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So I am letting them know the reason I am no longer active is anxiety and depression and with out directly saying it, letting the elder see how the ORG affects people’s mental health.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.