(Young) Personal Experience of Leaving JW as a Baptised Brother

by hongkong123 8 Replies latest jw experiences

  • hongkong123

    I was a baptised brother born in a JW family with my dad as the elder. I left (or fade) a year ago and I am still a student studying in college.

    I would like to post something here since I have quite a complicated feeling after a year out. As English is not my first language, please apologise for vague and unclear expression. My story may surprisingly cohere with what young JWs who are thinking of leaving feel.

    Similar to a lot of experiences posted in this forum, teens that are raised in JW are always forced to preach and attend meetings which are against their will. I would not further elaborate on the 'child abuse' stuff well that's too boring. I would like to say that if your dad is an elder, the stress that you face in congregation are far more than those whose dad are not. Brothers and sisters would always 'encourage' you to be 'preacher' by comparing with other elder's children and reveal that you are gonna have a bright future as what your dad is.

    (You can simply ignore the italic words since I am just bullsh**ing my past experience)

    When I was in primary school, I started to doubt what I believed. I don't have strong basis on that as my doubt is based on feeling - feelings that make me feel uncomfortable. My parents awkward relationship with relatives, a totally different life from my classmates, a Q&A watchtower session which requires me to show courage by 'raising my hand' and read what it is provided in the articles, etc. all make me feel weird about this organization and their beliefs. I admit that I am quite a rebellious and naughty boy who never follows orders and rules. It deviates from what the organization requires us - to obey the faithful and discreet slaves no matter what (I am quite confused of the JWs decision sometimes. I listen a lot of 'secret' news from headquarter from my dad and his friend. Some are quite non-sense like a sudden turndown and combination of congregation)

    When I enter the secondary school, my life starts to fall apart. As I am studying in a top-notch high school, I need to attend a great immense of tutorial classes after school and during weekend in order to catch up with the syllabus and general requirement. It is part of our local education culture I would say. I don’t want to be a pioneer and abandon my college education. I have witnessed a lot of ‘faithful’ pioneers that become weirder and weirder (or in other words disconnected from the reality) than most of the brothers and sisters. Some of them enter a vicious cycle of hard life. I am not justifying that they are silly, but I do think that it is not worth enough to spend most of the time on ineffective preaching.

    Under stressed environment of my congregation, I ‘decided’ to baptize when I was 15 or 16. My spiritual strength declines tremendously since then. As a baptized brother, I have got a lot of duties and jobs to do, which increases my burden on my academic study. My life is solely: school
    à tutorial class à meeting à preaching à preparing speeches and reading articles out loud. I wanted to leave, but I have no time to think about and no bargaining power to leave ( I have heard some brothers that face financial blockage after he left and couldn’t go to college due to financial difficulty).

    I face a lot of depression and frustration in those hard times and I don’t want to look back and think it again. It further worsens after I secretly date a girl who is not a JW. Dating girls outside the JWs is not a good thing, however it reflects that I cannot effectively communicate with others due to a totally different life. When I am in college, I finally have time to investigate into the issues and beliefs of JWs which I found 'special' I read a lot of materials from 'apostates' ... and I finally fade from the congregation (the process will be discussed later). It is hard for me to study at first since I am not using English to learn JW knowledge

    If you are doubting your faith and thinking of leaving the JWs, here is some advice for you:

    1.Be prepared
    I could tell you that the effect of JW will last forever after you leave, especially those who are born in JW or deeply believed before. I can call this religious trauma syndrome. This website has listed all characteristics http://journeyfree.org/rts/. It may not apply to you, but I can tell you it will appear gradually and please DON’T underestimate its power. You should awake from the dream that leaving means a total freedom.

    2. Don’t leave because someone tells you to do so
    You must have a strong belief on what JW is wrong before you leave. The knowledge you learn from JW will keep spinning in your head. If you don’t have a strong basis or leave recklessly because you fall in love with someone or you are playful and for freedom., I strongly advise you to dig deep or else you will fall into the vicious cycle of guilt.

    3.Leave in a soft way
    If your relatives are JWs, don’t totally run counter to the organizations. Try to say something like I have doubt in my beliefs which make me spiritually weak. As if you are expelled from the organization, you cannot communicate with them again which I don’t like to see. Try to fade instead of ‘leave’.

    4. Try to think critically
    Education provided by the JW is informative and prohibit you to think. Try to ask yourself questions no matter you are for or against JW. The information provided in this website may not be entirely true. Some of them may be from other churches who want JW to dismantle. (Well most of them are right but I just want to say – don’t believe totally in what people say, even what I am writing)

    The education received in JWs is not totally bad. I learn to be a good guy and I am not feared to speak in the public because of it. But I do think that I lost too much from it and I cannot withstand the pressure of staying when I know something is wrong. As a teen, what I am saying is not mature enough~~~~I am sorry for that

    Feel free to inbox me if you feel something or encounter any difficulties. I am pleased to help and you are not alone

  • stillin

    Thanks for your insights, hongkong. I married a girl who was raised a JW and whose father was an elder. We are years apart but it sounds like a parallel experience to hers!

  • tepidpoultry

    I think that you have provided some very good advice, thank -you and all the best to you in the future, tepid :0)

  • wheelwithinwheel

    Good advice HK!

  • tiki

    You are one smart guy!! You are doing well...keep up the good work. And make time to just relax and have fun....thats important too!

  • steve2

    "Under stressed environment of my congregation, I ‘decided’ to baptize when I was 15 or 16. My spiritual strength declines tremendously since then."

    Welcome hongkong123. Your experience parallels that of many young ones who are pressured into getting baptized.

    So many young ones drift away from the organization or become inactive after their baptism that I have started to refer to baptism as the first step in leaving the organization. That's because once the individual is baptized he/she experiences an anti-climax and realizes their whole life now revolves around unrewarding "kingdom" work while their nonJW peers are going to college and have rewarding plans for their lives. There are only a few ways JW organization can make life as a JW seem attractive beyond which it is little short of dull and boring.

    Stay in touch on this forum - you have many valuable insights that other young ones in the organization will be able to connect with.

  • GrreatTeacher

    "A vicious cycle of hard life"

    That's a great way to describe the difficult life that people face without an education that will allow them to provide for their material needs.

    It's one thing to be poor as you start out in life. It's quite another to face poverty for a lifetime.

  • millie210

    Hi and welcome and your English was very clear!

  • smiddy

    Welcome hongkong123,for a young person you have a mature insight ,stick around I`m sure many young ones and us "oldies" will benefit from your input in this forum,

Share this