I think I’m going insane.... I’m 17 years old and being raised in a jw household. I really want friends and a boyfriend but I can’t have that because my parents are jw and I’m also homeschooled. They are those jw parents that refuse to let me go to public school because of bad influences. I want to move away and start a new life. But I have very little money and no connections. I have dreams of being a model or getting into the music industry, but my parents have a hold on me and it’s not easy to just pick up and leave and pursue my dreams. What makes this even harder is that my parents are very “promininent” in the circuit. My dads an elder pioneer convention speaker, my moms a pioneer and I’ve been pioneering since I was nine. Yeah you read that right... IVE been pioneering since I was NINE. I was baptized at 8 and do not think I was mature enough at all to make that decision. Now I’m stuck. My parents pressured me into it and said “you know you really need to get baptized soon”. I was only 8 so I was like whatever. If I leave my family will be torn apart. I don’t get along with jw kids and everyone in our hall are older. I’m so depressed, help!!
Please help.... depressed jw teen
Do you have a relative ie.Grandparents you could move in with? that is some one who is (obviously) not as rabid.
If you do leave your family will not be torn apart they exist with you not because of you; but leave and expect fireworks and all the emotional blackmail that jw are known for.
School as a bad influence? Learning to get along and navigate all the various experiences at school in a fairly controlled environment is a foundation for surviving in the adult world in the work force.
Where do you live? And when do you turn 18?
More often than not, a person of the opposite sex comes along and then things get really out of hand. You need to not be desperate. Be cool. Is there a career that interests you? Being self-sufficient is your best avenue and your parents should be able to agree on that. It isn't too much to ask to not just have a job, but to have a skill that you can use all of your life. Local community college? Try to keep it cool with your parents. They love you and sincerely want the best for you. They're just taken in by their religion.
It's such a tough place to be in. Another poster here was in a similar situation. Her parents had kept her from other people by home schooling her. The difference with her is that she wasn't baptized. Her parents were really pushing her to as she was nearing 18. I don't know how it ended up with her. Regardless, ultimately you have to live your life and you can't take responsibility for their reactions. If the family is torn apart at some point because you go live your life then your family is putting themselves above your happiness and that's no family that you want to be a part of, even if it doesn't feel good at the time. Obviously we all want to have normal families. Most of us didn't.
For now I'd say that you should probably just keep playing the game while making an exit plan. Once you're 18 (in the US) your parents have no say. Do you have relatives somewhere that you could go live with and tell your story to? That may be enough to get you a new start. I think some look for student loans and try to go to college and stay on campus to get away, though I'm not a huge fan of debt. Still, it may be a way to get started in life.
Pioneering since you were nine is insane. Getting baptized at eight is insane. Your parents should see that know that's too much but they're cult victims too.
Obviously you want to go live a normal life, and you should get that chance. It will be up to you to make it happen. We can only give some advice. Aside from living another life, a normal one, please be sure you really look into and deconstruct the beliefs that you've been pumped full of. If you don't they can come back up later and sabotage your efforts.
I'm so sorry that you had to live that life. My heart aches every time I see a kid out in field service because I know what they're up against.
Take a deep breath and count the good things provided for you at this point. They house you, they feed you and believe it or not they love you and in their warped way have your interests in mind. SO, think how close to 18 you are. I assume that you do not have means to house & feed yourself. In that short time till you are 18 you can prepare for departure. Start saving money however little it may be, something is better than nothing. Trust me it will go faster than you think, then get to school and meet people to become friends and perhaps housemates. Cozy up to other "weak" kids in their late teens looking to escape as well. All the best.
If you live in the US, you may want to check out AmeriCorps, but you'll have to be 18. Even if you're a year away from legal age, making plans to leave will make the time go quicker. Once you're out, think about making friends before finding a boyfriend. In the meantime, your parents may allow you to go to a trade school or community college to gain job skills. Have you talked to them about it?
Time seems to stand still when you're young, because you have so much of it. But no matter how depressing your life seems, it won't last forever.
Here's the link to AmeriCorps: https://www.nationalservice.gov/impact-our-nation/state-profiles
Thank you everyone for your advice!! Unfortunately my entire family are jws on both sides, so I can’t find support there, and I would have to cut of communication with all of them except for one cousin I have. I may consider contacting her, although we haven’t talked in a while because she’s “a bad influence”.
If higher education is on hold, money scarce and you don't have any idea who you are and what you want to do with YOUR life take matters into your own hands.
Forget about being a Rock Star or a Movie Actress or any fantasy life and get real.
Start looking for a part time or full time job...... being home schooled can be a plus.
But first talk to a school counselor about educational opportunities. You may need extra credits to go to a community college.
Go on line and Google non college jobs that interest you and pay the best. You might be surprised.
Do not try for Bethel or pioneering that's a trap and the pay is terrible lol........ you need to discover how the real world works. Actually it works rather well in most first world countries.........
So if college or community college is out look for an apprentice situation. If something catches your eye go talk to the Boss man or Women. Tell him you need a job as soon as possible or what ever time frame we are talking about.
Once again this is instead of higher learning.
Here's the deal......... you approach the proper person tell them you are finishing up your High school education and need to earn some money for potentially....... college.
He's going to say we are not hiring........ or you have no skills. And then you say I'll give you three days or afternoons for free. And if you don't have a position I can fit then I want you to give me a reference. Did I do the jobs you wanted me to do properly did I show up on time and worked hard....and based on your observation would I be a candidate you would invest some time and education in if a job opened up?
He gets your labor and you get a reference. Your now ahead.
Eventually word will spread and you can be honest that you worked for free and learned and you have made new friends who provided you with a reference, someone will realize that you are not only committed to getting a job but you have picked up a number of skill sets.
Now under the JW rules of theocratic warfare you can tell your parents that you understand that Bethel needs college level trained people to bring their skill set to Bethel. My Niece enrolled in a two year community college to be a radiologist .......well as life interfered she didn't go to Bethel but she could make $40 an hour working for veterinarians. Just saying.......
GiO...we are here for you.......... been there....... so we know a thing or two.
You're only 17, so hang in there and try to be patient. Tough age to get through.
Whatever your feelings, unless you are being abused, your home is probably your safest bet unless you have heaps of cash to take care of yourself. If you don't and you leave home, you might find yourself at the mercy of others.
Keep educating yourself in the meantime. Have a plan.
Hope it works out for you.