How do you feel you have progressed ?

by stuckinarut2 23 Replies latest jw experiences

  • stuckinarut2

    In the months or years since leaving the Organization, how do you think you have progressed as a person?

    (Or if you have regressed too I guess?)

    What aspects of personal development are you happy with?

    What can you share to help others here?

  • All or nothing
    All or nothing

    I feel happier overall, I do not fear Satan and his demons anymore. After the initial shock of realizing everything I believed wasn't true, I now want to live my life in the here and now. I can't change the past and do not know what the future holds, but I feel balanced in the now and want to be a happy positive person. I am a firm believer that positive thoughts are so important to be healthy physically. I really appreciate this forum and it Has helped me more than you know! Thank you!

  • Unstuck

    Once I'd dealt with the anger at having been lied to (although I can still whip that up on occasion), I could sort out who I really was without having a religion define me. And I found that I enjoyed learning that. Well, I'm still learning that.

    I'm also really excited to learn new things, new concepts, ideas - mull them around and work out how I feel about them, what I think about them. All the time, refining and progressing in my opinions. I'm learning not to have hard and fast opinions and to listen more. I am very much enjoying NOT BEING JUDGMENTAL and embracing people of all different backgrounds, thoughts and sexual preferences. It's extremely liberating to let go of the shackles of a cult although at the same time I have to pay attention to the trauma inflicted and make sure that I address those matters as they arise.

    It's a journey but I'm much more positive now, have fantastic support in my hubby and through this forum and other FB support groups, have made awesome new friends and am ENJOYING LIFE!!

  • LongHairGal


    As a longtime ‘fader’, I don’t think of my life in terms of progressing or developing. I’m just grateful to be free from mind control, a phobia inducing religion and phonies.

    I have moved on, though, and do not need or want religion anymore. Some might call this progressing and I won’t argue 😄.

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    Freud once said that no one could be a man unless his father had died. Jung agreed, but added that this death could take place symbolically.

    When I first faded, I was still thoroughly indoctrinated with the idea that my parents' perception of me mattered. The way they did or did not approve of me held final dominion over my mood, actions and self perception.

    I just didn't realize how defined I was by the whole Witness idea of Jesus still being under his parents' household when he was thirty, and that I should alway respect my elders because, hey, what the hell do I know?

    So, in spite of doctrinally waking up, I was still willing to maintain that tyrant/slave relationship with my parents. That dynamic always forced me to be inferior because, on the one hand, you've always got the judge watching you, and on the other hand, there's always someone who knows what to do and how it should be executed. And in that setup, it was my parents.

    The progress in consciousness came when I learned the hard way that when it comes to exiting Watchtower and fathoming its lies and manipulation, my parents not only didn't know any more on the matter than what I did, but they actually knew far less. It was at that point that I had conceivably outgrown them.

    That's when the symbolic death of my parents took place. I had to let go of that image of perfection and godlike influence they had over me. And that exposed me to growing up in the deep end and learning real fast what it means to be, not an orphan, but an individual in the truest sense.

  • Whynot

    I guess sometimes I get mad at myself because I KNEW a lot of this stuff but chose to go along because I didn't want to lose my family, my friends, my reputation, I kept telling myself things would improve, just wait upon Jehovah he will clear things up. I guess I still feel like I'm finding myself.

    I have improved in the sense that I empathize more. I realize now that I can be a wonderful human without the bible or religion. I feel like I'm a more spiritual person than I was before.

    I have regressed because I lost ALL my friends. I have to start over. I somehow feel like I need a new objective or purpose in my life. I still want to help people. I just don't know whuch route to take.

  • punkofnice
    In the months or years since leaving the Organization, how do you think you have progressed as a person?

    I'm less judgemental. People tell me I'm kinder.

    (Or if you have regressed too I guess?)

    I have no hope for the future in as much as I believe death is the final end. Nothing after it.

    What aspects of personal development are you happy with?

    I've self published books. I admit this is not an achievement as everyone and his dog can do that.

    My mind is now open to new possibilities.

    What can you share to help others here?

    Don't mention bloody American politics.

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    @Whynot: "...I lost ALL my friends."

    I hear you. One thing that became painfully obvious to, though, was...

    You can't lose something you never had.

    I remember that dilemma of being a fully-fledged adult looking on at other groups of people in their little social network. I felt so despondent at the thought of having no one to call on. No one to hang out with. No one to trade stories with. All of that was snatched away with the cult, as you've experienced.

    I was an outsider looking in at sometimes decades-long friendships that people all around me were sharing. Shopping malls, cafes, social media - everywhere I looked was a painful reminder that I was a newcomer into this world.

    Maybe your child's upcoming "Appreciation Day" will be a good opportunity to meet some other parents of the invited kids. Swap numbers without a few people. Chances of them becoming your BFF are slim. But it's through this act of networking that you might just meet a fellow soul that really clicks with you on a social level.

    Postmodern artist, Dulce Ruby, wrote: "Sometimes your circle decreases in size, but increases in value." I think that's a good one to keep in mind.

  • Phizzy

    The first progress I made was being able to feel for the first time in my life a feeling of lasting happiness.

    Then I became less and less a JW in thoughts and feelings, becoming not judgemental, tolerant, and understanding and empathizing with people.

    I came to realize that 99.9% of what JW's call "worldly" people are great people, there is a much smaller percentage of arseholes in the general population.

    I educated myself, this has got rid of any JW arrogance I may have had, I realize I know very little, but I love learning.

    I think I am a much nicer person now, but still there are some rough edges to smooth off !

    I do think that education is the key, learn all that is wrong with JW thoughts and feelings and get rid of them, learn too how to be at peace with yourself and happy in your own skin.

  • Phoebe

    It's interesting and good to see how well people are doing.

    For me. I was totally traumatized at first. Then I was really angry.

    If I knew what I know now as a young person, it may have been better but when you learn it at 64...well, you feel as if someone stole your life and you have so many, many regrets.

    So, here I am now at 65 still struggling to keep my financial head above water when people my age are enjoying their retirement and mostly because I was never given a chance to be educated and have a career of any sort. I was never allowed to question anything and I was so completely indoctrinated by the time I reached adulthood that every single thing in my life from then on was governed by the WT. I was constantly waiting for that 'just around the corner' new world.

    But I think I was most angry because my faith was taken. I read in a book once that the WT 'smashes through peoples faith' and that is so true.

    So now I am at a point where, in order to make sense of it all, I am trying to look back on a life in the religion and find the good bits and there were good bits. Pioneering at 16 was fun, attending conventions and volunteering and meeting people was fun, too. Spending time with the 'anointed' was a respite from my difficult home life. I enjoyed being with those elderly and very kind people they were lovely to me. I also never smoked and although my childhood wasn't happy and I envied my school mates who were allowed so much freedom, two of them became drug addicts and one was pregnant at maybe it protected me too, who knows?

    And, if I hadn't been in the religion and my husband hadn't come into it we would never have met and the children...they would never have been born. So as I work hard to come to terms with the shock of being lied to and the anger that followed, I am working hard to look back and see there was some good that came of it as well.

    But the very best thing about leaving the WT, and this comes about after a year of intense sessions with a psychologist, is the clarity of mind. I quite literally feel as if my mind was once chained up in a cage and now it is set free. I can't even explain how good that feels. I see things so clearly now. I am no longer beating myself up for being a miserably bad JW, I no longer control my facial expressions when I see something bad on TV for fear Satan can see that something scares me (yes, I really did that?) and will use that fear to get me.

    I know most JWs are lovely people and victims just like I was and now I want to find a way to help people get out.

    I am learning to be a nicer person and I am happier than I have ever been and learning to adapt to life outside the WT.

    I also have made some incredibly lovely new friends via this forum which has been wonderful.

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