The two paths of exJWs

by Simon 27 Replies latest jw experiences

  • talesin

    I don't understand being born in and staying in. By the time I was 12, I hated it. Being told how to think, told to 'respect my elders' aka rapists in secret, watching liars preach from the platform after being loaded drunk the night before, going door-to-door, no more school (!) ... and especially, those book studies with the crazy prophecies. The fear of retribution and guilt were big pressures, I'll admit, but I never believed all that gobbledeegook, twisted rendering of interpretation of Daniel and Revelations ............ idiotic to my logical Spock-brain. I did get baptized because of pressure - when you are not in school, and no outside contact, and being abused at home, the pressure is immense. I could have chose marriage to a 'suitable' mate, but the prospect did, and still does, make me nauseous. Rejection and constant disapproval and abuse, was too much for my already-battered psyche to bear. So at 14, I got dunked. At 16, I left the first time. It only lasted a few months, due to poor health. At 18, I left for good, determined to be FREE. Nope, I just . don't . get it.

    That being said, I consciously work at empathizing with other folk, and respecting their journey. Perception is just that, and each person's perception is unique and valid, as is their experience. That's called FREEDOM!

  • Xanthippe
    I do respect people like you who had the guts to get out at eighteen Talesin. I met a lovely man and married at twenty-two which unfortunately kept me in longer. When we finally got out I was thirty and we were both very bruised and battered like you. But you did it on your on Talesin. Kudos to you.
  • talesin
    Xan, thank you so much, I barely survived. If I had gotten together with my teen 'crush', who knows? He came to visit the shop I worked in about 20 years ago, and still a lovely person with those beautiful blue denim eyes. I remembered when he married; I was already faded 2 years, but not yet DF, and he introduced me to his fiancee at the last convention I attended, at the Montreal Olympic Stadium. If I'd married him, I might still be a JW, who knows?

    I'm glad you and your guy left together, and hopefully much healing has taken place. xx
  • smiddy

    I was a convert aged 19 and up until that point not a religious person. As a young child my parents made us kids go to Sunday school , though they were not religious themselves.

    At about 11 or 12 years old I rebelled and refused to go anymore , and I remember that was the last time my father ever used the strap on me.

    I think those years instilled in me a sub-conscience mystery about the Bible that lay dormant in me for many years.

    As a young person at school I never joined the Cadets or the Boy Scout movement because I didn`t want anybody telling me what to do or when to do it.

    I relished my freedom to do what I wanted to do when I felt like it. I started smoking when I was thirteen and drinking when I was sixteen , and by the time I was 19,  I was wondering what life was all about , the futility of it all .

    At that time a workmate opened up to me about the JW`s and for the next 33 years I was a Watchtower Slave.

    For somebody who couldnt be told by anybody what to do, then  joins a cult who dictates his whole lifestyle.?

    Go figure


  • Ucantnome

    'If I had gotten together with my teen 'crush', who knows?' (talesin)

    A friend said to me a few years ago that if we had married she would not have let me leave the Witnesses. I have to wonder if she would have been right.

    I also feel that my wife would not have left if I hadn't.

    When I left the witnesses the situation in my life was probably the best it would ever have been for leaving and the one thing that would make me leave came up.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    i wasnt born in. my mother got religion when i was about 9 years old--and can remember going to meetings from about 11.

    dad followed mom into it--and he got baptised in 1962. so did i--to please mum as several other kids in the congregation were getting dipped too--and i guess it was peer pressure. i hadnt a tits clue what i was getting into--i was 14.

    i left school at 16--and within 6 months was pioneering--again--peer pressure. Ron Drage had been giving it large at the assemblies about teenagers becoming pioneers.

    i never really thought much about the religion in those days--it was simply what we were. i started courting at 17--married at 20---and then came to think long and hard about religion over the next 3 years.

    i just knew i couldnt care less about god--the bible--and any religion. i quit the jw's when i was 23--and have had no interest in any religion ever since.

  • tornapart
    I'm not sure what 'path' I'm on really. I'm a born-in who woke up rather late in life and consider myself still a believer. Having said that I also am coming to believe in evolution too, except I'm not an atheist. I guess I have similar beliefs to Francis Collins. I have no desire for any other religion to take the place of the one I've left, I just want to be left in peace to get on with my life, enjoy it, take on board what others believe and weigh up whether it makes sense to me or not. If it doesn't I discard it, if it does I think about it some more. I've taken on board some buddhist (secular) ideas... I very much enjoyed the book 'without buddha I could not be a christian'. There is a certain amount of agnostism in me too, in that there are many questions that just can't be answered. However I take pleasure in the thought that 'it's better to have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned'. For me that about sums it up.
  • ILoveTTATT2
    I think that my "religion" is an evidence-based life. I believed in the JW's, in the Bible, in God, until the evidence proved otherwise. The second I read jwfacts and confirmed what it said, I stopped believing in the JW's. The second I confirmed that the Bible has contradictions and that it has followed a tortuous path to get to us, and that there are many different versions, let alone translations, that was sufficient for me to stop believing in the Bible.

    And when I learnt about evolution, that was enough for me to stop believing in "God", as in the God of the Bible.

    Now I am a "6" on Dawkin's belief scale, and I think it would show great hubris to be a "7".

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