They used to be happy, it seemed. Maybe it was that "smile and the world smiles with you" thing. I certainly agree that misery likes company!
Jehovah's people are not happy people
The only difference between a drug and a poison is the amount administered.
Which is why they need to be strictly prescribed and monitored by law. Therefore, safe and optimal dosage levels are critical. There are many healthy and helpful products that, if taken in excess, can cause damage. Ever heard of Vitamin C poisoning for example?
PheobeIt's a strange, but nice feeling, taking each day as it comes without worrying that I'm not good enough and if I didn't do better God would kill me. Jeez! 60 odd years of that!!! I can't get the time back but think myself lucky that I did finally see the truth and been set free.
Many awake younger JWs don't know whether they should help awaken their 50 plus mum's and Dads , often very depressed people on meds, who bemoan their lack of friends at the hall. One lassie's mum's husband left her, she was desperately miserable until she found a hobby and a wonderful worldly friend. Well, wouldn't you know it they guilted her into giving that up in order to " do more" for the Org.
I would love people like her to see your post - I always encourage them wake their parents unless their is a very particular extenuating factor.
“Phoebe”: “It's a strange, but nice feeling, taking each day as it comes without worrying that I'm not good enough and if I didn't do better God would kill me. Jeez! 60 odd years of that!!! I can't get the time back but think myself lucky that I did finally see the truth and been set free.”
Boy, I can relate to that! You see, I was effectively on “death row” from about 14 years old until my late 30s. I thought internally that I had probably sinned against the holy spirit, as my longtime elder father would occasionally scare me about that. (Thus my user name, “SAHS,” which stands for “Sinned Against the Holy Spirit.”)
Talk about being – or not being – “good enough”! Every time my mom would verbally speculate about world events possibly fulfilling the “cry of peace and security,” I would almost have a panick attack!
Once a few years ago when I went downstairs in my old kingdom hall to the second school (back when they had the Kingdom Ministry School), there were two sisters giving a talk on sinning against the holy spirit. Well, I had a panick attack and actually had to go and sit on the toilet for a while!
I used to even have reoccurring nightmares about a dark storm system steadily approaching from a distance, which included multiple tornados.
So, I totally relate to “worrying that I'm not good enough and if I didn't do better God would kill me.”
Not to mention those very graphic sketches depicting Armageddon in the old book Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained. (Boy, talk about organizational child abuse!)
A lifetime of never feeling like you are good enough is not really a foundation for a happy life is it? Add in burdensome requirements for service, meetings, study and prayer, with little in the way of social support and it's no wonder people are depressed.
Enjoy your freedom.
I know they are not happy people. Some of my former acquaintances were regularly shredded by vicious gossiping that sent them running to attend at another hall.
I am sorry for what you had to tolerate in the way of guilt by your parent - to be made to feel that you committed the unforgivable sin. This is intolerable mental abuse for any person to endure.
No wonder they are losing people left and right.
I'm so sorry you had to endure that. Wish I could give you a hug!
I recall those awful pictures in the Paradise book, we would sit for our family bible study at the kitchen table (no elbows on the table!) and my dad would tell us that if we didn't get baptized that was our fate. I was so terrified I got baptized at 13. That fear has stayed with me my whole life until recently. It was definitely child abuse.
I would pray constantly because I was scared I might be doing something unforgivable. Even when I first went on this forum or started looking up youtube videos by exJWs, I was terrified I was grieving the holy spirit.
I agree. I am 64 and although it's been painful finding out the truth about the truth, I am so glad that I did. I know some people think it's best to leave older people to continue to believe in the organization but if you truly love truth, whatever age you are, you will want to know the truth. I know I did. If I was being lied to I wanted to know about it.
Just talking to some family last night about this. My wife and I saw many, many in our congregation that were seriously depressed AND or on medication. It was heartbreaking to see.
I dont know, I spent many happy years as a JW.
I dont think it is fair to paint them all with that brush.
Especial in the 70s and 80s and 90s, when it still seemed like the JW timeline was working and the end was in sight.
But I get what you are saying.
From personal experience I have so often heard people at the kingdom hall say quite unpleasant things to their fellow "brothers and sister". Every meeting seems to have an item about putting up with hurtful remarks from others. I think one reason they are so mean spirited is in part due to their own unhappiness. Seeing other people happy, especially if they think they are not spiritual enough seem to eat away at them.