Emotionally stunted

by onacruse 25 Replies latest jw experiences

  • onacruse

    Just had a good phone call with a friend I met on this board...got me to thinking about my life as a JW. He's been "out" almost as long as I was "in."

    I was a reg pub at 6 years old, decided (yes, a very deliberate decision) to go to Bethel when I was 8 years old, and was baptized at 10 years old (in 1962). I spent the next 10 years focused totally on that goal, nothing else mattered. Bethel was not what I had imagined, left well short of the (then) 4 year minimum. Spent the next 30 years trying, somehow, anyhow, to recapture the glorious vision.

    I am just now beginning to see how my emotional and social development virtually ceased when I was still prepubescent. Thanks to you folks, I am beginning to grow again.

    HAHA...and now I'm 50! Talk about rescripting....how about you?


  • safe4kids

    Hey Craig

    HAHA...and now I'm 50! Talk about rescripting

    Well, you know the saying...better late than never! I agree with you about our emotional and social development being stunted due to our WTS upbringing. I didn't begin to "grow up" until I left, about 4 or 5 years ago. At that time, I was also trying to heal from the effects of being abused as a child which had also played a large part in my development being derailed. It's a hell of a thing to have to go through adolescence when you're in your 30s and have 2 children! But, painful as it was, I'm so glad that at least I was able to escape the cult mindset and was able to heal. And now my children won't have to go through what I did.

    I'm glad that you are finding it beneficial to be here and making some friends. You seem like a very nice guy and I've enjoyed our conversations in the chat.

    Good topic, it deserves more attention than it's getting. Happy puberty Craig!


  • scootergirl

    Craig........I too can relate! When I was df'd at the age of 18 I was at the emotional level of probably a early teenager! The choices and decisions that I made for the next year seemed very "childish" to some-but they were just par for the course of a young person growning up BUT without any guidance. It wasn't until a few years ago (I am 34 now) that I felt that I am where I should be emotionally.

  • plmkrzy

    I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't end until we are dead.

    If we lived to be 100 then (asuming brains are working) we would no doubt look back on things we did and choices we made when we were in our 70's and 80's and still be able to say "If I new then what I know now".

    I think it's a never ending process. We have to make as much out of it as we can, as we go.

    left well short of the (then) 4 year minimum.
    I hadn't thought of it until I read your comment but it's interesting that there would have been the same minimum as the military.hmmm.

    Edited by - plmkrzy on 31 August 2002 9:4:11

  • metatron

    Welcome 'new boy'!

    My story is similar - I endured the
    nervous breakdown that Bethel was.

    Talk about arrested development! You got it! The Society
    wants pliable, controlable zombies - not conscience
    driven adults.

    Everyweek, something new comes up wherein I tell myself
    "How was I so blind?" "I've got a good IQ, so how was I
    so stupid that I didn't see this?".

    Life has only one purpose - happiness.
    If any moron tells you different,
    ask them why they prefer unhappiness.


  • Xena

    Funny you talk about growing up after you leave the JW's but I never really felt like I had a childhood because of the org. Between my dad being in the military and then becoming a JW I was forced to act adult most of my life. I am just now beginning to connect with the "inner child" in me.

    lol and this is her favorite playground

  • nilfun

    Being raised a witness really stunted me socially/emotionally. It was slow soul murder. After I left, it was difficult to have a conversation that didn't revolve around "the truth". I didn't know how to just be myself. I didn't know how to just "be". It was almost impossible to honor my natural impulses/drives/hungers. It was hard for me to be assertive with men. It was hard to STOP playing the watchtower soundtrack and START making my own music. Eight years on and I believe I am finally coming around to myself.

  • animal

    It was good talking to ya Onacruse.... it got tuff, our celphones breaking up and all.

    Yes, I was basically raised in the concentration camp called JW's, but escaped my way... dissapearing. It was an interesting/fun/scarey/dangerous way to do it, but what the hell, I am still breathing...

    The "inner child" thing is no bullshit either... mine is/was about 12 yrs old, defining when I had stopped growing emotionally. No wonder I couldnt get laid when I was 20, acting like a 12 yr old.

    Ona, I told you about my rehab... and how it worked. Yell anytime, if ya need me.


  • ugg

    social and emotional development!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am absolutely pathetic at both....trying to fit in to the

    REAL WORLD,,,is like comparing a tomato to a piece of bread it...i am so different i just stick out...

    it is so sad...i do not "know" how to fit in or belong?? when you spend years only talking spiritual

    matters,,,,and no social involvement with "real" people....where do you start...my ignorance and

    immaturity are very apparent.....i feel at times like i have been in kindergarden then moved suddenly

    in to 12th grade.....VERY PATHETIC!!! however,,,,i do hope to graduate some day!!!!!! i will invite

    you to that moment......

  • bikerchic

    I guess it's all in how you want to look at life, the cup half empty or half full. It seems to me Craig that you have found the problem, which for some is a long trek that leads to many adventures, some good some bad. Now the adventure is to find the right solution, for everyone it's different.

    I am almost certain that there are a lot of "stunted" people out there who never heard or delt in anyway with a religious cult. Very few are able to look inside themselves for the answers and even fewer are ready to acknowledge the problem, sadly even fewer are willing to do the inside job and work on themselves. I have learned in my journey that finding the problem is half the job, the easy half, the solution is where the true work lies and the biggest reward comes from.

    Craig and all of you that responded, we are fortunate IMHO that we had an upbringing that taught us values and instilled in us the abilitity to think. All those bible studies weren't for nothing! I feel in many respects that I am ahead of the game of life as opposed to some of my female counter parts that are in the same situation I'm in now, single, old and unskilled and off to college to get educated. I at least know how to study, how to pay attention in class even when it's boring, how to schedule classes around a busy schedule, take notes, do homework when I would rather go outside and play, hehe ;o) all this I learned from the countless meetings and assemblies I endured and yes they made me stronger. Imagine having to buckle down and learn some of that while 50 years old!

    In life it's not the things that come easy that make us what we are but it's the struggles we go through that make us strong. That's when we learn and grow and as long as we are breathing lets hope we are still learning new things about ourselves and life.

    Craig you have so much going for you and I am positive that you will grow up to be emotionally and socially sound as long as that is your quest, that is your journey, you too will find your own unique way. Happy trails!

    bc of the 50 and gettin a life class

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