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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

78 Replies 78

Kin80
Community Member

Hello

I was raised as a jw and left probably around the 18/19 years old Mark. I am now 41 years old with 4 kids and a husband. I still have issues from my upbringing and how I was raised. I am happy to chat.

smallwolf
Community Champion
Community Champion

hello Kin80 and welcome. How are you feeling these days? Do you want to share anything about the issues?

Fly_away
Community Member

Hello,

I came only to read to find some help and by the end of forum decided to sign up just to post.

I was raised in a very turbulent household between a non believing father and a fully fledged jw mother. Both my parents were gang members the type that make you cross the road. My father especially was horribly abusive to my mum. My mother became a jw while married to my father. They proceeded to have three children including myself and we were raised in a divided household as Jws.

It is the most painful existence to be raised in a volatile household with two polar opposites as parents. A believer and a nonbeliever. My siblings and I suffered in a dysfunctional household as well as humiliation by my fathers side of the family about us being raised as jehovahs witnesses (mum was left to raise us kids because our dad was very unreliable to put it lightly ). My fathers side of the family did not hide their amusement and their comments would tear me up inside but I could not say anything. Dad would take us to Christmas with his family and we would watch all our cousins open presents but we would get none. I can’t even explain in words how that felt.

We were taunted and humiliated at school for having to sit out of certain classes(sex education and religious studies) and our door to door service on saturdays. I was only able to cope because I had other jw children the same age as me and we were all raised together.

They continue to be my only friends that I truly love with my whole heart to this very day. The day I decided to leave, was the last time I saw them all except for one girl who later left and tracked me down years later.

I thought leaving would set my soul free and I’d finally be happy. It’s been a few years now and I am far from happy. I feel empty and very lonely. I have never made friends like the ones I grew up with. I have tried and I have failed miserably. I struggle to maintain the most basic relationships as I spent most of my life being segregated from worldly people. I just don’t know how to engage with people. So yeah I am on my own, feeling empty and friendless. I go to work, come home, eat and repeat. I have become a recluse.

I catch myself awake at night sometimes thinking of what I will do when Armageddon comes. There was a storm here not long ago and a loud lightening crack woke me up and I thought this is it (Armageddon) and I froze with fear. I start edmr therapy for my issues soon but don’t know if it will help my lonliness.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Fly away~

I'd like to give you a warm welcome here to the Support Forum. It's called support becuse in it you find others who have had similar experiences and you may not feel as isolated and alone, you may also find how some have dealt wiht problems.

Reading though previos posts you will already have seen that those that leave the jw have two enormous prblems to overcome in addition to the ones you have had wiht your upbringing.

The first is betrayal. All the people that professed love and friendship as you were growing up -it seemed a normal part of life - suddenly switched that so-called love off and abandoned you. After such a deep and heat-breaking experience trust in people is shattered, and of course that means you go into relationships - of any sort - with reservations, expecting that break-up at the back of your mind, even if not thinking consciously about it.

Very hard to overcome, and frankly not a one-person job. There are wholesome, kind, trustworthy and steadfast people in this world (I've been luck enough to have been with two) , and you plus one such as those can in time reach the stage of trust, reliance and love that others find easier. Maybe yours will be deeper precisely becuse it will have been difficult.

Luck, patience and hope can work wonders.

The other great problem is values. you were (mostly) brought up wiht a value system, wiht rules, spoken and unspoken, leaders to be revered and all sorts of expectations. Now you may feel at sea because those rues no longer apply.

It is a bit like someone who has been in the defense forces for a long time and then finds themself in civilian life. People not longer have the military ethos of working till the job is completely done, that being totally reliable and backing your comrades is paramount, and the things that were held as important in a common cause such as protecting one's country are not there .

It does take time, experiencing and understanding people to ease you into modern society - which of course has its ills as well as its strengths.

There will be much that puzzles you, and talking wiht others can hep. Do you maintain contact with that friend that went to the trouble to seek you out?

Plus you are welcome here -always - and can discuss whatever you wish

Croix

smallwolf
Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome to the forums.

Croix has said much of what I would say except better than I could. In short, I won't repeat any of that.

I don't know if what I am about to say is helpful for not, except that you have moved from one world to another world. When I worked from home to too many years social interactions became virtually non-existent. Working out how to interact, finding out people will disagree, etc. present many challenges. And I am still learning now, a few years down the road of getting professional help. Changing the way I process situations takes time. At least that is what I have found.

What are your relationships like with the people from your work place?

Thank you for sharing.

Ive just been disfellowshipped for making 1 mistake that I confessed to and asked for help. Im not coping. Ive just survived domestic violence without support and I would love to hear your thoughts on issues you struggle to deal with as an ex witness.

Dear Butterflygirl22~

Welcome here to the forum, a place designed to give support, or let people read of other's lives.

I have a feeling the 2 people you addressed may not visit here any more - I'm not sure of course however there are many others who have had similar experiences.

You have read your way though this thread and have found that being dis-fellowshiped is an earth-shattering thing in a person's life and pulls the ground out from so many beliefs, affections and behavior.

How can you trust love from now on is one of course.

All I said to Fly away in January is true, and may be some help. That post is only two previous to yours and I'd be honored if you would read it.

Domestic Violence is a terrible to experience , fortunately there are expert people to talk to. They are called 1800RESPECT (phone 1800 737 732) and can offer advice, assist you to find the help you may need, (perhaps even accommodation in some cases) and can generally be a comfort. Our own Beyond Blue 24/7 Help Line (phone 1300 22 4636) may be a good place to talk as well

I don't want to overload you wiht too long a post first off, would you like to came back and talk more about how you feel and what you are facing?

Croix

Hello Butterflygirl22

I have provided my non judgmental thoughts on this thread topic and I am sad that you have been disfellowshipped as per the guidelines of the JW. More importantly....you havent made a mistake in any shape or form when you confessed to and asking for help re a serious ongoing form of violence

Domestic violence is unacceptable, not to mention a crime

1800RESPECT (phone 1800 737 732) is a private and non judgmental support service that can provide you with the caring support after experiencing and surviving domestic violence. There are many gentle people on the forums that can be here for you Butterflygirl. We are listening

my kindest always

Paul