My First post
I have been lurking on this site for 3 years and this is my fist post. I would like to thank everyone for helping me wake up. I was baptized at 24, married at 25, MS for 18 years mentally in for 24 years but started to wake up 3 years ago doing research to give public talks, and the actions of arrogant and narcissistic brothers and sisters did not help. I have been slowly fading for the last 3 year, but the ARC was my last straw, now totally out mentally, no privileges, miss meetings, never answer, no field service and will never donate to the Org. sadly my wife is still in.
Now the elders want to know what is up and want a shepherding call with me. I don’t want to get DF or Disassociate at this moment because my daughter is getting married soon and don’t want to cause trouble for her as 90% of family and friends a JW.
So I am letting them know the reason I am no longer active is anxiety and depression and with out directly saying it, letting the elder see how the ORG affects people’s mental health.
So this is my letter to the elders
From the time I became a Jehovah’s Witness I tried my hardest to do the best I could for my family and myself spiritually, reading and studying the bible, attending all the meetings and assemblies, being regular in field service, doing meeting parts and public talks, following all the organizations rules, and continually praying for Gods holy spirit to give me strength. At the same time working hard to provide for my family.
I also made some painful sacrifices to become a Jehovah’s Witness, I cut of all association with my close friends I had grown up with, left my girlfriend and rejected my families religion, for doing this my fathers treated me like I was disfellowshiped, he would not talk to me or let me in his house. This made it very difficult for my children and I to have a close relationship my mum
But no matter how hard I tried, I always had this nagging feeling of guilt that I was not doing enough in Jehovah’s service and the constant sense of urgency, living in the last days, knowing Armageddon could come tomorrow, fearing that my family and I might not be saved, because I felt I was not be doing enough, my sense of urgency turned to panic. I would fly into a rage at the kids or my wife for stupid reasons, like, if they made me late for the meeting or didn’t want to study the watchtower or didn’t want to go in field service or played up during the meeting. I would then feel like a terrible father and husband for being such a psycho, my moods would swing from anxiety to anger to depression.
When a close brother in our congregation died suddenly in a car accident it pushed me over the edge emotionally and I had a brake down. I went to see a doctor who sent me to a phycologist. They said I was suffering from an anxiety disorder and major depression and put me on medication to help dull my feelings of fear and guilt
We moved congregations and I continued to serve as a ministerial servant doing meeting parts, public talks, taking field service, as well as being literature and accounts servant. We would go to all the assemblies but instead of feeling encouraged I would come away feeling that I was still not doing enough, I remember a CO gave a talk at an assembly he asked, " If you are a regular publisher, can you auxiliary pioneer? If not, why not? If you are an auxiliary pioneer, can you regular pioneer? If not, why not? If you are a regular pioneer, can you special pioneer? If not, why not?"
I felt like no matter what I did it would never be enough to be saved.
Then my parents got Alzheimer's and Dementia so as well as my responsibilities within the congregation and working to provide for my family, I was diving 4.5hr to Perth every couple of weeks to take them to appointments, cook food for them and clean, if there was a crisis having to drop everything at a moments notice and drive to Perth. So once again I went into a downward spiral of anxiety and depression. It got so bad I stepped down as a ministerial servant and had to stop work.
Since moving to Perth my anxiety has not got any better. Any stress or confrontation causes a panic attack or I flip out and get angry. I get this sick feeling of dread in my stomach that something really terrible is about to happen and then my heart starts racing and I feel like I cant breath and when the panic attack stops, I am left feeling depressed, totally brain dead and with no motivation to do anything in the service or with my life. And after watching the hearings at the Australian Royal Commission into child sexual abuse with in our organization, I feel disillusioned and even more depressed. I feel ashamed because Jehovah’s people are supposed to be the happiest people on earth, but I am not.
I think your letter will do just fine. You should be alright now and continue in your fade. When they "shepherd" you, you can just simply say the same things as your letter without going into detail. That will do it.
Welcome to the forum Simple. I too was having panic attacks during field service. My suggestion is to make a clean break from the organization. Keep seeing the psychologist even after you leave.
now totally out mentally, no privileges, miss meetings, never answer, no field service and will never donate to the Org. sadly my wife is still in.
Sounds familiar :)
Thanks for being the first comment level the play field
Dear Simple Minds, it must be so hard for you... with your wife 'in' and daughter getting married....
Try focusing on building relationships with your family in areas "outside" the borg. Help them get to know you as a loving and caring person that will help them as they, hopefully, awaken.
Develop other interests with your wife, take her to dance lessons (haha, my fave) or biking? hiking? whatever she likes, try to do something like that... classes?
Wishing you well.... cha ching
Simple Minds Hello!!!! And a Hearty Welcome with that too!!!!
I know it must be extremely tough for you. Hang in there, we are community here. Feel free to talk and ask questions antytime
That is a good letter, and interesting approach that should not cause any trouble.
That's a great letter but also sad. I hope things are getting better for you and you have a better understanding of why you felt inadequate.
Just for emphasis you could add another sentence about their money grab. Something like - "Now I feel there is an added pressure and that is to give even more money when I've already tried my best to provide as much as I can."
Since you are writing the letter, think about making it clear to them that you couldn't handle meeting with them to discuss your situation and that you desperately need the time alone to reflect on all that you have had to deal with and to help improve your outlook. You could also add that you would be very grateful that instead of meeting with you, you would greatly appreciate it if they would pray for you. Also that you feel strengthening your relationship with Jehovah through bible reading, prayer and improving the way you interact with your family would be the most beneficial thing to do at this point in time. Tell them that you will let them know if you feel that they can do more for you in the future.
I'm not one to pick on spelling mistakes but given that it is a letter to a group of people you might want to check over it. A few that I noticed were-
Brake down - breakdown, Physiologist, diving - driving, cant- can't
Sometime waking up to TTAT feels like realizing you are not in a communal shower but a gas chamber! The reality is that you are now outside the gas chamber and you now know YOUR LOVED ONES are still in it which has its own set of anxieties. Take a breath. Relax. I don't know how much of your letter is fiction, meaning all the symptoms, depression etc as part of the fade. Carry on and you will be fine. Many here have had to sail similarly treacherous waters.