Born In, the Difference

by wanderlustguy 47 Replies latest jw friends

  • FlyingHighNow

    I was 17, Avi. They worked on me for over half a year, then my brother died. Then they really poured it on. I was still a kid.

  • avishai

    I did'nt mean you, specifically, hon. And you're right, 17 is hardly an adult. I'm not blaming, seriously folks, I'm curious.
    How do they get you. IS it vulnurable times in your life? I remember hearing about that alot in the experiences from the platform.... Oops, i think I just might be hijacking. I think I'll start another post about this in the am when I can!

  • FlyingHighNow
    Oops, i think I just might be hijacking. I think I'll start another post about this in the am when I can!

    Please do. And with me, yes I was very vulnerable. I was snowed. It took them 8 months of constant badgering to get me to even to agree to study and at least two years for the baptism.

  • misguided

    OMG...wonderlustguy, did you ever nail that!

    I read it twice. It's just so, well, exactly what I felt, but I could never put it into words as well as you have. There's nothing in your post I have not experienced or felt myself. It's so awesome to find others who can relate to the way you feel...truly amazing.

    Thank you,


  • wanderlustguy
    How the hell do people go through that brain change? Having been born into it, I wanna know!

    For me, I never learned to really love my kids until after I left. Like even now, my dad sounds like I would imagine Jehovah would, "look at all I did for you". Even to the point of expecting respect instead of earning it.

    For me now it is different, as a dub I always reminded my kids of what was done for them. After leaving, I usually wish I could do more and never feel like I have done enough, and I never, ever make them think it is an imposition to have to do anything for them.


  • PaulJ

    I was as good as born into it, mum and dad were baptised when i was 4, so its just about all i can remember. I think i prefer this to coming in later.... and missing the likes of xmas and birthdays more.

    Ah what the hell, im out and im not going back.

  • mrsjones5

    I was born into it and as a child I wanted to do what all the other children were doing. I wanted the Halloween candy and the costumes, the easter eggs, the christmas presents (oh how I loved the xmas lights - to this day I truely love that time of year), and all the other fun holidays. I just wanted to be normal. I wanted to do all the fun stuff that normal kids did. I didnt feel normal growing up in the bOrg.

    After I married my husband and got my first Christmas tree, that felt normal, and there was no going back.

  • stopthepain

    Thanks for that post Wanderlustguy.The lack of REAL love in the name of god and religion is what hurts most.

  • luna2
    avi said: But I honestly don't see how anyone with half a brain can stay, much less convert as an adult, no offense. Seriously. Especially with kids, and do the things to your little ones they ask you to? How the hell do people go through that brain change? Having been born into it, I wanna know!

    I obviously can't answer for everybody, but I can try to take a stab at this from my own perspective.

    First, as we all know, the regular (non JW) world is not a bed of sunshine, roses and accurate information all the time. Life can be messy and hurtful and confusing even when you aren't a dub. My marriage was on the rocks, I was scared, I was lonely, I had no money, and I didn't know what I'd done to deserve the mess my life was in. I was looking for answers and direction. My first mistake, I guess.

    I had always been interested in the Bible, but the church I went to as a child was pretty near useless at teaching us much. You'd go to the Sunday service where they'd give a 20 min. sermon that rarely explained anything...usually it revolved around a few scriptures or parables from Jesus' ministry and the conclusion was to "be a good person" or "lying is bad and un-Christian" or "Do unto others". Fine. Nice. But frankly, what do I need to go to church for just to hear that?

    Then we'd go from that pap to the Adult Sunday School where they didn't discuss the Bible or spiritual things at all. Once we took a month to discuss the (at that time) current best seller, I'm Okay, You're Okay. Once we all participated in a symposium about counter cultures in the U.S. Once we had a month of disussions about death, we didn't discuss Heaven or Hell or what the Bible says...we had psychologists, funeral home directors and our own pastor each tell us how to deal with a death in the family, what happens at the funeral home and how you need to plan your funeral. hrm. Interesting, but what does God say?

    I was stunned when I started discussing spiritual things with JW's because they actually referred to the real Bible! They read both the Old and New Testament! They talked about the Book of Revelation and didn't dismiss it or gloss over it. It was all very exciting and amazing to me. I thought I'd found the people with all the answers. Maybe they really were God's people. Wowzers!

    They also provided me with acceptance, love, support and company at a time I desperatly needed those things...yes, yes, typical "love-bombing", but how was I supposed to know?

    Coming in as an adult, you also don't see the soft, dirty underbelly of the organization as those raised in it probably do. They say all the right things about love, integrity, truth, principals. You are awash in the words. It sounds so good. Any little discrepancies between what you hear and what you see are covered over with "human imperfection". You believe that the FDS is directed by Jesus and Jehovah...things must surely be as close to perfection as is possible on this earth at Bethel. Anything that doesn't quite add up isn't the fault of the Society, its got to be you. You don't understand properly. You don't study enough. You aren't trying hard enough. So you beat yourself up and vow to do better, year after year, until you finally can't take it any more.

    I can't tell you how much of a moron I feel now. You're right, I wasn't forced into this. I believed. Completely and totally. I love my children more than life and I so thought this bullsh*t was real, that I made them grow up as Jehovah's Witnesses. No happy birthday parties, no jolly Christmases, no getting to involved in school activities, no sports, limited "worldly" friendships. It pained me to deny them these things, but I thought that what I was giving them was ultimately better. I was so mistaken.

    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.

  • Ingenuous

    <<How the hell do people go through that brain change? Having been born into it, I wanna know!>>

    It's extremely painful. When you aren't "zoning out" (literally dizzy and spacey and experienceing panic attacks when trying to consider new ideas), it almost physically hurts. I was praying every few minutes for guidance and discipline for about a week. It challenged me to put my money where my mouth is because I had always told myself that I valued truth above personal comfort and that, if I was shown from the Bible that I was wrong, I'd change. Actually doing that is unlike any physical or psychological experience I've ever been through.

    It's amazing now - I feel like I've been blind and then unexpectedly gifted with sight. There is a weight off my soul that I didn't even know was there. I smile more - I'm free to love others and pray for others as they are, not in an effort to secure their conversion. I've done some work in a 12 step group and had to really wrestle with the idea of unconditional love - I'd always know, from as far back as I can remember, that my parents' display of love was conditional. Only now can I put it into words and understand at least one of the conditions is a shared religious heritage.

    Someone wrote me with an apt analogy: I can't describe to someone born blind the things that I see. I can't explain to someone deaf exactly what it means to hear something. We aren't getting our information via the same routes, so it's impossible for us to understand the world the same way. That's how it is being a Witness - when you let someone else do the thinking for you, you cannot comprehend information someone else obtains from another source - their own minds.

    I think that's part of the reason I'm not bitter - certainly, I'm sad for those still mislead and try to be available for them - but they are operating in a different reality.

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