This was hard on me too because I pioneered successfully for almost 9 years straight and even then I felt like I wasn't doing enough.
You'll Never Get Blessings If You Don't Listen
why didn't you try special pioneering, then?
I gave up the "Truth" way back in 1987. August 1987. I didn't give it up because I didn't believe it anymore or even had doubts. I gave it up because the burden became so heavy and the guilt was troweled on so thick that I felt it was useless to keep trying. I remember that I prayed to Jehovah and told him: "You can kill me now or you can kill me later, but I can't do it anymore." And I quit. The depression that I had been coping with for years got a lot worse and I even became suicidal at times.
The years passed and as I got farther away from the organization, I began to see and figure out that, on the whole, the witnesses were about the most loveless bunch of people I'd ever run across. That the Governing Body had a terrible track record when it came to interpreting prophecy and predicting the future-----like 0%. That JWism and Chrisianity didn't really seem to have too much in common. But, even though I was figuring all this out, I still thought it was the "Truth." The brainwashing is just phenomenal. It wasn't until about 1997 or 1998, some 10 years after I left, that my now-grown daughter told me about some amazing sites on the internet and that I really needed to check them out.
"Freeminds" was the first one I looked into and it literally blew my mind. Randy's site led me to "Crisis of Conscience", and later I found this board, and gradually all the accumulated guilt of a lifetime began to evaporate. For the first time in my life, I began to see clearly. Godalmighty, it's been a long struggle, but finally at the age of 50, I have been able to start building a life. Your last sentence sums it up perfectly: "How happy we are knowing that we don't have to measure up to anyone else's ideals and demands!" So true.
Edited to add: "God Bless the Internet!!"
Edited by - david_10 on 12 February 2003 5:52:55
Thanks David for your heartfelt reply! It's a shame to hear experiences like yours that show how people are made to feel guilty over underperformance. Nothing's ever good enough. That's why we hear some older JW's say that all they want to do is just "sleep" in death. They can't do what they used to do. Life isn't fulfilling. It isn't worth living. I'm glad the internet has helped you. It sure has given us the tools to understand our plight and our solution to the despair that we have encountered. What a blessing!