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Ex Jehovah’s Witness ?

Gj1
Community Member

Hey guys my first post here😊

To start off with I want to say that I was born and raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and left the faith when I was able to move and support myself. Leaving and coming out to normal society has been pretty tough tho. I just feel like there’s a really distinctive loneliness of being an ex Witness that a lot of people won’t ever understand.

I’m wondering if there are any ex Jehovah’s Witnesses on these forums that have been able to sort of overcome those feelings and find happiness outside the organization.

Could really use some good stories that it does get better because at the moment it feels like I’m seeing the world from behind glass

81 Replies 81

Thank you for your response. It is nice to have some support from people who genuinely understand.

I've actually been disfellowshipped twice before so this is why I'm particularly finding it hard to muster up the strength to go through this again.

I do however have the support of my loving boyfriend which really helps.

Yes, i agree! i think this forum is such a great way to connect without being judged.

Hi Tim,

Thank you for your reply. Yeah it's so hard when i wish my family and close friends would just accept my decisions even if they don't agree with them.

The impact of being disfellowshipped (or expelled) is hard because you're completely cut off from everyone you love and having grown up as a JW, it's really hard to make new friends outside the community, it just doesn't feel the same.

I guess i would liken it to going through a grieving process that you never really get over but hopefully it does get easier as I build a support network.

Hello again,

I read on a wiki page what constitutes a serious sin that could result in excommunication.

How would you feel if you did not go through with this conversation that results in disfellowshipping? And continuing to live 2 lives.

I noticed you said you were supported by your boyfriend, so does his family also support you?

I cannot imagine what it would be like not to be able to talk to family again if that is one of the consequences. At the same time be able to make a decision you are happy with or can live with.

Peace and comforting thoughts,
Tim
I

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Rolled Oats

The people you grow up with will -right or wrong - have a special place in one's heart, no matter what they do. That special place simply means they have more influence than one might imagine.

Even now, 50+ years later I feel a pang for my family, even thought it was them that severed the connection. I wonder too could I have been different? Then I look at how they behaved -an absolute template of how not to be a parent, something that has helped me enormously as one myself. I look at all the people I have met since, two wonderful partners, a career, friends, and an acknowledgment that love can - and should - overcome an awful lot.

Plus a reliance in myself.

Not quick, much heartache, much wondering what is right, what is wrong. Perhaps the hardest thing is to realise what is instinctive, but not necessarily right. Instinct is insidious, making one take for granted things that should be examined.

I'm very glad you are not facing this all alone. As time goes on your will -like me- get more that a support network, but a full life where you both give and receive love and support. You have the strength to do this.

Talk here as much as you like, you are as we originally said, welcome

Croix

Thanks Croix.

That's so true, I will feel sad that they cut me off, even though i know why they're doing it. They think they're helping me see the light but in reality, it's just so devastating for everyone involved that they can't just let me live my life and be happy with my choices (if it's not hurting anyone).

Nice to know you also experience this pain but have managed to get through it and have a reliance on yourself.

Just need to build up the courage to start living my own life, no matter what the consequences. I am half doing that now but need to bite the bullet and live 100% one life, instead of 50% living two lives.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Thanks Tim.

It is tricky, yes.

On one hand, i could keep living two lives but i think that would just eat me up inside and I would end up a serious mess just to try and keep everyone happy.

On the other hand, it is going to be a lot of heartache giving up my family and friends and starting a new life but in the long term, hopefully i will experience nothing but happiness.

I think i will just have to keep up the double life for as long as i can till it really get's too hard.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Rolled Oats~

Now I am not trying to give you advice, I'm simply reflecting back on my early days.

I tried to lead a double life, please the parents, do what I needed. Eventually it became a straight choice, really hurt the person who became my partner and keep on going as is, or force the issue, which led to me being dis-inherited (yes I know, old-fashioned, but that was then)

I gained my partner's absolute confidence and had a weight I did not realise had been pressing me down lifted.

My circumstances were no doubt different from yours, but I beleive the double life bit to be true.You cannot serve two masters.

Croix

wow i think that is the encouragement i needed to help make with my choice

i do believe that a huge weight will be lifted and i might even be able to start sleeping properly

thank you, it will be tough but will work out in the long run i'm sure

cheers

Intronaut
Community Member

Hey Gj1,

I was sitting up late and asking Google if there was anyone else wandering between the two plains of "those in the truth" and "the wordly".

Then I stumbled upon your first post and felt like I found another drifter like myself. It struck a nerve with me. I have been "out" for ten years now but still struggle with the unique loneliness that only an ex jw can feel.

For the most part, I get by these days fairly well and with little anxiety unlike the first few years, but just recently, an old friend also an ex jw took his life. This is the second friend I've lost over the decade I've been out and it stirs a lot of emotions. I feel destined/doomed to live out my days as an emotional and social anomaly as a result of the conditioning we as jws went through in our formative years.

I would love to hear some updates or progress reports from you or our ilk, perhaps some notes swapping or tips could be mutually beneficial?

I hope you and the other jw survivors who have also posted on here are doing well.

Hey Intronaut

Thanks for sharing... i feel like we're all in the same boat here. Drifting.

Even though I've been "out" twice before, it doesn't make things any easier this time round.

It's a very strange life. I have been trying to make new friends, still never the same though.

But hopefully time will help in building up a support network. I'm not negative or bitter towards the past, just sad I guess that I don't feel "normal".