What are the stages of walking away?
We have been out for about 6 years. When we first knew it was not "the truth", we kept going to meetings for two years, slowly fading to avoid being disfellowshipped. So far, so good. But, we know our time is limited.
Those two years were kind of exciting because we were hiding who we really were. I felt exhilirated much of the time, and so FREE. But, there were times of tremendous anger. Most of that was before I actually saw it as a cult. There was great anger and rage directed at my husband, who started the investigation, until I finally broke under the overwhelming evidence. There were also many sad times when people wouldn't accept our invitations because we were so much less active than before. (my husband had been an elder for 26 years) I guess they were teaching us a lesson, eh?
When we made the final break, it just felt great. I think when they finally get around to disfellowshipping us, it will feel wonderful.
Trevor - worrying about the "wasted years" I think is truly the last ghost to give up. I am struggling with this myself. I take strength from those here on this web site who spent a lifetime in the "truth" and have somehow found the courage to admit they were wrong and live life to the full, being honest to themselves with honour in their final years.
I keep telling myself that I only wasted a few years, and if I'm careful and lucky I can add these years on the end of my life (in retirement)!!! I try not to dwell on the negative, you never know what tomorrow will bring so every minute is one which isn't wasted. I also try to take away what was good and what I learnt in those years, I'm sure there is no price you can put on our experiences, even if you have to look hard to find the silver lining.
My experience also included a young organisational marriage breakup, family relationship breakdown, loss of close people in death, and the disfellowshipping most people here have gone through. If you can go through just part of this and still come out the other side smiling, then you're doing ok in my book.
- worrying about the "wasted years" I think is truly the last ghost to give up.
That is really true, Ballistic. I was a JW from the age of 4 until age 50. (my husband from age 15 to 52) We wasted all those years, and our children's lives too. Fortunately, they all are out now, and don't blame us. Our grandchildren will have normal lives, and no lost opportunities. There is GREAT satisfaction in that.
I don't think I am bitter anymore. At least not now. It comes and goes. I think that will be par for the course from now on.
worrying about the "wasted years"
Sometimes, in the times of despondency, I might think this, but not usually. I believe that everything's for a reason and what is important is where we're at right now that matters. What went before was only a preparation for now. After all, being a Dub did benefit us in some ways.......no, really, don't laugh! There were some inducements to self-discipline that we carry with us, there is the cursory familiarity with the Bible we carry with us, etc.
Mrs Ozzie and I left the Borg because of beliefs (mainly the role of the Mediator, the F&DS, the elder dictatorship, and the deity of Christ), not because of violating their moral code, and our new beliefs sustain us now when the Borg is doing its worst towards us.
I agree with both you two with your comments which are spot on.
I wish someone could scan that image from the front part of the Live Forever book, with someone in a car with a map being shown to turn round and go the other way with the caption "would you be willing to turn around and go in the opposite direction"...
I don't have the Live Forever book, but if someone could scan that, I think it is really appropriate.
well, when I walked away, I used my feet ..... :)
I've been out 1 year, I wish I was as far along as you are. Not that I still wonder if I did the right thing in leaving, but the whole "mankind is a hopeless case" JW indoctrination is still alive and well in my mind, I'm fighting a lot of bitterness and apathy towards life. (Bitter and Apathetic were my middle names when I came in contact w/JW's)
Bradley, Great post. I think your feelings are normal and you've made considerable progress. I don't know if I'm as far along as you are. I started having doubts 6 years ago. I've been away from the meetings for 4 months. It's tough emotionally but consider the alternative? I agree with Ballistic, Mulan and others. Our time 'in' was not wasted. For better or worse the borg has shaped who we are. I don't remember who said it but take the good with you, because there was some good and let go of the negative stuff (I know, easier said than done) At first, I hated everything to do with organized religion. Considered anyone who went on and on about God, a fanatic. I had nightmares about dying at Armageddon, about being shunned by family. Was bitter, angry and scared out of my mind. Now I'm at peace with my decision to leave. I love many people I left behind and I always will. I know the borg isn't the truth and even a dangerous belief system but I can't view them as a cult just yet and I'm not ready to DA even though I want no part of the religion. Strange huh? On a brighter note, I'm going back to college too! What are you studying? I'm going back for my Masters in Film (not exactly traditional dub career choice!) It was something I wanted to do for years but I supressed it along with every other natural desire. The putting life on hold until the new system has ruined a lot of lives. I'm so much happier now that I've given myself permission to live my life on my terms. Make my own decisions, the freedom to trust myself. Remember all that talk of 'not trusting your own heart, not trusting what feels right, not trusting your own Bible trained conscience!' Well to hec with that! My inner voice was screaming when I was in the borg and now I listen to it and I'm thankful to God for my freedom. I'm happy for you too, stay strong, Victorian Sky
I have been out for 3 years from the Borg but still i feel that I need time to recovered. I have never thought that it was so difficult to leave from the WT