Flashbacks of JW frustration...

by logansrun 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • logansrun

    This post is going to be somewhat disconnected, my apologies...

    For the first time in a long while, I'm really mad at this organzition. You know, I had lost a lot of my "bitterness" a few months ago when I started to absorb myself in other activities. Lately, I feel like I've had a "delayed reaction" of sorts when it comes to my association with the JWs. It's a strange combination of anger, sadness, frustration and grief.

    I'm twenty six years old and I feel like a teenager just out of high school with no where to go. That's sad.

    My family is lost to this cult. I have three contacts in my life: my mother, my best friend and an ex-JW I correspond with from another state. I am really starting to get burned out. The loneliness and frustration at not being able to speak my mind (my mom's a JW, but to keep peace we don't bring this stuff up) is starting to really wear on me. I'm in college right now but am aggrevated that I should be [i]teaching[/i] the course instead of listening to it as a second-year undergrad.

    It's funny. I have not so much as a shred of doubt that this is not "the true religion" or anything like that. I can pick up the latest WT, read it and either laugh or get angry at the bullsh!t passed off as "spiritual food." I'm comfortable about my decision to leave, and equally comfortable about not being part of any religion at all. I guess it's the subtle things that I'm starting to notice now. I don't know if anybody knows what I'm talking about, but there are just these subtle little reminders that I once was a JW. I almost cannot put it into words, it's just this lingering feeling. I don't judge the people around me at all, but I cannot shake the fact that I feel I'm different in some way, like I'm seperate. It's weird.

    I really miss being part of a group. I miss talking to older people and little kids. For as much as this is a half-brain organization full of desperate people, I still miss the interaction. I miss saturday get-togethers with a group of people who share the same interests as I. This sounds so haughty, but I miss being looked up to. I have no desire to join a church (Christianity is nonsense, imho), but I must say that social cohesion is something they have that I desperately lack.

    I should stop where I'm at. Remember the Godfather when Vito Corleone's godson is crying on his shoulder saying "What should I do? What should I do?" What did Marlon Brando say? "Well, you could start acting like a man!" slapping him to his feet. I need to be tough, but it's a whirlpool of frustration sometimes.

    Forgive my rambling...not a good day.


  • minimus

    Bradley, Make new friends. Join a "nice" group, Do something positive and meet new people.That's your solution.

  • Francois

    Since real religion takes place between your ears and is called "Spirituality," and since organized religion is merely the socialization process of spirituality, why don't you go find a nice, liberal church of some sort in which to satisfy your socialization urges?

    After 25 years, I'm beginning to feel the need to socialize my spiritual feelings and I think I'm going to go visit the Episcopal Church for awhile and see what it's like. They're usually liberal. Hell, they've got female bishops and such, and I fully agree with that. I went to the Episcopal Church with my girlfriend for several years and it seemed those people had genuine love for one another. Beat the shit out of the JWs in that department.

    So forget all you've ever been told about the "world empire of false religion" and go to some church of your own choosing. Warning: There are plenty of "full gospel" churches, Nazarites, Churches of God, Baptists, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. that make JWs look like KinderKare, so be careful. As noted, I like the Episcopal Church after I've made sure they're not conservative. Besides, they've got some kinda good communion wine. I don't know what it is, but they don't skimp on buying that communion wine. One good shot of that stuff and you KNOW you've just been touched by GAWD.

    Try it. You might like it. Socialize your religious urges. Honor them.


  • Brummie
    Bradley, Make new friends. Join a "nice" group, Do something positive and meet new people.That's your solution

    Huh, sounds so easy doesnt it?

    Most people here will be able to relate to you Bradley, for some it takes years to cope with the isolation, the loss and building up new friendships, yet we do get there in the end, just be patient with yourself.

    Talk about how you feel to someone who can relate and understand, talking about things brings the situation out of you so you can get some distance from the problem. I'm sure you are already on a healing journey by discussing these things with those on this board.

    Thinking of ya matey


  • logansrun

    Gee Minimus, thanks for the fricken bone!

    Just kidding I know my post sounded "whiney"....it was. The answer is really pretty damn simple; it's just a matter of doing it. Funny, though, there is this vague "JWishness" that still is hard to shake. Not that I believe it or something, just a certain connectedness to it. No surprise, really. I did grow up in it so it will be with me for some time.

    Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulders...now someone slap me and tell me to act like a man, for Crissake!


  • teenyuck
    now someone slap me and tell me to act like a man


    You are not alone. It is easier to say than to join. I met people through work and through volunteering at various places.

    Worldly people really are friendly. If you are shy, joining a gym or even a yoga class would be a good way to meet people. Once people get to know you it is amazing how they open up.

    Anyone ever get together after work? Stuff like that?

  • Holey_Cheeses*King_of_the juice.
    Holey_Cheeses*King_of_the juice.


    Only you can determine how you will react to the suggestions that may be given to you - whether you react subtly or whether you do need that 'slap in the face' is for you to decide.

    Perhaps you could involve yourself and make new friends with a sporting group or a volunteer community organisation. There is plenty out there on offer.


  • Sentinel

    Logansrun, You will have these up and down things occur. Flashbacks is a good description of how "they" fall upon us, sometimes when we least expect it. We can be suddenly overcome with so much sadness. It's a natural cycle to work through one's issues at one's own pace. It's way to much to handle all at one time. This won't hurt us. We need to be good to ourselves. For some things, it's probably good to just set it aside for another time. In time, the road will be a bit smoother, and your pain and hurt will find it's own place to reside, and you will grow stronger and stronger. It won't affect your day to day life and thought patterns, and even dreams, as it does now. (((( It just takes time....))))

  • nowisee

    sometimes it's just a matter of pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone and taking the initiative. at kh it is usually easy to make social contacts, everyone is vested in making people feel comfortable so that they will stay.

    you are in college. there must be others there with whom you can make a connection. invite someone out for coffee. find a study/buddy. be friendly and people will respond.

    there are many churches where you can find social contact. it may take some searching around but they are there. tell people what you have been through. they will be interested.

    write a personal ad. (you can write an ad to meet friends as opposed to love or sex - although you may find that too - it is the way my husband and i met). find a way to meet new people.

    come here when you need exjw support. goodness knows we have all been through the same things.

    smile at the strangers you pass. say hello. the world is full of good, friendly, compassionate people who only want an excuse to get to know you.

    my best wishes, nowisee

  • Mystery

    I had a lot of the same feelings as you when I first began fading.

    I had all these "friends", always busy, etc... All of us had meetings at least 3 times a week. Then there was field service. Occasionally get-to-gathers. You are busy 4 out of 7 days and on the other days you have to get your studies done....

    Now you have all the time in the world. It was like that for me as well. I did end up going to college (at 22 and again at 37). It was very difficult. (Think of a 2nd year under-grad when you are 37! Talk about humiliating!) Not knowing anyone, having all of this "stuff" in your head that has been preached and preached and preached to you. Don't go to college. Become a pioneer. etc... Why should we feel good about going to college? We were never taught that we should.

    You mentioned kids and older people

    “I really miss being part of a group. I miss talking to older people and little kids. For as much as this is a half-brain organization full of desperate people, I still miss the interaction.”

    It was mentioned above, but have you really thought of volunteer work. It was my “savior” when I felt the way that you are feeling now. (My problem was, you know what your problem is and wrote it down; I didn’t know what my problem was – I felt I was just running, but your statements above gave me a sort of reconciliation of what I have been doing all this time after leaving. Thank you.)

    Being a volunteer you can become as involved or as “uninvolved” as you want. The Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers, Park and Recreation Centers, Soccer Associations, Baseball, Basketball. These places can give you the association you desire. I knew I was doing the right thing when I became involved. Little kids forgive and forget.

    Short example: I had never played sports (like most of us) as a child (growing up as a JW). I signed my sons up for soccer at 4 & 5 (OK – so what, it would be a little easier for me than you, because I had kids – you can use that as an excuse if you want) anyway.. I had never touched a soccer ball in my life. I did not even know how the game was played etc…. the park offered a free class to parents to teach them the basis of soccer. I went. A week later a man walked up to me and said “I see you took the “coaching class”. “No – I took a class to show me what a soccer ball is; it wasn’t a coaching class.” He continued that there were not enough coaches for all the kids that had signed up and it was going to be very possible that a lot of kids would have to be turned away if someone(s) didn’t step up. I did not know ANYTHING about soccer! But you know, those 4 – 5 year olds didn’t either. My biggest challenge was keeping “my” players on the field, instead of chasing butterflies, or sitting down to talk about Barbies or to stopping little Johnny from beating up little Billie because his daddy was better than his daddy. I still coach – 9 years later – but my favorite years were the little ones. They forgive everything you do wrong. They give you hugs. They have to tell you so many important things, like “a boy at school stuck a eraser up his nose so far that the had to go to the doctor”. They remind us that live is really wonderful.

    I have coached a year that my kids did not play. I had 2 assistant coaches last year that did not even have kids.

    If you are not sure that you could just walk up and say “hey I want to help” but you really think you might want to, let me know, I will find someone where you live and tell them that I know of a fantastic man that would love to help the kids.


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