Soul sick days, I hope lead to more appreciation

by LyinEyes 13 Replies latest jw experiences

  • LyinEyes

    Tonight I took my kids to my Aunt and Uncles yearly Halloween party. This was the second year we made it. THe kids had a blast, many activities and ran around like the bunch of wild indians they desended from. There were actually 3rd cousins there too. So they got to see many relatives they havent seen before. I got to see an aunt, that I missed alot. She asked me if I talked to my dad and I told her no and why( d/a and he is an ass) , she said that relgion yall were in sure was sad. It is has turned your dad into something he was not raised to be. Someone who has turned on his own two daughters, and they all see it. This aunt is my dad's sister and she still loves him ,but knows that he is not right in the way he is treating us. I tried to respect my aunt by not calling my dad every name in the book , I was brought up that you talk to your elders a certain way, no matter what or how mad you might be at someone. She told me something about my mom, she told me that my mom was very sad being a JW and really didnt want to stay one, but did for dad. That was really new news to me. My aunt said that she and my mom talked about. My mother never mentioned in words that she wished she wasnt a JW anymore, even after she got d/f. I thought it was what she loved. Maybe she felt trapped and had to stay for her marriage. But my aunt and her were close thru the years and I believe what my aunt said. SHe said that religion is alot of the reason my mom ended her life. And that she was so glad that I and my family got out in time. She said that she tried to talk to my dad thru the years but he wouldnt budge. When dad got her to take a book, I remember all of them burning them in the garbage barrell.

    I sat back in the back of the garage , that my aunt had put her heart into decorating for the kids and just watched the family I had grown up with,and felt jealous. My uncle, dad's brother, my aunt and their four kids,laughing posing for pics, my uncle holding a precious grandchild , the cousins calling out
    "Daddy" to Uncle Sonny, and how they loved sharing this song with him and this laugh or what one of the kids did. It made my soul sick, and greived knowing I was really missing out on those precious times I could have had with my dad like this.

    My uncle was great, he made over my kids as usuall and bragged on them. My youngest son, kept hugging them over and over, like he was starved for someone on my side of the family to love them. It brought tears to my eyes to think of how damn precious they are to me, how could my dad desert them. Cult and brainwashing is why and how. I hurt over the loss of what could have been , but tonight I saw my kids reaching out to almost strangers, they know them but not welll, but wanted to be part of the family . They were made over and fit right in with their cousins. It reminded me of the way my cousins and me were raised. My aunt even said she doesnt understand my dad's actions because he wasnt raised that way, and they all had the same parents, all ten of them and he is the only one who shuns his kids for no good reason,other than his religous stand.

    I realize that what I have went thru , what I am going thru will forever be a thorn in my heart. He will never change and I heard from aunts and uncle he is moving out of state. He had no plans to tell me at all. Oh well.

    But tonight I also realized that I will never fit into being so called normal, for I have too much baggage. I will never be able to erase my mind of all the losses. I may never fit in , the world that I am trying to know. I will never forget my JW days. I guess, it was a good moment , even thou it triggered pain tonight, it helped me to accept. Accept that I am and always will be an ex jw, baggage and all. At least I know where I stand with myself and when I find my real peace, I know that what I am going thru now, the pain , will make me appreciate it so much more.

    Edited by - LyinEyes on 27 October 2002 5:12:11

  • pomegranate


  • scootergirl

    Exactly Pom.......TIME. That is my thought too!

    ((Dede)) took me damn near 14 years to "recover". Years before I found out my niche. Years before I found how where I belonged. You will to hon, but it will take time. Be patient and gentle w/yourself. Your journey of recovery is gonna take you places you never dreamed of.


  • pomegranate

    I used to think time was my enemy.

    I now realize time is my friend.

  • outnfree


    "Time" is not what first came to my mind, but I'm sure it WILL help...

    I think being an ex-JW is akin to being an ex-Alcoholic. You may be "out" or sober now, left that lifestyle behind, but you can never erase the years of dysfunctional behavior or the stupidities you performed or the omissions you committed during the years you were enslaved. It is a burden that never completely goes away.

    Scooter -- I don't mean to sound rude, and there are many others on this site like you, but it seems to me that all of us who post here on this site have NOT recovered ... yet. And it's not that I'm doubting that your quality of life is much improved, that you've found your 'niche', that you've learned to be gentle with yourself (good advice for ALL of us!). It's just that our ex-JW-ness is and always will be an integral part of who we are and how we react to things.

    Example: My dub experience and subsequent realization that I was duped, deceived, and just plain WRONG about things I thought were so RIGHT has caused me to question my assumptions, be more careful about what I accept as 'truth', to be more tolerant of others and their beliefs', and refuse to let ANYONE dictate what I should or should not feel, believe or do.

    I think these are good things, but I don't think I would be in this place if I hadn't had 12 years or so of active dubdom (and many more on the fringes!). The cult experience informs my present being. And I think it will ever be so.

    The good news, Dede, is that now that we're out (remember I'm a newbie DA'd, too! ) we have that many more years ahead of us to garner experiences that are other-than-JW which will continue to inform our future beings. Our children, too, have that much longer a time to be other-than-dubs, so that the effect of the dub-days will be lesser in toto for them. Another good thing. And it will, also, help them, as it has helped us, not to become too easily enslaved to any person or organization that demands unquestioning loyalty.

    I am ashamed to admit I was ever one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I attended Methodist church last Sunday and was quickly picked up as the newcomer and buttonholed by the pastor to come join the others in the fellowship hall for refreshments. He asked me where I came from (religiously)? I didn't answer forthrightly, even though technically I was correct in saying "Oh, just all over..." (Lutheran, Reformed Presbyterian, Catholic, JW, and non-demoninational Christian could be considered "all over" -- right?) It wasn't until he introduced me to a (female! yay!) intern who was serving the church and who sat down to have cider with me, that I actually admitted I was an ex-JW searching yet again. (I figure it isn't much different with ex-alcoholics -- I'm sure they don't volunteer that information until confronted with a situation in which they are offered alcohol and refusing it could seem rude without an explanation, say, joining in a toast) And yet, if I am to honestly present myself to people, my being an ex-JW is [still, at this point in my life] a huge part of who I am.

    I do hope that I will find a substitute identity as life goes on. My main occupations have been homemaker and JW for the past 18 years. Perhaps if I had had an outside job, I would feel differently, I don't know. I do know that I mourn the sense (a false sense, I've since realized) of community, and also the dream of a righteous earthly paradise (I never believed God would slaughter the billions of non-JWs) and people who actually tried to put into practice being good and peacable.

    Dede, the only thing I can offer you is empathy and the thought that there IS no such thing as 'normal'. And that being ex-JWs doesn't have to rule our lives, even though it is a part of who we are forever. We WILL make new lives for ourselves, our focus has already changed, and I'm hopeful that we'll get to live long enough to see our children's children free from any taint of JWdom.

    Love and hugs,


  • scootergirl

    brenda wrote:

    Scooter -- I don't mean to sound rude, and there are many others on this site like you, but it seems to me that all of us who post here on this site have NOT recovered ... yet. And it's not that I'm doubting that your quality of life is much improved, that you've found your 'niche', that you've learned to be gentle with yourself (good advice for ALL of us!). It's just that our ex-JW-ness is and always will be an integral part of who we are and how we react to things.

    First, no, you didn't sound rude.

    Secondly, recovery is a journey....not a destination. No one is every really "cured" IMHO. I have sought help to "deprogram" myself. I no longer react to things as a dub does/did. My thinking process has done a complete turnaround. This took many years of hard work and determination on my part. I have recovered, but recovery to me is something that I must maintain.

    True, being an x-dub, is an intergral part of who I once was, but it no longer dictates actions in my life.

    If you look at the different topics, threads, comments and posters on this board, you will find a wide range of recovery from the dubs. Some are still hurt and angry and voicing this, some have been out awhile and are farther in their journey of recovery. Some are questioning while others are certain.

    One thing that I have noticed w/newly da'd or df'd people (and also by past experience) is a sense of loss, a sense of grieving. We all have lost part of ourselves, part of who we were defined as. We go thru (or have gone thru) the stages of grief just as if someone has died. Any kind of loss brings on the stages of grief (i.e., death, divorce, loss of anything important). Grief is a process.....a process that takes its course.

    I will never forget where I came from. Never forget the experiences I had . But I no longer ache and hurt like before. Time had healed my wounds-taken the sting out.

    For me, after awhile it became a part of life. My x-dubdom became an information fact just like where and when I was born. I had no part in the decision to be raised in it, just like I had no part in the decision what city I was raised in. As an adult, though, I can say "yes, that WAS me.....but this is me NOW". Look how far I have come.

  • xenawarrior


    I am so glad that you were able to spend some time with your family and see your children having fun. I'm with the others here that in time, being in a happy atmosphere won't carry with it the triggers that you feel now. It is a grieving process and it will take some time.

    One of the positives that I saw in your experience was your conversation with your aunt. You discovered things you weren't aware of- one being that you have held a belief that your mother wanted the life she had. And now you found out that she really wasn't happy with it at all (the religion part) I think that is a puzzle piece that will be valuable to you along the way as you sort some of this out.

    Your relationship with your father is one that is difficult to reconcile; it is in such conflict with the way you feel about your own children. It's hard to imagine that it's possible to have the kind of love for your children that you do and make the choices that he did. I didn't realize that the rest of his family were not JW. It sounds like he may have been dealing with some problems beyond the religion, and like so many, were drawn to it as an escape, an answer to those problems. That would explain alot about him.

    If you haven't read it already, a good book is "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward Ph.D. You may find some similarities in it that you can apply to your own situation.

    Did you get pics of the kids all made up??? Wanna see pictures!! And, did you get made up too??? Glad you had some fun!!!!!


  • LyinEyes

    All of you said the exact right things. I know these things are right in my head, but my heart wants to lag behind sometimes. LOL..........

    I knew going to see my dad's side of the family would cause a "trigger", but I needed to see them, some of them are sick and there may not be time to wait until the next time to see them. I really was afraid to go, my sister was there too, and we laughed when, I walked up to my grandfathers old tractor and I said, " I feel a weep coming on" we laughed with tears in our eyes.

    Xena , you are right on in everything you said, you know my story very well. I have told many on this board abou my dad and how I truly believe that being a JW is just part of his problems , he goes way beyound blaming the JW for his actions.

    I don't mean to sound like a broke record and I know we all have been abused by JW. Many of us were abused children too. And to tell you the truth, it is only recently that I came to the conclusion and admitted to myself both my parents abused me in many ways. My dad would use religion as punishment, mind control. and he really punished us too hard and whipped us too hard. My mother was stoned out of her mind on pills alot, and was just neglectful in that way. Then she would be hot and cold, love us one minute , hate us the next. Laughing and happy to crying and miserable. I am sure she was bipolar and never got help for it. I myself share the same mood swings but I have learned about it and watch myself for changes. I have too, I will not live my life like that...... it didnt end well for her at all.

    I realize that these are things in my life I can not change. I can only learn from them and use it as a pattern of what not to be. I often wonder why I couldnt have had at least one half way normal that is over. I just have to pick up the pieces of a shattered little girl and learn that it happend then, altough the effects of that kind of childhood , creates your personality you can re train yourself, and that is my project now. I do consider myself a grown child of an alcholic, altough my mother hardly touch alcohol , her drink was in pill form. I have been thinking of joiing a support group locally to work thru some of these issues.

    There is a quote, not sure who said it,,,,,,,,,,, the only way through , is through it. So I know I cant forget the past, I tried that as a JW for along time and just became numb. Grief and pain and the beggings of healing, you have to feel the pain to get better. Then one day , it doesnt hurt anymore, or well, maybe as bad.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Dede You brought tears to my eyes.

    Please don't feel you are stuck in the old JW past or even the present ex-JW mode.

    Your post is proof of your healing - always painful but it shows a letting go that we all need. The pain won't always be quite so intense. And new happier memories will replace the old hurts.

    We don't forget. We can't erase

    But we can replace the past with a brighter future

  • LyinEyes

    Thanks for the encouragement all, and Lady Lee your post have always been helpful in my recovery.

    Edited because I got lost forgot what thread I was supposed to be on........ one of those days I guess.

    Edited by - LyinEyes on 27 October 2002 16:24:28

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