Just How Dysfunctional Are We?

by Englishman 29 Replies latest jw friends

  • hillary_step

    E'Man, Seems to me that some people come here to get help, some to give help, but I have to say that most folk, IMHO, come here just because they have something in common with a good many of the folk here.

    True, and I have fitted into all these catagories at some time or the other. I know that you left the WTS many eons ago Mike and have made a good life for yourself and bought great happiness to your friends and family, as have many others. It is also outrageous that your JW family still treat you as a DF'd person after all this time. However, were you to come to the Board after exiting the WTS for a decade or two and still be spitting fire and bitterness it might spell dysfunction.

    We cannot fight yesterdays battles today. I remember a few years ago a military friend of mine took me to 'The Pathfinders' club in London. You may remember that the RAF Pathfinders had the onorous and very dangerous task of finding the targets over Germany during WWII. A camaraderie developed between them for obvious reasons. It struck me as very sad that all those years later these gentlemen would sit recounting the same war-time tales to the same people, an obviously repetative scenario for them. I only hope that I do not become an XJW Pathfinder....lol

    Take care Mike - HS

  • Englishman

    Wow, HS, my Dad finished the war on RAF Pathfinders.

    101 Squadron.


  • hillary_step


    Apologies for taking this off-topic.

    The fellow who took me to the club died a few years later and bequeathed me his logbook, helmet, flying jacket and a very unusual escape kit complete with rice-paper pick-up points to contact the French Resistance.

    He was a Mosquito Man, and one of the finest people that I ever called a friend.


  • Parousia

    Given the fact that the vast number of the people in the world are not or have not been JW's and having been raised a JW, I do not run into people like myself very often. On this board, I've found a whole group of people with whom I have something in common ... that's why I'm here. I don't post often, but I like to check in and read what everyone is talking about. I enjoy reading the different perspectives and seeing the different stages people are in, recognizing stages in others that I have been in myself is reassuring. I have also often felt that I had a dysfunctional background, but the older I get and the more people I meet, the more I realize we all have something that isn't quite normal ... whatever normal is. Parousia

  • waiting

    I don't believe there can be rigid statements as in "they are dysfunctional." It would beg the questions.....what is the strict definition being used for dysfunctional? And dysfunctional as compared to whom?

    If xjw's were compared to the survivors of the Jonestown slaughter or Davidians - most likely the vast majority of us would be considered highly functional. And alive.

    People who throw psychological terms out usually don't throw the psychological parameters out with them, imho. In strictest terms......I would suppose most of the world was dysfunctional to some degree. Lol, but by being the most, thereby also being the average.


  • hillary_step

    Hello Ms. Waiting,

    Hope that you are well.

    I am going by the dictionary definition which describes dysfunction as impaired or abnormal physical or social functioning. Basically behavior outside the normal bounds of physical and / or social interaction. A very quick way to test Board dysfunction is to ask a person who is neutral to the issues involved with the WTS and ask them to try to evaluate certain repetitive behavioral patterns which fall outside the boundaries of what society would view as ‘normal’ behavior.

    As it is E'Man's post prompted me to ask Mrs Step whether she thought that I was a dysfunctional person, she smiled and replied, ‘Yes, thank goodness’, which I took to mean, ‘Shut ‘yer gob and get the coffee made’.

    Of I go, obedient as ever - HS

  • Hmmm

    I suspect that ex-JWs are, on average, a little more dysfunctional than the norm, though I wouldn't use that term.

    Many of us were born into a wacky religion with wacky rules and little outside social contact. It's understandable that we'd end up a little 'dysfuntional'. Also, many are already a little "touched" and gravitate toward high-control/pie-in-the-sky/doom-n-gloom groups. When they leave the WT, they might end up in another group that's just as wacky.

    However, I suspect Eman is getting at some specific charges/diagnoses that most members of this board are dysfunctional, while members of another ex-JW board are rational, well-adjusted paragons of wellness. I try not to get involved in the board wars, but I think the use of such sweeping statements as "most of them are [fill in the blank]" pretty much exposes the agenda of the original poster(s). (I haven't seen the post in question, but I've seen enough posts like it from various camps to get the idea.)

    I think the charges levelled against fellow ex-JWs tend to be cyclical. In the ex-JW world (at least right now) anybody who disagrees with you is either (a) dysfunctional or (b) still a JW at heart. As an added bonus, men who disagree with women are informed that they are (c) still elders at heart. It's the ex-JW equivalent of the old Internet stand-by "you must be a Nazi [because you disagree with me]."

    The in-fighting between the various boards reminds me of the schism that took place in the 19-teens after Russell's death. Followers of Russell considered Rutherford and his group to be apostates who had left The Way. Rutherfordians considered Russellites the Evil Slave blah blah blah. In the end, Rutherford and his camp won and got to write the history. Looking back on it now, the vast majority of us would consider both groups to be just as wacky. While we may have a personal opinion as to which leader had more crack-brained ideas, we are not proud that we followed Rutherford over Russell. Eventually the same will happen with the ex-JW boards. Simon's or Kent's or Bboy's will be the last one standing and will get to write the history, but future generations (ie, five years from now) will look back and say "you were all nutz!"


  • Eric

    I would like to tender the suggestion that, to the point that a statistically normal, functional person usually has their parents and siblings involved in their life to rely upon as mentors and guides, even if only to bounce ideas off in times of weighty decisions, the shunned ex-JW has this tool for coping removed from their social toolbox.

    In cases of divorce, even a messy, rancorous one, the children often grow up to retain a healthy relationship with both parents later on and can often include their step-parents as their friends as well.

    Even in the case of losing both parents, say in an accident, that person has the chance to get themselves through the stages of grieving and finally come to acceptance and with that acceptance, move on and feel a freedom to cultivate surrogate mentors in their life should they see fit to do so.

    Thus it is so difficult for the ex-JW to just "let it go". To wish to be loved, or at least included in life by a parent or sibling or spouse who can and will treat you as dead is dysfuction by design.


  • waiting

    I believe Hmmmmmmmmm has gotten to the beginning root of Eman's question.

    But so many interesting sidelines! Now we know that Ms. Step thinks Mr. Step is dysfunctional or as they say here "ab(by)normal."

    Eric has began an idea.......that many people have parents & siblings - who talk to them! True enough. But many don't. Are all they that don't dysfunctional? Again - the broad, sweeping statements just don't wash - but have some logic to them.

    Actually, if one combined (god forbid) all the xjw's on all the boards - a true picture emerges of on-line xjw's. Some people are extremely well-rounded (so it seems anyway.) Some aren't. Some are dysfunctional. And some are stupid. Of course, this says little about off-line xjw's.

    In 5 years, which board will remain? Most likely the boards will have evolved several times by then. If Simon's is still around in 5 years........will Ang. still talk to him?


  • Maverick

    Exposure and involvement in the J-dud lifestyle and belief system will cause an active member to be disfunctional. The "Society" fosters an inability to function with family, neighbors, workmates and employers, governments,and did I leave anyone out? Yes! With others members! In formulaic terms; the degree of functionality( ability to socially interact in a healthy positive manner with others) is conversly proportionate to the amount of time and intensity of personal investment inside the WatchTower world. In other words, "The longer we are outside the "Societal" influence the better!" Maverick

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