First Christmas without the guilt

by Apostate Anonymous 12 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Apostate Anonymous
    Apostate Anonymous

    I have lurked around the site for about 3 months and finally decided to join. This will be my first time creating a topic here. A little backstory for me. I am a second generation JW. Currently in my early 30's. Both parents were raised as JWs, so I was thrown into the fun by way of birth. So from birth until about 13 years old, I was regularly attending meetings and book studies. Hated every second of it. Elementary school was exceptionally hard during the holidays. I was always singled out and bullied by the other kids for not participating in the holiday festivities or birthday celebrations for fellow students. Always grilled with questions as to why I didn't salute the flag or celebrate holidays. I grew to resent being a JW during those times. When I was 13, my older brother was arrested for attempted murder because of a drive by shooting he was involved in that left 2 people paralyzed (it's a really long story that I will share in greater detail another time). After that went down, my family was treated like pariahs. It really did a number on my family. They ended up going inactive for about 2 years. Once they started becoming active again, I was 15 going on 16, and by that time, I had firmly made it clear that I was not going back. They made some attempts to guilt me into going by using the whole "Look at how much you are hurting your Grandmother by not going to the meetings! All we want is for you to have a good relationship with Jehovah!" nonsense, but kinda gave up on it when they realized I wasn't susceptible to their brand of manipulation.

    Although I was POMO since my early teens, I found that some of the indoctrination I endured as a child really reared it's ugly head and caused me to feel this lingering sense of guilt about celebrating holidays and birthdays. Even up until last year, I was still feeling guilty about celebrating Christmas. This year, I just let all that guilt go and fully enjoyed myself for the first time. Words cannot explain how liberating it is to finally free myself of the mental and emotional chains that were instilled in me as a child. Just wanted to share this with everyone. Thanks for listening!

  • dubstepped

    The indoctrination is strong, isn't it. Wow, such a great ending to that story. Welcome to the forum! My wife and I just did our second Christmas and had so much fun. It gets easier over time.

  • Sour Grapes
    Sour Grapes

    Good for you. I endured the Watchtower torture chamber for 55 years before saying "enough is enough!"

  • smiddy3

    Welcome AA glad to have you with us.feel free to rent , rave , rant , or just spill your guts on here and you won`t be hauled into a JC meeting.

  • Onager

    Welcome! Remember that feeling you used to have about Christmas when people tell you that the JW's don't brainwash people, because that's exactly what that was!

    Just to warn you: You might still have other bits of programming hidden away in your brain...

  • punkofnice

    Good for you AA.

    I was still feeling guilty about celebrating Christmas. This year, I just let all that guilt go and fully enjoyed myself for the first time.

    It takes time. You'll get there.

  • scratchme1010

    Welcome, and congratulations. And of course, merry christmas!

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Welcome to the site Apo, thanks for posting and well done for choosing to live a normal life from now on. And a happy new year!

  • mentalclarity

    Welcome! As i sit here looking at my xmas tree without a shred of guilt or surprise i can totally relate to being happy to be free. It might seem small to some but celebrating xmas guilt free is huge to ex jws.

  • EverApostate

    I was a JW convert for just 11 years.

    When I started to know TTATT(The Truth about the Truth), it took me a year to realize and convince myself that Christmas and Birthdays are NOT Evil.

    Do not under estimate the power of Cults

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