When I was 17, my parents found out that I had a boyfriend from school. To say the least: shit hit the fan. After 3 hours of what felt like an intense police investigation at the dinner table, my parents made me call my boyfriend and break up with him while they sat in the room watching and listening. Then I was told to go to my room and collect anything I could use to communicate with someone. While I was in my room, I heard footsteps on the stairs and my heart started pounding. Not again. I don’t want another argument. I want it to be over. My father came upstairs and calmly told me he that was going to give me 2 choices. “Are you going to do what’s right like Jehovah wants, or keep on doing what you want to do?” I told him I wanted to keep doing what I was doing (having school friends and a boyfriend, go to college, play sports, normal teenager things). I still remember the look on his face and the fear I felt when he yelled at me. “Nope! Wrong choice! You’re stupid, Lanae. So stupid! You think you’re going to keep doing what you want?” The next few days were awful. I actually believed that I was wrong. I believed I was stupid. I prayed all day, begging for forgiveness, asking Jehovah to help me change. I thought I was undeserving of every friend I’d ever had. I promised to devote my life to Jehovah. I told my parents I was so sorry to disappoint them and Jehovah and everyone in the congregation. I really thought I was just a lost sheep who needed her shepherd to come find her. It didn’t help that every time I cried, my father would tell me that it was okay because in ten years I would look back and realize how stupid I was being and that I made the right choice. A few weeks later, after my emotions settled and the anxiety attacks became less frequent, I realized there was nothing wrong with me. I realized that I wasn’t the one who needed to change, I had done nothing wrong. I realized if anyone was at fault, it was my parents, for letting their daughter believe that she was a worthless piece of shit just for not sharing their religious beliefs. I then made it my goal to get out of that house, that congregation, that organization. I faked my faith for the next year, counting down the days I had left. I commented at the meetings, I gave talks, I went out in service, I studied for the meetings. During the summer I spent time with my “worldly” boyfriend and friends after work. Nobody in the congregation, not even my parents, expected a damn thing. Then, the day after I turned 18, I left. It’s been a little over a year and a half now, and I don’t regret a thing. I made my choice and I stick by it. Why on earth would I return to an organization that made me hate myself? Why would I put myself down to praise a god that hasn’t done a thing for me?
Growing up as a jw you’re told on almost a daily basis that no one that leaves the bOrg will ever truly be happy. It’s total bullshit, and I know that. But honestly, their voices saying those words are just echoing in my head lately. It’s been a struggle getting on my feet since I ran away years ago and although I’ve made a lot of progress and am almost there…things are just really hard right now. So to all of my fellow exjws struggling right now, stay strong. You’re not alone.
I’m sick of people calling me ‘homophobic’. For starters - Yes, I don’t agree with gay marriage because I follow the principles from the Bible and the Bible describes it as ‘sexually immoral’ I am Christian therefore I don’t agree with it but this does not mean I’m homophobic. The definition of ‘homophobic’ is “To hate or prejudice homosexual people.” And to get this straight I DO NOT HATE OR PREJUDICE THEM, if they want to be gay then it’s their choice, not mine and I don’t hate them at all,, I’m actually friends with a few bisexuals. Just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t mean you don’t like the person who does it, for example I don’t like smoking, this does not mean I don’t like family and friends who smoke. Just had to clear that up because people have been calling me disgusting and obnoxious, ignorant and vile, then they have started mocking my beliefs.
The more time I spend on the internet, the more I think that it’s not a place for JWs to post their beliefs in blog or web page form, except for jw.org. I think that’s why the society states in the website terms of service that we shouldn’t share the articles on social media. There are many apostates lurking. “Wolves in sheep’s clothing” are just waiting in disguise to eat our faith alive by twisting words and deception. You don’t know who is really behind the computer answering questions or making statements that might reflect the use rather than Jehovah or his organization. That’s why I’m not using my blog as a ministry, but as general interests. Be careful guys.
A guide to the World: stories and advice from your fellow ex jws
I have set out on a new goal to create a guide for new ex jws on integration into the world but I need help. Please, if you have any stories or advice that you want to share please submit!
I’m going to post all submissions as I receive them and keep usernames (unless asked to remain anonymous) to give credit to everyone.
The guide will consist of:
- guides to holidays (hopefully this will include cultural traditions)
- socialization tips
- dealing with family shunning and trying to bring you back
- reaching out (be it to the ex jw community, mental health professionals, or just how to make friends with classmates/coworkers)
- experiences on leaving/different ways to leave
- information for questioning jws
- being ok with your sexuality
- things we weren’t taught about life because we were told it was going to end when we were kids
- sources for research or rebuttals
(This list is still an idea and may change)
After I have gotten enough information and experiences I hope to create an e-book of sorts that any exjw or questioning jw can access so please submit! If you have any other ideas or recommendations please let me know!
You guys I really did it! I disassociated from the Watchtower Organization today! I am losing Facebook friends and Instagram followers as we speak, my family has just disowned me. And even though I’m hopelessly alone I don’t think I’ve ever felt more free and happy. I know I have a road of hardship ahead of me but for right now I’m going to enjoy the weight lifted off of my shoulders.
So glad that the Royal Commission in Australia is bringing this to light.
Jehovah’s Witness elders have been re-traumatising abuse victims for too long, and it’s great that the general public are finally being made aware of this.