Only the strong survive

by Lady Lee 14 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Only the strong survive

    I really think that some people are not strong enough to leave. I know my mother isn't. And it has devastated the lives of my siblings to have left and still believe it is the truth. My sister cannot even consider the possibility that she was lied to. She has been out since she was 15 years old but still believes it to be true. She has punished herself in a multitude of ways for leaving "the truth" but will not stop to think that maybe her self-punishment was for nothing.

    I wonder how many "punish" themselves with depression, addictions, self-harming behaviors etc. for leaving a lying, controlling, manipulative organization like the JWs - just a thought

    I think it takes a special strength to look at everything you have been taught and everything you believe in critically, and then when realizing it isn't what you were told it was, to walk away.

    We walk away from our family and our friends. We walk away from our beliefs and community. We walk away from the faith we have held on to that gave us a sense of who were and made us feel special and set us apart from the rest of the world. Sometimes we leave our children behind too.

    It hurts to discover we have been betrayed and lied to. It hurts to wake up and find out it is all smoke-screen. And it hurts to not be able to get others to listen.

    Many of us stayed because we believed we were weak. I too felt like a weak person. I had no idea of what strength lay inside of me. People told me I was strong but I never believed it because I never felt like it.

    The greatest strength I have found in myself and in others is the strength to step out into the unknown. Abuse victims think it is weak to not be able to tolerate abuse. They think they must be weak to not leave. And paradoxically they are told they are weak if they do leave. For years upon years we were told we were weak - weak spiritually, weak emotionally, weak mentally, and for some weak physically. Demand upon demand - endlessly, that we were expected to keep up with. And we were told that we were weak for not keeping up to those unrealistic expectations - part of the mind control.

    Many women stay in abusive relationship because they are too afraid to step out into the unknown. Often they are told by their abuser that others will not be as good to them or loving or kind as their abuser. That sounds familiar.

    Victims are often told no one else would want them. That sounds familiar too. Implanted with fears of the unknown, victims are paralyzed from action. They believe they are weak because they have been told they are weak. They believe it is safer to stay with what is familiar - they know how to handle it

    And at what they feel is their weakest - when they know they cannot take what they have and live with anymore, they take that step into the unknown. Scary - terrifying - full of people and situations they know nothing of -- but they take that step.

    I was DFed at the lowest point of my life. I could have gone back to what was familiar. I could have gone back to what I knew best and sat at the back of the KH and be ignored and thought I was strong for doing that and been priased for it. But since when is debasing yourself a sign of strength? To stay would have destroyed any trace of hope I had left. So I stepped out into the unknown. Not because I felt strong but because I felt and believed I was too weak to stay.

    The reality was that stepping into the unknown WAS the strength.

    And from what I see strength lies in every one here who has been taught that they are weak.

    We need to change the thinking. Black is white and white is black. Reframe the beliefs because what we were taught was all lies.

    Only the strong survive.

    In my darkest hours I thought I had no strength.

    In my deepest pain I thought there was no hope.

    But I did survive. I may still be looking for a new belief but in the meantime...

    Only the strong survive.

    We are surviving. Some of us are actually thriving

    Edited by - Lady Lee on 15 December 2002 18:11:22

  • Brumm
    We are surviving. Some of us are actually thriving

    Count me in on the thriving department.

    Great post...rated!


  • flower

    Great Post Lee!!

    Flower, of the 'surviving and thriving' class

  • wednesday

    TY for helping me to clarify my thoughts today. it probably won't last, and i'll have another set back,

    but at least for today i am thinking more clearly. I recognize myself in the "punishing myself for leaving" idea. i have thought of this before, but never said it out loud.

    I struggled and tried to atttend meetings until the early 90's. I had quit FS in late 80's. i just could not be responsible for bringing another person to the org, to be hurt like i had been.

    It does feel comforting to have all the answers. and to feel special. Now i just feel confused and lost. I read about cults, but was in one and did not even recognize it..

    If it was just me, i might be able to get over it quicker. But my hubby is not yet where i am at, althogh he does see many bad things about WTS, but chalks it up to human imperfection.

    I hope to get out of this purgatory at some time.

  • jst2laws


    Excellent job. I liked what I saw and started a line by line commemtary but as I went along I decided not to clutter this thread with my thoughts. This is so clear and encouraging by itself. If only every individual who reads this could come away convidence that either they have survived already or that they will survive like the rest of us. We need more posts like this. Thanks


  • meadow77

    I will survive, for as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Wednesday glad if some of my ramblings helped. I too feel confused still at times. But I KNOW I will never go back.

    And Wednesday - NO ONE knows they are in a cult --- until after they are no longer in it.

    Jst2laws I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts. And anyone else's

    YEAH to Brummie Flower and Meadow -- all of the learning to thrive class

    Edited by - Lady Lee on 15 December 2002 19:29:26

  • DanTheMan

    That was a great post.

    Often they are told by their abuser that others will not be as good to them or loving or kind as their abuser. That sounds familiar.

    My last year in, I didn't give voice to specific doubts but the elders in my cong sensed that I wasn't "all the way" in the troof. One of them warned me that "the world" would eat me alive.

    I'm doing fine. Yes the world is screwed up and I may die tomorrow, but at least I'm learning to live without the crutches of a cult religion. And I have met people who are far kinder to me than the Johos ever were.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    good for you dantheman

    Too many warning of disaster if we leave. larc's poll on our levels of depression pretty much tells a different story.

    I have met many kind loving and generous people out of the borg - many more in fact than I met while I was in and none of them cared what my spiritual standing was

  • scootergirl

    GREAT post! What thinker...

    It took me many many years to survive.....years to get to the point of saying that I am emotionally and mentally healthy. I know very few that walk away and life is great for them immediately. When we leave, we are virtually leaving a whole life behind. It takes awhile to redefine life....for me it was a struggle and a journey. Difficult at times but certainly worth every step I took in the right direction.

    The borg stiffled me in so many ways! I appreicate each day that I know have a voice-MY voice! And I am allowed independent thinking and have learned what true unconditional love means! I am a far better person than when I was a dub!

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