baptised nearly 51 years
been reading this site for awhile now. I have had a long and often tragic life as a JW. My story is so long because I'm pretty old :) I feel sad I've been locked in fear and guilt for my entire life. Like a wasted life. If I told my story you would all say why did you stay? Well, fear and guilt is pretty powerful. Anyway, not going to ramble, suffice to say, you guys both ex and current JWs have helped me a lot lately. I guess there are loads of current JWs looking on here but like me too afraid to say anything. I honestly don't know which way is up at the moment. I'm suffering from depression/stress and my doctor urged me to see counseling because I am one of those abused children we all talk about. (And just for the record...no, abused children do not automatically go on to abuse...I read someone say in another thread. Quite the reverse, we often go on to be amazingly protective parents)
The elders warned me off counseling (they don't know about the abuse) but I went anyway. Turns out I'm suffering from 'undischarged post traumatic stress' from the abuse ...and the organization, I add. It's making me pretty ill, although my psychologist is helping me so much. Finally, in my old age, I am daring to have my own thoughts. My own opinion. I'm reading books - just finish Crisis of Conscience. I've decided I can't continue to serve Jehovah purely out of fear. Even today's WT had an element of fear in it. There is no one to talk to withing the organization. I briefly mentioned a few of my concerns to my BF and she went crazy accusing me of going on sites etc. My husband, once a RP and MS is truly awake to everything. I was born in so it's way harder for me. I just don't want to get it wrong. So, I'll stop rambling. Just thank you guys. x
How courageous of you to come and share with us. Going to counseling is the best thing you can do for yourself. Don't look back, except what not to repeat, but look forward to your new evolving freedom. Give yourself permission to take your time adjusting to who you are now and will be as you shed such mind control and deal with your post traumatic stress. You are amazing just to speak up.
Enjoy the rest of your life. There are many here with loads of experience having been a JW and now ex-JW.
Hi Phoebe, you sound very brave to me. I wish my Mum, who has been baptised for 45 years, could be as honest as you. Maybe one day.
Welcome to a great community, I hope you keep posting.
Welcome, do not forget the words to "not lose your first love" of "The truth about the truth". I have been baptized for 60, was nearly of the perfect man baptism age (<30), started to wake up at the 1960s, superior authority flip,
my advice: get a good grip on real life, make your time/ life experience the "now", count. come to term with the truth, that you should live a quality life now.
Thank you Joyzabel and nicolaou for the welcome. It means a lot to me.
For my entire life I never doubted anything the organization said. In fact, I often felt guilty for being a born into it. As if I didn't deserve it. I knew that if my parents hadn't been JWs there is no way I would have had the courage to join such an organization. I kept saying I'm in it by default!
During my life as a JW I have seen, and experienced, a lot of good and also a lot of very bad things. But just lately, I'm seeing things that just aren't right. My BF says Jesus holds the congregations in his hand. Well, if so, there is no way such things as child abuse would be allowed to go on - hidden. As you can imagine, that subject is very close to my heart.
Thank you waton,
Yes, I will take your advice. Thank you so much. x
A very loving and sincere welcome Phoebe.
Your traumas are/have been shared by many here. One of the biggest and most worrying fears is, "What if this really is God's organization, and I'm turning my back on the truth?"
May I help you to allay those fears and kill them stone dead?
Examine thirteen teachings of the alleged and self-appointed "faithful slave" which I'll P.M. you, and if you can scripturally refute any of them, please let me know and I'll honestly admit that I wrongly accused them.
These anti-scriptural and perverse teachings should reassure you that this "slave" is evil, and it's certainly not working for any organization of God!
Immerse yourself in the real life.... as you are aware it is difficult losing friends that you have had your entire life. Join a club or another mainstream church or just go out w/ work friends and put yourself out there as soon as possible. Talking to many different people in real life will help you cope with this colossal change in your life.
You woke up. It is what it is. You cannot go back to sleep. I was a 30 year born in. Its diff but it gets better!
Read what you want to read, talk with who you want to! Its your life now!
Dearest Phoebe, I am about 50, a 4th gen born in. We have also had to deal with post traumatic abuse issues.My family left one year ago. There are going to be tough times ahead but believe it or not most are going to be internal struggles. What we found helpful is a nice email to all elders stating you are facing a medical problem and that you require all conversations to be in emails or writing.Make clear this is not negotiable. This will help to keep them at bay.If they push froward have a lawyer send them a letter to the same end. This is very beneficial. You can still associate with those you want but if a discussion comes up you are not comfortable with the way it is going, excuse yourself and send an email. Build associations with those outside. Take a creative class, go to a community center. Pray, pray and read a non New World translation bible. I found the God's Names bible helpful as it has God's more accurate name throughout. Keep researching and take advantage of this forum and wonderful support from like communities. We will all not only get through this together, but will find a happier more abundant life.
Welcome Phoebe. You'll likely already know you are not alone - although I acknowledge it doesn't mean you won't feel alone. You mention the role fear has played in your life. There are two other elements that are also commonly experienced by people trapped in high-control groups: Obligation and Guilt. These three form FOG which often prevents people from realizing they are not to "blame" for the way they feel. In your instance, there is also historical abuse - so I am glad you have had the courage to seek counselling - I hope the counsellor is teaching you ways to cope with your situation! You deserve more than understanding your situation - you deserve and need ways to deal with your everyday life and its stress. You are indeed in a far better position to face what lies ahead given your husband is awake to the organization, but yes, being born-in and having other family in makes it hard. Do you have children? Are they also in the organization? That can make it tricky to disentangle yourself. Keep in mind there is no "rush" to get out. It is the organization that tries to panic people into staying by constantly talking about the nearness of the end. Take your time to work out what you want and need to do. Oh, and don't fall into the trap of "friendly" brothers and sisters seeming to really want to know how you are and "what" you're doing - and then use that information against you. Be discreet - the last thing you need at the present time is the third degree or any sense that the local Witnesses are turning on you. Get the help you need and consider any number of gentle ways to distance yourself from the organization - at a pace that works for you. Feel free to hang around here - there can be lively - and even controversial exchanges at times - but this is one of the few sites where you won't be pressured to adopt "alternative" beliefs - which for many is like moving from the frying pan into the fire! Best, steve2