It has been awhile since i posted. But I wanted to say a few things that may help those recovering from the Watchtower, especially if you have just discovered TTATT. It is with humility that I come here to express these thoughts. The Liberator (also known as Vinman previously) often would talk much of the Bible. I would see people hurting and I wanted to fill their void. I even tried promoting a non-high control group that had similar beliefs as JW's. As a deeply indoctrinated overzealous witness, I quickly set out to find answers to my questions and I tried to channel my former zeal into my new belief system. I hadn't even recovered myself, but was trying to help others.
My enthusiasm though was not real. I felt that if I displayed that kind of attitude, the feelings would eventually kick in. I attended my Bible study group and continued studying the Bible online. But everytime I came home from that group, I felt very depressed and lonely. I would try to read the Bible and it would have the same affect. I studied about five hours everyday for almost two years trying to find answers. Of course I found many answers. But the truth is, you can find any support for whatever opinion you want online.
My older children are out and they just now started celebrating all the holdays with my two grandchildren. The fact is, while I was still in limbo, trying to figure things out, my children were far happier than me. I just couldn't figure it out. I almost went to a therapist. But a friend of mine sent me a link that helped me see my situation.
What I learned and had to be painfully honest about, is that in the Watchtower, my God was the Watchtower. I didn't consciously know that, but it is typical cult mind control. That was the real problem.
As I read the Bible, I couldn't get the Watchtower out of my head. God's voice and Bible characters mimicked the Bible dramas of the society. When I attended my small church, I knew why I was there. I was replacing the Watchtower.
If you are a born-in, you were put into this claustrophobic box that controlled your thoughts and actions. You never chose that box, your parents did. Now I escaped from that tiny box and found great freedom. But the problem is, you are now in a bigger box (Christianity). The painful truth is, you never chose that box either. Some feel they must remain in that box to prove that not all leave God after the Watchtower. It is a form of pride.
But the situation is far more complex than the Watchtower portrays it. IT IS TRULY A CULT. It finally hit me that I was still recovering. I can't help what I feel when I read the Bible or attend a study group. I don't want to feel this way. God knows I tried. But I am a victim of spiritual abuse, and I can't let pride take over and act like I stood by God's side after Watchtower and everything is fine. I have been lonely and lost since leaving. The cult had left its mark on me. It is what it is.
If I continue on this course, I will never feel happy. I will feel like a "weak witness" who is not pleasing the gb, but never begins to live either. In addition, what has driven me in this direction, ironically, are the things that should of helped. I appreciated Berean Pickets website, but it made things very confusing. Everyone spoke of their beliefs with much certainty. You can't do that. It is ALL opinion. I also realize, that while I would have died for the Watchtower, I do not have the certainty to be killed by ISIS. No way would I die as a Christian for them.
I will never bash the Bible or Christianity. I have no reason to. Besides, I could be very wrong. I must remain humble. I do not want a title, such as agnostic. No need for that. The point is, you do not have to polarize yourself. This is not just about God, it is about you. The human brain can only handle so much.
I am a "mentally sick" victim of a cult. YOU MUST ALLOW TIME TO PASS IN ORDER TO HEAL. It is vital that you do not claim ownership to the larger box. You need to let go and realize that you can CHOOSE that "box" later. But, now IS NOT THE TIME. IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE HEALING PROCESS. It is not my fault that I was dominated by a cult for 44 years.
So for the sake of healing, I have just text my children, telling them that I want to fulfill all of my childhood dreams through the eyes of my grandchildren. They are three and one years old. I want to fully embrace Christmas, Halloween, July 4th, you name it. I want to visit haunted houses on Halloween. We will go through the haunted house at Disneyland. We will run through corn mazes. I will celebrate birthdays. I will do a good deed and say "Merry Christmas". I will fulfill my oppressed desires to watch horror films. 2017 will be a good year. I will see the happy faces of my grandchildren who will experience color in there life and not that gray dreary overcast of a witness knocking on doors on a holiday. Grandpa will be a real grandpa that will be loved.
I have no fear of my choices. I do not have to be a death oriented Watchtower automaton. Life and death happens no matter who you are. We are all in this together. We are a part of a greater community.
I am not alone now. My children and their wives and grandchildren are my friends. By embracing this reality and not fighting the healing process, I am lonely no more.
DO NOT RUN FROM THE WATCHTOWER INTO THE BIGGER BOX. Your exit is your birthday. You simply have not lived yet. YOU NEED TO BE IN CHARGE OF ALL CHOICES. I never believed in my life that i would draw this conclusion. I now have greater respect for many here on this site. Especially those that don't speak with such certainty on matters that are open to various interpretations and opinions.