Hi everyone. Just want to introduce myself and let you know that this site is working and is a big help to LOTS of JWs with doubts. I've been lurking for about a year, the first couple of times I was frightened and literally shaking visiting an apostate site but it's the only place I can come to for sanity. The religion has become a nut house. And im wondering if people are seeing the same thing I'm seeing.
Im the daughter of an elder. Born in. My dad found became a JW when he was about 20. He was a pot smoker and one of his friends became a JW. He ended up studying and jumped into the religion with both feet. He's been an elder since his mid 20s so that like 30 years now. I love him very much and he's very big on family but he will get very defensive and angry if anyone disagrees with the religion (particularly the governing body). I'm divorced. My exhusband left the religion about 5 years ago and - I'm ashamed to say - I left him for it. My parents and the elders (all best friends with my dad) gave me lots of praise for ditching him. Although in reality he didnt do anything wrong. He's since become an atheist and he's a teacher now in a school. When he left i envied the life he was living. He was very open about what he thought and who his friends are and what he's up to. He did christmas with our 10yo son and didnt force anything on him. I think for this reason alone our son lost all interest in the religion too. My dad (and the other elders) told me that my ex-husband would slander the religion and force our son to leave but, to his credit, he didnt do any of that. The fact that he was so laid back and open meant that I ended up asking him questions that i wasnt allowed to ask in my congregation. That's where I heard of this site.
So after about a year my ex is with another woman and living a happy life on his own terms. I really envied the fact that he could go on holiday with her and not get into trouble with anyone. One time my dad was out on the door to door ministry with our son and and came back in a bad mood with two other elders (his friends) to tow. Our son had said that although he'd like to live in the new system he'd rather have a full relationship with his dad even if it was for a few years rather than spend an eternity without a dad. The elders tried to "reason" with him by saying that he could have "spiritual" fathers in the org. From then on my son was adamant not to set foot in a kingdom hall again. Part of me was proud of him, but I still felt like I had to set an example so I made him go the the meetings with me.
Since I got divorced it's like I have a disease or something. Non of the sisters invite me places anymore. I'm left out of pretty much everything. My so-called friends never call or hang out. Eventually I made friends with a woman from work who's the same age as me. I didnt tell her I'm a JW (I felt kind of embarrassed about it) and she was really nice. Not at all like what I've been told worldly people are like. She doesnt judge me, doesnt poke her nose in my business and she confides in me about stuff going on with her. One time she told me that her sister had left the Catholic church to become a Buddhist. I was going to say "im sorry to hear that" thinking that was a bad thing for her family but instead she said they're having a party to celebrate. I was quite overwhelmed about it. Here was this womans family actually celebrating and sharing in the joy that her sister has for finding a beleif system that works for her and makes her happy. Her family wernt going to shun her or treat her differenty. This was a major shift for me. Why couldnt my religion be like this? Actually setting the example in showing love and family unity?
So I eventually visited sites like this one and JWFacts. Lloyd Evans Youtube channel too. My ex seemed to be preloaded with all the answers I had (he'd asked the same questions) and eventually I saw this religion as a fraud. I've been loaned a copy of crises of conscience which everybody on here seems to have read but I havent read it yet. I didnt know about the pedophile thing until I started researching. I dont think many people inside are even are of it. The cutback in mags and books has been taken 50/50. Half of my congegation accepted it as good news but the older generation are scratching their heads. An old sister who's been pioneering since the 70s told me that it doesnt make sense because there's supposed to be more food in the last days, not less. She's stopped attending now. I dont know where she is or if it's illness but in the 4 months since she last attended my dad and his elder best mate referred to her as "useless". Simply because she stopped preaching and going to meetings? After devoting full time pioneering hours since the 70s???
Since leaving (about 2 months ago) I've started dating the brother of my friend. I've not been to a meeting in about 8 months. My dad, mum and one of my sisters have been shunning me since. Somebody saw me with my boyfriend and told the elders. My dad has been accusing me of all sorts but I've told him that as a 30yo woman what I do is non of his concern. He didnt like that. Not. One. Bit. So I got invited to a JC. I asked my ex for advice and he told me not to go. I didnt. Instead I was with my boyfriend. We were looking after his grandad in a Catholic care home who's not well. I thought it was time better spent.
My son hates the religion. My ex is very good in that he tells the facts as it is but doesnt encourage one point of view or another. It was precisely this way of behaving that helped my son and I wake up. One of my sisters refuses to shun me and so we're in contact secretly. She's planning to leave home when she's old enough and not commit to this religion.
So guys, people are lurking on here and they are waking up. Sometimes we cant post or leave right away but you really are helping. I like reading your posts and you've helped me a lot.
Here's to the rest of my life!
Thanks to you all xx