Finding our true identity after spiritual abuse in the Watchtower

by Faith after Deception 14 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Faith after Deception
    Faith after Deception

    I personally find that when you’ve been around toxic people long enough, either in a family environment or as part of a cult or a highly controlling church, (or worse, BOTH!), you tend to get a very twisted view of your own identity and also human nature in general.

    In a religious context, you may end up feeling that you are a “lowly worm” and that in general, people can’t be trusted. Since all you’ve known of relationships has been painful, complex and tiresome, it can give you the impression that this is the norm and that’s all you can expect

    Neuroscience has proven that when we’re chronically tired, stressed and/or emotionally depleted, our ability to make wise decisions is severely impaired. We’ll generally just resort to what feels comfortable, familiar or safe. The problem is: if we aren’t used to being in a truly safe environment, we may find ourselves surrounded by yet more toxic people, because that’s what feels normal to us.

    On the other hand, if we meet people who are genuinely kind, sincere and loving, we may get scared and run away, because they just feel so unfamiliar and foreign to us. Or, we may be terrified of opening up and being vulnerable, because we’ve been hurt so many times in the past and fear we just can’t risk it again…

    Maybe we don’t believe we actually “deserve” love or are worthy of someone else’s affection, so we distance ourselves from them…

    This is also the reason why toxic churches and cults can be so damaging to our ability to form healthy friendships and relationships. There is a constant environment of criticism, blame, and gossip, and they don’t teach that we are beloved or saved by grace, but that we must strive after perfection in order to earn God’s love.

    However, once we begin to stand in our true identity as beloved sons and daughters of the Most High, we can move towards healthy relationships that are not dictated by fear, manipulation or selfishness.

    I truly believe that once we can accept that God is good and that he loved us enough to send His Son to die for us, we can really flourish and start to form healthy relationships. When we receive His love in our hearts and it starts to irradiate through our being to others because it will be Christ’s love that is flowing through our veins, not our own. Our whole self will be founded on the rock of Christ’s love for us, rather than on the slippery sinking sands of fear, self-loathing or insecurity.

    This transition to self-compassion and the deep knowledge of our belovedness can take time and isn’t usually immediate. We have acquired many toxic thought patterns in our brains that tell us that we “aren’t enough” and can constantly slip back into anxiety, self-doubt, and envy… Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to make a conscious effort to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:12) so we can finally understand with our heart and mind that we are beloved and not cursed. This can be a long process, and we will need the encouragement of others on the way and great patience and grace towards ourselves. If you’re currently going through this process and are looking for a safe place to share, I invite you to email me at [email protected] or to join our Faith after Deception Fellowship group if you’re not a member already. I’d love to hear from you and to pray for you.

    Love in Christ,


    The Prodigal Son

  • Vanderhoven7

    Beautifully said Emily. We are of infinite value and importance in the eyes of God.

  • zeb

    Well put Emily.

  • Giordano

    Emily you and Van believe in a god that is not provable. A point of view dependent on some Christian teachings but has little or no real impact or meaning.

    There is no god other then the one who was in charge of acting out...... like a child.......... declaring that everyone was too wicked to live...... so the Flood. This was god's creation and he had no control over it. Now, He, She, It, needs to drown every one in the world. Start over with a clean slate.

    This god drowns a world because it's standards weren't met......... though I don't recall what those standards were.

    This was the time to send his son down to earth to explain his rules but he never did.

    The little children and the unborn are drowned with their mothers so this god can start over again. A New world populated by Noah's family of idiots. How long did that last.

    Instead we get a world worse then the first one.

    Didn't god understand what would happen? Your god would have known...... which makes his believers as guilty as their god....... as guilty as sin to support It's actions.

    The truth is this god, doesn't exist other then in dumb Hebrew writings that described a god that never existed. And strange New testament scripture that twisted this god and his son into a game that never ends and can never be won.

    A loving god? Look at the suffering, the needless deaths and wars, the diseases that could be cured if we just knew what to do. If your god gave a crap.........

    Most of your beliefs are spent defending a god that has no real interest in any of us.

    We live and we die, we suffer our loses and we feel pain. Being human can be a hardship but believing in a god that doesn't give a crap about us just adds to the pain.

    A god who doesn't use anything but silence to communicate........ is it any wonder that we have thousands of interpretations of that silence. And yours is just one of them.

    I for one believe in humanity and I for one want to make a difference. Good people of all manner are the only ones making a positive difference in our world and in our time.

  • jonahstourguide

    Thank You Giordano.

    Not to mention that 1.75 deaths globally per second are just looked upon as "I told you so" "It's Satan" according to the 'Bible' ,,Yep makes heaps of sense,,,,,

    How many deaths per second will it take for the supreme deity to do something?

    If we are made in his image and grieve when one human dies or one animal dies and jesus moaned when his mate died, how can he look at what's going on and do nothing.

    Is he really real or a figment of religious humans' imaginations ?.

    Just my 2 bobs worth.


    Yes, faith is what it is. If it works for some, good. If it doesn't work for others (realists), good.

  • peacefulpete

    The spirit of Emily's post is constructive and appreciated by many here. While others, like myself, have found purpose and acceptance without a particular theology, I understand the role religion plays in some people's lives. I'm glad you have found some peace.

  • tiki

    I relate very strongly to the third and fourth paragraph.....neuroscience proving that our set brain circuits impact our view of self and others. I have lived a life accepting toxicity in relationships as the norm and it is indeed hard to reform those perspectives.

    Spirituality I see differently.....the human, the life we lead, is one thing...our intrinsic self...the spirit....something else and elusive to the human mind. There is much we simply cannot grasp about eternity....the we are currently locked in the human condition.

  • Mizalisa

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    I've just joined this group. I need to talk to someone who understands. For three long years I've been in love with and involved with a JW man. He seems to want to leave at times, but always goes back. He keeps me secret from his family and lives a double life.

    I finally walked away today. He will never leave and never treat me with respect. I'm devastated. I held on for so long. But I lost him to the cult.

    I don't know how to post a new post ony own.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    I'm glad that you have found some comfort Emily after religious deception by the Watchtower org.

    The sense of belonging was one reason we were there at one time. Our earliest human experience was of a safe place in our own family and we enjoyed without analysing, a complete acceptance of us as an individual, was fundamental to our happiness --as long as we experienced loving parents-- and something we can build upon to mature to an independent adulthood.

    However as adults these basic human experiences can be distorted by beliefs which encourage a dependency on unknowable spiritual beings God, his son and angels etc. This is faith and faith was the means by which the world turned in the past.

    It is a comfort to have an identity, for the believer it means to see ones self as part of the community of the many who put their trust in God. Yet faith is belief in the unknowable and submission to it.

    If we knew things we would not need faith. Isn't it best to invest our emotions in things we can actually know?

  • nonjwspouse

    Miz my clumsy fingers hit the dislike button. I apologize. I wanted to hit the like button. I am so glad to hear you are taking the steps towards a better life by walking away from the toxic double life you were a part of. A HUGE cyber hug for you as I know this is a difficult time for you.

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