where to find help
I was having a conversation with another ex JW about difficulties when you have been a born-in and indoctrinated from birth. It just is so disheartening that if and when you do wake up and leave that all that crap is still in your brain. You just can't unplug. There are so many areas of life that you do not get to have and I think about studies I have read about how children can be forever broken due to not learning certain things by certain ages. Growing up in the cong. limits everything. Your socialization is totally screwed which makes friendships almost impossible. There were studies done about children who were adopted from formerly communistic countries (I personally knew several families). these children were from orphanages where they were basically warehoused. Food and water were minimal but everything else, learning how to walk, being kept in cages and occasionally hosed off, no physical contact, no nurturing, some never having experienced sunlight or even lights. One child adopted by a family had such difficulties on every level....hated lightbulbs. If given the opportunity she would break every light in the house and would break into neighbors homes to do the same. She had to be committed because it was just too late to "reeducate" , professionals gave zero hope to overcome her past. I am older now and I am very aware of my limitations because of having this wickedly lacking experience of growing up in this organization that only teaches that....there is no future in this world. Don't be educated. Don't do "normal" socializing in parties as a child, not being able to be friends (or date) with the opposite sex so that you can make a better decision on marriage. Not knowing how to raise a normal child. Experiencing life thru lenses of black and white and/or circular thinking. Believing that these hateful 8 in NY are something extra special with direct messages from God. It's like being thrown into heavy seas with no swimming experience. I don't know of any Therapists who can grasp the depth and seriousness of being ill equipped for life. Where have y'all found help? I do the best I can but everyday brings situations that are difficult. Maybe this is the way it is. I was invited to a Landmark (EST) seminar and was never comfortable there. I made the mistake of asking how much of Landmark is like EST and is one of the most indoctrinated,, mind control groups that are really not subtle at all....and very expensive to boot. I felt "marked". Not an unfamiliar feeling but screw that, I don't know why people accept human leadership from a group that is illegal in many countries. Then there is Byron Katie. When you look at their "retreats" you are physically set up for mind control. You are deprived of sleep, indoctrinated up to 10 hours/day. Fed a diet that changes your physical and emotional being. AND again, very expensive. You are just switching one unhealthy organization for another. So were to find real help and not just another scam to use up your life. When you are brain washed your default beliefs are not to be trusted....and yet there they are. It is exhausting.
It will always be in the back of your mind. In my opinion seeking help from a "group" set up is just swapping one controlling influence for another.
I know of some who have found professional help by way of psychologist to be helpful.
This site has been a tremendous help to me.
I have a few "worldly" friends that I have met along the way who I have told of my choice to leave the cult and they have been very supportive and assured me that I am not alone. These are proving to be real "unconditional" friends.
Find something you like doing, be it going to the gym, art classes etc and soon you will find yourself with friends who like the same things you do. It wont happen over night but it will happen.
I found it tremendously helpful to spend time talking to a professional therapist who was familiar with these specific circumstances and issues. He was able to show me the faulty 'programming' I was operating with and provided some tools for working past the JW conditioned nonsense.
I was a born-in, and left at age 18. I thought that simply separating myself from the religion would be enough to render me 'ok', but it wasn't. A decade later I was still tripping over all the learned dysfunction from my quite painful childhood.
If you're needing some help here, but aren't in a position to see a therapist, at least do some reading and explore the concepts of cognitive distortions and automatic thinking. Learn what's at work in your JW-addled brain that's making you so frustrated. Know what you're up against. Then you can start to make things better.
As difficult as this is, this is well-traveled territory. You can learn a lot from others who have tread this path...
This group is been one of the best “group therapy.“Places for me
I feel you it’s painful. I kid you not for every minute that goes by at least 30 secs of it are JW thoughts.
I, like Hybridous above, found a Therapist who had treated a number of JW's, some still active.
She was brilliant, she helped me overcome my Suicidal Depression, saved my life in fact, but more, she helped me see the way to expunge all the JW nonsense.
It does take some work, you have to research and read for yourself to prove that the whole thing, the JW "religion", is wrong, by whatever Yardstick you use to judge it.
I am now free of all JW thoughts, fears and attitudes, but, I did leave 10 years ago, and I did do the work needed to get where I am.
But where I am is such a happy place, I urge you all, go for it, get rid of all JW influence.