A big welcome Ray to this board. Your story really rings true for me in so many ways. I must say if it was not for the cult my parents would have divorced before I ever started school. They needed structure and the cult gave them that. With that said everything else about it really sucked. Looking forward to read more of your experiences. Take care. Still Totally ADD
The impact and consequences of being born into the jehovahs witness cult.
As I expressed in my original post I categorically will Not blame watchtower for every negative aspect. As can be seen I came from disadvantage and the encouragement by watchtower to read fed into my appetite for wonder that was already there thus increasing my vocabulary and leading to my eventual exit.
Same here, I read a lot - fiction, science, everything ... looking back I think it was driven by a certain amount of escapism (you may be stopped doing many things, but you can escape to anywhere in your mind / through a book) and because I learned what a joy it was to read.
What I was getting at with the 'wallowing' comment is that there seem to be two main groups of exJWs. The first look to the future and what they can do with the rest of their lives, they acknowledge the challenges they had in the past but don't let them become an anchor weighing them down. The other group view everything through the WTS filter - if anything bad happens, it's because of the WTS. It even spills over into them seeing the WTS in other situations - if someone's post is moderated, it's because I'm "just like an elder".
Honestly, I think we all spend some time in both camps but it's good to try to catch yourself if you find yourself blaming having to attend meetings 30+ years ago for some current failure.
I certainly don't want us to wallow in self pity, but to see what has impacted us, what we can change, and to be proud of how far we have come despite forces to the contrary.
Exactly. And the more you focus on the victories, the more victories you have because you realize that the negative impacts are in the past. The WTS has as little impact on my life as my GCSE results, at some point it just doesn't apply anymore, good or bad. But it's easy to forget the good - sometimes a healthy lifestyle, no smoking, drugs, STDs etc... Those are benefits and whether people like it or not, a moral upbringing may not be as much fun but it has its pluses.
To be fair we talk more about tornadoes and hurricanes that impacted us negatively than the sunny days that follow.
I'm definitely talking "general" life events. For some they have major hurdles to overcome and my comments don't apply to them. Some people have had tragic events in their upbringing and do have things to contend with that have severely and negatively impacted their lives.
But +99% of people are, I believe, free to make as much of their lives as they want to if they put the effort in.
Yes to be assertive in that environment can clash with the leadership, most of the elder body were good men in my experience at that congregation but there was an element of power tripping with a select few and they were not kindly.
And saying no to my father was a difficult thing to do. I was respectful though, not just because I was living under his roof but that is my disposition.
Isn't it peculiar how we can have such mirrored experiances?
I guess it makes sense when we were part of an organization that insists on unity of thought and teaching globally to have that similarity particularly during the same time period so we were impacted by the same world events as well.
Sorry to hear your son has not recovered so well, but time and dilligent research with supportive community can do wonders. Also you have to allow yourself to go through the grieving process to be able to move forward. And most importantly to seek professional psychological help or intervention before letting the trauma be all encompassing and consuming.
Being so genetically different even within a family group we tend to have vastly different responses and reactions to trauma and even confrontation.
We should have empathy for those that don't cope so well, firm but fair and mild in our approach.
I have a lot of love for my family and I let them know regularly, I would love to have deep and meaningful conversations with them but that just doesn't happen unfortunately.
I know full well where their minds are at and I understand they are just as genuinely concerned for my spiritual welfare as I would have been when I was fully in. And that concern comes from a place that has love at its core.
Thank you for your kind and well thought out words.
Fink, i get you.
"Forewarned is forearmed"
And " your mileage may vary"
All depends on your personal disposition, circumstance, environment and so many other factors that influence your choice of direction taken and also how proactive you are to make positive change in a hostile situation.
Hi zeb, thanks for the welcome mate.
Thanks so much for that walk-through, I have a much better understanding of your intended incites and what you were trying to convey.
It's my guess that some people's emotions are still so raw because they have not properly faced their problems with professional help that they tend to be very reactive, lashing out at the people who are trying to help them.
It's certainly not fair on you as the site owner to be personally attacked when you do provide a place for them to get sage advice and comfort.
Again I really appreciate you explaining your position because I was initially thinking your response was a bit harsh and abrasive.
I hope I come across to you and everyone here as intended.
With genuine caring and concern.
All the best,
Hi there Still Totally ADD,
My parents also needed that structure to hold on to.
There were so many screaming matches, I think without the jw religion it could well have escalated to next level, so it did provide a tempering effect.
So, yes there are definitely some positives some of us can credit to it if we are honest.
Thanks for your big welcome and all the best to you too.
Congratulations for not getting baptised. That has to be the best thing I never did. It has allowed me to keep up my relationships with my family. Dysfunctional, yes, but that's better than an outcast from being DF or DA.
Hi Blacksheep and thanks.
It truly is one of the many decisions I am proud of my young self for making.
Sad that I didn't value my education but that has over-all had little impact to the end result other than some shoulda coulda woulda hypothetical scenario.