Ahh! That part! I see.
Ahh! That part! I see.
organization who manipulates- bad
me,nobody-just a piece of dust
Rest easy. It is my experience on XJW Boards that as soon as somebody calls you 'arrogant' they are acknowledging that they have lost their argument.
Rather like the desperate Hilter analogies that are eventually trundled out to illustrate anything from jam recipes to the Big Bang Theory.
I understand what you are saying and you have the right to frame your experience in any way you like. Every Witness experience is unique as you pointed out.
Yeah, I agree. I don't think there is a "one size fits all" way of looking or framing your JW experience.
Nonetheless, for pragmatic reasons alone I believe it is beneficial to frame our experiences in a positive light.
I think we can succeed despite negative experiences in life. We can rightfully label an experience as bad, evil, destructive and use that for motivation to be more wise, careful, more loving person. That doesn't make the negative experience a positive necessarily.
I don't consider anyone to be "good" or "bad." Even a child-molester or Adolf Hitler had their "good" qualities -- not everything they did was "bad."
I think Adolph Hitler's negative points so far outweigh his positive as to make a discussion on Adolph's good side moot.
Nevertheless, those are extreme examples and I don't think equating the WTS to the Nazis is fair or helpful.
In my experience I would disagree. But then I was raised by the letter of the Watchtower law and believed to the very letter of the Watchtower law. I would consider my JW experience more extremist than others. My temperment left me sensitive *overly so* to the separation and loss leaving the Watchtower brings. All of these things have to be considered in forming your view of your Watchtower experience. Suicide briefly seemed like a viable option at some of my worst moments so that colors my viewpoint.
There is some evidence simply forgetting your negative experiences is beneficial, or putting them out of your mind. One Jew I met who survived the Nazi death camps followed this way and really built a nice life for himself, good family, successful business, nice home, good retirement. While those of who were talking to him wanted to hear more of his experiences in the camps he didn't relish or care to tell us much. He didn't want to revisit his past. So reframing your experiences into something positive is probably beneficial for you, Brad. I won't argue with that. So is forgetting them and putting them out of your mind. Or whatever method works for you, including this medium, to explore the experience and glean what you can from it.
Well said Jerry. I think we agree more than we disagree on this subject. I think reframing our JW experience is the "Logotherapeutic" thing to do.
Hope you're doing well.
It makes a nice change imo to read sensible,non-hateful opinions on the JW,s as some have done in this thread.
Personally i had a good upbringing.I was shielded from Drugs ,alcohol abuse etc from a early age.I am grateful for that.Before they were Witnesses my Parents were seriously "worldly" People and prevented me from suffering the 60,s fallouts that they did.They are good People.
but,But i still am very glad to be out of the Religion.Not least because i think that for the most part it is bollocks.But i cant deny some of the principles that i think have held me in good stead to this day.I also have good memories and (incredibly!)some good Mates who are still in the Religion.
Bradley,i applaud your posts especially.
I think we agree more than we disagree on this subject.
Yes. I do want to add the degree that I frame my experience in the Watchtower has less to do with the people and more to do with the Watchtower system or ideology itself.
I think reframing our JW experience is the "Logotherapeutic" thing to do.
Yeah, or Logantherapeutic, eh? LOL
Speaking only for myself- I was raised a dysfuntinal Catholic, my step-dad was an alcoholic and very verbally abusive, my mom is an obese hypochondriac, my biological father abandoned us at age 8 so he could pursue his homosexuality and currently is dying of AIDS. I went to both private and public schools. I thought my life was rough... AND THEN I FOUND THE TRUTH (oh wait- not humble enough)- er THE TRUTH FOUND ME!!!
Twenty years later I can say without a doubt my non-Dub life was FAR LESS PAINFULL then my Dub years. I can also say I have NEVER been persecuted, maltreated, mind f*cked, etc by anyone but my fellow Dubs. No worldly person has screwed me in business, F'd my wife or messed with my kids. Only DUBS!!!
When the chips were really down (I was almost homeless) the only ones who came near me and offered ANY support were- ah you guessed it, WORLDLY PEOPLE. When I finally got back on my feet, some had the BALLS to ask me to come back to the Hall. Never! Dubs are the religion of PAIN. It was agonizing torture almost the entire time. I tried to go back to when I was new and JUST BE HAPPY (and ignorant) with the troof. It's like not being a virgin anymore- you can't go back- the intellect won't allow it. God should have made me more stupid if He wants me to swallow that crap. I hope someday He pats me on the back and says," man I'm glad you didn't swallow that crap- I had $50.00 on you at 100 to 1 odds with Satan, here have a seat and let me buy you a drink- you deserve it" And I hope there is a BIG table with all of us who helped him win the bet.
Now that's what I'm talkin about!
For the most part, the posts I make here are what I write and add to my personal memoirs ? a collection of writings that I will leave to my daughter so that she might understand what the hell was wrong with her father. :-D I never expected this thread to get such a reaction.
Like you, all I can speak of is my own experience. When someone says that a JW upbringing is tantamount to hell on earth, I have to say, "no, it's not." At least it wasn't for me, despite the fact that my mother was a virtual dictator with no checks and balances -- as in an unbelieving father who might have provided, if not insisted upon, an alternate way of raising six, fairly bright, kids.
Minimus is right, IMO. "We all were abused, shortchanged and adversely affected because we were JW kids. But the beat goes on!" I think Logansrun is right, too, when he says, "I would bet that many -- not all -- of the "horrible, terrible, rotten" experiences that some recount about being a JW are subjective exaggerations and choosing to ignore the positives."
And I heartily nod my head in agreement when Happyout says her dynamic mother, a woman of honor and principle, overcame adverse circumstances with grace, love, and undying optimism at least in part due to the Watchtower Society and its teachings. Could Mother Happyout or Mother Teejay have accomplished what they did and passed on what they did some other way? Probably, but that would be a different story, now wouldn't it? The fact is, our moms prevailed at least in part?IN PART?due to the Watchtower Society. There's no arguing this, at least not in our minds.
Am I happy that I chose to disregard the scholarship I was awarded? Obviously not, especially not now. Could I have learned self-confidence some other way, along with the other stuff I earlier spoke about? I have little doubt that I could have learned what I learned some other way. I could have learned many lessons playing team sports. A college education/experience would have been invaluable. I learned nothing sitting alone in the library while echoes of Christmas music, frivolity, and song bounced off the walls. I benefited in no way avoiding my blood relatives who lived within easy walking distance.
Still, it wasn't all bad. That was my only point.
As a direct result of having been raised a JW, I have personally suffered in ways that are humanly impossible to completely recover from now. (I'll spare y'all the details.) Still, It wasn't all bad! There was always some good there. Still is.
Though you'll never be able to pay me enough money to say I was "blessed" having been raised a JW, it's been obvious to me for a long time that my JW experience was not as horrible as what some had.
This is true. I hold many memories of my childhood dear, and of my family, and of some of the good loving people in the congregation. I feel badly that I will never see some of them again now that they are dead and knowing what I know about the trust they misplaced in a book publishing company. It is difficult to realize that there won't be a resurrection into a paradise earth governed by the New World Society. I miss these people. They deserved better.
But although some of us were not physically tortured or beaten, were were mentally, emotionally, and psychologically abused. And though some were not physically abused, some of us were, and it wasn't just spankings at the Kingdom Hall. Some were sexually abused as well. I too, would never say I was blessed. But I am also sure if you had the opportunity to ask them, the followers of Jim Jones or David Koresh would say their experiences were not all bad either.
Although there may have been times that were good and rosy, and compared to JWs growing up in Nazi Germany we were better off, there still were a lot of thorns in our lives. These were invisible thorns too, because many people back then didn't see the damage they were inflicting.
The people I knew who were good to me really thought this was the best way to raise kids like me. Often it wasn't malicious; just through their ignorance we were injured. Some people didn't know what signs to look for in abused children. They knew about child molesters, but the common perception was that it was always some stranger with candy in a big black car.
They didn't realize that certain health practices would be considered abuse in our day and age, and have been linked to things like multiple personality disorder, PTSD, and other psychological debilitations. They didn't realize the incredible damage that could result to the person as a whole. Denial is a very powerful motivation to remain ignorant. I know, because it was a motive for me as well. Denial of victimization led me to believe for years that it was all my fault. I believed that I was being selfish for not appreciating all of the blessings I had. I believed that there was something wrong with my heart condition for questioning Jehovah about the thorns in my life.