The secret fears - did you have any?
I think many JW's have secret fears in common, but don't often voice them. It's too bad because then they might wonder why?
For instance, one day at work while I was talking to one of the witness ladies, (on her belief of some bible proof of the last days) she suddenly lowered her voice. She told me of her secret fear, that during the Great Tribulation, she would make one mistake. And that one mistake would cost her the eternal life she was hoping for. A mistake such as telling where other brothers and sisters were. There wasn't any follow up such as, God would understand and forgive me - No. One mistake = gone forever. It is a reflection of how the GB have insidiously and persistently told people, they must absolutely do things right in God's eyes, or they will not make it. And even if they do, "probably" God will save you.
And I have to admit, I've felt the same way.
Now when I hear that, I think how awful the religion and people that really run it, are. Because while the Witness is trying their best to do things "right" lest they make a mistake on this side of armaggedon, they have also been told that Hitler has a chance to be resurrected as well as other assorted mass murderers.
Another fear. If you listen to an Apostate, within a few words, just as if a magic spell as been cast - you will be forever lost and die forever. Even if you don't want to turn against God, you will be unable to help it.
That is how I thought it, even tho I have a younger sister who has through the years, spouted the most crazy things about the bible. But you know, living in the Witness World allows your brain to have Multiple incompatible ideas that coexist alongside one another that make perfect sense to a witness and to no one else.
The secret fear that even if you said you are sorry and ask for forgiveness of God, and then thinking that you've been forgiven - God really hasn't forgiven or forgotten. And come judgement day, just when you think you are safe, God will kill you forever.
Have any more?
I already knew from a young age I would never make it Very sad because it effected my whole live. I believed I would be dead around 21....
I was always afraid I'd sin against the holy spirit and there would be no forgiveness! It's crazy to say this but until I stopped going last year - after decades - I was still always worrying about it. Had I done anything to grieve the holy spirit??
When I was a child they told me during the end, witnesses would be thrown in jail and tortured. I was a little girl and I was worrying about whether I'd renounce my faith when they pulled out my finger nails. I was so scared I'd give in and God would kill me for giving in. NO CHILD should be made to worry about such things. It's wicked.
Yes when I was a kid I used to be so scared that when Armageddon came I'd be tortured and my Faith would give out and I'd end up sinning against god.
Sh@t! Kids shouldn't have to worry about stuff like that! Remember that article "oh Jehovah keep my young daughter faithful! " ? It was the experience of a young girl during ww2 who went through awful abuses but still kept faithful. I thought I'd have to endure worse than that!
Geez... the fear, the constant worry that you will be, and remain, faithful ... so many tests and temptations and trials everywhere.... so many dangers to our “faith”... and then our secret sins and — gasp — “The Unforgiveable Sin”... !!
Oy, my gods. One always “knew” they weren’t quite ever doing enough...
It is hard to contemplate and remember that mindset now... so pervasive and consuming... you ALWAYS felt GUILTY about some damn thing you did or didn’t do....
And then if making it through the Great Tribulation wasn’t enough, you had to worry about another Great Test all over again 1,000 years into our future.....
As a child and teenager I had a fear of being abandoned. Probably the result of the disfellowshipping edicts. I would often be found asking "Can you be disfellowshipped for ******* or *******"? I think that what was at the basis of my fear was that I knew my parent's love had a conditional element to it and that if I was disfellowshipped I'd have no-one left in my life.
In later years I confronted my fears when I was disfellowshipped, and sure enough my parents did act exactly as I had feared that they would. The difference was of course that this happened when I was young adult and I was then capable of ensuring my own survival.
Of course I did and by what I have just read I feel so has everyone who are still in or have left the Borg have secret fears. How could you not! With their propaganda the wt. does a very good job of instilling these fears in us. I always liken it to being dress in white clothing and ask to job into a large mud hole and then ask to not muddy. It's no wonder we have or had such fears. It's Cult 101 in their book of controlling people.
Many here have suffered with PTSD because of this kind of spiritual abuse. As a child and into adulthood I would have nightmares of being killed in front of a firing squad knowing I would never live again because I was just not good enough for God. This is the insidious control the wt. uses to keep their flock in line. What else can I say it's a Cult. Still Totally ADD
scary21 - I had such fears too. Except mine started around the age of 11. Once I got past that age, I had 1975 looming ahead. When that didn't happen, I didn't know what to do at age 20 because I should have been dead by then.
Phoebe - Now that you've said it - fingernails being pulled out - me too!
Purrpurr - it's terrible to imagine that as a kid. And most children don't tell their parents about those fears either so they suffer every time the subject is brought up at the meetings.
Muddy Waters - Forgot about that one. Add another onto my list....
Snugglebunny - Didn't have that one but the feeling of not being loved by a parent is terrible. (not that I was loved by my parents - makes it easier to shrug and walk away if it comes to that)
Still Totally ADD - I wonder how many Witnesses actually feel like God truly loves them.
I was afraid that I'd fail during Armageddon.
My biggest childhood fear was that "they" would capture me and say that if I didn't renounce Jehovah, they'd torture my little sisters." I didn't even know who "they" was but I was positive that all JW's were going to be tortured or beaten.
I was about 11 years older so I was very protective of my little sisters and remember knowing that I could never let anyone hurt them so I'd probably die at Armegeddon for "giving in". This was very real to me and it kept me awake at night trying to devise a plan in my mind of how I would escape.
I also remember as a kid, there was an experience read from the platform about the JW's in Russia who were stripped naked and marched out in front of everyone in the village. They were made to kneel down in the snow and every so often someone would throw a bucket of cold water on them.
I can't even remember how the story turned out but I was sure that I was going to be marched through the streets naked and all the kids at school would be jeering and laughing.
Later, when I had 2 boys of my own, I made sure to shield them from such information but my childhood worries continued only this time they were about how I was going to get my own boys through the "Great Tribulation" and not renounce my faith if anyone tried to hurt them.
They are now grown and I'm a Grandpa. I would have been nice to have had a childhood free of such concerns. It would have been nice to have enjoyed my own children without sometimes regretting having brought them into the world to face the inevitable fate of the Great Tribulation and Armageddon.
Having to poop on a subway train in New York City.
There are no bathrooms.
Rub a Dub