So as some of you know I have a podcast called This JW Life. I put my story out there in 9 parts, and I've had lots of great experiences so far and met lots of nice people and I've made new internet friends, even some in person. This last seven days though has been soooooo cool!
On Sunday my wife and I traveled to meet a listener that is PIMO. She's in her 60's, married, and has kids and grandkids, all of whom are in the cult. They even work for JWs, pretty much all of the adults. So if she were to leave she would literally lose everything and everyone. Well, we arranged to meet her in a restaurant since her husband was away, we had a cover story in case anyone saw us and wondered who we were, particularly me as I have a beard so I can't claim to be a JW, and we just had a great time. She got to be her authentic self and let her guard down. We just talked and swapped stories and my wife and I made a new friend, and she got to release some of that pent up emotion from her life.
Just last night I got an email from Australia. This lady explained that she started listening to my podcast 3 weeks ago, that it confirmed so much of what she thought and opened her eyes to other things, and then she went and read some of the books that I recommended on one of my episodes. She's had a hard life in Jehovah's loving organization, facing lots of abuse, and now as an adult with a husband and kids she's taking a stand. She submitted a letter of disassociation just yesterday morning. Her son is leaving with her. Her husband is supportive, even if not ready to make a move himself.
Today I was telling a client (I clean houses with my wife) about the lady from Australia and he was excited. He is a former Congressman and he has the hookup at our local newspaper. He asked if I'd ever be interested in being interviewed for a story to which I emphatically said yes! So he's going to see if he can pull some strings and get my story into the paper that goes out to our city of roughly a million people.
I can't believe what this thing has become. I hoped for maybe a few hundred downloads, and I'm up over 14,500. I hoped to maybe find someone that wanted to email me or that I could help someone that was already out to feel less alone or process their own story, and now I'm making friends and people are actively leaving the cult and I'm helping people tell their own stories on my spinoff podcast "shunned". I never expected this and it is magical. What a blessing from Jehovah! ;)
Oh, and this isn't just a thinly veiled plug, I've genuinely had an amazing week but I'll link to my two podcasts below if they can help anyone.