Considering leaving? Not sure what to do?

by peacefulpete 11 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • peacefulpete

    This forum was a lifeline to me when my world was unraveling. I thought for a while that my experience was unique and my story important. Something close to 20 years have past and my life is happily, largely drama free. My wife and I reunited and have rebuilt lives including education, new careers, new purpose and friends. Some of our family have unsurprisingly taken the hardline, others have been more open to relationships. Why did I leave? Not long ago I would have immediately cited my research in history and science as the reason for leaving. It took me years to finally understand that while the research was the path that showed me the way out, the willingness to consider that information had to come first. Just where that 'willingness' came from was likely a complicated blend of psychology and timing. I had an extensive history with the church including many years as pioneer, missionary, PO and Bethelite and there were many, many moments when my intellect or my conscience troubled me, also, to be honest, times when my flesh tempted me, but life outside the church never occurred to me. Then it did. Was it the shear weight of all the cumulative awareness of inaccuracy, the nagging doubts and the all-too-human exchanges with those regarded as leaders that, like pieces of a puzzle, together made a clear picture? Was it simply exhaustion?

    My point is simple, people leave when they are ready to, not before. The church has to stop working for them. No silver bullet, no single proof, no one bad experience. What is critical is for those inside to know there is a life outside and people who will love them. They need a place, a safe haven. Ideally, we personally can be there for them, but forums like this can suffice when need be. If you are considering a new life, congratulations! Be insightful and kind with everyone affected by this change, don't burn bridges unnecessarily, give everyone time to let everything sink in. Maybe there will be room for a respectful relationship with a few on the inside, maybe not. But at least you will not have given them reason to fear you or want you to be far away.

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    If you are referring to it as a "Church" you've already left. Move on. "Maybe there will be room for a respectful relationship with a few on the inside", generally this will never happen. Don't get your hopes up. Burning bridges is never a good idea, but propping up bridges that are unsafe is not good either.

  • truthlover123

    The org has never been called a church. Once you leave it, relationships will never be the same- you are seen as an outsider and people will squirm to get away from you. Smile and squirm, edging away slowly. even in the truth all you get is "how are you doing?" and then they dont wait for an answer. How much more so if you leave?

  • peacefulpete

    I referred to the JW Org as a "church" deliberately. Professional councilors say a major step becoming free of the control is dropping the jargon and trigger words, do it immediately. I also use the more correct Yahweh for the same reason. It might sound like a small thing but its not. It would be a mistake to cling to a hopeless relationship just like a failed marriage or lover, but I and many others have retained family connections with some, not all. As my parents are now quite aged, it has enabled me to offer assistance and be a son. If I had needlessly attacked their faith that would not have been possible. Be true to yourself but don't ignore the reality that others believe they need this church.

  • Giordano

    Thanks for the clarification Peacefulpete. And welcome back!

    Even after being out for over fifty years the use of 'Church' made me wonder about your status as a former JW. As you probably know we do get impostors on this site and trolls.

    Thank you for clarifying why you used the term church. I get your point.

    JW's have been traditionally overly emphatic with their special names and terms.

    These days a Kingdom Hall now means a future drive through liquor store or dry cleaners.

  •  The Bethelite
    The Bethelite

    "I referred to the JW Org as a "church" deliberately. Professional councilors say a major step becoming free of the control is dropping the jargon and trigger words."

    Well said. Of course they never wanted to call themselves as a "Church" they consider themselves superior to that.

    You can call something feces, or excrement but in the end it is still just shit.

    They don't like being called a "church" or a "cult" yet the are both.

  • Vidiot
    peacefulpete - "Professional councilors say a major step becoming free of the control is dropping the jargon and trigger words..."


    I'd stopped using the phrase "The Truth" even before I started fading.

  • Vidiot
    The Bethelite - "...They don't like being called a 'church' or a 'cult' yet they are both."

    Which is, of course, why they don't like it.

  • tiki

    Well expressed peacefulpete. I refer to it as the"religion". Just another one in the plethora hoodwinking innocents into a web of perceived superiority and holiness. But you make a good is the individual willing to look and think objectively...and to accept the reality. You can't make it happen for someone else...

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    I don't refer to it as the Truth, that turns my stomach. Calling it a church sort of is a trigger to some that you might not have been a witness.Your clarification took care of that, well done.

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