Conditioned to fail

by Jordandemm 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • freemindfade
    Welcome. Glad to have you. Look forward to hearing more from you.
  • SecretSlaveClass
    Welcome! Lots of great advice here. I suggest using the seach box ,"fade guide".
  • SecretSlaveClass
    Welcome! You'll find lots of great advice here. I suggest entering "fade guide" into the search box.
  • Alive!

    For a while, after stopping all meeting attendance and all JW activities it seemed like our lives (husband and self) were fragmenting and falling apart.

    We simply were not coping with the trauma of not knowing who the hell we are anymore, what our lives mean outside of the Org, and reflecting on so much bad air about our lives as witnesses. The pressure we had put on eachother - or rather the pressure I had put on my husband as a WT wife, who was anxious to be perfect in the WT fashion. It all blew up. Years of repressed discomfort, dissonance and so much more.

    Difficult to jolly along with other humans in a social way when you are confused and hurting internally.

    The isolation was so painful, as was the realisation that we had partnered with a worldwide org that enforced Intellectual and spiritual subjection to the leaders who slipped and scuffled about 'truth' - whilst demonising those who dared to throw out honest questions, reasonable questions.

    What a journey. For us, especially me - it was a battle to come to terms with myself. And it has clearly emerged that the radical shift caused a series of breakdowns for me.

    Good folk here and in my daily life kindly strengthened me when I thought I was losing the plot - through PMs and forum posts - and together, my man and me - we're finding our balance.

    I was talking to an athiest relative and explained to her, that for me, I cannot ignore my inner sense that there is 'something' driving this world, universe - I really believe we are all 'made in the image of God' but we are broken versions. That Christ, truly lived on this earth and truly come from 'above' - from another world, place, dimension.

    And all creation will one day be reconciled.

    I'm not meaning to preach - just I can't explain my position without explaining my current spiritual position... If that makes sense. Even if that position appears to be a delusion :-)

    Our lives are taking shape. The fear of failure (whatever that is) has evaporated. The anxiety and depression has left.

    Gradually our lives are filling up again.

    I have made several new friends, over the past two to three years in real life who are proving to be 'stickers' - it takes time.

    We are not beset by 'bad things' - or at least, not overcome by them - and there have been some tricky things to manage in the past couple of years.

    Lose the superstitious fear that the WT culture encourages. It's all a lie.

    There is hope. As folk said to me - one day at at a time.

  • Alive!

    By the way, volunteer work is a brilliant way to meet people who are likely to have a caring mindset.

    There is a world of wonderful people out there :-)

  • AudeSapere
    Londo wrote: This is likely the number #1 problem for former JWs.

    I could not agree more! This is a tough one, but not insurmountable.

    Five things that helped me (re-)build my little social circles:

    #1. I took classes at local community college. Some of the classes required working in small groups. We would meet at local coffee shops and chat before and during our prep work.

    #2. I moved out of territory. This kept me a little out-of-mind for my congregation and also a few neighbors were kind to me. I checked back with those people and 28 years later, I'm still friends with a couple of them.

    #3. I met up with other ex-JWs in a 100+-mile radius of my home. This was GREAT benefit to me and was serious priority for about 3 years. If they were meeting, I did whatever I could to be there. I even planned a few meet-ups myself. It got me comfortable with talking about 'normal' things with semi-normal (haha!) people. That way I didn't bristle when subjects came up in conversation that NEVER came up when I was JW or with JWs.

    #4. I joined co-workers for lunch and other social activities. Sometimes even just asking if I could join them (like if I heard people planning on going out for drink after work or when I heard a group planning to go skydiving~!!).

    #5. I took up a new hobby and joined a local club to support my development of that hobby. For me, it was learning to ride a motorcycle at age 45. I met many new people and had such interesting new experiences. I think it made me more interesting and gave me something current - and FUN~! - to talk about when I met new people, too.

    My #1 mistake...?? Feeling like I had to divulge my JW connection. Sometimes I used this as an explanation as to why I felt out-of-place. People tend to care, but not for the reasons we ex-JWs might think they care. You really don't have to explain yourself. Honest. You don't. Tell your sad tale to new friends AFTER they get to know you a bit. Like maybe weeks or months later, if at all. I said too much, too soon, too often and it killed an otherwise good vibe with new acquaintances.

    *IF* you feel comfortable enough, maybe share with us your general age & situation (ie: teenager, unemployed, living at home) and your general location (ie: Northeast United States; Southern California; etc.). You might responses (and invites!) more-tailored to your needs.

    All the best~! And welcome to JWN! It's nice to have you join us and introduce yourself with a GREAT first post. Extremely important topic that needs to be discussed much more often.

    -Aude Sapere (meaning: Dare to Know; Dare to Have Wisdom/Understanding; Dare to Think for Yourself)

  • FayeDunaway

    (Alive, love your post!)

    (aude sapere, great suggestions!!)

    jordan, a positive outlook is half of it. I would also like to know your age and general location to give you more specific advice. But remember that worldly people are not what you've been told. Some bad, mostly good. Get active in your community and you will find the best ones.

  • AudeSapere

    I just remembered another avenue for (re-)building social circles...

    #6. Get in contact with non-jw family members and former school classmates. Even the ones you previously snubbed. Maybe ESPECIALLY those people. If local, invite them 1-by-1 to coffee and apologize to them. Tell them you want to get to know them better. Maybe even make a list - the longer, the better - and just start reaching out to them. Their responses might surprise you. Hopefully for the good~!!

    IMPORTANT: Remember that if you are trying to fade from JWs, use extreme caution on Facebook and other social media.

  • EdenOne
  • stuckinarut2
    Great thread!

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