

    Take Care of your family

    Make sure you watch your health

    Find Fun things to do that contribute to the lives of others

    Read "Tuesdays with Morrie"

    You will have a GREAT Life!

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    We haven't ever really made super close friends within the organization ... but the friends that we do have are at least ... wholesome, I guess I would say. And I like that, that's the kind of people I want to be friends with. Just without the obligation of having to do meetings and service

    Do YOU really think and honestly believe that the only "wholesome" people in the whole world are JWs ? If so don't worry about the WT KOOLAID, you're already DEAD. And thinking that way will do far more harm to your kids.

  • gingerbread

    Your Mom is probably worried that you might put yourself in the position of getting disfellowshipped. She doesn't want that to happen - she will be forced by WT policy to cease communication. It's my guess that she isn't afraid of losing you to "the world." Your Mom is afraid of being cut off from you and her grandchild because of others in the congregation. This happens to witness families every day. It's a real fear.

    Maybe you should assure her that you love her. Take time to visit with her - more often now than you have in the past. Telling her that you guys are just taking a little "break" from the hall might calm her concerns.

    Fade smart!

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    I get where you're coming from, but I guess I would answer this by saying there is no other side.

    The "sides" you're seeing with "greener grass" on one side as opposed to another is a social construct of the Watchtower Society.

    Its like the "worldly" moniker, another social construct/thought-terminating cliché of the Society. Your next door neighbor cheated on his wife? Well, what do you expect, he's a worldly man. But if the PO of your congregation cheats on his wife, he's. . . . Hmmmmm. . . . uhhhh. . . He's not worldly?

    Whenever my wife uses the term "worldly" I remind her of the dictionary definition of the term (essentially worldly-wise) and that really we are all worldly: we all belong to this world, we live here with everyone else and we're going to die here with everyone else.

    Yes, I understand the discomfort you feel from the behavior of certain children or individuals, but it's really up to you to navigate your social world. And unlike the prefab social construct of the Witnesses, getting around in the real world can sometimes prove difficult and effortful.

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