One year ago this week I left the JWs...

by logansrun 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • logansrun

    Well, it's my anniversary. One year ago this week I left the organization and have only been to one meeting --a funeral for a dear friend. I didn't get disfellowshipped or write the letter announcing my apostacy, just a complete vanishing act from the crummy religion which was mine the first twenty-five years of my life. So, what have I learned? How has the journey been?

    When I first left, my rational mind had no doubt this wasn't the truth. A year and a half of investigating science, biblical criticism and a few "apostate" books made that strikingly clear. (To be accurate, I viewed the possibility of the JWs having the truth at about 500 to 1) But, my emotional side was reeling. I thought about the JWs almost every waking minute. I thought about the "good times" and how badly the brothers and sisters would view me now. I was caught in a web of self-doubt, anxiety and depression.

    Within three weeks things got better. I got into contact with some ex-JWs over the telephone. I signed up on an ex-JW internet forum (not this one). I started to make some contacts with "worldly" people -- anyone I could tell "my story" to. A school counselor I never met before gave me a big hug after I told her everything I was going through (from a "worldly" person!).

    I can say without a doubt that the internet helped tremendously. I didn't communicate with any ex-witnesses till after I was out, but doing so was critical to regaining some balance in my life. Coming out of a cult (yes, it's a cult) we have such pent up thoughts and emotions that need to be let out. If you are newly out KEEP POSTING. It helps.

    Although I had done a lot of research on doctrine, science and JW history, I didn't really take the time to probe the warped emotional world of the cults till after I was out. Reading Marlene Winnell's "Leaving the Fold" was a turning point for me. If you are doubting your decision to leave the JWs or need help sorting out some feelings related to your departure, I recommend this book above all others. She also is available for telephone counseling (I talked to her about four times).

    My relationship with my mother was terrible at first, but has improved tremendously. Yes, every now and then we get into a fisticuffs of words over this religion but, by and large, we just ignore the topic. I feel greatful to have a relative who will be there for me, although she is the only one.

    As time has gone on I can truly say that things get better -- emotionally and intellectually. I used to not even want to look at a Watchtower or Awake magazine. Internalized fear and dependency would cripple my thoughts. Now, I can look at one, pick it up and read parts of it -- all with a smile on my face as I laugh at how stupid the whole thing is. You really gotta love this religion. Admit it, they can be hilarious sometimes!

    I rarely think about the reasons why I left anymore. Case in point: the whole thread about 607 BCE -- been there, done that. I think I'm starting to finally view the world and my place in it with normal eyes. There is so much to learn, so many things to be absorbed in that it makes no sense to let this little cult which barely goes noticed by the rest of the world control our minds and time any longer. I'm growing, I'm evolving, I'm expanding. The door to a greater life is unlocked, only I have to go through it.

    Celebrating a ground-breaking year,

    J. Bradley Potts

  • Yerusalyim


    Congrats on the anniversary. Interesting story. What part of Illinois are you from. I was born and raised in Sparta, Illinois (southern part of the state).

  • logansrun


    Mighty far from Sparta. Chicago. Born and raised on the northwest side and suburbs. Greatest town in the world


  • Gopher


    Thanks for your story. It is inspirational. Good for you that you've put behind the emotional aftereffects of leaving the JW's. It only sets up the rest of your life to be that much better! And lucky you-- you can continue to have non-religious contact with your mother. Well maybe not lucky -- you made it work, so good for you.

    Your contribution to this forum is highly valuable.


    Hey Logansrun, that was an excellent post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    You have come a long ways, and things will only get better and steadily improve as the days go by.

    I think it's important to post items like this, as there are so many lurkers, and some whom are newly out, who need that validation. Your post, surely helps them out.

    Thank you for that.

    Hoping all is well with you over there in the Chicago area.

    Extending my two thumbs-up to you, on 1 year of freedom.

    Isn't it wonderful?

  • blondie


    My husband and I have a few more months to go before we hit a year of being gone. Congratulations, on doing it with style.


  • logansrun

    Ah! I forgot to mention all the things I've done since I was gone. Well, here it goes...

    First and most importantly, I got laid. Yep, I was the good JW boy, MS for six years, regular pioneered, public talks, yadda, yadda, yadda. I had never even kissed a girl till January of this year! Had my first kiss and blow job all within ten minutes of each other. (No, I didn't pay for it She was and is a great friend)

    Smoking: I didn't like this at all. Last Christmas eve I had nothing to do and wanted to get out of the house. So, I went to get gas and bought a pack of ciggies. In a wintery field I puffed away my first try at nicotine. What the hell do people see in this stinking weed anyway? I didn't get a buzz. I would rather have a martini anyday. Well, I later tried some pot with my actor buddy from New York. Now if my attempt to smoke tobacco was a dud, the pot was HORRIBLE. I gagged as I took my first "hit" (is that what you would call it?) Really, I mean, I couldn't even finish it. Bad. About forty minutes later I was laughing hysterically for no apparant reason and got really, really hungry. I hear you have to try pot a few times till you like it. So far, it was a one-shot deal.

    Churches: The only church I've been to was a Unitarian Universalist Church, so that probably isn't quite like riding the harlot herself. Actually, I enjoyed a couple of the services. One was about the evolving universe and our place in it. I stopped going, though. It just seems like a pointless religion to me. I would go again if there were more eligible ladies there, but the services are filled with three groups: retired people, yuppees with young kids and homosexuals. Now, I don't have a problem with any of these groups, but if I'm going to sit through a rather boring hour long service and have cake and coffee afterwords I would at least like to be able to have some eye candy.

    Etc...I registered to vote. I consider myself independent. I also swear a f*cking lot.

    Things I'd like to do in the future:

    1) First and foremost, have more sex! I don't plan on getting married for at least ten more years so that leaves plenty of time to see what I like. I hope you don't think me vile, but I'd like to actually lose count of the number of ladies. (I always practice safe sex, in case you are wondering or would like to participate )

    2) Finish school. Still up in the air, but I'd like to push the envelope in my life and try and get a Master's in something -- looked down upon by the JWs.

    3) Make some Benjamins. After being cautioned about the evils of materialism for a quarter of a century (and applying this advice, yuck!) I think it's time to be greedy, dammit! (I know, I isn't everything. Yeah, right...we all really believe this)

    4) Give blood. A noble thing to do.

    5) Get a tattoo. Just one, on the shoulder so you don't notice it too much.

    Well, I'm sure I'll add to this list.

    Having a blast,


  • DanTheMan

    Hey Bradley, great thread. Glad to hear things are going well for you.

  • jgnat

    Goals! It is very nice to have goals.

  • nowisee


    you left at about the same age i left. now i have been out 27 years and the stuff still stays with you. like you i have found the internet over the last couple of months to be invaluable in validating the decision i made so long ago. it is great to be able to communicate with people who have been where you have been and "get it".

    i also tried many of the same things that you did -- thankfully i have left behind the destructive things and have emerged unscathed. i wish the same for you.

    i visited chicago a couple of years ago. what a great city. loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.

    enjoy your life!

    best wishes, nowisee

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