Im soo lucky..i faced up to the truth..that i didnt believe in god after all..and got out. That was 50 years ago.
How did it come to this?
by New day 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs
Newy - It is with profound sadness that I look back on my life as a Witness and now I am basically a non-entity
This is how I have felt.
My story in a nutshell. Born into the cult. Pioneered. Minny man then Elder. As an Elder I realised it was just a cult. A dangerous one at that. Because I didn't want to be a Jobot anymore, my wife left me with 2 of the 3 kids. 1 was a minor. It was hell!
She's now re-married to another Jobot....not sure if it was 'approved(tm)' by the cult because there was hardly anyone at the wedding, I'm told.
Here I am, a non entity. Nearly retired. Single. No prospect of it changing at my age because I basically don't trust relationships anymore.
So. What do I do?
I go to work full time. I play in a fairly successful local band where the Covid over-reaction by Government thing has destroyed many venues where we used to play. I am in a local Viking re-enactment group.
I have lovely grandkids. 3 speak Polish as a 2nd language. Another one on the way.
Somehow, none of this seems enough.
It is with profound sadness that I look back on my life as a Witness and now I am basically a non-entity.................like you said.
A POSTER of the Governing Body? I want one to use as target practice? 😂🤣🤭
New day: I look back on my life as a Witness and now I am basically a non-entity
While I understand the sentiment, I see it almost as the opposite for myself. When I was a JW, I had to control my thoughts and behavior and go down the simple track designed for me by the organization. Many things that I would have liked to do were forbidden. Life had to be simple and bland and practically devoid of anything aside from the JW treadmill. Meetings, field service, the occasional get-together where you had to mind how you acted and what you said, and so on.
JWs are taught that anyone who wants to be free of that control wants to misbehave and do terrible things that will offend God and prevent them from being saved. But what are some of those awful behaviors? Growing a beard. Getting a tattoo. Wearing snug clothing. Celebrating holidays. Smoking a cigarette. How can you consider that list and not recognize the tight, smothering control they want to have over you?
I am not a non-entity now. But I was one when I was a JW.
Your story pretty much mirrors mine! You are not alone!
Same age and timeline (apart from the MS and Elder bit – females not allowed!). I pioneered, travelled and opened my home to countless JW’s from all over the world. Constantly on assembly programs and on speed dial for last minute talks on the Ministry School. I had ‘friends’ everywhere and was ‘loved’.
Now, 16 years after leaving I too am a non-entity in JW land BUT have pursued a life that is mine – without controlling men guilting me into obedience. Those men who would take me on shepherding calls, who would ask my advice on problems within the body of elders – those men who claim to be my friends (a few who were closet gays).
Have I lost anything? Yes. I lost that same feeling of security knowing what the future held. I lost deeply loved friends – many of whom I think about often. I lost a fantastic social network.
Have I gained anything? Yes. I have gained freedom from an organisation that does not resemble the one I grew up in. I have gained freedom from having to accept that which was obviously not true or reasonable. I have gained the relief of not being a hypocrite.
It is not easy starting a new life with no friends around. Having grown up in the ‘Truth’ that was all I had. It is not easy when one has avoided further education because it was frowned upon (and then being perplexed by having friends in Bethel who were career lawyers – paid for by the society). It’s not east having your life’s history now viewed, personally, as an empty sham. How many hours in field serving, how many miles walked (my knees can tell you).
I am sad that in many ways I wasted my JW life. It could have been so different if I had taken a different path and walked away sooner – but I was full ‘in’.
However, “better late than never”
I am not quite in my early 60’s yet. I was baptized in 1988. I served as a ministerial servant and an elder. I gave my all for many years, but not nearly as many as you, and I started to question many things. The generation teaching, amongst many others. If I had not faded and left around 2007,I would have stormed out of the Hall when they introduced "overlapping generations." You are only "basically a non-entity" in the Kingdom Hall. To them, you are only as valuable as compared to how much you did for them this month, this midweek meeting, today. But you are valuable outside of that place to some people, at the very least to yourself.-
If I were to go back to the beginning of my postings on this forum, I can see that I was a bit disturbed that they weren't putting much effort into bringing me back to the fold. But I eventually realized I should be glad for that. It's a cult. Once they have no control over you, you are useless to them. But I managed to turn it around- They only have the control over you that you give them, so give them none.
Whatever your reason for being a JW, don't beat yourself up for "wasting" some of your life. You didn't know. And some other circumstances can just as easily rob any of us of our younger years- health, debt, addiction, family woes, being stranded on an island with Gilligan and a professor who couldn't patch a boat (or your life's equivalent to that).
50 years in and this time last year I was going on Zoom but turning off sound and leaving the room. playing the game...instead of lamenting over 50 years ( and I literally became homeless for a while because I was trying to please hypocrites) I am thankful I am out. I don't have any friends now, save a couple of work acquaintance that I rarely see and for not long at a time. None of us are no-bodies...we are all important! I was trying to think of what the maid said to the little girl in THE HELP ( was/is free on youtube to watch ) The little girls mom didn't like her because she wasn't pretty. The maid would tell her if I recall correctly : You is smart. You is kind. You is important. ( pretty good flick if you haven't seen it. )
Enoughisenough - I am glad you are free. I sure hope you have recovered/are recovering. I appreciate your posts as they have made an impression on me. At least know that.
We are close in experience, age baptism etc.
I was questioning the org as I prep'd to get baptised. No sooner dunked than I wrote bethel questions about contradictions.
Still, I hung in, met my wife and had offspring. But the questions continued. I voiced these questions to my mummy, rest her soul, while I visited one occasion and she said 'there's a book by a GB who wrote about everything'. She knew this from a long-time friend.
I sought out the book at the library. Interesting story there for another time.
Anyway, I contacted Ray Franz and got books. Crisis of Conscience was powerful. In Search Of Christian Freedom more so.
I developed an ongoing relationship with Ray through letters and phone calls.
The big problem I had was my wife. I loved her much. Still do. And we are still together.!!!
My wife asked me a question about the UN affair one night, finally, after much working on her. I told her about Ray Franz, and in 10 minutes I handed her my phone and she spoke to him also for awhile.
She was out.
I was never under the illusion that the majority are/were. It was much easier for me to question. But I see the difficulty.
I am working on a few brothers. It is getting easier, the stupid GB keep giving us material to work with.
Hopefully, some of them will be posting here one day.
Oh... yes, still loosely associated. It's amazing how little you need to do especially with ZOOM. Let's face it, nobody want's to go to those stupid meetings. It's easy to sideline. But, with the older's getting old, even the little I do to show the face will soon be too much.
I just hope to free a few more before I terminate.