Emotional Stages of Leaving the WT

by larc 17 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • bonnie38

    I do think this framework is valid. I think many people bounce back and forth between stages. I'm not sure how to achieve acceptance. I try to reach that stage by trying to be the best person that I can be. When I die, if I die, I hope that I am remembered by someone who had a positive effect on other people's lives.

  • stephenw20

    The "bouncing back & forth " as is the fight between the heart and the mind. The director or the "will" is in between.
    If the will is not trained , schooled or strong enough , we will just continue to bounce back and forth.....

    I raise a glass to toast the strength of will.

  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Hi larc:

    Just noticed your post today. I haven't come to this part before but noticed your refence to this thread in your comments to emyrose about depression.

    This post couldn't come at a better time for me. I'm no expert on this subject...just out here floundering around trying to get the right perspective on my feelings.

    I went through the different stages of disbelief or denial once I started finding out more real truths about the WTS. It all seemed to fit though when I gave it lots of thought and was able to put my own experiences as pieces to the big jigsaw puzzle picture of the WTS. Coming here, I was able to read of so many more experiences like mine that I was at least be happy to know that my experiences weren't just something wrong with me, my lack of faith or love or some other label that I put on myself (along with others who labelled me too).

    I definetly do bounce back and forth right now between depression and anger, but mostly get stuck in depression mode basically because of my family situation. I think I could get out of the depression mode and go to acceptance, if my family situation would get fixed.

    I've stopped going to the meetings for about 2 years. My son was da'd a few years before that. My daughter is still very active and they both are married and away from home in other cities.

    The problem: My daughter upholds the WTS policy on shunning my son but they both are in regular contact with me. She constantly asks me about him and what his feelings are about coming back and suggests what I could say or do to encourage him back. I can't stand to see her pain even though I know she is responsible for her own actions. She is convinced if she abides by the WTS, he will come around, just like all the experiences from the WTS prove.

    She suggests that if I went to the meetings that would encourage him to. I can't open up to her about my new beliefs because I fear she would get upset at thinking I'm turning apostate. I truthfully don't know if she would feel obligated to "get help from the elders" for me, and if she did, we all know where that would probably lead. I also have to think of the ripple effect that df'ing me or whatever would have on my aging mother that I need to help my sibling with.

    I know I've received some fine encouragement from here to just fade away and probably could do that more easily if my daughter didn't seem to need me to try and influence my son back....which of course leads me around and around in circles because I feel like I should share my new knowledge with him. I know I probably seem like I'm cowardly sitting on the fence with this, but having experienced the consequences before of being df'd, I just don't know how I would cope. I need my association with my family, and I would feel like such a failure as a mother if I did something that caused my daughter any more pain.

    I don't know if this is what you wanted from this thread. I just thought my situation might lend some light as to why some feel their depression. Mine is caused by an ongoing situation, not from dwelling on the past. Somedays it just makes me want to lock myself up in the house and not answer the phone or see anyone.

    I wish I could find a way out of this. I don't enjoy being so down. I'm usually a fun-loving person, full of kidding and laughter with my friends. It's days that I have confrontations or guilt-trips laid on me, that I can't fight back to because of the threat of shunning, that cause this downward spiral.

    Sorry, I didn't mean for this to be so long....I'm looking for some insight on how to get out of this 'going in circles'...I intend to print off your thoughts and those of introspection and stepenw20 to think on. I know you all have gone and/or are going through your own tough, heartbreaking family circumstances. Maybe you can add something to your post on one who is stuck in the middle and being pulled both ways. I can't see my way out, but sometimes "we can't see the forest for the trees" in order to find our own answers.

    Had Enough..( and join hands with the multitudes of others like me)

  • stephenw20

    Had ENough..Just wanted to mention this.....

    my mom has just started on the shun mission herself(of me).....she has no computer so i cant ask her to look at this.

    ON the JW media sight .shunning is directly mentioned..as in they dont do it to FORMER members. Perhaps your daughter might read that...


    "Do you shun former members?

    Those who simply cease to be involved in the faith are not shunned. In compliance with the Scriptures, however, members can be expelled for serious unchristian conduct, such as stealing, drunkenness, or adultery, if they do not repent and cease such actions. Disfellowshipping does not sever family ties. Disfellowshipped members may continue to attend religious services, and if they wish, they may receive pastoral visits. They are always welcome to return to the faith.—1 Corinthians 5:11-13."

    I know this is not HOW it usually works...... but it is written there to say D/F does not end family ties.

    for what it is worth.


  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Hi Stephenw20:

    Just wanted to quickly acknowledge your answer. I can't stay online and post right now but I'll answer later.

    I appreciate reading your posts on many of the other threads too.

    Thank you,
    Had Enough

  • stephenw20

    Had Enough,
    Thank you its nice to be here...

    my words come from others(Ron Roth, D.E. Harding & Caroline Myss)... I am just sharing what I have heard and listened to......

    glad they are helping you as well *S*



  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Thank you Stephenw20 for your input.

    I would like to believe that the statement from the WTS media site about disfellowshipping does not sever family ties, however I fear that that is just another example of JW doublespeak. The expanded explanation I fear would be that that statement only applies to family members living under the same roof, but once that df'd member moves across the street, active family members would no longer associate and would shun.

    The W81 Sept. was pointed out to me by me elders as to my required conduct of non-association with my da'd son since he no longer lived with me. So my fear stands that if I speak out about my new beliefs to my daughter or sibling, they might feel obligated to "get the elders to help me". Then if I stood my ground, I would likely be dealt with like so many have..booted out...result...she would feel bound to follow WTS rules of shunning. I don't think either of us could take that.

    Hence the root of my depression. My only hope is that I can still just stay a non-active, non-associating member without bearing my soul on my beliefs, and hope that I can somehow get them to find out what I know. Maybe I'll find a way from someone's posting here. The depression usually keeps me from thinking things through clearly, without going in circles.

    Then maybe I can move on to the acceptance stage.

    Someone I trust asked me if I would ever consider becoming active again. There's absolutely no way I can ever go back to being controlled like that. They still have their hooks in me enough by 'holding my family hostage', I can't submit to their total bondage again.

    Had Enough....(but still looking for answers and peace)

  • stephenw20


    Take it a step at atime....get YOURSELF strong b4 you conquer the world of the JWS........

    your perspective cahnges when you feel strong and good about yourself......you tend to care more for your own beliefs and are not as interestred in choices others make to judge you. In the end they are just like you ...no different, its there apparent estteemed postion and so called authority that gives them this myth of power.

    ask any one of them if they believe in freedom of religion......as shown on the back of the May15 WT....then ask them is there one true religion...........cant have both....... it is that simple...they can run around all day with it and it wont change the facts that they fight for a freedom they dont provide......

    I wish you peace had enough......


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