Shamus I was out and lost for 10 years before I got the courage to start examining what I had been taught. What an eye-opener. It is surprising how much of that stuff stays with you until you take a look.
How Long Does It Take To Forget?
I haven't been to a meeting in over a year now. God, it feels good. But, I know that for the rest of my life I will have regrets about the lost years spent enriching this horrible cult. Lady Lee said:
I am not always sure about what I believe but I'm darn sure about what I don't believe
and for me that equals freedom
I couldn't have said it better. I might not have all the answers anymore, but that's ok....I can live with that. I am FREE! And, there is nothing better than not being enslaved by the guilt and fear that the WTBS harbours. Give yourself some time, and DO READ Crisis of Conscience. It will help you in organizing your thoughts and emotions about leaving the JW life behind.
it took me about 10 yrs to make the decision to go(most of it not even consciously until the last 6 months!), then a year planning the physical move out, but when I left- I left cold turkey. It has been 7 yrs, and I still get twinges of memory every now and then, but this board has helped alot--to put it in perspective. and one thing I recommended before was to find a discussion board for 'other' x-ers too, an exit fundy board(on yahoo) or something similar---it opens your world up to the possibility that JWs are not the only bunch of whackos out their who have seriously hurt people ! It made me feel more a part of humanity and less a freak. And nothing quite like being an x-er of more than one religion! Since I left I have also joined and left mormons, catholics and xtianity in general....
Ravyn (of the trying-to-be-excommunicated-from-every-major-religon class)
the only people whom I knew about were those freaks who scream and holler at district conventions with their faces all red, SCREAMING. Bleah.
For a long time I thought that all "apostates" were people that had become radical BA Christians.
So it was great for me when I came to this site and realized that my perception was completely wrong.
As far as the thread topic goes, I've been out of JW's for a little over a year now. I don't worry about the JW version of Armageddon happening. I'm embarrassed that I ever believed that crap.
Shamus, I must agree - I wouldn't want to live in the new world with those idiots either.
Like my wife said a while ago, right before we went to a Sunday meeting: "can anyone tell me why I'd want to live forever with these people?"
Some things I won't ever forget however, I couldn't quote more than a handful of scriptures to save my life. I think that speaks volumes, considering I was a pioneer and an elder's daughter. It took me years to demystify the borg and emotionally detach myself. The last couple of years have been eye-opening for me and I truly think I've felt freer in them than I did in the 19 years that I was a witness. Take time for yourself, Shamus, and read as much as you can! Knowledge is the key to freedom. :) ~Aztec
You hold on to your wife - she's a keeper!
When I first began fading I did all the things JW's couldn't.
A few years later I began researching. Not on the web; it was a little while before it was so common. I researched at the library. I looked for truths in history. In the definition of cults. I read and read. I never really found true answers for a Christian belief, but I did find that JW’s history was, at the least, controversial. It gave me enough assurance that leaving was not “wrong”.
So for a long time, I ignored anything to do with Christianity, with the Bible, with praying, with everything.
Suddenly I had two sons. At a young age they did not ask a lot of questions. But as teenagers they are. My oldest had a friend to die in a car wreck. He wants to know where she is. He wants to know where I will be going when I die.
Still, 20 years being out, I can not answer him. I ask the same question to everyone on this forum after I had “lurked” for awhile. I received a lot of the same thoughts that were of my own. It doesn’t matter what I think happens after I die, I can’t change whatever that may me, all I can do now is hold my sons & my husband. Tell them how much I love them. Live my life in the best way I know possible.
Armageddon. No I am not afraid of it any more.
I am reading CofC. Everytime I pick it up it is very difficult to put down. I get extremely angry! I cry. I yell. I can’t believe that people (absolutely!!!! NOT God’s people!!) can openly manipulate others the way that the JW organization has done “us”. People physically put their lives in the hands of this sect. Their propaganda has convinced others to the point of literally dying for a “belief” that is completely erroneous.
They lie in the name of “God”.
Am I afraid of Armageddon? No. Am I afraid to die? No. Do I have the answers? No. Did the JW’s teach me anything? Yes. They taught me, my own thoughts, never to believe in an organized religion again. I hope I give my sons enough peace to not worry about me when I die. But when they ask me where I will go when I die, I still can’t answer them directly. I know that I am basically a good person. I hope I have helped more people than I have hurt. I still believe in God. If, when I die, I sleep forever then that is what is to be. If there really is a heaven and a hell, I hope I have done more good than bad. If there is a paradise earth that we all share, I hope I have a log cabin on a hillside with a creek running along the back yard near my porch.
Will I ever forget JW’s? No. Will ever get completely over them? No. They are part of my past. Part of my life. They will never go away. But – I now control how preoccupied I become with my past. And I have chosen to live in the present; not the past. I don’t know all the answers, maybe one day I will, but then again, if we know all the answers what is the challenge in living?
I didn’t really answer your question, it is just where I am 20 years after the fact. And still learning.
I walked outside one night in the rain at three-thirty in the morning, looked up at the sky and screamed, "WHAT IS IT? WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT FROM ME? EITHER TELL ME OR LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE."
Doesn't exactly come across like a prayer does it? But I got my answer. And along with it, I never doubted my exit ever at all. And I gave up being an agnostic.
How Long Does It Take To Forget?
You will never forget....you will just learn to deal with it in your own way and in your own time. None of us have forgotten, that's why we're all here. Our memories are still active...and we deal with it by sharing, laughing, crying...but the beauty of it is 'we are dealing with it'.
Hang in there Shamus.