Do you feel you will always be "different" from the "world" ?

by LyinEyes 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • LyinEyes

    All of my life,, except for the last two years I was a JW, and I wonder if I will always feel like I am still so very different from the rest of most everyone I know. I guess I still feel like I am on the "outside" looking in, in on the world of the people I was so alienated from for so long.

    I celebrate birthdays, all the holidays, I stand for the National Anthemn, but still it does not quiet feel second nature to me . As I stand watching my son play high school football, my mind is always wandering on the marvel of what I am seeing. I am seeing my son live his life as all the other kids on his team are, he is happy , he is free. Yet, I know that even thou he got out of the dubs at the age of 14, he also sees things the way I do. As he team is standing before the game , hands over hearts in respect for our Country, we look over at each other and with out words we know what each other in thinking. It seems odd to do this customary ritual , it is not natural to do this without thinking of all the years we did not do this.

    I guess it will take the rest of our lives to feel more and more natural about the things that our friends and neighbors do everyday. I sometimes wonder what they are thinking as they have their hands over their hearts. Do they have a thousand thoughts going on about God , if he is even real, how could this act of honor for one's country be so evil as we were once taught? The thoughts go on and on , even for a brief moment I feel those old feelings of wondering if I am actually sinning. I struggle to get that thought out of my head, literally shaking my head as if to make that thought go away.

    I feel that I will never be as one who was never as JW, it is baggage that will be with me forever I suppose. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be raised to believe in God and Jesus as everyone eles does and yet, still have the freedom to decide alot of things for myself as I went thru life.

    What would it be like to be raised to live your dreams , what you wanted with your own life and not the wishes of your parents, the elders and the WT? It is like the mold of our personalities were all the same,,,,,,,,we all would finish school, get a job just to make ends met so we could put our all into the work of furthering kingdom interest. We all did it and those of us who walked away from what the WT wanted to be our destinys , struggle to find our way in the world that was taught to us to be evil.

    I see that the the world is not evil at all, and I do try to find my place in the world that I secretly loved all the time as a JW. Sometimes I wonder if others can tell by looking at me , that I am not quiet the same as they are. I know they don't know, but I feel so exposed and I try to hide the fact that I was ever a JW.

    But do you find ,that you wonder if you will ever fit in? Will you always feel like an ex Jehovah's Witness?

  • Xena

    It's getting easier, but I still feel like a stranger looking in at the party sometimes

  • pettygrudger

    No - you will not always feel this way. Some of this "baggage" you will carry, like a scar for your whole life, true. BUT, you will learn to "forget" the scar, it will become un-noticeable after time. Your children will have an easier time of it - by the time they are adults they will have had opportunity to readjust.

    Plus, as you meet more in the "world" and truly begin revolving life around something outside the truth, you realize that EVERYONE comes with their own quirks. They have their own baggage, their own scars. And then one day it WILL dawn on you, that you are, and always have been, more "alike" than you are different from everyone else around you. You just happened to follow a different path to getting to now.

  • Sassy

    Dede, I so know what you mean. I feel like sometimes we will always feel like we are different. And my youngest son, who I finally got to see, told me he still believes. He doesn't go to meetings or anything, but he still believes. I was in shock. When I had some people over on his birthday, we had to tone down his party (no cake was allowed or happy birthday song) because he wasn't comfortable with it. (mind you he didn't turn down a present from me) When Chevys was over at our place, he told her that this is the only thing he has known, what else should he believe. So, even though he is not going to meetings, he is still keeping himself as different..

    and me.. well everytime I do something I didn't do before, it bothers me that I haven't done it before. I feel stupid that I have no history or experience on voting, or christmas..I thought it would be easy to just not say I ever was a JW and live a normal life.. but too many times there are things where I have no experience in life and I feel like I have to explain to someone why I am so naive about things.. I dont' want to feel naive about things.. but I guess time will clear that up..

    but do we ever real what we think is normal?

    like everyone else? do we ever fit in?

  • logansrun

    I'll always be special.


  • Gretchen956

    Oh for me it is just so much fun! When I did have new experiences (when I first came out), it made me proud to have had the courage, luck, and smarts to get out! When it came to holidays, I jumped in with childish glee, I still do. I am definately making up for lost time! People who were not JWs in my life have been sometimes a bit Grinchy and Bah Humbug, but that doesn't last too long, having fun can be catching, before I knew it they were enjoying the holidays again too.

    Yes, I have felt like I was on the outside looking in before, mostly when I was inside the borg. But I can tell you, its well worth the jump into the pool, the water is great, and life is good!


  • CountryGuy

    I'm right there with you guys. I think there's always going to be a little bit of me that feels different because of the JWs. Will this Christmas be the one where I don't find an excuse to be gone when Wayne put's up the tree? We'll see. When they sing Happy Birthday to my neice, will I be there singing or in the kitchen "getting ice?" Not sure. When I go to vote (at a Methodist Church none the less) will I not keep looking over my shoulder to see if the elders have seen me? Who knows? Eventually, it won't bother me.

    To me, it's a lot like when I came out of the closet. It's something you have to do on your own time. No one can make you feel comfortable with the holidays or birthdays or patriotic stuff. It might take one person months to reach their comfort zone, but another person may take years. Neither one is right or wrong.

    One last thought: everyone, no matter what their upbringing, feels like they are different in one way or another. So, in essence, we're all alike.


  • Soledad

    Oh I can totally relate. It's a struggle to challenge my (forced upon) beliefs, and then there's the ever-present fear that "maybe they are right......."

    but as time goes by it does get easier. I find ways to challenge myself and to do things that I was brought up to believe were verbotten. I don't feel as resentful as, say 4 years ago when I walked around angry and blamed everything that didn't go my way on having been brought up as a JW. Now I just take things as they come, and above all other things I am *inmensely grateful* that I found my freedom. I even go to Catholic mass now (ooooooooooooo scaaaaarrryyy )

    good luck!

  • simplesally

    For me, I converted as an adult.........I was very patriotic, although I didn't vote.........apathetic, I guess. But I always cried at the National Anthem, always praised soldiers and viewed them as special. I loved America. When I converted, it was hard to suppress those feelings.... to not stand at the Anthem, to turn off Lee Greenwood's song about America.........

    Now, I am listening and crying again and feeling good about it. I just love that song American Soldier, and am proud to be American again.

    The holidays...........I missed them terribly and am glad to be celebrating!

  • Carmel

    I'm sure it is different for evey one. It depends upon how long you were "in" and at what point of your life. I find that I don't share much of the feelings that those of you that were subject to the brain washing over decades. I was born into it and broke away before my 15th I had a lot of time to overcome things. Also I was questioning for the last five years and looking to get out the last three. I think that helps to inocculate you to some of the crappy doctrins and other social junk that goes on. Also, after you get out, what you do with your life and how you re-examine your motives, and behavior helps to constantly diminish any feelings of being permanently affected.

    I do have some ideas that I still harbor that I obtained while a JW, but then some of my dear friends that were never Jw have them too, so I'm not sure of their origin....

    carmel of the "when do I know myself" class

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