Leaving a small minority group.....
has a profound influence on our life. On the one hand we have the background of our childhood, our upbringing, but when we leave and become apart of society, our Witness traits and their set of beliefs are not tailored to fit in. However as I slowly learnt to know longer judge from the perspective of my witness life, I also learnt I am simply an ordinary person. The greatest benefit of this is that now I can walk down the streets and i can feel apart of a wider community, apart of the very society I was taught to despise.
These walks are now something I value because i was unable to take these walks as part of a minority group. It was the " sheep" and " goat" mentality. However in my present life I sometimes think about the way I used to look at people obsessed with that " sheep" and " goat" mentality, and I have concluded I was bought up very disrespectful of ordinary people.
So why the runt, I am happy today, I live with my wonderful wife and child, I no longer live in the past. Well I just wanted to to post another great reason to leave the "Watchtower mentality" which is simply the healthy perspective it can give a person with their new outlook on life on humanity. The very humanity as Witnesses we are taught to despise.
When I first left I was devastated, everything I had been taught, everything I believed in was NOT TRUE !!
I quickly came to realise the Big Lie I had been told about "worldly" people, that they were immoral, out to cheat you and out to destroy your faith etc etc. was simply no where near true.
The vast majority, close to 100% of nonJW people are fine.
Of course there is the odd A-hole, usually driving a BMW or Audi, but the percentage of A-holes is without doubt FAR lower amongst the general populace than amongst JW's !
I now only feel uncomfortable (very!) in the presence of JW's, walking down the street locally and cheerfully greeting normal people, even those I do not know, is a pleasure.
Living in the WTS, wider society seems really scary.
It still may do when first leaving the cult.
But most people are decent, and while they may see things differently to you or me, are moderate in their views.
Life's ok ...
In the world it's OK to have doubts, questions, and opinions. That alone is worth leaving the Org.
I'll tell you'll right now, I wouldn't change a thing about my childhood, and let me tell you, it was not pleasant in the least. My dad was baptized the year I was born, so I had to deal with all the Witness crap till I hit 15, but I also dealt with physical, verbal emotional abuse from my dad, and also sexual abuse from an older step-brother, and several members of the ORG. But it all made me an empathetic, compassionate, hugely caring person. It was a huge climb, but I finally got on top of the mountain after thirty years struggle.
By the way, I did go back, became a pioneer and elder, but the facade of co-dependency finally brought me crashing down. In reality, it was my life-line, the final crash at the bottom of the stink...err....sink-hole.
Ah heck, my young neighbors are fighting again, I have to run quickly and take down my paintings and pictures.
There is much value in the difficult work of leaving "us vs. them" behind and embracing our human one-ness. I agree that it's stifling to always be at cross purposes with every other person on the planet. Using energy to greet others, to be aware of their needs, and to not disrespect them is fun! It's a lot more fun than categorizing them as evil, not-worth-it, goats.
That learning curve is still challenging me...but the outcomes have been excellent.
I envy you. When I was in the WT I may have felt alienated from mainsteam society, but at least I felt at home in the KH.
Now I just feel alienated, period.
I am very keen to understand how you can feel such solidarity with mainstream society. Isn't it just a cult writ large with its own silly rules and prejudices? Its own outgroups?
Being a JW has made me cynical of all groups because I can see the same patterns of behavior in them all. For that reason I've rejected the idea of being a member of any group; though I do have friends.
Thanks for the replies.
Rainbow-troll ( Q) I envy you ....I am keen to understand how you have such solidarity with mainstream society?"
A) Well mainstream society has its quirks, but the simple answer is I am now free to choose my friends not based on what they believe but on who they are as people. I am also reading " Cathcher in the Rye" a book I wouldn't have read governed by " Witness" mindset.
Or for greater clarification an acquaintance of mine has a son, the son likes to wear women's clothes, and the father is a tough muscle matcho man. Yet he loves his son so much, that not only does he support his son's life choice, he dressed up in drag on the towns community day and participated in a show with his son. I also saw how very embarrassed the father was participating in the event...and I thought what a great dad that man is, what a son that father has, they are both very courageous people to do what they did, and I am proud to be apart of that "mainstream society"
@ The Rebel
Great post. Ordinary people are not the Ogres we were led to believe.
As Phizzy mentioned; you will find idiots in all walks of life including among the JW's.
I find that I am so much more calmer and at peace with myself since I let go of the burden (JW Org) that was once bearing me down.
Thanks for your reply Rebel.
I guess you live in a much more liberal place than where I grew up. I crossdressed as a kid and got bullied rather violently for it; but the bullies weren't JWs, they were wordly kids.
I still had to hide my books at school, but not because reading them could get me disfellowshipped, but because the wordly kids would take them away and destroy them just to spite me.
I couldn't hold hands with my girlfriend, not because it was against biblical standards, but because it made her into a slut.
I now live in a more liberal area where I can leave my book unattended and probably make out with my girlfriend in public if I had one. But I've also noticed that this place has its own prejudices and bigotries. Two examples come to mind:
Being rich is cool here, but if you are homeless the police will harrass you in the dead of night for the terrible crime of sleeping in the park when no one else is there.I try to reason with people (especially the police who are doing this). But no one listens. According to them these bums CHOSE to be homeless because they are lazy. Right... they choose to live outside in the cold and the rain because that is so much easier than reporting to a McJob every day and doing a few hours of work.
It's okay to be gay here, but I know this one guy whose now a registered "pedophile" because he had sex with a 14 year old when he was in his early 20s. I tried to defend the guy. I tied to educate people about just how provincial and modern our current age of consent is in the context of (even recent) history. I tried to help them see the situation from a different perspective, such as maybe the 14 years old's right to her own bodily integrity. But my rational arguments got drowned out by their moral indignation. I must be a pedophile myself or why else would I be defending these perverts (I was met with similar brilliant 'rebuttals' back in my home town when I defended gay friends).
Humans don't need a spiritual justification for being assholes; a moral or political cause will do just fine.
Okay. I'm sorry. Overcast days leave me depressed. I needed to vent and it got out of hand. End of rant.