Just being honest...
For me, being raised as a Jehovah's Witness denied me of the feelings of empathy other people feel. For so long, I felt NO love for my family, no closeness except that closeness that is demanded by my being Greek. I think it made me into a robot. Even when I got out, I felt nothing but bad and arrogant feelings about my family. If they messed up, those that weren't witnesses, or sympathized with them, were going to die anyway, and I was saved because I still had the chance to get through Armagheddon. Now, I don't feel that way, of course, and my life is totally different. But I still have troubles having empathy.
NORMAL people, that haven't been raised in a cult, feel empathy, don't they? When your fellow man is dying or your fellow man is starving, you try to help them, don't you? You feel what they feel? For me, I didn't feel anything for the longest time. I felt absolutely no sympathy for anybody. Did you feel that, too? Did you get over it?
I am glad to report that my feelings of empathy and support came back strong and unhindered, later. Now, I cry when I see someone starving on television, and I cry my heart out when I see the dolphins that might be killed because of the tuna nets. My feelings are so strong right now, that sometimes I don't understand them. My relational feelings iwth other human beings are so DIFFERENT now.. and I feel always sad for the people that are starving, the people that are losing their kids, the women that are being beaten for not wearing a headdress.. I cry when there's a wedding on television. Am I a normal person, or all these feelings just coming back later when I acknowledge them?
I am a very sensitive person, I have always known that... But I didn't know it would be this painful. I cry all the time now, because of joy, because of pain, because of injustice. I would say that I need to get my emotions in control, but on the other hand I would say my emotions are starting to come out and they are bursting out like a volcano. What do you think? Have you had such a time?
I've felt similar emotions as well. Sometimes they're overwhelming and I end up in tears, more tears than I think are called for. Though I never began to analyze these, maybe they're just normal and we are now allowed to feel them given the change in context we've experienced by leaving the cult. We don't have all the answers, and that's just life. Don't be hard on yourself; compassion is what moves us and how change happens.
CG..you big sissy girl..its ok to cry
If you learn to control it better you can get free meals at restaurants and get out of speeding tickets too.
I didn't even know my headdress made you cry for cripes sake..why don't you tell me these things
*takes hanky off head and blows nose*
I also look at so many things differently now that I don't expect a WT magazine to replace real food and medicine for starving children.
Before everything was left up to Jehovah and the Org and now I feel responsible as an individual to do my part, however small.
Take care sis and don't worry...your only human.
CG:It's good to hear that you are able to give vent to your emotions.
The other road leads to depression, etc.
I don't cry very often but, if and when I do, I care not a jot who sees.
It's good to be human!!!
Hiya Country Girl. Here's a hanky.
You've been damed up for so long that now that the dam has broken and the floodwaters are let out. It will eventually calm down. I'm glad you can feel again.
Anger was my thing. I was never allowed to use the word "no", and anger was NEVER appropriate. Needless to say I threw a tantrum or two growing up, and got my heinie whooped for it. It also set me up to be victimized by husbands and lovers. (That and other JW teachings.... but that's another thread)
Today I use the word "no" (I can even pronounce it ;) and I'm learning appropriate ways to express anger before it gets suppressed or blows. When I blow, I like to throw things. Food is the most fun because it makes the most mess and leaves a great impression without doing much harm. Unfortunately, I'm the one that has to clean it up. Computers and Phones are fun to throw too. I have a cordless phone that has been thrown and burst apart several time. I put it back together and it just keeps on working! It's not a Timex, either.
Take care, and remember to tuck a hankie up your sleeve before you leave the house.
Wow, that is a very honest thing to say, Country girl. I felt the exact same way as a JW. My only strong feelings came when I had a crush on a boy and caused me to be extremely obsessive about it. I'm not sure why this was the only emotion I allowed myself to feel besides jealousy. This made me a pretty messed up person because I was almost like I was inventing my emotions at times when I knew I should be emotional.
When I left the JW's I immediately jumped into a terrible relationship. I started to feel hurt and pain. I started to like the feeling of hurt and pain because at least it made me feel alive.
I am happy to say that I am much better now, 7 years later. LIke Brenda said, eventually the floodwaters came after my son was born, and I felt every emotion intensified to the millionth degree. It was too much to handle at the time, but eventually I came to have control although I am still very sensitive.
I am so happy you posted this! Good to know I'm not the only one.
Shotgun: you just irritate me to death, and that is because you are my brother. If you weren't my brother, I'd eat your lunch. But I love you.. and thanks for the kudos. You're a great guy, and if you weren't my bro, you'd be the father of my children.. hehehhe.
LittleToe: You're such a precious person and I love you so much. Thanks for answering me. I *am* able to feel stuff, and so is my Father and brothers. They were the ONLY ones crying at both my weddings. Well, besides me, my Mom, and my brides maid. But they are Euro-Trash people. All the white people at my wedding didn't cry. In fact, my husband thinks the males in my family are big ole babies... but he's afraid of his own shadow and my own Father who is 5 foot 5 would take on a giant any day, with my brothers behind him. They are the manliest men I know! Well, besides you.. who is brave enough to wear a skirt in front of other guys.. heheheheh
I actually feel like that. I am not sure what is normal and what is not. Is it normal to cry this much? I just cry all the time! I cry at weddings, at the presidential debates, at the playing of the national anthem.. I cry at weddings, even if they are on the RADIO, and I cry when I read posts of people having problems on the discussion board. I am a big ole titty baby! My own husband makes fun of me that I finally had to start making fun of myself! Is this NORMAL? I mean.. what is NORMAL? I cry when the weather changes. I FEEL so much pain, and joy, and relief and AWE.
When I see beautiful animals in the wild, I just go nuts and just start crying. My husband just thinks I am bonkers. I just cry because I am awed because of their beauty and how free they are.. and I just start crying.. I must be a nut job or something.. I am awed because of the total beauty of the animal, and I am just awed because of the total beauty of a human... it just freaks me out how free they are, and how beautiful everyone is. I have never seen an ugly human. I tell my husband that all the time.
I appreciate the beauty of everyone and that makes me cry.. because I know everyone doesn't .. and I am so sorry that everyone can't just see the beauty of what is in front of them. Their lives are just plain beautiful and so are they..
Edit: wow.. I just connected 2 +2 and it equals 44, which I am. Not to mention that I'm HOT all the time... wow.. I'm one smart chick! This has got to be the "change" of which I have been warned. Wow... isn't this a fine thing! I make this really sensitive and positive post and I'm just a hormonal wench! egads...
HUH?? I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE LIKE THAT.
YES I HAVE HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE AS YOU DESCRIBE. I LOOK BACK AT THE OLD ME AND I AM NOT TOO PROUD OF ME.
I LIKE THE NEW ME. I CAN EVEN LISTEN TO OR SEE THE LAUGHTER AND FUN SOME PEOPLE ARE ENJOYING AND GET A THRILL OUT OF IT MY SELF.
I SEE THE NEED TO DONATE TO "GENUINE" CHARITIES AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT. I NOW HAVE FRIENDS WHO WILL DRIVE 75 MILES TO HELP ME IN A TIME OF NEED AND I DO THE SAME FOR THEM.
ALSO WE DON'T GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT THE OTHERS BELIEFS. BUT WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE BELIEFS IN AN ACCEPTABLE WAY, WITHOUT CONDEMNATION.
I CAN SEE THE GOODNESS IN CATHOLICS AND MORMONS!! AS INDIVIDUALS AND SOME THINGS THEIR CHARITIES ARE DOING.
CAN YA BELIEVE THAT?? SOMETIMES I HAVE TO SMACK MY HEAD TO BELIEVE IT.
I SEE MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD AS KIND AND HELPFUL, BUT A LITTLE SHY AT TIMES. MOST PEOPLE REALLY DO HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS. THEY ACTUALLY ACT ON THEM.
I STILL HAVE TO WORK AT IT, BUT IT IS GETTING EASIER TO BE KIND AND HELPFUL, TO OTHERS AND NOT ONLY THE PEOPLE I KNOW OR WHO ARE IN A SPECIFIC RELIGION.
I don't know from what I see many people are in such a rat race the are too overwhelmed to feel empathy. The its either me or them attitude seems to control many peoples actions. Sure a starving person in another land will make them pause and may cause a few tears, but if the person was in their own nieborhood they would not help them. I am not saying everyone is like this, but it a urban area you seem to be hit over the head with the lack of empathy by others every day.
Maybe the rat race life style of some jws erodes their empathy.
Outof: Im glad I am not the only person that feels this sensitive. I always feel like the only creature on the face of this earth that cries over the beauty of everything and anything, the fear, the joy, the awe. Emotions hit me hard, and while I hate it, I also love it.
I'm also very secluded in my life. I have a house and a small acreage and I don't work outside the home, and when we do go to town my husband is always with me. I am not much exposed to the city life that XQs describes, so maybe I have a different perception. But my emotions are hitting me HARD right now, and it's very distressing, but at the same time exhilirating. I hate it and I love it, at the same time. I feel like a teenager again, only fatter and older.. hehehe.
Oh well.. just guess I'll have to fly with it. I was just wondering if anyone felt the same way I do.
P.S. I think I must be menopausal cuz this exhiliration just got REALLY WARM and I have to immediately take off all my clothes right NOW.. bye!