Did anyone else have a JW "sliding doors" moment when they made the wrong call.

by dozy 12 Replies latest jw experiences

  • dozy

    Reading the thread on mind numbing meetings reminds me of the following event that occurred when I was about 19.

    I'd got a full time job away after leaving school and was working about 20 miles away - Thursday night meetings necessitated working later , catching a 6.10pm bus after work and walking 10 minutes or so straight to the KH , often arriving just as the meetings were starting or a few minutes late and getting the "evil eye" from some of the JWs when I arrived. My parents ( father was the Presiding Overseer ) would bring my clothes in the car and I would get changed into my suit in the KH toilets.

    It was one of those moments when all the stars seemed to align. I had had a particularly stressful day at work and was even more tired & hungry than usual on a Thursday night. The weather was cold and raining , so I got soaked on my walk. The meeting was even more boring than usual ( or maybe it just seemed that way ) and I nodded off , to be woken up by a sharp elbow in my ribs from my mother.

    Anyway - thankfully the meeting ended and I was hanging around afterwards waiting to go home when one of the more self righteous pioneers came over to berate me for not being out on the ministry enough. I wasn't really in the mood to discuss the matter so kind of blanked him a bit , but it did piss me off even more.

    Me & my brother & sister groaned when my father told us that he had an elders meeting afterward , so we just sat waiting in the hall with the other elders wives & families until it finished. It went on & on & I just got more & more frustrated.

    Eventually the meeting ended , and the elders came out. My father ( the PO ) was NOT in a good mood - clearly some cong problem or the usual elder politics were to the fore.

    On the drive home ( about 15 minutes ) my father took out his anger on the family , which wasn't really like him - he was nagging at my mother who was bitching him back. I knew during these parental arguments that it was normally best to stay quiet , but I just said "Come on - just lets get home" from the back seat.

    For some reason this seemed to the final trigger for my father , who suddenly stopped the car in the middle of the town & said - that's enough - "Get out - you can walk the rest of the way home." My mother told him not to be so foolish , so for a few seconds there was a bit of a stand off while everybody , my brother & sister included , wondered if he was serious. " I told you to get out." he again ordered , and I had no choice but to get out , into the cold , wet night.

    I stood there for a few moments as the car drove off , wondering what to do. My gut reaction was that my father would have second thoughts , drive around the block and pick me up - but I really didn't know what to do. Walking home would take about half an hour and I somewhat feared the reception I would get - my father didn't lose his temper much but when he did , he could be pretty crazy.

    I decided to hide behind a wall for a few minutes to see what would happen. My initial determination was correct , as the car came around the block , slowly looking for me, but they couldn't see me in the gloom. It circled another couple of times & then left.

    Rather than walk home , I decided to go to one of my ( non JW ) workmates houses a few blocks away. I knocked on the door , and in tears explained what had happened and he kindly let me in , made me a sandwich & a cup of tea and phoned my parents.

    My mother came & picked me up and I arrived home to a blazing row with my father , where I told him that I was never , again going to the meetings. And I didn't - for three weeks or so. I already had doubts about the "Truth" and was frustrated with the whole routine. And for the first time , without the constant meetings / ministry mindless repetition , the blinkers started to come off , and I began to see the JW religion as simply a pointless , never ending charade of numbing activity serving an American religious book publishing pyramid type MLM company. Years later - I read an experience about Amber , in China , where she said that being in a foreign country away from the routine made her think. I knew how she felt.


    But this was pre-internet - pre everything - and I didn't have the information available to confirm this. And also - I had no life outside the Org - no home , no social support.

    My father & mother eventually had a "clear the air" meeting with me. This was a mixture of apologies from my father , but also threats to kick me out of the house if I didn't attend meetings and stop paying my 1 day a week day release college course. My mother also told me privately that my father would lose his position in the congregation - we only had three elders so it would be catastrophic for everyone. I was in a weak bargaining position and I had no choice really other than to go back.

    I was thrown a bone there - an opportunity - a "Get out of Jail ( almost ) Free" card there , but I didn't take it. It is something I have long since regretted. It was another 20 odd years before I eventually left.

  • compound complex
    compound complex


  • ShirleyW

    dozy - Interesting when you say your dad would lose his position as an elder if his whole family wasn't in da troof, I've heard that happening, but my dad was an elder and I was still living at home when I was over 20. I was never baptized and when I was around your age at the time my dad finally realized that I really wasn't into it and said I didn't have to attend the mtgs anymore, (my mother wasn't too pleased with that, but the wife must obey the hubby)!

    The thing is though my dad didn't even get baptized until I was 18 or 19 and for some reason the brothers thought he was good elder material, so he was basically new at the game when he said I didn't have to go to mtgs anymore and he didn't lose being an elder. Just goes to show you that sometimes they come down hard with their BS rules and then sometimes they just breeze right by and nobody gives a damn

  • My Name is of No Consequence
    My Name is of No Consequence

    Very interesting dozy.

  • BethSarim Is My Name
    BethSarim Is My Name

    in the organization there's a saying that he who has more faith will have MORE expected of him. More active and longer standing families have harder hell brought down on them.

    I was 21 when I first "ran away" I thought I was running from my mom, now I understand I was running from KH. Was disfellowshipped at 19 and spent long long long hours alone, ate alone under my mom's roof. She would yell wy do you always bring me trouble.

    I was in trouble allright... I needed family... not the drones repeating WT lines and kingdom ministry blurbs.

    It took another 8 years of me striving to come back a lot of self-punishment for one day a simple small thing to make me realize WHO am I doing this for, it certainly was not for me. I married an unbeliever in my run away from home thing, cause the biggest shame would have been me as a female moving out unmarried... yup!! That was the main reason I looked around, picked a guy from my college who I knew for just a quick minute (4 months), and set myself up for a loveless marriage for 8 freaking years.

    All because I was DF and my BF was not, Long story, he did lie to teh elders a bit so they didn't chop his head off but the organization does have a thing for keeping men in... cause of the lack of active bro's taking responsibilities... women on the other hand are a dime a dozen and SHE get's blamed for all the sexual horniness of said poor victimized seduced man... you know the guy who finally admits his addiction to porn one day years upon years after.

    I did leave, the meetings got more and more boring, one WT popped at me, the last day I attended, the last day I was gonna live a lie just to still remain in the fold. It was about how if you have not changed, it's that God sees you're not ready and other family has to be humble enough to allow God to do his thing.

    See they apply this ONLY to unbaptized peeps... but guys it applies to us ALL... I was baptized because I wanted a good standing and at that time I felt like I didn't have it.

    I was also sold that baptism would reset me some how... I'd suddenly stop being a little edgy and wild... nah!

    The JW have one HUGE flaw... no one truly knows how to walk in Christ with Holy Spirit teaching them. This is not taught, the real work is shoved under a rug...

  • carla

    "... My mother also told me privately that my father would lose his position in the congregation"- wouldn't that have actually given you more power? You had the power at such a young age to determine if he got to retain his hierarchical position? wow, sheer power, I am surprised more young people don't throw that in the parents face from time to time.

    (I do understand that most jw's would consider the above a reason to be zapped out of existence and would not dare to do so but still......)

  • BethSarim Is My Name
    BethSarim Is My Name

    ps my fam and my ex bf now hubby's fam pulled the just come after work get dressed thing for us too I did it a lot, in my local KH not everyone was nice. There's a social policing that's nothing like the love Christ said we must have... kinda like when his disciples tried sending kids awat...

    but hey, the JW as a whole have no Holy Spirit

  • Phoebe


    Your post resonated with me so much.

    I had that moment too and I blew it. 1977 I had a one way train ticket to start a new life in London and leave my abusive family and the WT behind. In those days moving to the bright lights of London was something no one in my provincial town did. I had a nice job line up, a flat, friends waiting for me.

    My opportunity to disappear from WT and everyone that had caused me pain (family)

    And what did I do?? After about a month, the fear of Armageddon and my family got to me and I not only walked straight back into a K.H but got in contact with my family. Why?? I could have totally changed my life for the better but the GUILT got to me.

    My psychologist asked me, if there was anything I could change what would it be? And immediately told her the exact day in my life when I totally blew an opportunity to have a better life.

    40 years later I finally did it. But the regret is real.

  • BethSarim Is My Name
    BethSarim Is My Name

    "40 years later I finally did it. But the regret is real."

    I did same, though it was 10 years... wasted, especially now that I am convinced it's all a delusion, I wasted my early youth gave up my art school aspirations and songwriter dreams, I gave up med school as a goal...

    Instead adjusted to the next best thing a JW failure could do... married have kids and raise them proper.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I liked reading that. Thanks for sharing.

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