by AllTimeJeff 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • AllTimeJeff

    Among the many ways that Jehovahs Witnesses leadership strangle a person is primarily through the taking of your identity. For cults and high control groups, of course this is how it's done. But once you leave, finding out who you really are, and living a life of authenticity is usually quite challenging.

    I have learned since my exit in 2006 that it is healthy to learn about who YOU are. In fact, I wish I had someone who would have told me this when I left. I didn't. I was scared, just wanting to survive, not wanting to give into the anger I felt, not wanting to make self destructive decisions, so I just worked for the approval of my boss, and licked my wounds for a while. I was never going to be good enough, so at first, I didn't put myself out there. Lately, I am now able to do this.

    Of course, that isn't the most charitable way to view and treat myself. And that is the point. I was NEVER going to be good enough without the borg. Wasn't that the point? I was imperfect, a sinner, now hanging out with worldly, potentially demonized people. (I know, all of this is eye roll inducing, except that when you leave, the nomenclature stays with you. The words, the furrowed eyebrows, the self-righteous "thank god I am here instead of being them" bullshit)

    These days, I don't care about the ending of Jehovah's Witnesses, because they, like other high control groups (or perhaps groups in general?) tend to prey on our need to belong. Whatever the next religion that is like JW's, or Scientologists, or whomever, the one thing that they will attract are people who are in need of belonging, who don't know themselves, and aren't ready to think or make decisions for themselves... (and it is for that very reason why JW's baptizing of teenagers is disgusting and reprehensible...) So why not just claim who you are?

    What I do care about now is that I help people just be themselves, and understand it isn't my job to change anyone. I am not talking about having political or religious viewpoints that could potentially hurt someone. I am talking about embracing who you are, what you think, and not taking shit from anyone else.

    It's ironic that in the United States, the country I live in, we talk a great game about rugged individuality and free speech, only to seemingly spend most of our waking hours mocking or ridiculing others for doing the same, instead of celebrating the differences. But if you truly own yourself, that won't ever matter.

    I have learned that you are finally on the path to healing when you finally embrace who you are, be vulnerable, and know that it is ok to be just you. That was the only thing JW's had over you, because you were never (First name, Last name) You were always (Brother/Sister, Last name) When your name really means that you are you, you win. They lose. But that does take time and work.

    From there, you get to decide politics, spirituality, and all that other stuff. But at least you are doing it for you, and not for the approval of a group, family, or frankly, anyone else.

    Oh and don't forget that true love IS unconditional. There are friends you can make that will like you, will love you, and may totally disagree with 75% of the bullshit you spew. But they're your friends anyway. That is real love. Those are real people. They accept who you are, just like you do them. Anything less than that, isn't worthy of the real you, lurking inside.

    Happy healing!

  • scratchme1010

    Thank you for sharing this. Those are great thoughts. I agree 100% on what you posted. Many groups control others by going as far as they can to make people not trust themselves, or to think that anything that comes from their own gut feeling is wrong.

    That is great information, and I think it's helpful to many others.

  • Finkelstein

    Valid information AllTimeJeff , the WTS takes away your intellect as well the potentiality of accepting or realizing who you really are, restraining what you can accomplish .

    As a JWS you're a number, an object of servitude to the WTS and its top leaders. which they have designed and constructed themselves, making their own controlled slaves .

  • eyeuse2badub

    You got it AllTime! The borg definitely rubs people of the their individuality. "We must conform" is their mantra. "Don't dare have an original thought or idea. Let the gb do all your thinking for you and trust them to lead you in the right direction."

    Yep that is the way it is inside the borg. Since I've freed myself of the wtbts, I have felt so free to pursue my passions and hobbies. My nights and weekends are free. It's like life has doubled or even tripled!

    Now that you have healed and/or are still healing, ani't it grand? Life isn't bad at all once we learn what life is>

    just saying!

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Well said Jeff, knowing who you are is a significant matter for those leaving the all too embracing tentacles of the cult.

    GB rhetoric stresses being humble and subordinate because, for goodness sake, they only want unthinking drones in their cult. People who question the rightness of seven overfed and undereducated clowns to rule over them are not likely to receive any JW favours. It's docile, brainless sheep who are the most useful to the org, those who enjoy being told what to do.

    So it's a big step for the escapee to find themselves, to learn for the first time perhaps, who they really are and what their real potential is. I suggest reading Jung if you have the inclination for psychology/psychiatry and learn what he means by "individuation". Look the definition up anyway. Jung says that happiness and freedom only arrives when people have determined their self identity and begun to live it. I'm inclined to agree, by contrast look at all those beholden to others willingly or otherwise who are unable to simply be themselves like JWs.

    My thoughts are, whatever you do as an ex-JW, take stock of what it is which you think is the essence of yourself, learn what your best qualities are, and find what you can do well. . . develop a vision of yourself as a free individual and go for it!

  • Giordano

    Great writing Jeff!

    I have to call on my mentor Eric Hoffer to add something of substance. Never met the man but boy was he ever helpful in walking me out of the JW world in my young twenties.

    In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.

    That last sentence really described those still in.

    It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.

    That is particularly true of a JW.

    When we believe ourselves in possession of the only truth, we are likely to be indifferent to common everyday truths.

    That may describe, in part. why many have such a difficult time after one leaves the 'truth'.

    Thanks for sharing.

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