Do any of you born into the cult feel like your mental growth was stunted?

by rockemsockem 45 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • rockemsockem

    Being born in to me was devastating. When you are a child born in and raised with the They vs us and they are evil and worldly and going to die. Not allowed to form relationships with anyone not one of You. The cult is IMO devastating to the growth of children. Its pure and simple child abuse.

  • Simon

    No child can pick their parents but not all of the JW upbringing is detrimental, there were also benefits to it. On the whole, I don't think a JW upbringing is the worse thing that can happen to someone.

    When you are a child, many choices are made for you but whether someone choses to focus on the negative and use it as the blame for everything in their life is a choice they can make.

    Personally, I think people do better if they look at things more holistically - you lost some opportunities, but you gained some things. Whether you allow the upbringing to define your life is a personal choice, it certainly doesn't have to.

  • waton

    New Scientist

    The parenting myth: How kids are raised matters less than you think

    DNA is more important to a child’s personality, exam results and future income than the way they are brought up – but that’s good news, says geneticist Robert Plomin

    MIND 22 May 2019
  • fulano

    So it's all imagination then right?

  • hoser

    Yes, I believe I was stunted but as Simon mentioned there were benefits too. One of them is that I didnt take up smoking or gambling.

  • neverendingjourney

    In some ways, being a JW accelerated my development and in other ways is stunted it.

    I left the JWs in my mid 20s. I had been in leadership roles since I was a 17 year old regular pioneer. My reading, writing and public speaking skills were well above average. I was much better prepared for college and the working world than the average person my age.

    However, I was incredibly underdeveloped from the perspective of relationships and dating. We were never allowed to date normally and the principles that formed the foundation of a JW relationship were often completely at odds with those in the real world. Whereas being a rule-following JW was often enough to attract a female JW, in the real world you had to develop yourself more fully as a human being.

    Women expected an interesting personality, romance, and excitement. Normal people spent their teenage years fumbling through romantic relationships honing their dating skills, and I was expected to learn this as a grown man when the stakes were higher and the tolerance for mistakes much lower. It was bad, but I worked through it.

  • iwantoutnow
    Personally, I think people do better if they look at things more holistically - you lost some opportunities, but you gained some things. Whether you allow the upbringing to define your life is a personal choice, it certainly doesn't have to.

    I cant think of anything I gained in the 50 years of being in the clut, but I can think of many, many things I have lost.

  • Xanthippe

    The relationship thing was a problem I agree. Having raised my daughter away from the cult and watched her attitude to people I saw she was much more accepting of people than I was.

    It can leave you feeling weird and odd but I decided to fight it. Volunteering for a mental health charity, making friends through meetup groups, doing a degree course all taught me that there's lots of reasons for feeling weird and for having a bad start in life. Many people have been stunted mentally and have ongoing mental health problems and low self esteem for all sorts of reasons.

    Although I will say this, my daughter is twenty-four now and she has lots of friends she made as school and university. Sometimes they have those chats over wine (well shots I think) where they talk about weird family. I say to her everyone has weird relatives. She says when she describes her JW relatives (my family) and her ex-JW relatives, my husband's family, they all chorus 'you win, they're the weirdest people we've ever heard about'. 😂

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    Raised. Think mom was pimo even then. I did get to some birthdays, trick treat, flag was a but tricky, I usually just stoop with arm not exactly at side

    We did do some HOT dates way back when, but there was a inhibition to some things, which may not have been all bad. Buddies mother took me under her wing so I got a realistic look at Xmas and putting up tree decorations, and some other "worldly pursuits. Married in, a GOOD one, been through some trying times which show true character, and we buckled down and supported each other I do not think it was religion that helped us as much as Good character

    I had a different gf, which didn't work out because if the low income hobble we were all put into but my wife was in all probability the better one anyway. Few regrets over lots of it; wish I had gone into military, but friends who did were disillusioned and my personality well may gotten me killed (vietnam)

  • cofty

    Any damage does not have to be permanent.

    Of course opportunities may be lost for good but unless you suffered serious abuse as a child your personality will pretty much be what it was going to be regardless. Nature is far more influential than nurture.

    Having said, there are aspects of raising children in the cult that are abusive. Just because damage can be undone doesn't excuse that abuse.

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