Confused, worried, angry, hurt and lots more - 45 years a witness and now disassociated last 3 weeks, family friends now shun me, very much alone, I need advice please please please, where do I go from here, anyone help please.
where to now
Good to have you here!!! What happened? Maybe we can help you.
Welcome !!! If you share more of your story, I'm sure you'll find support from others who have had similar experiences. Stick around, you'll find it helpful and healing.
Dued hang out here- I got your back!
Disassociating implies a willful departure. 45 years studying Watch Tower Corporation rules implies knowing the consequences of disassociating. What am I missing?
Missing? Friends and family, most likely.
Betrayedbyall, you are going to have to work at setting up a new social network. Discussion boards like this can be a helpful stopgap, as many have travelled the road you are on, and can encourage you that there is hope at the end of your journey.
AFTER THE BOARD, is real life and real friends. What are your natural interests? Perhaps you could join a local club.
Hi and welcome.
So what happened? Doesn't sound like you were prepared to disassociate yourself. Did they find something to disassociate you for?
Hi And Welcome.
We all know how you feel.
I was a JW for 30 years.
A good way is by telling us your expereince as a JW and why you have left.
If we knew what area you lived in maybe there is an another ex-JW or group nearby that can help.
If not keep writing on this forum, express your fears and worries, because you can be sure that some of us have gone through the same things when we left.
Be determined not to let the JW's get to you.
Thank you very much for your words of encouragement given so quickly, its a long story but I will cut it as short as possible. 14 months ago I set up in business after being made redundant from my job, a number of witnesses worked for me but caused a lot of trouble for no reason and were fund out telling very blatant lies regarding others in the business who were not JW. The evidence was very clear and I had no option but to dismiss them from the business as the lies and deviousness was greatly harming it. Rumours then ran atound the cong regarding my business and eventually I received a very strong rebuke from the elders for the playing of music in the office by people who were dead. I strongly challanged this as where on earth were the scriptural principles to say music by people who had died since writing the piece was wrong, I also used the example of those who have died since writing kingdom songs etc. I was viewed in a bad light by one particular elder who then made life very difficult for me.
Months passes and I attended only 1 meeting, the memorial service.
Business got tight and I ventured in to another branch of what we were already doing, fancy dress costumes. At this time only myself and one brother who was like a fleshly brother to me and my business partner who is of no religious persuasion were left in the company. As halloween approached my partner purchased a small quantity of masks which were displayed in the front window. Later that day I received a call from my sister in law, also a witness who was stumbled by the display. At first I defended myself but knew she had a point, I was being hypocritical.
I had a long talk with my partner and explained why I would like him to work with me in my efforts not to stock merchandise related to worldy customs. He really is a great guy and promised to give this some thought, he was worried of course as he could see a huge potential for profit in halloween and we needed the cash desperately.
The following day the elder I mentioned earlier called me to say they were arranging for a judicial committee as I was suspected as being an apostate, I explained matters to him up to that point and was told no matter what now happened the judicial committee would be formed. I attended the hearing, this elder along with 2 from another cong formed the committee. I agreed that I had given my partner permission to display the products and that was viewed as apostasy. The meeting lasted for 3 hours, at no time was any compassion or love shown and I was treated like a condemned man. The now former brothers asked if I would ensure no items were in the shop representing halloween and that even if my business partner refused would I leave the business, I agreed to do this, I was told a public reproof would be made the following Thusday.
My aged mother, a JW since 1948 was home when I got back, I explained to her that even though I would do this as requested I was lossing my faith, I had seen no love, in fact the opposite for a long time and was really doubting whether what I had been doing all my life was in fact true christianity, On the way home I had decided to dicassociate myself and told her this, she called my older brother, an X elder and he came to my home right away. We talked for 5 hours and eventually I agreed not to do this but to work with what we had agreed to at the judicial committee.
The following day I talked in depth with my business partner and by now trusted friend, he agreed to work with me even though he felt it could finish the business off to refuse halloween sales, I respect him greatly for that. We worked together to ensure everything was removed from both the window and the shop interior which could be linked with any worldly custom, this stock was boxed and was to be uplifted by the town council the following day for destruction. The following morning the elder who had been very hostile to me for months came into the shop, we talked in private and he basically told me he was disgusted as I had not worked in conjunction with the spirit, he was offended by a plastic gun diplayed with a fancy dress cowboy outfit, I informed him of what we had done, how I felt he should be encouraging me by commending what action had been taken and then, if required discuss with me my feelings reference this toy gun, however I was informed he would be contacting the other members of the committee to recommend disfellowshipping.
I was destroyed, I was baptized at 14, a pioneer for 8 years, a ministerial servant for 12 years, my life was always the truth, now I felt I was being pushed out, my mental health was suffering and my family were being torn apart. I wrote my letter to the elders to dissacociate myself and the announcement was made.
I was 4 when my father died, my older brother was 12, he was like a father to me as we grew up, now he shuns me totally, my aged mum, is in turmoil, we have a great relationship and she has seen how I have been treated and how much effort I made to keep things right, she also felt the faith shown to refuse the sales when we were in so much financial trouble and both my own and my partners efforts to work in harmony with the spirit resulted in a real betrayal by the cong. She loves her god and has devoted her entire kife to him, now however she finds it impossible to attend the KH
She asked the 2 elders involved to please come and see her, so far, now almost they have not bothered, she is also hurt by my older brother and his wife's refusal to visit our home. Its a real mess, I NO LONGER FEEL THIS IS GODS ORGANIZATION, where is the love, where is the Christ like personality, if what I have seen over the last 12 months is an example of what it will be like in the new order, no thanks, I do not want it, the JW people I have had dealings with over the last 12 month were and are a nightmare, if they make up the new society then there will be nothing new about it. Of course after so many years I find myself divided, am I now an apostate ? Have I betrayed Jehovah ? Have I sided with Satan ? The answers !!!! I really don't know. I love God, I love people, I love life, but I do not love the organisation of Jehovahs witnesses and I no longer see how this organisation bears fruit which identifies it as Gods representative on earth.
Sorry folks its so long, I did try to keep it shirt but thats not possible.
Thanks for Reading my Friends.
Don't go anywhere yet. Many of us, who leave the witnesses, jump right into another church, anxious to replace what we lost. Don't do that. Give it time. Give yourself time to heal.
This is a good place to start.