Born ins: did you have "near life experiences"?

by truthseeker 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    I recently watched the 90s movie Fight Club for the first time and heard the phrase "near life experience."

    For me, a different definition of this phrase would be someone who grew up in the truth and led a very secluded and restricted life (like me) but on rare occasions actually experienced something that was considered quite normal by most people.

    Growing up in "the troof" was depressing. It was characterized by long periods of loneliness. I didn't seem to fit in anywhere. however, while pursuing my diploma at college, I was invited to play football by my classmates (soccer for US readers) and for the first time in my life I felt like I was part of something. At the end of the day, I'd take the train back home to reality station and that was it till the next day.

    Those times were what I call "near life experiences" because it was as close to normal life as I could get.

    You have to understand that it was the little things for me, that seem so ordinary and mundane to others, that made a small difference and made me realize that there is life outside the cult.


  • scratchme1010

    I did have a few "near life experiences" as you define them. In some cases my father beat the hell out of me for it, and in some cases I got away with having a few glimpses of having my own space.

  • jwundubbed

    If it wasn't the cult making my life bizarre, or my mother's abuse making me too terrified to try, then it was constantly moving like nomads that made sure I never had any 'near life experiences'. About the only thing close would have been going to an amusement park with friends or family. Not a big one like Disney or Universal or Sea World, but the smaller ones like town fairs, Worlds of Fun (Kansas) or Hershey Park (Pennsylvania). That was the closest I ever felt to being normal.

  • days of future passed
    days of future passed

    My worldly dad would take us camping for about a week in the summer. Nature, streams, hiking and roasting marshmallows. Then it was back to the fearful meetings.

    I also got to spend 2 weeks at my worldly grandma's house. I helped plant her garden. I was so thrilled to be asked to make her coffee in the morning. I loved my grandma so I put in 2 scoops instead of the one she had told me to put in. As I watched her sip the coffee, once and then twice, she slowly asked if I had put more in? I said yes, and she just silently nodded her head and said "maybe tomorrow, you could put just one in" Lol, I knew nothing about coffee.

    At her house, I felt like I was a valued person. Just a normal loved human. It was the only real love I had growing up.

  • Dunedain

    The only "near life experiences" were the ones i made for myself. I was a born in, and growing up i dreamed of these experiences. Whether they were to be able to celebrate Bdays, or Christmas and be able to get presents. Or to be able to play with "normal" boys toys, and just do normal kid things.

    As i got older, into my very early teens, i took it upon myself to no longer dream about the "near life experiences", but to actually experience them. I wanted to have girlfriends, so i went and got them. I wanted to listen to the music i liked, so i did. I wanted to dress a certain way, so i did.

    Looking back, it took balls on my part. My Father was an Elder, and both parents were in "the truth". I had to brave being caught. Getting my ass kicked by my Elder Father. I had to brave being ratted out by other Jw children. Or being spoken to by the elders. It was tough. I fought, and i fought. I stuck it out, and tried so hard to be "normal".

    They kept trying to stop me. They fought me tooth and nail, and even DFd me, cutting me off from them all. Back then i thought it was the worst thing, but now i realize it was the GREATEST thing that ever happened to me. I was free, and now from that point on, EVERY experience was a REAL life experience.

    Fast forward 25 years later, and i am happy, successful, and with a family of my own. Even my own parents who fought to keep me in the JW "box", have come around and seen the light. We are ALL happier now.

  • Jayk

    My family used to vacation twice a year to mexico. They still go but I haven't been in awhile. The first time I ordered alcohol at a bar I was probably 12-13. Also I used to go to alot of concerts.

  • Wild_Thing

    I love that term "near life experience".

    When I was 14 and a homeschooled pioneer, I was best friends with another girl of the same age, who came from what we called a "spiritually weak" family. Her mom had been disfellowshipped a time or two, and was already on her third worldly husband. My friend went to public school, and while she technically had the same JW restrictions as I did, her mom was much more lenient than my own parents, and I learned to take advantage of that.

    One fall weekend, I got permission from my parents to spend the night at my friend's house. Then, we got permission from her mom to go bowling with her worldly friends at school. What we really did was walk to her school to attend the homeschooling football game AND the homecoming dance. It was nothing like I had envisioned in my head. It was a bunch of awkward teenagers running around drinking punch, dancing, and talking ... along with a bunch of awkward teachers. Me and my friend joined in and did the same. Then, we went home. And nothing bad happened. Nothing!

    It was my first real "near life experience". I can't believe I survived it.

  • humbled

    Born in the 1952 — not born in. My near life experience was being stuck in a poor foreign country for a year when l was 21 and finding out what it meant to be poor too. It shook up my world because it didn’t match with what l had ever known before. It put me on the road to thinking for myself.

    But l had a long road ahead.

    i love what you all wrote of your lives. There is power in each person’s quick sketch of the “near life” moments. This is a surprising thread.

  • MightyV8

    My earliest recollection of a real-life experience.

    7 years old and for the first and only time I was allowed after school to go and play at my friend's home for 1 hour.

    I played with his toy soldiers, WOW but as a typical ADD child I only stayed for half an hour.

    When I got home mum says "what are you doing home early?"

    Geez was I pissed off at myself.

  • fulano

    My first Kiss at age 19, at the house of a 18 years old sister who's parents were on holiday. I felt like a man of the world 😀

    Strange is when I needed an employee in 2013 she started to work for me, divorced. Dangerous situation but she needed the job and I often told her (she moved last year) how I felt that day we kissed for real.

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