Well I certainly know what you mean. I know that I will always in some way have the residual beliefs, the stuff like the holdiays and resurrection and paradise always creep their way back in there occasionally. I was born in "the truth" also and it has taken me years and a loving man's determination and patience with me to finally see what the real truth is, and once you do boy, it is hard and wonderful all at the same time. luckily my now husband was very knowledgable of the bible and very intelligent, and he was able to reason real fact with me, i could not ignore.
Will I always be a JW??????? :(
I was thinking more about this, and I realized that right now on the exitfundy elist I am on the big thread is about whether or not you are still afraid of a burning Hell(aka Great Tribulation, Armageddon, Everlasting'cutting off'). And that is another thing that let me 'intellectualize'--thanks 6of9-finding out that the JW doctrine is hardly different from other fundy traditions! Infact most of the whacked out christian cults out there all got roughly the same start with Miller in the 1850's or so! It is like finding out you have a whole bunch of cousins you never knew about! and it helps quell any left over residue in thought patterns...when you comfort someone who is still having nightmares about being tortured in Hell(or whose loving relatives have either shunned them or believe they will burn in Hell...)you realize that their Hell is the same as your somehow screwing up Paradise after a thousand yrs and losing it all anyway....their 'left behind' is your 'sign of the end'....and OMG! they even heard the same demonized smurf stories! But in their case they were told the smurf screamed at the tent revival or the altar call! (Kinda makes you wonder who started those stupid stories?) you should check this elist out sometime it is on Yahoo groups called ExitFundy--do a search, or if anyone is interested email me--I think I posted a link to it a couple of months ago.
I believe everything that happens to us shapes who we become. Adversity, though I would not wish it on my worst enemy, does change us; sometimes for the better. Consider the oldest tree in the world. Twisted by wind and weather, it still has its own beauty. And you have to admire it for it's sheer survival power.
"It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!"
The japanese appreciate this kind of beauty. Consider the lovely Bonsai.
I think a little bit of the JW will always be in you, because that is who you are. You do have the power, though, to shed the bad parts.
I have to say that I don't agree with that. The 'part' of JWs, if you will, that shaped me was not really a part of JWs, it was my own inherent spirituality. There is absolutely nothing the JWs gave me that could be considered good that I could not have gotten somewhere else.
If it were true that you never lose that influence, then how can anyone convert to any other religion? Including those who leave a religion to become JWs?
Jehovah's Witnesses is a religion. It is not a spirituality. It is only a way to express your spirituality, and if you grew out of it, or figured out it didn't fit, then you leave it.
JWs are not a part of me. And one of thereasons I was able to leave is because they never did feel like a part of me.
The fastest way to break a bad habit is to repalce it with another habit, hopefully a good one. But goodness gracious! I used to mess my pants when I was a baby---when I outgrew that I left it, it is not a part of me--LOL -it is merely a behavior I matured out of. That's all JWs are--a behavior you grew out of.
Ravyn, please understand me. I am not saying that the Religion will always be part of your makeup. I am speaking as a survivor of abuse. As much as I would like to erase that part of my life, it did mark me, change me. I am a changed person because of the sum of all my experiences.
I friggin hate it, but I think about my former life as a JW every day. Sometimes it is depressing. I missed a lot. What kind of drive would I have had, had I not been a JW?
I think that a lot of the mannerisms and the ingrained patterns will stay with me as long as I live.
jgnat, I can understand that, and of course the bad experiences we have do become a part of who we are(whether they happened in the JW context or some other). But I was thinking that she was talking more about the doctrinal brain washing and thought patterns rather than the trauma.
Well I've been out for nearly 20. And, I really think that, even though you've been out for 12 years, you still might give it some more time. I think there was a 5 year period where I progressively started getting "out" mentally before I actually left. So, maybe I was ahead of the game. The more experiences you have, the less the JWism will influence you: it will fade.
On a side note, dh and our two children were eating lunch at a restaurant this Saturday. In walks a family who are *obviously* taking a break from (or finishing) field service. Dad's got a full suit on, and son (must have been 9 or ten) is ridiculously decked out a grown-up type suit. Two daughters are both wearing dresses slightly below their knees. This was a casual sports-bar like place and they stuck out like sore thumbs. I told dh (who has never been a JW) that this could be US sitting there on a Saturday with the kids. He looked at me like I was crazy. It just seemed so absolutely absurd, all the energy they spend in their get up, going to meetings, and knocking on doors where people are as interested in speaking to them as they are telemarkers.
Sorry to digress. And NO, they aren't right. OR if they happend to be right in ONE thing, it's by accident. Just look at all the things they've been WRONG about.
Jesika, I sure dont think I have any of the answers to this , since I have only been out a year.
I loved my religion, my God, my brothers and sisters, and I swear to God , leaving the JW, was one of the most painful things I ever went thru.
I am serious , I put it up there with the death of my mom, the grief , the emptiness , the anger. Also it is in the top 5 miserable things that happened to me. The only thing with this one is ,,,,,,,,,, we can go on......... we never forget, we never should.
I feel that for all the pain being a JW was and leaving it, is only going to make us stronger people .
Jes,,,,,, I know you have been thru some bad things in your life, things you can't change, things you didnt cause, you just had to play the hand you were delt, as bad as it was. But even with that you came out a fighter. You didnt let your childhood abuse stop you from speaking out and helping others, and you will always be healing from that. The same why I will forever till the day I die, deal with my childhood neglect,,,,,,, I dont want to say child abuse because it is not what you went thru. But it did scar me ,,,,,,, I will never be like a person who never went thru it, I am who I am because of what I had to go thru. Not saying that I would choose to go thru it again, no way in hell,,,,,,,, but what can we do, we can't change the past.
Same thing on a different level, being in a destructive , mind controlling cult, knows as our once beloved JW. It will always be part of who we are,,,,,,, it is our history. We can learn from it, not make the mistake again, and help others who are feeling the way we are.
I know I will never stop feeling like a part of me will be connected to JW. I wish my life would have been different, a diff. religion, but it is what it is.
To me ,,,,,,,,, the hard part is the conflicting feelings I have about it all,,,,,being JW, and then being ex jw. THere were things I loved about JW, things I miss,,,,,, even if they were false hopes, they were dear to my heart. Then other times I hate the JW for all the crap .
It is just a process of learning to live with what you were really into , and although it was miserable, we made it thru it, we chose to leave, either by getting d/f or d/a and we are in control . It is one thing in my life,,,,,,,,,,,, d/a myself , leaving it all behind, that has made me strong, for the first time in my life, I felt I had power over a situation. But,,,,,,,,,, part of me will always feel like I am an exjw.
I don't think there will come a time that I don't think of it all daily.
Thank you everyone for your comments. They have all helped me in different ways.
I have never tried to research the doctrines, cause I guess I didn't really think I believed them.
I have just shyed away from anything having to do with anything spiritual or religious, so to do research, it would take alot of effort.
Everytime I see a scripture or something like that ---this is what happens, I can't help but ROLL my eyes.
Maybe I should try to do some research, not sure but I will think about it.
I know my abuse has a big part of why I can't stop thinking about JW's, I am still angry and hurt by it, since now I know, it is happening all over the world.
I am not sure if I was doing better thinking it was only my cong, but knowing it is all over the world has made me even more angry about certain things.
Well, I guess I will have to think this through, and find something that will help.
Thanks again for the comments everyone.