Picking up the pieces
Just needing a listening ear, so in advance thanks for being here, no one other than ex-jw's could understand. They may try, but I think only a person who lived through it could know what's its really like.
I wish I could be supporting others here but I'm so broken myself I can't seem to do that yet. I hope that will come in time though.
For now, I'm trying to undo the damage done to my family by the WTS. At least now that I'm out I won't be creating any further disasters.
I have so much guilt that I raised my kids in that crazy cult. Because I was third generation, I knew nothing else. But that doesn't change it, the damage is already done. Fortunately, they all left before they were reached twenties. It may appear that by leaving so young they would be OK. But, those early years is when the personality is formed, education choices, the whole thing. Everyone here is healing.
Yet, at this moment my youngest only 19, recently married, and now expecting a baby is in financial crisis. As in, the power was shut off today at their apartment. $600.00 to get it back on. Past due rent, $500.00. And both of them possibly coming to stay with me tonight. They can't stay here for any length of time, my lease doesn't allow it.
Yet, it's so easy for people in general and even some family members to say it's her own fault. They say she made bad choices and there is no point in me trying to defend her to them. I've tried. I'm the cause, I think. She has some mental health issues, as do I. I'm much better now after years of therapy. I'm down to only one medication. I've been stable for two years.
Is this because of being raised in a cult? Hmm, well if anyone outside the organization were to view the video on JWFacts called something like "Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness" (not sure exactly) they could see the potential psychological effects. It's a crazy religion. All of my years in therapy I never suspected it was the root issue. Who would? But, now that I've left, talked with my psychiatrist, therapist(s) it's all come together. They were appalled by the video, it mirrors my life. The teachings, attitudes, everything I was taught and believed is incredibly twisted. My doctor, and therapists are attributing my problems to it. But, it's in the past, already I've become so much better. After only one month out last April, there have been no more anxiety attacks. I can think clearly, I'm not afraid of dying at Armageddon, I'm not being constantly lectured that I'm not doing enough, and the list goes on...
I can think for myself at last instead of hoping Jah would do something useful, knowing he never had. I no longer believe in God, what a relief! I'm not helplessly in someone else's control.
I'm actually able to at least help my daughter figure out how to get out of this disaster, and hopefully prevent it from happening again. Though I don't know how really. She has walked away from an ideal situation living with a good friend, her second Mom. Much better than me. But she returned from there, Florida, to a not so great city in the Midwest. No opportunities. Friends who are dysfunctional, like herself, like me. That's not sound thinking. It's illogical. No one would choose chaos of they really understood what was going on. I gave/give love, but how to live in the real world, I didn't. I'm barely learning now myself. I'm receiving SSI for my mental health issues. No, it's not visible, I'm not socially odd. But, I'm just now learning how to keep myself intact. This little daughter is everything to me, and she loves me, we'll get through this. I know we will. Every day is a step forward. We're learning. So glad my other two are alright.
Just pointing out that though the religion may not be entirely at fault, it's a major reason. Thankfully, it's rare for JW's overall to get to this extreme point.
Also, I am embarrassed to admit the above, about my mental health, or lack thereof, but it is part of the subject I stated with. Just how difficult it is to pick up the pieces after the influence of my lifetime and my family's in the supposed "Truth." I would appreciate any advice related to how to improve this situation going forward. I'm done with lamenting to myself and therapists about the past, it's gone. It's over, it's all a matter getting on with living.
Thank you for listening and any thoughts/suggestions.
I'm only a young man myself, still haven't left my parents home, so I don't know how much practical advice I can offer you. I will say this, though, I think you've made steps in the right direction with leaving the JWs and seeking out professional help. The only further advice I could offer would be to do your best to create a circle of friends, develop a support system that spreads beyond your family and do the best you can to deepen the support given and received between your family including your other children.
You mentioned the guilt you feel because you raised your kids as JWs.
Try to let that go. It was all you knew to do. Focus on moving forward.
If your daughter is dealing with psychological issues of her own, can your therapist help her as well?
Odds are that your therapist also knows professionals who help people get out of financial holes. Why not ask him/her for suggestions?
Thank you Ding, I'm trying to let go of the guilt, they aren't blaming me. It's just me working through it. I hadn't thought of my therapist being able to advise. I can call tomorrow, thank you.
Saethydd, thank you for your input, I'm making small steps in making new friends, also I started volunteering at one of the elementary schools helping second graders with math. We have fun together and I'm happy to do something for them in a small way. Great suggestions, thank you.
A sincere and genuine "welcome" longgone!
This is a safe place to express your thoughts and reclaim your life.
Thanks for sharing your story.
As many of us have experienced, one of the key steps in breaking free, is to give yourself permission to let go of the FOG that high control groups heap on people. (Fear, Obligation, Guilt)
Remember, "The only power people or situations have over us is that which we allow".
Also, see clearly that the life we had was indeed one that fit the BITE model. That stands for :
I found that simply being aware of these facts, helps in the process of breaking free of the feeling of entrapment that we battle.
You have done really well in seeing a proffesional to assist in your journey. A "Cognitive Behaviour Therapist" is another great specialist to see.
Thank you for sharing. The only one thing that I will tell you is not to take it on you. Like you, I am born into that cult. I had no other choice and no other reference in life than the nonsense I was taught all my life by all my family.
Concentrate in the future and int he fact that you are starting the process of minimizing the negative influence from the WT. I have a few places where you can go for information, please PM me if you are interested. They are places that specialize in people who have been born into a cult experience.
Other than that, please keep your hopes up. You and I managed to figure out that it's a cult and it's damaging to family. Others can too. It's a process.
Keep posting here, and welcome.
Longgone you say your 19 year old daughter is recently married and in finacial trouble which we all know is not a good start to a marriage but hey thats youth isnt it .
I gather you are in the states ? do they have Govt assistance programs that help young people that they can take advantage of ? Charities ? religious organizations that help people in need ? Dont let her be so proud that she cant accept help from any source that will give it
Lots of young couples make bad choices in their early years of marriage and then become productive citizens in later life. I speak from experience here.
Accepting help from whatever source can mean you live a happy life in the future.
I know you want the best for your children but the bottom line is sooner or later they have to stand or fall on their own two feet. and you dont have to feel guilty about the choices they make .
dear long gone, yes we have been warped by this cult. We try. We keep trying, but somehow the pieces just won;t fit together. We get out, but they are still in there, whispering things that undermine all we could be. All our ideas about 'good', 'bad', 'right', wrong'. All the ways we look at life, the ways we come at problems, they have interrupted. When we try to build afresh it seems distant, odd, unfamiliar. We want to trust something, but what we knew, everything we knew is fake, false, a dark mirage. Everything we now are seeing has been colored by this dark mirage, keeping us from seeing the healing that is there. We also often don't have to funds to get the care we so desperately need. So, I offer this. Breathe. See the beauty and wonder around you. They have not won. You are now free, use it. Support your daughter. Keep helping yourself. Read. Build positive relationships. Do everything they made you fear. It may be what you need. Try hypnotherapy. Try qi gong or ti chi.Join a church or social group.. Find a cause.Find a hobby.Give yourself time.As to the past, well you can't do anything about that, all the power is in this present.Use it. Seize it. Allow the pain. Learn from it. Be wise. I am not going to say tomorrow is going to be better. It might be bloody awful, but it is going to be your tomorrow, your choices. Fight for it,cherish it One day you will look back and say look what I did, and you will be proud.
Don't beat yourself up. Everyone that first arrived at this forum was broken. Some were broken more than others, but everyone was damaged goods by this cult. The healed long-timers are hear to help the newly arrived patrons here. We all have a journey to healing and put our past behind us. Everyone moves at a different pace. Keep your head and chin up. Persevere. I look forward to the day that you are fully healed to help out the next generation that finds this forum. Take care longgone