Good day all,
First, I would like to make my apologies for not contributing to the discussions for some time now. I do continue to read this board on a daily basis, but mostly I just sit quietly over here in my swamp and observe. I continue to gain a great deal of insight from the contributors here, the born-ins, converts, ex-dubs, never-beens, married-to?s, thinking-abouts, and, of course, dating-ones. There, did I cover them all?
This topic struck a special interest in me because it is so typical of human behavior. People seem to have an innate need to stick everyone in box and label them so that our minds can make sense of what they are dealing with. Are you a Republican? No? Then you must be a Democrat. If one can be pigeon-holed, then we can filter what they say through our opinions of that particular group instead of listing to what is being said, analyzing the content, then weighing it against what we currently understand.
In reading this thread two things really stuck out to me;
1) until we listen to the questions and experiences of those who have not walked in our shoes, we will never learn new things, and
2) certain things will never be the same no matter what label we stick on them, i.e., Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A woman who is raped has not shared the same experience as a soldier in Vietnam, but both can be labeled with PTSD. Get my point?
I have always been treated quite friendly by those on this board who have responded to my posts. As many of you know, I have never been a JW, nor have I dated one, or been married to one. In fact, until I discovered this forum, I knew very little of the cult, and believed the lies I had been told about what I did know regarding Jws. This makes my perspective very unique for those of you who fit into the categories listed in the opening paragraph of this post. I have the ability to share with you what the cult looks like from the outside, not knowing anything about how the WTS controls your minds and manipulates your lives. And, if you care to expand your universe, you will ponder my questions and listen to my experiences, weigh them, and if anything resonates with you, add it to your life. However, if your mind remains closed, then you will continue to stagnate wherever you are in your recovery.
Jdubs, whether born-ins or converts, don?t seem to get the way in which the world views them whenever there is a knock on our door early on a Saturday morning. It has been my experience, both in real life and from reading this forum, that they believe the devil is moving us to slam the door in their collective faces, thus providing them with their self-righteous view that they are indeed doing the Lord?s work. In fact, at least for me, it has everything to do with my privacy, and nothing to do with Satan. If I want to hear their message, I will invite them to come by for a chat. When the UPS guy knocks at the door, it is because I bought something. When a Jdub knocks, it is because they are either trying to fill out their time sheet for the month, or they believe that I am too stupid to have worked out my own salvation, and need to hear their tripe.
For what it?s worth, I believe we all can offer a unique perspective to the conversations on this board. Someone stated that it is only when people [outside of that poster?s own personal experience] start telling her what she should or shouldn?t do that she gets upset. I understand and agree with that statement. However, that thought process works in reverse as well. I am quite thankful that I have not given my mind over to another for the purpose of controlling me. For those who have, there is a lesson in there if you are willing to open your mind and ask questions. You just may learn something about your personality which could help you in the future. A good example of this would be a person who finds themselves in one bad relationship after another, yet continues to wonder why they just can?t find the right partner. Maybe the question they should be asking is "why is it that I keep being drawn to this sort of person, and what can I do to change that aspect of my personality?"
One last observation I would like to make is regarding a 13 or 14 year old who takes the decision to be baptized, and whether or not that decision is an informed one. There is not a teenager alive that I would trust a decision to, regardless of the consequences. The older I get, the more I realize that the age of consent should be moved higher and higher. A 13 year old in that position is doing nothing more than regurgitating whatever their parents want them to say or do. Regardless of their intellect, they do not have the life experiences necessary to help them form cogent opinions at that age. They are performing for their parent, seeking approval and acceptance. I am appalled to think that a religion would foster such a climate where the born-ins would feel superior to the converts. On second thought, no, I?m not surprised at all. This is exactly what I have come to learn with regard to the arrogant and sanctimonious attitude which seems to permeate the Jdub cult. Now, if there are current Jdubs reading this post, there is a lesson in that statement if you would open your mind enough to look for it. Here?s a hint....(is this the way I am perceived by the worldly people?)
Your friend from the swamp....