My Story "Act 2"
“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
So a lot of our life change that day, that cold Saturday morning in service, the day at the cemetery my character played out the final act of this drama and as I was to later discover a new production was unfolding one of peeling back facades of truth, uncovering buried truth that weren’t too deep but was denied freedom to dig. In this performance I would be my real self, the old me the one I denied access too the one I silenced turn out to be very inquisitive and a honest guy, like someone with multiple personality the other me who I hated for being fleshly who I shunned for being real, the inclination of the heart is evil, so says who? I felt empowered, a lifelong process of reinforcing walls stopped, now I would tear them down.
So let me go back a bit in time to explain who I was and then the where I’m at. Besty is right when he said “treat it like a game and you will win”. That’s how I’m coping with this all I treat it like a game.
Perhaps that’s my problem I over think things to much. I wish I was more like my worldly friends who live careless and worry free, they live each day and savor it for what it is. I was determined to be more like them. I would educate myself since the end being so close and education being frowned upon I finished high school and got a job. I worked hard and achieved some success in construction my lower back is a testament to that endeavor.
I tried pioneering but just wasn’t for me I don’t know if it was for lack of faith or maybe trying to convince someone of something I’m not so convince of myself. Doubt I guess was my sinister companion but I pressed on, forcing myself to believe the improbable, squashing my doubts when they arose, quieting my mind when it objected it was a subtle process of group conformity. Who was I to question these facts when the majority have accepted them and have based their lives around them, these older men and women wiser than me, older than me they have proven the authenticity of these teaching, Right?
I was the one lacking in faith. So, I became determined to be a spiritual man, a man of God. I studied more, read the daily text every morning and studied the watchtower like it was dictated from God himself. Received some privileges (MS for a short time), turned in field service hrs. Conducted bible studies, turn into a judgmental tool, I mean fool.
Chose my friends by prescribed standards set by an organization looked down on those who didn’t meet the mark, referred to the weak as the Walking Dead (jokingly of course). Became oppressive with my family and kids about meetings and service, convince myself to believe enormous facts with insufficient proof. I surrounded myself with like kind people, trotting through this theatrical play we call life, my view on suffering, the poor, the sick and dying had its compartments everything had answers and god was the key. Life was more of a rehearsal for the “real life” a audition played out for the angels to behold, earth is the stage and heaven held the celestial spectators.
Writing this now and looking back at who I was, has been really painful to relive and embarrassing to share here with everyone but I believe all is for naught if I’m not honest about myself. But in a way it has been cathartic to my soul and mind to understand how this crazy man made religion impelled me to believe and live in a delusional way the value of life its pleasure and trifle moments meaningless unless it conformed with Mother.
“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” - Howard Thurman
And then the question came back to me. The question that would answer it all, the question the DO asked back in the Circuit assembly. “Who truly is the Faithful and discreet slave”. I will earnestly ask God to make it abundantly clear, all is not lost. Perhaps all this happen for a reason maybe Jehovah/ God wanted me to take this journey so that I could understand my purpose in life, He would lead me to the truth weather it was with the JW or somewhere else. I would be honest and follow the road God and truth laid out for me. Where ever it lead me.
So I began to peel back layers of teaching and logical fallacies, layers of bible fable and myth. Examined everything on the flood, about pharaoh and the ten plagues, Moses and the red sea. (I did this with the intention of proving it true but failed miserably). How old is mankind, who authored the bible and who and why where the 66 books selected out of hundreds. I read and verified history about the Society, Russell and Rutherford, Beth Sarim, the UN and (ARC) Royal Commission on child abuse (Angus Stewart my new Hero) failed prophesy’s of 1975 and 1914, then there’s that mess about overlapping generations and flickering light. It really does became quite clear when you see the organization with no filters it actually somewhat painful to sit through a full meeting and not have facial freak out, my wife has turn to me and said “Stop it”, I guess I might be mumbling something or I’m making a “WTF Face”. I’ve caught myself standing up and screaming “stop it!”, “stop!” at the top of my lunges “you are lying to these people ” to finally realize I was day dreaming in a fog of thoughts, I guess that’s how I cope.
What I’ve learned in all of my research is that the truth cannot be so delicate of a concept that it can be destroyed by facts the truth stands up to any evidence presented. I remember reading here; someone posted an old Watchtower magazine where I believe Russell said “The truth is the truth even if spoken by Satan himself”
Yes the truth about the truth is verifiable! JWfacts.com is a good site and I’ve learned a lot here thanks to all of you. I’ve also read CoC that pretty much answer the CO question if you were wondering where I stood on that. The Royal commission testimony of Governing Body member put the last nail in the coffin. Theocratic warfare is what they call it, so... Ok let’s play. I want to thank the DO, Charles Wallard who asked to verify and make for sure, he was right it was the most important question I would ever ask!
I can’t go into too many details due to the fact that my entire family and wife’s family are JW’s, all of our friends our entire life to this point revolves around JW life. We are in the process of a slow fade and trying not to bring unwanted attention to ourselves. We have been talking to the kids about what they have learned and what they should believe, than grandparents interrogates them and confuses them all over again. A lot of the spiritual friends we had view us as questionable association so we don’t get invited much to anything, but it plays well in our fade.
So now it’s been about 3 years since I learned TTATT, my wife know how I feel and has some reservation about the organization, the pedophile issue killed her. She won’t read apostate stuff and still goes to the meeting about 40% of the time I go maybe once every couple of month just to keep peace and elders at bay, haven’t gone D2D in about 2 yrs. My wife said I‘m like the "yeti", because when I show up at the meetings people can’t stop staring at me. The elders have spoken to me and my wife we just avoid the loaded questions and act dumb. I’m glazing over the process our marriage went through to get to this point; there were strong word and tears, sleepless night and long conversations, Silence and threats ultimately we came out the other side now just doing damage control. I will leave the details for a later time to much to tell.
Ironically my friends now are the ones I viewed as not spiritual enough back when; I get it now, we don’t bring up the religion stuff they just pretend witch I’m ok with for now. Most don’t do service and like to have a few drinks. So we pretend for sakes of having friends and gradually looking for friends outside the bOrg.( I guess now were referred as walkers to ,lol) It’s really hard when all you know is this life, rules and standards set out for you and prodding back when you stray. I know there are good people outside of the organization it just all feels so surreal. I’ve caught myself in my old ways looking at certain gestures or phrases as wrong, looking at people’s choice of attire with that critical eye. I force myself to stop! recognize we are all just human we are particles of dust formed into this vessel and gone tomorrow. That’s it nothing else, I live in the now because it’s real.
Our JW family knows something is not right but they are afraid to probe too deeply, I think they are afraid of what they will find. So we dance around “the” subject with skill. I know we can’t continue like this for a long time it’s my transition phase out of a long sleep, it will take time and patience. Like I said earlier a new play has unfolded, a new chapter in this drama called life; there’s happiness and tragedy there love and hate there will be children raised into adults and new lives created I don’t know what’s in store for the final act but we are eager to play it out.
Mark of Cane
Thanks MoC, a well written Act Two.
As you know, we are all here for you with advice, which you are free to take or not. Most of us have been down the road you are now on, and though we are further down, we have made some mistakes on our journey, so ask away if needs be, we may have some insights to offer.
Wishing you well for your exciting future !
was denied freedom to dig
That's one of the things that I always questioned and that never felt right about being a JW. What were we so scared of finding? If we had the truth, what we were so scared of?
Perhaps that’s my problem I over think things to much. I wish I was more like my worldly friends who live careless and worry free, they live each day and savor it for what it is
My "worldly" friends are like that, too, but I don't want to be like that. It seems that there are some on this site who are like that. I feel that that's their right, but I hope they will allow me the right to be different. I'm a thinker, a seeker. I still think it might be possible that there is an answer (or some answers) that can be found. I don't want to live my life in a carefree or worry-free manner. There is still a lot of suffering in the world, some of it horrific. I could never be carefree or worry-free as long as such is going on. So, I hope you remain a thinker and do not become like your friends.
Doubt I guess was my sinister companion but I pressed on, forcing myself to believe the improbable, squashing my doubts when they arose, quieting my mind when it objected it was a subtle process of group conformity.
I lived with unanswered questions, concerns about things that didn't seem right, and doubts my whole time as a JW, but I suppressed them.
Who was I to question these facts when the majority have accepted them and have based their lives around them, these older men and women wiser than me, older than me they have proven the authenticity of these teaching, Right?
I think that touches on a big phenomenon within JWdom. I believe that there a lot of JWs who don't really understand JW theology and other things in and about the Bible. However, these ones think that others in the congregation and org are much smarter and more knowledgeable they are, and they think that these others readily accept such, so they think they should, too. They think that their lack of understanding is a fault on their part.
So I began to peel back layers of teaching and logical fallacies, layers of bible fable and myth. Examined everything on the flood, about pharaoh and the ten plagues, Moses and the red sea. (I did this with the intention of proving it true but failed miserably). How old is mankind, who authored the bible and who and why where the 66 books selected out of hundreds. I read and verified history about the Society, Russell and Rutherford, Beth Sarim, the UN......
I'm still in the process of doing all that. The question about the Bible canon is what one that I really want to explore. Why the 66 books that are commonly accepted today?
What I’ve learned in all of my research is that the truth cannot be so delicate of a concept that it can be destroyed by facts the truth stands up to any evidence presented
I've always felt that way.
Thanks Phizzy and Magnum
Both your presence on this forum have been paramount to my understanding were it all went wrong. You guys have been a constant and when I doubted my sanity I would come to this site and you would say something that clicked, maybe just something to post in your mind but significant to my journey. "The pen is mightier than the sword" no truer words.
Very well written and clearly heartfelt. I applaud you.
As a non JW, I will just say "Welcome."
“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” - Howard ThurmanSo true Mark. We need to listen to our own true feelings now as we learn new things. Always ask yourself, does this feel right? Or does it contradict something I have already proved to myself to be correct. Never again be fooled by shiny buildings, smart suits, Greek words :) or arrogant swaggering of any kind. Let the reader beware. Nobody is going to pull my strings again!
"A lot of the spiritual friends we had view us as questionable association so we don’t get invited much to anything, but it plays well in our fade."
We felt this as well. My spouse never felt the urge or need to reach out for a position. Something always held him back. Now we know what that was.
It amazes us how, even though we are great people to be around we never hit that "spiritual" status or mark.
So be it, we'll enjoy each other and the special friendship we have with each other.
We enjoyed reading your story. It does mimic so many stories on here. We always felt that maybe it was us that felt the way we did but when we started reading peoples experiences on this forum we realized it was not only us.
Keep posting, it really helps. We are enjoying reading your experience.
Following, Good post OP and great comments as usual Magnum PI
Good second OP Mark of Cane! I like your respectful caution when around other JWs and interested to note that JW family don't dig too deep in finding out what you are going through. I suspect you are right: They wouldn't know how to handle what they'd find.
Thank you again for a well written OP.
It's incredible how all our stories seem to reflect each other's.
The hard part for us, has been the managing of life on a day to day basis post WTBTS.
A whole structure has evaporated, and I'm not the sort to just 'be carefree' and live it up - (not that I don't know how to have a great time!) I do care, I do strive to get a sense of it all....and whilst I don't have a succinct WT illustrated life picture, with all the judgemental characteristics that follow - I do find a bigger picture settling into place....I'm going with my heart and gut and it's Good.
I tend to self blame a lot and take responsibility for stuff - and can be very unbalanced in this. Rejection hurts me like a twisting knife - the being viewed as undesirable associates (as a couple) started about a couple of years before we woke up - my husband had never reached out and eventually this left us a bit high and dry.
His good qualities that were part of his make up were trashed by the org's male corporate structure - to survive, I noticed his personality over the years changed from gentle and humble, to swaggering and over jocular. He found it hard to be himself amongst such 'false' identities - and I guess both of us grew a false personality.
Lot of damage done.
We are in repair mode.
All is not lost....we have non-JW friends and family who have come back into our lives - and have made a couple of new meaningful friends, a very slow process....but it's going to be OK.
Stay strong friend!