Why I had no choice..and why it's not any easier.
First of all, I'd like to say a warm Hello to everyone here. I'm going to try to be coherent in this post, but if I should stray, please forgive me. I hope you'll enjoy what I'm about to say; I look forward to reading your responses. You all know I haven't been well at all, think of this as a great big hug to you all.
(At last I've found out the reason for my pregnancy migraine--unacceptably low blood pressure; summat like 85 over 39. And therefore my thinking is a bit cloudy.)
When I started posting on WitNet last June, I was already convinced that I did NOT have 'the truth' by any means. Although I have used the internet extensively since the BBS and Pine days, I had never really bothered to do ANY research on JWs.
Some jackass (I think his name was BobCarl) on Witnet REALLY got my motor running; talking about how 'vegetarians' are 'weak before God' etc etc and basically running his bigoted mouth off. Well, needless to say, my grand entrance to Witnet had all the subtlety of Mohammar Quadaffi.
However, at that time, I was just beginning to distance myself from JWs in an EARNEST manner. I had been disillusioned for some years, but always thought it was just ME who didn't get it, I was too worldly to understand the deep things of God.
I had watched my brother and sister be forcibly separated from my parents due to the WBTS and I wasn't interested in losing contact with them.
Thus began the long painful process of leaving and having to 'watch my words' so as not to arouse suspicion. Which, in retrospect, is why some XJWs thought for SURE I was TRUE BLUE and treated me in an unfriendly manner (although unable to win any debates with same, lol).
The root cause of why I left is probably simpler than most. I grew up in a cong of pinheads. Our whole childhood we suffered from not having any true friends, only those arsehole 'elder children' at the hall who were jealous of all the traveling we got to do (when you're a JW kid, the only thing allowed is family vacations, and others couldn't afford to take them as frequently if at all). They were NOT in the same league with us.
Always wondering why my parents subjected us to being around people who didn't like us yet alone love us, and who rejoiced over time as all three of us children were disciplined by the trailer park elders. The whole time they were calling themselves Christians.
Over and over I talked to my dad about how discouraged I was getting, I felt like I was dying. And of course, the scripture he cited as encouragement was "continue putting up with one another."
Well I suffered through my childhood and early adulthood, thinking it was all me.
Then I met my hubby, and together we moved to California. (it's ok, do the math--we were living together). When I got out here, I immediately started attending meetings, looking for just the right 'cong.' I pestered Jerry to go with me; he never did. He said he would go worship when one of them invited him, a 'worlding' into their house. Well, THAT never happened. Around that time, my condo in Clovis was burglarized, everything was stolen, and Jerry pursuaded me to move in with him FOR REAL. I stood my ground and told him I'd move back in, WHEN I HAD A WEDDING DATE. Of course, we got married soon thereafter. (You know what I mean, ladies. ha ha ha)
The cong I was attending, there were two real nice elders, very young zealous guys. They got real close to inviting us to their houses but no dice. Jerry kind of laid down the law on that one, and said we could have JW company in our house when THEY INVITED US TO THEIR HOUSE FIRST. I agreed, as I was relatively new in the community and felt the burden of making me feel welcome was on the cong. But alas, not to be. I was married to an unbeliever, which in JDub talk is akin to Satan's first cousin.
So during this time, I got to be more and more accepted by JERRY's friends (all worldly, and not a bad apple among em!) I start seeing more and nore how critically I'm being judged by 'jehovah's people' and yet how accepting these 'goats' were of us and our wierd looking blended family. These are people who have their own religions (most) and some who don't. And the topic of religion NEVER came up. Imagine their surprise on finding that a (relatively ha ha) bright attractive articulate young woman had been raised as a JW! I was so ashamed, not of Jehovah, but of the assholes who call themselves his followers. I was forced to come up with some cockamamie bullshit story about how "we weren't like all those horror stories you've heard!" (yeah right) and how normal our childhood was. Just to save face, and also because Jerry's friend's (who knew he was NOT raised JW) was always asking him--Man how'd you get her unbrainwashed? I felt terrible for him. It was like he pulled me from the depths of white slavery)
The level of acceptance on my friends part has been unbelievable. I have a core group of women friends who--shockingly--never discuss religion. mine or theirs. what a welcome #*@&$^# relief.
And now that my life has come full circle, I watch my gorgeous 11 year old triumphing in her life. I just don't understand where my parents and millions of others got off restricting children from leading normal lives. Last week, Eden finished her softball season UNDEFEATED. It was pure joy, watching her come home and tell me (I would've been there but I'M SICK remember).
She also made Student of the Month last month. Remarkable. I can't get over how much balance she has in her life, and how little of it there was in our childhood lives. I could NEVER make her go sell magazines from door to door every weekend, nor could I steal her dreams and tell her how important it was to PIONEER!
She asks me questions about whether or not it is normal for her to 'have a crush' on someone--I cry because in my house we would have known better than to ask that question! I could never expose her to their pubs. like the one (help me out) with the couple necking in the backseat of the car. or that $*%&ed up YOUTH book that was sheer madness, foisted off un unsuspecting parents who were doing their best to raise godly children and instead ended up with the unhappiest lot on earth.
So although I've left for good, it's not getting any easier day by day. It's getting somewhat harder as I watch my daughter growing up so normally, and weeping silently for all of us who had our childhood robbed. Everytime she makes an accomplishment that would've never been allowed in our household, I ask myself, "What were my parents thinking?"
Then last summer I realized (back to the story) it wasn't just the cong I grew up in, all JWs were self-righteous bastards who think they're the only ones who will be saved. I watched sisters in my cong give looks to single moms struggling to make it. I had been there, and done that. And I could never forget that when I most needed emotional support, they weren't there for me AT ALL. I just had enough of harsh, judgemental rightwous over much attitudes, and I just couldn't take it.
I just wanted to share this with you all as I watch others like Zev (?)try to extract themselves from this vicious painful web, and I want to tell them, it isn't painless. It hurts like hell. Try to extricate yourself quickly so you can live your life. The sooner the better. I know how you feel.
The 'truth' certainly has alot to answer for.
Personally, i feel i was robbed of my youth. Strong word, but it's true.... I was so caught up with tryin to be a good pioneer.
Your right when u say it hurts...it does, still does.
Even tho we may want to leave it, even tho we do leave it....something is still there lurkin in the back of our heads.
I personally feel tho, that i'm a better... stronger person for it, hope u do too.
Ordinary people just like you and me...
We're the keepers of our destiny...
It hurts, yes.
I don't miss the WT in any way. I will never go back. I rejoice in my newly-found freedom.
But it hurts to see my wife and family still in that web. It hurts to see them think I will die "any day now". It bloody well hurts when I consider their thoughts: that I've joined Satan's side, rejected the good, embraced the bad.
I have no real hope for them in the future. They're all committed JW's. My Father's a zealous newly appointed elder; my Mum is so happy that her formerly opposed spouse is now with her. It was her spiritually dead son, of course, who performed the conversion. Something to torture myself with on insomniac nights.
So I will never truly be extricated from the WT web. There will always be hurt and conflict caused by the venomous spiders in Brooklyn.
It's not all doom, though. There are small victories every now and again. And to read of others' successes (such as yours) is most encouraging.
We've all been hurt by the WT. Yet reading about your daughter and her normal, happy, achieving life made me think that, together, all of us contribute to a victory. We can all take some pride in your daughter's successes, because together we are making a triumph of humanity over dogma and totalitarianism.
So thank you for sharing that with us.
DOWN WITH THE WATCHTOWER!
DOWN WITH THE WATCHTOWER!
DOWN WITH THE WATCHTOWER!
HOW MANY YEARS DO YOU THINK I'D GET FOR BURNING DOWN HEADQUARTERS?
DO YOU KNOW ANY GOOD LAWYERS?
B4 I ever realized what ur JW status was, I sensed the great job u were doing with ur daughter.
My wife and I have this conversation every morning: "Were we good parents? Were we out of balance becuz of being super-zealous Witnesses?"
We have a great son, but he is no circuit overseer. He is quiet, contemplative. He takes care of us in every way.
We just wish we could have given him a more balanced, normal life as you are giving ur daughter.
I agree, It hurts very much.
My whole life has revolved around meeting nights and theocratic weekends. I was jipped out of my childhood and have grown up lacking normal social skills.
I've "lost" some family members because they feel I've left God. Until I "come back" I am not worth their time. My lifelong friends no longer keep in touch. My husband is still a believer, and my heart is torn in two. There is a certain lonliness within as I long to share my whole true self with someone who accepts/understands where I'm at. When you are at odds with your spouse it truly sucks.
Lisa, Im so very happy the cause of your migraine is not harmful. What are they doing for you to raise it? Oh and I remember Bobcarl, and that thread. yep he was a real doozie.
I know a little of the things you have gone through at least the part of breaking away and the comparison between our lives growing up and that of our kids.
Thankfully, I was able to marry into a normal family, where religion and judging others is not the prime motivator/goal/reason-for-living.
Life is good now if not wonderful. And according to Uncle Bruce I'm a pessimist. I suppose if I were Australian I'd be in paradise and only an endless supply of free beer could make it heaven.
'To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing'
Kristen, how is everything going with you? I remember your post a few months ago.
It's nice of you to ask! I'm doing pretty well despite the circumstances. Just keepin' my chin up so my crown doesn't fall off. Thank goodness there is a place like this for people like us.