Thank you for helping me through the bad days
I'm sure that whatever stage we are at with our journey in leaving the Corporation disguised as a religion, AKA the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, we have good days and bad days. Maybe young ones who have managed to escape mentally do not suffer quite as much, or suffer in different ways, but after 40 years of indoctrination, what I now like to call the "machinery of reinforcement" it is unavoidable that you don't have days where your head is messed with.
Yesterday was just such a day for me. I lost a dear work colleague yesterday morning (who was only 27) so was already in a bad emotional state. Then in the afternoon I had, not one, but two visits from brothers in the congregation. One from a brother I haven't spent a lot of time with, who was fairly new to our congregation before I left, and one from my co-ordinator, a person I considered a true friend and colleague as we have served together for many years.
Frank conversations were had with both. The publisher treated me as a friend, with dignity and kindness. He listened and acknowledged my viewpoints even though he no doubt disagreed with them, and shared a "scriptural" thought with me in a very kind way, which I thanked him for simply because I appreciated the kind intent behind it. It is nice to have dealing with brothers that still have humanity in them, not just for their own, but for outsiders as well.
The elder on the other hand acted like a tyrant and bully. He called all my viewpoints "rubbish", yes those were his words. When I offered to show him supporting evidence of my viewpoints he said it would be a waste of his time. Funny how they claim they would die for their brothers, but once they consider you the enemy that will not "waste" so much as half an hour of their time for you. He also had the arrogance to claim he is not accountable to me or anyone else, only to God. Funny, when I was an elder I always considered my self accountable to my fellow humans, especially the brothers I served in the congregation. As far as I know there is only one group of people who consider themselves unaccountable to their fellow humans and this is dictators and tyrants.
Anyway, getting back to the point of this post. I want to thank all the contributors here for your support in general. But I particularly want to thank @stuckinarut & @unstuck, two friends I have had the recent pleasure of getting to know in the real world as well as here online. People who demonstrate the real meaning of friendship, as the scripture says, "brothers borne for times of distress." People who have never (yet) met me in person, but have been there for me unconditionally over the last few weeks whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on. I know they know how much I appreciate it, but I wanted to acknowledge them publicly, and all the others too that I'm sure are out there that help others on their rocky journey to cult recovery.
I also wanted to say that there is nothing like having that human connection. It is lovely to share stories and comment on forums like this in the virtual world anonymously, but being able to talk to someone in the real world is important too. I know many of us are probably scared/paranoid/shy/burned/lacking esteem - pick one - when in comes to making new connections, but I think its still worth trying and reaching out to people. Other ex-jw's may or may not end up being the right friends or compatible friends. Being an ex-jw in itself is not enough in common if you lack other common interests of course, or you have different world views. But it is a good place to start. Because at least they understand you on one very big level. And most will at least share the same values.
To all those who open themselves to friendship and give of themselves to provide emotional support to their fellow ex-jw's THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You are the best of humanity.
P.S. In regard to the death of my colleague, I am very proud of the community of colleagues in my profession here in the city I live in. We started an online fundraising campaign and within hours hundreds of people in our profession chipped in and we had raised the $3,000 we needed to be able to fly our colleague's widow's mother out from the other side of the world to be with her daughter and be here for the funeral. And this from so-called uncaring, selfish, "wordy" people. People who don't really know what true love is. Amazing!
Beautiful post Doubtfull1799!
Much love and support to you indeed.
This journey we are all on is not an easy one. It could be likened to being on the "narrow and cramped road to life"...(now why does that sound familiar?)
But, no matter how hard it is, it is worth all the effort we go through. After all, the value of truth and honesty and sincerity is priceless.
When my life has been at its blackest with my bi-polar and I get a message from some one here it is truly a life-line thrown to pull me to safety. Like doubtful1799 all I can say is the same.. thankyou.
No thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. For me, when i read people's various comments, I know that I'll most likely never met them in person but there are real connection made when someone else is feeling what we feel or is able to articulate something that we just can't put into words. And even when we are just venting (which occurrs a lot here) I'm sure that one of us needs to read about it at the time, even if its just to feel for a moment that what's going on within ourselves is not that strange or unusual. I guess that most of us here are like patients in a amputee ward. Some of us are more injured that others, some accepting their new circumstance more that others, some who are crying, angry, full or self pity or loss, but none the less we are all heartened when someone else is fitted with a new processus and takes those first few steps on their own.
For me, I often think that I'm living on Bizarro World. I just don't get anyone thinks anymore. But coming here, helps me feel slightly more whole ... being in company of others like me ... part of the brotherhood of heretics.
Wow - thanks Doubtfull1799. So nice to read your post (while I munch on lunch during a busy day) although not so nice to see the challenges yesterday presented to you.
First - I'm so sorry to hear about your work colleague. When you leave being a JW, your work relationships take on a new meaning. I have found support at my place of work from the most unusual and unexpected sources - they try their best to understand and some of them show uncanny insight. I have become closer to my work colleagues and I imagine you have to and so you will feel your colleagues death particularly keenly. 27 is way too young!! And too the false teachings we were raised with re: resurrection etc make the experience more difficult in a way. How wonderful that funds were raised to get the widow's mum to the funeral! So called "worldly" people show more generosity of spirit, kindness, unconditional love and support than those who claim to represent God's Son. Go figure.....
Stuck told me about your day yesterday and about what the coordinator said to you. I really feel for you. Despite it all, allow yourself the time to grieve the relationship that was. It is his choice to reject you, and his loss, but your choice to allow yourself to close the door on it, in time, when you can. Hold your head up high that you stated your reasons clearly, you made your stand. He rejects that stand but again, it is narrow mindedness to see that as a choice - but that is what we are dealing with.
I so look forward to meeting you in person one day and I hope that day will be soon!
Much love & light (back to the grind, lunch munch over....)
"part of the brotherhood of heretics"
no-zombie - love it!! Count me in as a proud member of the brotherhood!
Right - I know, I'm supposed to get back to work.......
The " machinery of reinforcement "
that is a brilliant observation and so very true as well,
i listen to the meetings to see what's going on and I was only thinking the other night about how everything is repeated ad infinitum, and as you put it so well in a nutshell it's the machinery of reinforcement at work right in plain sight,
thank you for your observation
Hi doubtfull1799, your post hit a chord with me. I know what you mean, i went through a really difficult time a few months after i left (my post was here: https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/5658435402072064/help-please-finding-hard-adjusting-real-world). Getting used to the real world and seeing the society for what it is and not being able to tell anyone because they wont look at the evidence is frustrating and can knock you emotionally. Personally, i have to just let people (JWs) make their own mistakes. More and more will come out of the cult on their own eventually.
The propaganda, black and white thinking and cult-speak are difficult to rid oneself of but we'll get there.
This forum has been such a support to all of us, i dont know what i'dve done without it. Maybe i'dve fell back into the borg.
That smug-ass Elduh would have gotten back from me, "Well, since you are only accountable to God, I'd prepare yourself to answer up to Him during Judgment." Maybe that would have gotten his jaw open a bit. What haughty arrogance these social retards operate with. SMH.
As far asThat arrogant s.o.b. elder. It isn't about righteous principles it's all about the power he enjoys.