How Have You Been Affected By Having Been A Jehovah's Witness?

by minimus 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Magnum

    I'm fuming mad because of having slaved and agonized for JWdom... having faced guns and broken bones and suffered immensely because of JWdom... having put up with decades of $hit because of JWdom. I lost my life. And it's not like I just wasted my life. One can waste his life lying on the couch watching TV. I suffered for three decades - never even having a weekend off to be able to lie on the couch. We literally used to like to get the flu because we would be able to stay home and watch TV on Saturday morn. I wish my life had just been wasted lying around relaxing; at least that would have been fun. I suffered and paid to. Now that I'm in the working world, I see how badly JWs screwed me. My company pays for the use of my car, reimburses for me for out-of-town meals, etc. JWs made me reimburse them for my years of hard work.

    Recently I was talking with an old school friend who studied with JWs a little bit. I was telling him how I lost three decades and have no chance to retire. I was comparing my life to another friend of ours (we're all three the same age), and I was lamenting how that other friend is now retired and making more in retirement than me and my wife together, both of us working full-time. The friend I was talking with said "yeah, but he (the third friend) didn't like his job." I said "well hell, I didn't like mine, either and he was getting paid $120,000 a year to the job he didn't like; I was paying to do the job I didn't like." I said "Just imagine your work for the last thirty years. Suppose you virtually never had a day or night off - no weekends, etc. You always felt behind - like you could never keep up and do enough. Now take away every paycheck and any financial compensation you ever received. Now imagine that you paid your company to work for it and that you will never retire." He got the point.

  • Sammy Jenkis
    Sammy Jenkis

    It sucked in the beginning and it hurt a lot to let go of my whole world. I gave up many years of my life for the borganization and couldn't help feeling bitter for the time I wasted. Now though, I feel a calming almost soothing relief- it's awesome to sleep in on Saturday mornings, go out, meet new a little, you know?

    I try my best to leave the past where it belongs and have focused more on my future. Every now and then the anger creeps up on me but I do my best not to dwell on what's lost or was sacrificed. I've been successful in helping my brother see TTAT and he's begun his fade so life is better. I live free of guilt and constant criticism and have moved towards happier days. It's been nice making my own decisions...

    It was hard losing my friends, being called an apostate, being shunned etc. but that was to be expected. Slowly but surely, new people have come into my life and I've seen a silver lining in my life post-JW's.

  • kaik

    Besides having my childhood and youth stolen, I moved on. It is past that cannot be changed or erased. I have been living a life as I want now I am not regretting leaving KH. Would be my life better without cult? Or Worse? I do not know, but is better now without it.

  • Wolfy

    I have been mentally and physically out for years now.I sucessfully faded and both of my kids are not Witnesses. Leaving the JW's was a major factor in my marriage failing and strained relationships with my family that are still in.

    Anger and resentment are still present regarding the WT Society. I think to some degree it will always be there especially since I have family that are still in. That being said I am moving on with my life and it is looking up. I finally feel like the real me. I am not living by rules created by old men in Brooklyn or what is printed in the WT.


  • Aunt Fancy
    Aunt Fancy

    I was 56 when I woke up after spending 30 years in. I was very angry when I woke up but it is getting less and less. I faded when I first left and three weeks ago I sent in my DA letter. Sending that letter really helped me get some closure.

    My husband came out with me and life is pretty good right now. We are doing some traveling and having a great time being free. I don't feel like it destroyed our life because we have picked up the pieces and reinvented ourselves.

    We also see a therapist who has helped us to move on.

  • BluePill2

    Thank you Minimus, Simon and Outlaw for your comments. I especially thank you, because you are "veterans" and could move on and never come back to this site, but you still help others to work out their "issues". I often decided to never come back to this site, just to forget my JW past, but then I come here, secretly hoping for "THE" big announcement that the WT is closed down, that they are crumbling and everybody leaving en masse.

    A day that never comes.

    Actually, I don't even know why I am hoping for that. All my family stopped talking to me years ago. I haven't seen my sisters or my parents in 4 years now.

    The anger and hate comes and goes. It isn't as strong or painful anymore, because I focus living "in the Now". Just in the present. The more I think about the Past, the more Anger, bitterness and hate crawl up my chest. I don't think alot about the future as that is something that I don't have yet. It is a concept in the mind of humans. Maybe I don't think about the Future because the WT made me think TOO much about a glorious future. We lived in a fantasy future and forgot about the Present. The only thing you will ever have!

    How screwed up am I? - You judge. Leaving Bet-HELL (after 10 years) without any savings, pension fund or good curriculum got me into some pretty risky business "adventures". I wanted to "make up" for the lost time. Without real experience. This left me with a high level of debt. I worked for a Fortune 100 corporation (pretty good job) but hated the structure and rigid corporative culture that reminded me so much of the dirty WT Bet-HELL structure. I lost that job.

    I am not here to put all the responsability of my own decisions on others, even the WT or my mother, I am just telling you how it is and what led me into this situation.

    One of the strongest things you would notice about me (and my girlfriend has) is that I am a compulsive liar. I had to become a good liar since I was a child. My mother was a hard-core Witness and I was a freedom loving kid. I just wanted to go out and ride my bike with worldly friends. I had to lie. Tell her I was preaching or that I was at this pioneers house, etc. I became pretty good at it. Just to grab that bit of freedom here and then. Over the years it became automatic.

    I still have to lie. I lie about my past. I made up a story for 15 years of "Special" Full-time service. Whenever people ask me what I did, why my parents never show up or why I don't have "old time friends", etc. I lie. I tell stories. I invented a complete curriculum that I submitted to companies to apply for a job. No way in hell would I mention that I was part of a stupid cult. That has brought me more poverty and more debt.

    Other than that I truly enjoy my freedom. The most precious asset I ever had.

    Some of you have incredible stories. Thank you Balaamsass2 for your account. I could relate to you. Magnum, would like to hear more about your story. Sounds pretty rough. If you want.

    PS: Not seeing my little daughter hurts like hell.

  • DesirousOfChange

    I see some that are really pissed off because they were duped.

    Yep, that would be me.

    Ditto what BALAAMSASS and MAGNUM said.


  • minimus

    Learning from experience is a great teacher.

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