Happy about having been a JW?

by Brummie 39 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Sentinel

    I definitely had some very happy times "while in". Remember, as long as you do everything by the book, you are accepted. I got to see more of the world than just my backyard, and I got to intermingle with people of many nationalities. I learned the bible, inside and out. I learned how to speak and teach effectively. Having to go from door to door, and being a shy little country girl wasn't easy for me. But, because I really believed in what I was doing, the fear left me. I was totally borg, heart and soul---for as long as I was under my mother's wing. As I entered my twenties, I remembered thinking that this was my life and I needed to begin building my own foundation according to what I believed. Sure, I guess I thought it would be easy to break away, but I was ill prepared for that "thrust out into the world". That's what cults do to people, and that's why it's so painful to get out.

    Having had the total JW experience, I can truly understand cults and how they work. I also know that precognition makes us co-dependent in such institutions. I no longer have a need for any type of organized religion in my life. I'm very comfortable with that. I am very spiritual without the religion. Some folks really need that type of organization to survive daily living. I was a bit stronger than that, and like many of you, made a decision to leave. I also know what it feels like to be "rejected for normal behavior in youth" and endured the public humiliation of disfellowshipment. I groveled for reinstatement, and then attempted to live a lie for a good portion of my youth. Later on, leaving on my own, because I truly did not believe their concepts any longer, was a power move on my part, but a tremendous personal struggle, nontheless, for a very long time.

    These days, the guilt, fear, anger, resentment, has been replaced by the comfort of peace and contentment. The sight of a JW dutifully going from door to door does not make me tremble...even when they ring my doorbell. The way my JW mom continues to shun me does not have the affect that she was hoping for. Her choice, as I was not disfellowshipped for "walking away". Still, I am being shunned and rejected by family and dear friends that were a part of my life for a very long time. Whether I'm awake or asleep, they no longer haunt me in negative ways. It's like the window is open and fresh air is coming in all the time now. Feels good.

  • tazmaniac

    Hi nowisee, Yes I have have parts on circuit and district assy's. But nothing compares to making HOAGIES for 8000 plus people !!!!!! LOL

  • frankie

    Hey, what an interesting site - newly discovered. I always look back on my 20 years in 'the religion' as fairly reasonable ones although maybe I'm changing my mind after reading your thoughts. It taught me some valuable life lessons. Learned at an early age to stand up and be different, to say no to things. And it makes life so much better now. I can look forward to and celebrate Xmas, have birthdays and be completely normal ! It's still a novelty after all this time. I've been a non-witto for 12-15 years. Feel sad, and angry though for friends and family who are still living the witto life. In particular, I see young girls missing out on the normal things of life, like love and marriage. Still have friends in their 30s and 40s who cannot find a male witto partner. So they are single for life and waiting on Jehovah.... so tragic.

  • nowisee

    welcome frankie!

    you should introduce yourself properly and tell us about yourself.

    my best wishes to you, nowisee

  • Brummie

    Hey all, I just spent a good time reading through the responses here, didnt realise so many would respond and I havent been able to get back here over the last 24 hours!

    THANKS for responding, I find all of these responses moving. I can relate to all of you, I have pretty much sectioned of my brain into quarters on this issue, one quarter tells me I am happy for the years I spent inside. After leaving I became a better person and more empathic towards other people. I can tolerate peoples "weird" (to me) beliefs and can laugh at myself for believing what I did for so many years.

    Another quarter tells me I am angry for the way we were all treated, when I see what other people had to go through I feel anger. When I think of my personal expereince it was truely mindblowing and I dont think I owe the JWs anything for the mental anguish caused in my final years.

    another quarter tells me I miss the JWs whom I grew up with, I never associated with anyone but JWs so naturally there are memories that I wouldnt want to give up.

    And another quarter tells me I have to make a positive out of the negative years otherwise I will scream at the loss of the teenage years and the education, the loss of family etc, so for now I have to be happy about it, tomorrow I may be outraged....my feelings depends on the weather really..lol

    Thanks you guys, you are great!

    BTW Welcome aboard Frankie.


  • Mystery

    Someone ask me once "If I had not have been a JW what do I think would have been different?" I told them, I probably would not shoot as many fireworks on the 4th of July. I probably wouldn't have a birthday cake at my age. I would probably spell Christmas with an X (X-mas).

    Happy about being a JW?
    Except for the complete uncertanity of everything Biblical.
    Except for the complete confusion growing up that NONE of my school mates were good enough to live in Paradise.
    Except for having to explain to class mate why I didn't get anything for Christmas. Or of suffering through the embarrassment of every time some said "Merry Christmas" listening my mom explain why Christmas was "wrong"! Even at Wal-Mart!!!!!! Or a stranger saying "bless you" in passing because you sneezed, being lectured on why it was not appropriate to say that. (I bet none of those people EVER said "Bless you" again to someone they didn't know!)
    Except for not being able to talk to a friend that I had had forever! because I was DF'ed for a mistake.
    Except for not being able to forget the LAWS and RULES of the WTBTS so much that they still affect my life today.
    Except for me NEEDING to read this forum to know that I am not crazy because I still have these feelings.
    Except for me still being up at almost 1am trying to understand why I am still confused instead of being wrapped up beside my husband in bed.
    Except for me having to answer questions regarding God to my sons, and about death.
    Except for all of those things being a JW wasn't so bad.

  • Brummie

    Good post Mystery, with a lot of food for thought!


  • frankie

    Hi, thanks for the welcome ! Well, I’m in the UK, lived in various parts of the south and south west. It all seems a while ago now but my family got interested in the early 70s, as I was just about approaching ten or eleven. At the time I lapped everything up. I was simply the ideal child candidate for this religion. I even relished being different at school, as I then got lots of praise and admiration from the wittos for ‘making a stand’. I didn’t really find it difficult until I got to 18–20, then I began to get very bored with meetings and bible study. But I stuck by it because I knew it was ‘the truth’, and I had good friends etc. Around 1986/87 I discovered a friend had been reading some interesting stuff (by Franz). I knew this friend to be utterly god fearing and beyond reproach, and so I took the scarey step of reading it too. And wow, what a powerful, dynamic and eye opening book it was – I am so, so grateful for it. Didn’t know what to do though ! Felt I couldn’t upset my family and friends by leaving, and besides, where would I go ? Months of agonizing, and then eventually the elders gave me a bible study as they knew what was going on. But I just drifted after that although not dis’d. Still retain a few witto friends. My family all speak to me. But of course I have learned never to say anything remotely critical about the witnesses or to question anything. I just nod sympathetically, is that hypocritical ? I would so love them to read the Franz book though – often have naughty thoughts of sending them the book anonymously. I know I can’t promote the book myself to them, so I just wonder what possible ways there might be to get them to read it ? Any ideas ? If we can see how appalling this religion is, then surely it would be obvious to them too, if only they could read the book. Not sure if I'm meant to post this here, or somewhere else ? Frankie

  • beckyboop

    Hiya Brummie,

    Thanks for such a thought provoking title. Although I am not technically HAPPY about my life as a jw, I realize that I would not be who I am today without it. So I guess that knowledge now makes me realize that it's something I cannot ever change, so I'm choosing to accept it as a HUGE part of me.

    As others have mentioned very eloquently, there are many positive things to be found if we look hard enough. The negatives may outweigh the good things many times over; however, we would not be who we are today without those experiences.

    I believe I finally like myself now, and part of that is because I recognize the good and bad of what I went through. I have many friends that went through it also, and they are the family that my blood family cannot be. Why would I want to change what ended up making me a better person?


  • mattnoel

    I begrudge the fact that so much of my life was wasted, but on the other hand, it has made me a better person, I know how bad life can get and what things were like for me compared to what I have now. I have more principles about relationships etc and about how you treat people and I guess I look into things more before jumping into it.......but thats all.

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