Introduction: POMO Ex-JW w/ Late-Life Diagnosis Autism

by LongGone 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • LongGone

    Hi, everyone. I'm LongGone. I was raised as a JW and I was in the "religion" for three decades. I was an ex-JW for five years before I started to no longer even regard myself as an ex-JW, just as a person. I was diagnosed as autistic three years ago, at age 46, which explained a lot. I've been in therapy for four years now.

    On the advice of my regular therapist, it was recently suggested that I switch to a trauma therapy specialist, specifically, a religious and early childhood trauma specialist. After just a few sessions it became very apparent to me that I am still an ex-JW and that I am still being heavily affected by ways of thinking I was exposed to over time as a JW, especially in my developmental years.

    I'm hoping it might help to connect with a group of people who are either ex-JWs or who are still JWs as I work through some of these things. Nobody really understands it who didn't live it.

  • wannaexit

    I don't post much, but this forum was a great help to me in the past. I hope you get lots of help from the amazing posters here.

  • GrreatTeacher


    Your story is interesting. It's great when you have a good therapist who can recognize that there's something else there that you need help with, and then recommend another practitioner. Trauma-informed therapy is something I've never received, but I've actually had training in trauma-informed teaching and it was really helpful. Trauma can permanently affect brain function. I hope it is helpful to you.

    How amazing that it took until age 46 to get an autism diagnosis! People our age had to just suck it up. There was no ADHD diagnosis back then either, but it didn't mean that I didn't have it!

    I have some autistic traits, though no diagnosis. Sometimes I'm oblivious in social situations. Here's a funny/embarrassing story.

    I taught summer school for 4 weeks in a distant school. I preferred to stay late after school rather than take any work home because of the ADHD. After the long drive home I couldn't focus anymore.

    So, the first day, the custodial staff came in after school and said hello and asked how I was doing, and I thought, "Wow! They are so nice!"

    An hour later they came in to check on me again, remarking on my still being there, and I was super impressed. They were so friendly!

    Another hour later, the principal comes in and tells me that they only have a day custodial staff and they leave when the kids leave, so when I stayed 2 hours late, they had to stay 2 hours late because they had the keys to lock up. (I was used to a 2nd shift who were there late at night.)

    So, their friendly visits were a polite way of telling me to get the hell out of there because they had to stay and they weren't getting paid.

    I felt so stupid! I apologized like crazy, and they were lovely.

    But, yeah, sometimes I don't get hints socially and need things spelled out specifically!

    My son also has some traits. He loves trains (so stereotypically autistic) and half of his train friends have Asperger's!

    Anyhow, welcome!

  • smiddy3

    Welcome LongGone ,

    I must have confused you with another poster here who goes by longgone. .....Sorry about that.

    Please don`t underestimate the power that so many years in a high control group/religion can have over you .

    ,It can take many years to come to terms with as you deal with it.

    I hope you stick around as this is a great forum to be able to vent and get a sympathetic ear, and a lot of encouragement.

    take care.

  • BluesBrother

    Welcome LongGone... we are a very mixed bunch here but with a common past in the WTS... As you say , you have to have been in it to understand it.

  • Mum

    Welcome, Longgone. I had Asperger's when I was young, but I think (?) I have mostly overcome it because I've had to learn to talk to people to get a JOB and negotiate my way through the world. I didn't become a JW until I was 15 years old, but I didn't have a very supportive family, causing me to think I had to endure much more than I actually did. They didn't have that diagnosis back then (the '50's), so my mother diagnosed me as "stand-offish."

    I'm glad you're getting professional help. It's worth the trouble.

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