My presentation (new one here!)

by Skepsis 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • scratchme1010

    Welcome to the forum. In many ways you remind me of me at your age. The number one thing, before anything else, that I strongly suggest is DON'T GET MARRIED IN THE CONGREGATION. As is, although you have better choices, but your decisions are not easy to make.

    The path that I took when confronted with a similar situation was finding some biblical reason to work full time. The way I framed is that I was "preparing to form my own family, and I want to support a nice pioneer wife". You may feel like a bigger hypocrite doing that, and it's definitely a lie if you (like I did) had no intention of following through with it, but it took the pressure from people in the congregation.

    Also, regardless of what you do, including if you decide to stay in the congregation, try to push back from too many people being in your business.

    Another suggestion is to make a physical change that can help you start over in a new congregation. You can go to a congregation in your first language. In the new congregation where no one knows you (or barely), you have a better handle of people around you.

    In essence, at the end of the day, this is your life other people are playing with. Although you have an advantage of already having a college degree (even if you decided to pioneer now, your degree can still be useful in the future), the larger issue is the organization and/or some people in your congregation being too deep into your business, some of them in the form of looking up to you and expecting you to be a role model to them.

    Regardless of what you choose to do, having so many people in your business is a key issue to address. It's not easy since the WT promotes this black-and-white mentality that you are either all for them or against them.

    The two things keeping me from stepping down are:

    1. Uncertainty and fear. I'm a born in, I've never lived in the world and even during University, I went to classes and had the least possible relationship with "wordly people".

    This one is definitely something I relate to. Looking back, what helped me was a few things I went into "the world" with:

    1. My attitude. I was not afraid of the world. I saw my life as a blank canvass where I can paint whatever I want. If you have been through college, you now have an idea that the world is nothing like the WT says it is. I was born-in too, but my JW experience was so bad that I decided that there's no way that the world can be worse. Embrace the world.
    2. I didn't become "anti-JW". This is very important to remember. The negative influence of the JWs, again, it's very black-and-white. Just because you are no longer a JW, it doesn't mean that you have to do the opposite of what they teach. It is good advice to stay away from drugs, there are things about maintaining a healthy lifestyle that some of the JW teachings promote. From the JW teachings, keep what is good for you and protect you from making poor decisions.
    3. Similar to the previous one, also notice that not only the WT teaches everything that you are supposed to do, but it also convinces people of what they are supposed to be/become if they leave. DON'T LET THAT NONSENSE INFLUENCE YOUR DECISIONS. At the end of the day, the WT has no authority over you, and you are the one deciding where you will be taking your life.
    4. Prepare for things not going well. A number of people become isolated, depressed or even suicidal because life happens and they think that a bad event (an accident, illness, financial problems) are somehow consequences of leaving that organization. THAT IS NONSENSE. The sooner you realize that, the better for you.
    5. Prepare a support system but use good judgement when letting certain people in your life. make good friends, but stay away from other people who may not be of good influence to your life.
    6. STAY AWAY FROM OTHER CULTS. Look for your own spiritual path, but that should not be the only thing in your life; in fact, I didn't look for any spirituality for decades. I had too much shoved down my throat in the congregation.
    2. Pressure from family, friends, brothers... They all expect me to continue doing things the same way I've been doing all these years.

    Learn to set boundaries. My best guess is that all those who pressure you (a) have jobs, probably full time, (b) have their own families, (c) are not pioneers themselves. There are a lot of JWs who loooooove to "encourage" others to do the things they themselves don't do, nor they have the desire to do.

    The issue of setting boundaries with people will come up time and time again if you don't take care of it now. I think that there's no way around this one but finding a way of getting them off your back. The truth is that IT IS WORSE IF YOU ACTUALLY DO AS THEY TELL YOU. If you don't set a boundary now, they will get used to having you do things their way. As uncomfortable as that feels, look for a way to keep them at bay. Trust me, I know how it feels to have those people around you trying to have you make decisions that THEY will not have to face consequences of.

    I would like to stop altogether because I now feel like a hyprocrite. But I know it would do more harm than good so my plan is to take decisitions step by step. I'm planning to quit pioneering in 4-5 months and then move to another congregation as the one I'm attending now is very small and I have a lot of pressure on me to do a lot of things and it's hard even to miss one meeting!

    As good as it is to just leave, I don't think it's in your best interest to do so. Your plan looks good, but I'd suggest to not time your fading. Let the fade happen gradually as it's important that it happens right, not necessarily fast and abrupt.

    You are not the only one facing this, and know that there are a lot of people here who truly know where you come from because we have been through the same. I hope my long post helps.

  • Magnum

    I was 110% JW. Quit college, started pioneering. Quickly climbed the JW ladder. The end was imminent, coming at any time. I suffered, slaved, and sacrificed for many years - living often in third-world conditions. Now, I'm later 50's with a low-paying, but stressful job that I can have for probably only one or two more years because the technology it's based on is dying.

    I have no savings and no retirement prospects. I spend many hours per week looking for another job or a business to try to buy. I feel that I'm just starting out in my financial life while I have friends who are retired - one from a federal government job at about 54 and the other from a high school athletics director job in his early 50's. They both are set for life with pensions and benefits. They can do whatever they want seven days a week, 365 days a year while I try to find a job or business from which I will never retire. And even my old non-JW friends who are not retired could retire if they wanted to do. They are all married, and the lowest paid member of each couple makes a lot more than my wife and me together.

    I wish I could really let you know how much I hate the fact that I was raised in a cult and indoctrinated and had my life taken away from me. My situation slaps me in the face every day of my life. It's infuriating. My JW mother once told me to just walk away from JWs if I don't like the religion anymore. I said "WALK AWAY! JUST WALK AWAY??? As if that's easy??? My whole life has been taken from me. I can't just walk away as if unaffected. That's like telling me to just walk away from a rattlesnake bite or from a job that exposed to me to damaging radiation."

    I feel there's a lot of work to do but I feel it's a kind of work and effort that leads you nowhere. A lot of bureaucracy, speeches, RVs and studies with people with no real interest.

    And you are right to feel that way. Almost every day my wife and I mention all the JW stuff we used to do and how it was a total waste of time - how we wasted our lives with all the bureaucracy, getting up talks (and trying to make the material make sense), calling on people who were worthless or had no interest, helping deadbeat JWs, etc.

    We wasted our lives. Don't do the same. You have time to correct your course; my wife and I didn't when we woke up. We will suffer until we drop dead.

    Oh, and another point about all the work we did as JWs - not only were we not paid, but the JW organization wanted us to pay it all the while (in the form of donations). We donated to them for all of our suffering, deprivation, and hard work. God, I want some payback!

    I think it would be good to move to another congregation. We did that, and it made the fade much easier.

  • DesirousOfChange

    And now I have to take the decision between accepting a full-time job or serving as a pioneer.

    That shouldn't require much of a decision, even IF you want to remain a good witness boy. Most good witness boys want to find a good witness girl with whom to do the horizontal mambo (ada hide the salami), of course AFTER they get married in the KHall. How can you do that and support a family unless you have a good job/career? It takes money to live. It takes more money to live well. Simply tell them that you have goals of finding the right good JW girl and settling down and you see the ability to support your family as a more important BIBLICAL responsibility. (1 Tim 5:8).

    Point to Elders in your area that have a GOOD job and have a nice house and who DO NOT pioneer. That guy is your example. Look at all the 1st Century Christians. Were they all apostles and missionaries? NO! Only a few were, and the vast majority were regular working schmucks in all those Congregations. That is your Biblical example.

    Now, just go do it. You don't have to be in a hurry to resolve all the JW doctrinal issues or to determine what you're going to do about that. Take steps NOW to make your life better, because this life IS all there is! Good luck! . . . Doc

    Edited: I just read Magnum's comment just above mine. He makes the point better than I ever could. (I guess I have been fortunate, as my life is not nearly as badly damaged by being a JW.)

    Thanks for sharing that, Magnum. If this young guy (and hopefully many others) will listen to your words of wisdom, you may save many of them from the same unfortunate fate.

    To all of you lurkers who are sitting on the fence (esp you younger ones): GET OFF OF YOUR ASS! Quit sitting on the fence!!! Get out and make life work for you!! Do it now!! If you wait one more day, you will be a day older and have wasted another day!

    Image result for remember how great your first sexual experience was? Too bad there was no one with you to share the experience.

  • Skepsis

    Thanks for all your messages of support.

    I feel like I lost part (if not all) of my youth. At least, when I was 23, I reconsidered my decisition to not going to college, that's almost the only thing I don't regret.

    Now I have a couple of job offers and I will use it to start a new life.

    Now pioneering, living still at home with my parents and in a congregation with a lot of things to do is almost impossible even to have time to think.

    I read some threads about fading, still don't know if I want to abandon the religion or not, but what I do need is to quit pioneering and have more time for myself and goals that would benefit my life: having a career, freetime to do sports... things I have abandoned to progress in the so called "truth".

    So I guess it will be my next goal. I just can't preach others about something I don't believe.

    Fortunately I don't have a JW girlfriend. I broke with my JW girlfriend a year ago, she's so spiritual and brainwashed... It would have been even worst!

    I prefer doing this at my own pace for the sake of family and my own: quitting pionering, living by myself (can't imagine fading while at home with my family)...

    I'll keep reading this forum. Thanks to all for it, I feel less lonely in this. Discovering and confronting your doubts it's really hard as many of you had experienced!

  • Dreamerdude

    Thank you for the great introduction. I am happy for you, that you woke up while you are still young.

    You have a good plan and have received some good advice here.

    Once you land a job you can support yourself on, it will make it easier to explain the need to stop pioneering. I have just one suggestion. The WT study for next week can give you a golden opportunity to explain your need to move to a congregation in your native language. The photo of the family that is struggling to understand speaks a thousand words. Study that article carefully, now that your eyes are open.

    I wish you the best.

  • Crazyguy

    Just take it slow and make moves like a chess player thinking out every move. I went fast and have regretted it ever since. Your on the right track , do things that benefit you and not the cult.

    I think that people in the cult with family can and should stay in but live to be happy and only give the cult lip service. If and when people push you or criticize you, you can always give examples in the Bible or of past jws to show your living a mature wise life style. Welcome again to this forum!

  • Skepsis

    Thanks Magnum, your post is very clear as it's all I'm seeing in all those who pioneered and gave their lives to the Organisation.

    And thanks DesiriousOfChange, that's my plan. I'm telling to some elders who would understand it and your reasoning fits well with what I think now. Because I feel like I'm sacrificing myself to the Org. The timing to quit pioneering is just to not do it abruptely and raise suspicions about me.

    And yes, I'm really starting to live my life realizing it's my responsibility to take my own decisitions and plan my future.

  • SnakesInTheTower

    Good plan, quit pioneering, take the job, save up money, stay out of debt, move out on your own, switch congos....fade. The treadmill in WT never stops.

    Do you know what foie gras is? The way a goose is raised for that is horrible. That is the way I felt growing up in the cult...force fed with, ms, elder, mts...all of which I the end ...the goose is still cooked, with a horrible life until then.

    Good luck with your new life and freedom.

    Snakes (Rich)

  • freddo

    Hi Skepsis!

    Your written English is almost perfect. Well done. A STEM degree is wonderful.

    Now, get hold of a May 22nd Awake from 1969 and look at page 15 paragraphs 1 and 2. If they have proved true then give up any career and pioneer full time. If not ...

    Image result for awake may 22nd 1969

  • steve2

    The biggest problem when you've been raised in the organization is learning how to survive the disapproval and judgements of people you once admired and whose opinions probably still matter to you.

    In broad outline, letting your elders down by making your own life is as old and widespread as humankind. It is not unique to religious groups but widespread geographically and culturally. Think of young women who go against cultural norms by getting an education or children who are expected to follow in the footsteps of their parents.

    Bucking the trend is hard regardless of your background - although admittedly the consequences differ widely across different religio-cultural groups.

    I would hate to be a woman raised in a ethnic minority who is expected to agree to an arranged marriage with no thought of having her own plans for her life. I would hate to be a child who is told that if he does not follow his father's employment choices, he will be disowned.

    None of my comments minimize the struggles you are facing and will face. But I hope they help you see that, in one form or another, having your own outlook on life is a risk factor for disappointing older people, parents in particular.

    Don't rush any decisions. Contrary to what JWs believe, the end is not near. Time is on your side. Besides, making decisions under urgency is one way to bring yourself back in line with what others expect of you.

    Yes, you will be a huge disappointment if you step down in time from responsibilities in your local congregation. There is no way you can avoid disappointing them. But you can frame your choices with tactfulness and "private" business. You've come this far - I can see you going much further but at timing and pacing of your own choosing. Best! steve2

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