Whats the aftermath for you?

by Brummie 15 Replies latest jw experiences

  • anglise

    Hi Brummie

    lots of things here I would agree with. Having given up our way of life in our early 20's to become dubs, we now find ourselves 20 years later in that same situation again.

    The friends we thought we had are are gone. The ones we were persuaded to drop so as to be good dubs have moved on and we have nothing in common. Yes it is hard to trust people again. We are very wary of getting involved in anything that might need commitment and/or lots of time, because we have already had too much time taken away. Fortunately our children who were brought up in the org are getting over it and building their lives on their terms, and we dont have any other relatives in.

    But we will survive. I left a way of life behind once and I can do it again. The first time I thought I had jhvh's help in doing it and that is why I suceeded, but now I know I did it all on my own. The help was in my mind and they havent taken that from me.

    We have been out for about 2 years having faded for about 3. We have moved on. We dont care about meeting any dubs now, even though I used to try and avoid them to start with as I could cope with all the explanations.

    You do move on although it can take time.

    We even had xmas decks in the front garden this year, and we are still not DA or DF.

    An elders wife called when we had my sons birthday cards and a banner up and didnt make any comment!!

    It does take time to loose the guilty feeling about xmas, birthdays, not going to the memorial etc but that sppeds up once you have proven to yuorself that the 'troof' is a LIE.


  • Brummie

    Thanks for responding y'all, I wont address each post individually as I will end up writing a book instead of a response! However I can relate to something out of each post and this has been theraputic and an eyeopener for me ((Group hug)) just sorry that you all have to experience the after effects.

    I was discussing the depersonalisation aspect tonight with a counsellor freind of mine who wanted to understand things, while discussing it I realised that exjws and those who have been involved someway have spent a life time having to dis-associate from one thing or another, when inside the WT we had to disassociate our feelings from our "worldly" friends and family, when we left we had to dis-associate our feelings from the JW family, we lose our own history when we leave the WT so we dis-associate from our past..etc no wonder then that we do have an aftermath and a great ability to depersonalize and become emotionally unattached from feelings or events that others consider to be a big deal. We have had a lot of practice and its a learned behaviour. I am only just realising these things even though I have been out of the WT since the 90s..

    Its food for thought!

    I appreciate you guys & gals!

    Thanks again



    Brummie. It was quite some time ago: 19 years ago this month.

    I think the best feeling to describe my predicament back then was: Stranded


    No where to turn. You defend the WTBTS to the teeth. You can still rattle scriptures off the top of your head like a nursery rhyme. You do not trust the worldly people.

    Back in the early 1980s, any means of locating a support group, were simply out of the question. Remember, I was still defending the very organization that was bent on having me not only removed, but judged for destruction at Armageddon.

    In my head, contacting ex-JWs, was like being in the midsts of disfellowshipped/disassociated JWs comparitive to when you were an active JW. It's an odd existence.

    NO ONE, but a former Jehovah's Witness would truly understand. Some come close to understanding, but no one as good as a former Dub.

    19 years later. Things are much different. I don't feel the way I did then, now. We have the internet, and we have access to a wealth of information re: WTBTS and those that have left for one reason or another.

    To think I was so scared, frightened and timid way back then.

    Now, I'm happy, easy going, happy-go-lucky and not as bitter and jaded.

    Not lost anymore. I have Found my way again.

  • Brummie

    Not lost anymore. I have Found my way again.

    Encouraging little statement Razor, I feel the same, I have dealt with the WT thing way back but occasionaly something pops up and I realise there is a connection to the JW mindset, then I can just scrape off another JW layer that I didnt realise was still there. Its a good tonic to get on here and hear all of your experiences. Thanks matey


  • outoftheorg

    Depression-depersonalisation-guilt feelings-ANGER-fear a lot of problems come up when one leaves a cult. Some of these things exist in a dysfunctional family. Some exist in a family with severe illness or mental problems in one of the members. Especially if it is one of the parents. Divorce or a death can trigger these situations also.

    Throw a cult into the mix and It exacerbates the problems several times over. In all the posts I have read here, that deal with mental or emotional issues, triggered during the exit from the jw religion, they have not addressed an issue I felt, was a big part of my problems at that time.

    That is the loss of ones own identity. Loss of identity happens a lot in divorces. It involves our own image of who we are. A big part of our lives in the cult was "I AM A JEHEHOVAHS WITNESS" and we are a special people. If we leave on our own it is hard enough to answer this question of "who am I" now? If we are disfellowshipped "thrown out" it is even more difficult to answer. Now who am I?

    I faded away over a period of aprox.12 yrs. and was df'd on the 13th yr. So I had a gradual situation to deal with and I think that helped. I wonder at times if I would have survived a sudden df'ing at the beginning of that 13 yr period.

    When the depression hit me, this issue of loss of identity was brought up the the psychiatrist. If one is born into the cult, we have no previous healthy identity to return to. We have to start almost from scratch. This is one reason we see so much chaos in our lives at that point. We may start to do things we never dreamed we would do. Smoking-gambling-sexual experiences-beards-long hair- almost everything we once thought were wrong. We are searching for ourselves. Who are we?? Who do we want to be??

    It takes some time, but it can be done. That is, finding out who we really are and want to be. In some of the previous posts I think I sensed a degree of fear, from some, that they were very troubled over this and worried about how to become a functional person. The kind of person we some times know and admire in another. Remember, we almost never truly know what troubles and problems and self doubts linger in the lives of others. We only see what they want to display. So don't put yourself down with the idea that we can never be as functional as others seem to be.

    It takes a little of our time each day to work on this issue and it can be done. It doesn't happen overnight but it does not take forever either. A good counselor- self help books on this issue- pushing ourselves to make friends. You know, trial and error learning. Joining a charitable group. Opening ourselves to others and the risks of not succeeding. You know, living a life. All of these things and after a time, not too long, we will begin to see a relaxing in ourselves. We will find friends, we will get over it.

    After all, learning is a lifetime endeavor, If you were not learning," Who I am", you would be learning something else. If we are not continually learning during our lives, we are really in trouble.

    What I really want to say to those who seem troubled over this issue is, it will not be this way forever.The old saying of "time heals all things" is correct in that it takes time for the healing to take place. You will see better times and you will see improvements in your social abilities and your self confidence. You can and will visit some of the more wonderful things in life. Just kick back and LIVE and LOVE and LAUGH. Choose your path in life and spirituality or agnostic or athiest or what ever you damned well want to do with your life.

    Hey I did it, and I am not special in any way. So you can do it too. This is life kids, get with it and make the most of all your good opportunities in life. Don't let that damned cult take all the joy out of your lives.

    Outoftheorg. Love you guys.

  • hippikon


    The aftermath for me was:

    • Deep depression
    • Suicidal tendencies
    • Low self-esteem
    • Fear of making the wrong decision
    • Difficulty trusting anyone
    • Difficulty maintaining relationships beyond acquaintances
    • Thinking getting sex from a woman was love
    • Thinking giving sex to a woman was love
    • Thinking I never deserved anything beyond "leftovers" in life

    Thats how I felt when I was in!

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