Honor Your Story
A recent thread mentioned members who wrote their own story as a book. You don't have to have an entire book to write your story. As a matter of fact, you don't have to share your story if you are not up to it.
Reading Exiting the JW Cult: A Healing Handbook for Current and Former JW's ( http://www.amazon.com/EXiting-JW-Cult-Handbook-Witnesses/dp/1508477132 ) took me to this thought: If you went through a terrible tragic event, some employers and others hire counselors to do a debriefing session also known as grief counseling. In order to get grief counseling/debriefing therapy from leaving the JW's, one would have to pay for private counseling or find otherwise available counseling through a college or a program of sorts.
But the author, Bonnie Zieman, offered another suggestion for those that cannot go to such counseling sessions. She suggests you do a personal debriefing. This can be done through writing a journal. I won't go through all the details of how to do that, as you really should start by learning how to do that. You can read Bonnie's book for great suggestions and/or start with the internet.
But I did want to focus on honoring your story. Even if it is private and never shared, give your personal debriefing the time and focus it deserves. It was highly suggested that this be done early in the day, like when you first get up, so that you don't go to bed with anxiety and dreams about your cult experience. It was suggested that if your writings are full of resentment and anger, perhaps you need to write those separately and also write your personal story.
It is never too late to start. I thought that I was quite content sharing my story on this forum and commenting here. That was good, but while in counseling, I knew I needed to go further. I edited some personal information out of my story and turned it into a book- FADE FROM THE TRUTH which can be found on Amazon or also linked on watchtowerdocuments.org as Alan Miller's story. Some might think I am here to promote my story. Perhaps, but that second link gives it to you for free and the Amazon account sells the ebook for $0.99. So it isn't about the money. It's about honoring my story. I feel profoundly about what I wrote and hope that it helps others.
When I actually typed that story, the things that were heavy on my mind transferred from my head to my fingers to a screen and I felt a huge releasing of the burden. Deep-seated problems became words on a page. So I mention my own story to honor it and to verify that this type of self debriefing from Watchtower really does help. Keep in mind that I also attended professional counseling as my troubles were quite heavy upon me. So I did this as a secondary method of personal debriefing. You will have to decide how much help you need with your story, but honor it- give it the attention it deserves.
Some do find that sharing on JWN is enough. Some are able to share, as I have done. That is great. If it helps, start your story here or tell it all here. Keep in mind as people comment, some advice on serious matters is from non-professionals and carefully look at it and weigh it. Don't just say "Okay, I will do that."
I'd love to read your story, gonna look it up right now
mine is developing fast...., oh the stress, leaving the high control religion, the effect on your entire world, friends, family, marriage, work.....the stress is quite extreme. I'm so grateful I have non JW, supportive family (parents and sibling) who have forgiven me for being such a pain in the ass cultist for the past 20 years, my heart goes out to those who's entire family are in.
Counselling, journalling, up all night posting, whatever it takes to get through x
Awesome to meet you on here my friend...it was while reading your book on WTdocs that my fate was sealed ☺I came out of your book officially A Fader, your way of writing helped me to see what I had been involved in for 2 decades and helped me to escape. So thank you, your story is deeply honoured in my heart as much as CoC. Your use of the word 'recruiting' for the mino jarred with me at first, but by the end I couldn't think of it as anything else. Brilliant book, I hope to get a copy for keeps when I have some dosh.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing freely.
I like the idea of honoring our stories. In the borg you're stripped of any individuality and a story, any story is only ever as good as its repeatability factor in order for it go be used to create new converts or for advertising the borg. Otherwise you are treated like your previous non JW existence or your current existence means nothing.
In order to be relevant, I have seen many turn themselves and their families into human JW propoganda machines, spewing forth borg blurbs and spiels wherever they go, all in the hope to be used for that all important service meeting or assembly part.
You never see or hear their story, their real story. You only see this fake synthetic, that looks human and sounds human but is just a WT machine.
Tornintwo, I hope you like it. I also have many non-JW family that supports me. They have virtually all read my story also. Journalling is one thing that helps. I hope people the various things they might need.
Listless Witness, I met a guy at Flipper's Tahoe Fest that said he read my book "FIRST" and that led to other books. I met another guy who shared a similar story and said he was profoundly affected by my book and the next year he said he was reading it to his JW wife because she would only listen to things without doctrine in them. Now I add you to the list of those that say they were moved by my book. (I tried really hard to put "Listless" on a list.) As with the others, I am almost speechless. You have honored my story and I thank you. I put it out there in the hopes that it would help someone, and I am not disappointed. On your "thank you," you are sincerely welcome.
sparrowdown, I had my Watchtower blinders on at one time. I believed most of those stories were accurate. But as an elder, I was occasionally at some practices for assembly parts. (I was involved with one assembly part and I was also a character in one drama.) I saw how "experiences" were slightly morphed to sound better. After I faded, I learned how many of the stories told by the Bethel speaker or C.O.or D.O. were directly stolen from Christendom stories and altered to fit the JW's. These things make it even more important for each person to honor their true story of being altered by Watchtower and escaping somehow.