So tomorrow is my last appointment with my psychologist. We are going to commemorate it by giving each other a letter.
Sept 2016 I sat, a quivering wreck, in her waiting room. I was terrified. Would she think I was too old to help? I was there despite the disapproval of the elders (one who thought I was going to be made to do yoga and all sorts of things we witnesses didn't approve of!) and an elder's wife who had sternly told me ' if you must go, don't you be saying you're a Jehovah's Witness. It's not for them to know!'
I knew loads of bros & sis who should have sought help but they suffered in silence because they didn't want to bring reproach on God's name. Well, I wasn't one of them. A few weeks prior I'd been taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack...it was the mother of all anxiety attacks...and I'd been told by the doctor, you need to go and see someone or you're going to be in big trouble.
So I did. I was diagnosed with undischarged post traumatic stress. One of the first thing the psychologist asked me was, had I ever considered leaving the JWs?
Hell no! Are you kidding me? No way. I was rock solid sure we had the truth. There's was no way I would ever stop being a JW.
But bit by bit she helped me untangle the mess in my head. Looking back on my life was agonizing at times. Raised in an unhappy and often violent family by super strict (and extremely hypocritical) JW parents. They beat each other up and then went to the hall as if everything was perfect! Sexually assaulted by my much older brother while my parents were on a bible study (he's an elder and refuses acknowledge what he did or apologize to me) No contact with the outside world at all as I grew up. Forced to get baptized at 13. In big trouble when I got home if I didn't answer at least once during the meeting. No education. No fun. Nothing. A traumatizing and awful childhood. Reg pioneer at 16. Managed to escape in my 20s but so locked into the WT that despite everything I was totally convinced it was the real truth.
Married a RG/MS - kids. Hubby burnt out and stopped going to meetings. Kids all chose to go to university. Still I kept going. This was the truth. I wasn't giving up for anything.
But all the time I was haunted by my childhood. As if sexual abuse doesn't already rip you of your self esteem, add that to the WT making me feel that I was never good enough. Even my sister, a spiritual snob if ever there was one, told me I wasn't good enough to be a JW. I believed her and so I kept trying and kept praying. Telling Jehovah I was rubbish but please don't kill me or my kids. I was so screwed up by the WT. I blamed myself for everything. But that trip in the back of an ambulance changed everything.
So I ignored the elders and found a pyscholigist and wow, what a difference it made to my life.
Fast forward a year later...I am no longer attending meetings and am currently fading, although I am considering DA. I do not believe JWs have the truth and am deeply ashamed it took me over 50 years to come to this conclusion. Of course, my world imploded when, with the psychologists help, I started examining my religion and found TTATT! But I'm coming through it now.
I have learnt I am not a bad person after all, in fact, I'm actually quite nice. I did nothing wrong and have nothing to be ashamed of. I was treated appallingly by people that should have cared for me and that includes the elders in my congregation.
My mind now has clarity and finally, my heart has peace.
I was the one person you would have thought would never have ever given up believing the WT, but I did and I'm writing this to give people hope. You may have loved ones you want to wake up, be patient. If I can wake up...anyone can. Never give up. And for anyone out there suffering, find a psychologist or a counselor. I could not have got through this without one. It is one of the best things I have ever done.
And finally, thank you to everyone on this forum that has helped me, sent me messages of hope and comfort or made comments under my posts. Throughout all of this you have been my safety net and I have been so grateful for your support.