This is the kind of feedback that makes it all worthwhile. Thank you for responding, and best wishes to you on your journey!
Until recently, I was just an ex-JW. But now I’m really trying to become a recovering JW. I realized that as soon as I was df’d, I just threw myself into a frenzy of activities and poor choices, with no real direction. I think I was trying to stay busy so I’d forget about it all. But about a month ago, it all came crashing down, and for the first time, I have time to think about the effect it’s had on me. I made a firm decision to get better and stop hurting myself, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. I started meditating on it and talking to some friends about the matter, but of course, no-one that hasn’t been in the situation seems to be able to wrap their head around the idea – much less empathize. I got more frustrated and started scouring the internet for some kindred souls…
The conclusion I came to is this: 90% of ex-JWs are either not trying to move on with their lives, or doing it in a very unhealthy way. I’m sick and tired of hopping from page to page on the web and reading rants and raves of individuals df’d 30 years ago – still b*tching about elder so-and-so like it was yesterday. I’m sick of all the postings that positively ooze bitterness and hard feelings. Even worse, I’m becoming painfully frustrated at all of the “reformed” christians that frequently seem to spawn out of ex’s. It seems like everybody is screaming to jump on the bash-the-JW’s bandwagon – but only as part of an aggressive marketing strategy for their new church. For example, my non-JW grandmother introduced me to a friend that was df’d many years ago, in the hopes that this person would be able to encourage me. But this person really does not care at all about me. All I hear about is how I should attend this person’s church and that jesus will magically take away all the pain! I’m really tired of being alienated even from the people I should have so much in common with.
I’m young, totally over religion for now, and I have my whole life ahead of me. I know I have problems and I think it would help immensely to find people who have the correct, and healthy view on being an ex jw. I have a few basic beliefs about growing up as a jw that I’m trying to stick to right now:
- That it’s a traumatic and damaging way to grow up, and even more painful to deal with once you break free from it.
- That being an ex-jw is like being the child of alcoholic/abusive parents – it causes problems throughout life that will need to be identified and dealt with.
- That the damage caused by being an ex jw has absolutely nothing to do with an individual learning false doctrines, and therefore cannot be fixed simply by finding another church whose teachings you agree with. People get hurt by the practices, not the beliefs!!
- That there’s a balance to be found between learning from your experiences and dwelling on them. And it is absolutely worth it to recover and go on to live a happy life!
Tonight I read your blog “advice for recovering JW’s“, and I really think you’ve gotten the most out of your experience. It was so refreshing to finally discover that someone can reach out to other people that are hurting, without sounding like an enraged lunatic, or having alterior motives. The writing is logical, and hints at a wisdom and patience acquired from learning a lot of tough lessons. It helped me so much to finally identify my self destructive habits I’ve been carrying with me! You also made some great suggestions for channeling negative feelings into positive endeavors. Thank you so much for taking the time to share some of the things you’ve learned in this life with others! I only wish that every ex jw had your same determination to get better.
Any time you feel like sharing more helpful advice please do so. Thanks to a very wise friend, and your blog, I now have an idea of what I need to do to stop destroying all the good things in my life. Now I just need people to be there for support. If what I said in this email makes sense, please don’t hesitate to write back and share some of your experiences with me. I feel like I’m about to begin a long journey; and it sure would be nice to get tips from someone who’s already well on their way. Thanks again-I will definitely be checking out the rest of virushead in the near future. 🙂