I have just left my parents home and the JW's about six months ago and have found it hard to get over.

Advertisement

Viewed 2246 times

    StephanieH posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:35:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 1 of 47
    Joined 6/6/2011

    I finally desided to leave the witnesses therefore my family and basicly everyone and everything I had ever known. I was 19 about to be 20 and I had just finished my first semester at a community college. I was shocked at the respons of my father and others about me attending college at first they were ok but behind my back they were pretty much betting on my failier. My father and step mother are both alcholics and the elders have know about this for years. My father had left my real Mom when I was 9 and she was wrongly disfellowshiped and hurrassed by the elders until she finally left the state for good when I was 13. I was not allowed to see my mom, it was over six years since I had seen my own Mom the woman who gave birth to me and I knew I'd never see her if I stayed amung the jw's. On top of that I had many other 'secrets' that I had been holding onto for so long I felt as if I was about to die. I have battled with depression for most of my life and when I was younger even tried to commit suicide but only found myself in the hospital. I blamed everything on my mom only because she was the one who wasnt there but there was much more behind it. I found myself again contemplating why I should even live anymore when I got a phone call from the only true friend that I had (which was not a witness) she talked to me for a while and convinced me to come see here (she works at a mental health clinic and has worked with me since I was 16). She saved my life that day, I broke down I told her I could not live like that anymore I was sick of sneaking around and lying and living my life in a box. She calmed me down and helped me to find a way out. I went home and found both my father and step mom drunk and fight as usual so I went to my room and began packing a few bags of things I would need until I found my own place. I managed, by the grace of God, to sneak my way out while they were at the meeting that Sunday (I faked sick). I threw a few bags in my car and left to go stay in a shelter because I didn't have anywhere else to go. I refused to speak to my father or anyone other than the one visit my father came to with my therapist. I finally told him everything.. I spilled my guts out knowing that if I would've told him without the therapist there he would have went off on me. I told him I did not want to be a Jehovah's Witness, I was not going to go home, and the hardest part... I finally admitted to my father that I am a lesbian. He was is complete shock and did not have much to say. I felt a sense of relief for the first time, however it didnt last long. I started getting phone calls left and right from everyone in the congregation mostly the elders. I spoke to the PO and asked them to please leave me alone I had been through enough and I had nothing further to say. This continued until I found a job and moved into a town close by. My father and my oldest sister who is also a jw told me what a horrible discusting person I was and that I needed help. They both admitted that they were not surprized that I was gay but they thought I would be strong enough to ignore it. I'm 20 years old how can I ignore something so big? Something that is and always has been a part of me! I am still struggling now six months later with the loss of my family and so called friends. I don't know how to let go of the many things that have happend in my life with as I was raised as one of jehovah's witnesses. The elders had actually started stalking me outside of my home and work and college! My father had lead them straight to me. I tried one last time asking them to leave me alone and I was told that if I refused to meet with them or write a letter then they would have to continue 'staking out my place and work' until they caught me alone. I asked the elder if that was a threat, he didn't know how to respond he only said "well we are only doing our duty to Jehovah." I asked if his duty was to judge and put someone to shame and make them feel worthless, to this he did not really have an answer either. I finally when to the police and filed a harrament report against the elders and my father. This killed me I was so confused and scared. Thankfully they have now backed down and I am now disfellowshiped. I am still however having a very hard time dealing with all of this on my own. I have made friends at work/college and actually have been dating a woman who has been a great source of support but they don't understand a lot because they don't know how the witnesses really are. I guess I am seeking advice or someone who can really understand what I have been going through so that I can move on with my life freely.

    F blondie posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:44:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 32092 of 37649
    Joined 5/28/2001

    Welcome, you came to the right place. We have posters who have successfully dealt with similar issues over time. Please allow me to add some paragraphs for my poor old eyes. Blondie

    -----------------------------------

    I finally desided to leave the witnesses therefore my family and basicly everyone and everything I had ever known. I was 19 about to be 20 and I had just finished my first semester at a community college. I was shocked at the respons of my father and others about me attending college at first they were ok but behind my back they were pretty much betting on my failier.

    My father and step mother are both alcholics and the elders have know about this for years. My father had left my real Mom when I was 9 and she was wrongly disfellowshiped and hurrassed by the elders until she finally left the state for good when I was 13. I was not allowed to see my mom, it was over six years since I had seen my own Mom the woman who gave birth to me and I knew I'd never see her if I stayed amung the jw's.

    On top of that I had many other 'secrets' that I had been holding onto for so long I felt as if I was about to die. I have battled with depression for most of my life and when I was younger even tried to commit suicide but only found myself in the hospital. I blamed everything on my mom only because she was the one who wasnt there but there was much more behind it. I found myself again contemplating why I should even live anymore when I got a phone call from the only true friend that I had (which was not a witness) she talked to me for a while and convinced me to come see here (she works at a mental health clinic and has worked with me since I was 16). She saved my life that day, I broke down I told her I could not live like that anymore I was sick of sneaking around and lying and living my life in a box. She calmed me down and helped me to find a way out.

    I went home and found both my father and step mom drunk and fight as usual so I went to my room and began packing a few bags of things I would need until I found my own place. I managed, by the grace of God, to sneak my way out while they were at the meeting that Sunday (I faked sick). I threw a few bags in my car and left to go stay in a shelter because I didn't have anywhere else to go. I refused to speak to my father or anyone other than the one visit my father came to with my therapist. I finally told him everything.. I spilled my guts out knowing that if I would've told him without the therapist there he would have went off on me.

    I told him I did not want to be a Jehovah's Witness, I was not going to go home, and the hardest part... I finally admitted to my father that I am a lesbian. He was is complete shock and did not have much to say. I felt a sense of relief for the first time, however it didnt last long. I started getting phone calls left and right from everyone in the congregation mostly the elders. I spoke to the PO and asked them to please leave me alone I had been through enough and I had nothing further to say. This continued until I found a job and moved into a town close by. My father and my oldest sister who is also a jw told me what a horrible discusting person I was and that I needed help. They both admitted that they were not surprized that I was gay but they thought I would be strong enough to ignore it.

    I'm 20 years old how can I ignore something so big? Something that is and always has been a part of me! I am still struggling now six months later with the loss of my family and so called friends. I don't know how to let go of the many things that have happend in my life with as I was raised as one of jehovah's witnesses. The elders had actually started stalking me outside of my home and work and college! My father had lead them straight to me. I tried one last time asking them to leave me alone and I was told that if I refused to meet with them or write a letter then they would have to continue 'staking out my place and work' until they caught me alone. I asked the elder if that was a threat, he didn't know how to respond he only said "well we are only doing our duty to Jehovah." I asked if his duty was to judge and put someone to shame and make them feel worthless, to this he did not really have an answer either.

    I finally when to the police and filed a harrament report against the elders and my father. This killed me I was so confused and scared. Thankfully they have now backed down and I am now disfellowshiped. I am still however having a very hard time dealing with all of this on my own. I have made friends at work/college and actually have been dating a woman who has been a great source of support but they don't understand a lot because they don't know how the witnesses really are. I guess I am seeking advice or someone who can really understand what I have been going through so that I can move on with my life freely.

    F snowbird posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:50:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 22943 of 23468
    Joined 5/2/2007

    Welcome, Baby Girl.

    You've been through the wringer, haven't you?

    Come here and let me give you a big, materteral hug.

    This place is good for what ails us.

    Aunt Syl

    Found Sheep posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:50:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 991 of 3453
    Joined 5/13/2009

    Welcome!

    Good for you at 20 to be so brave. You made the first step but six months isn't much time to heal from 20 years of abuse. Give yourself time to breath. Glad you are in school that is a good path to take. I've been out now three years and it is still at times hard to grasp. It was a slow healing for me. Lots of reading this site and Crisis of conscience by Raymond Franz and I liked reading books by ex-jw's... it takes time.

    May God Bless YOU!

    StephanieH posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:51:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 2 of 47
    Joined 6/6/2011

    Thank you Blondie I really wasn't thinking about the format thanks for putting it in paragraphs. :) It is just still very hard for me to talk about any of this much less seek help. Plus I am not really sure how this website works just yet.

    M nicolaou posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:57:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 4357 of 4892
    Joined 2/12/2001

    Hi Stephanie

    What a moving story, my heart goes out to you. I won't pretend to have much insight into your particular situation but I would say that you are amongst friends here, there are a few jerks for sure but most hearts are in the right place.

    Have you thought about meeting up with some exjw's in your area? You could ask your girlfriend to join you, it might give her a little more understanding about where you are 'from'.

    Love, Nic'

    talesin posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 19:59:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 7402 of 14664
    Joined 6/24/2003

    You've done the right thing. I was your age, got kicked out at 18, DF several years later.

    Remember that you have been hurting a long time, and it's natural to be having a hard time dealing with this. We are NOT MEANT to be banished from our families when we have done nothing wrong ... when we need love and support, especially as young adults searching for our niche in life.

    My only advice is to remember that YOU'RE OKAY, it's they who are wrong. Heal at your own pace - it's your journey... others can share, be supportive, offer suggestions (advice, if you will). Pick and choose what WORKS FOR YOU. Counselling may be a good idea, and I see you have already sought help before, so good on ya!

    I recently friended a young woman (here on JWN) who also was a JW and is a lesbian. Her healing has really accelerated recently, and happiness is here! Depression does NOT have to follow you around for the rest of your life --- of course you have been depressed for many years --- you've had to hide your true self. This too, will heal. (I know, was suicidal as a child and teen for different reasons, but I am proof that healing is possible for anyone if they work at it and learn to believe in themselves.)

    and Welcome to JWN!~

    Just a heads-up,, this is an open discussion board, so ignore any ignorance you may encounter re your sexual orientation -- just like in the RW, there are a few misinformed/judgemental people everywhere.

    tal

    *oops, edited to say JWN, not JWD*

    M NomadSoul posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:00:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 775 of 1663
    Joined 2/7/2005

    Wow, that was brave. You're doing good by not saying a word to the elders or any other JW's. Keep it that way and move on.

    Wish you the best.I left the B'org when I was really young also and I was ready to move out when my parents kicked me out. Of course they changed their mind and once I turned 18 I was out of there.

    StephanieH posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:02:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 3 of 47
    Joined 6/6/2011

    Snowbird yes I guess I kind of have been put through the wringer over the past few month but I know it will be worth it in time.

    Found Sheep I know it will take me a while to deal with this all.

    Thankfully I have already been in therapy getting help that way through this even while I was still a part of the organization. I never really understood most of what they taught me growing up because it always seemed to me that my life was one big web of lies and secrets. I just keep hoping that things will get easier. The hardest part of it all was leaving behind my sister and her three kids who have been my world since they were born. I hate knowing how they will grow up, I was the only one who really took care of them when they needed someone and they are still so young. I feel guilty for leaving them behind but I know there is nothing I can do anyway.

    M Billy the Ex-Bethelite posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:02:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 3433 of 7263
    Joined 11/29/2007

    Welcome Stephanie!

    Here's a message from a JW:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQo4nkNAh3I

    Don't let anybody else get you down:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnYa9R4N-8c

    Hang in there. It will get better!

    Magwitch posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:06:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 736 of 1506
    Joined 5/2/2008

    Oh Dear Stephanie, my heart goes out to you. You are going through way too much. Living with alcoholic parents is no joke. I hope you have gone on line and joined a website for children of alcoholics - it has been a huge help to a lot of my friends (of any age)

    StephanieH posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:11:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 4 of 47
    Joined 6/6/2011

    Thank you to everyone for your suport I really was not sure what to expect when I joined. I think it might be a good idea to seek out other exjws near by.

    StephanieH posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:23:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 5 of 47
    Joined 6/6/2011

    Tal, thank you it's hard to get past the guilt and thought of it all. I have always asked myself and God what is so wrong with me. It has been hard to realize that it is the JW's who are wrong.

    Nic, I think finding people near by who are exjw's would be a great help but I'm not sure where to find them. I live in a small town that is surrounded by a bunch of other small towns.

    Mag, thanks and no I haven't joined any websites for children of alcoholics but I have friends as well as cousiling that I go to that have helped me to deal with that. I myself have had trouble with alcohol in the past because my parents would practicly force it on me. I have sought out help with that and have been 'sober' for almost a year.

    M nicolaou posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:28:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 4361 of 4892
    Joined 2/12/2001

    http://exjw.meetup.com/

    EntirelyPossible posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:36:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 453 of 5632
    Joined 3/20/2011

    Did someone say lesbian?

    NewChapter posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:58:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 466 of 11880
    Joined 1/25/2011

    Wow Stephanie. I just can't believe how brave you are! You left home when you had nowhere to go. That just amazes me. You are going to be fine, I am sure of it. Have you tried to contact your mother?

    Welcome girl. You are one of my heros now. I am going to send you a pm.

    NC

    transhuman68 posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 21:11:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 832 of 2382
    Joined 3/30/2010

    Welcome StephanieH. I left the Witnesses when I was 20. and had a 'super-apostate' heavy-drinking father and a mentally out-to-lunch JW mother, so I know where you are coming from. Don't have any doubt that the Witnesses are nutty- do your research and find out everything the Witnesses try to cover up- then forget them and live your life!

    cantleave posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 21:22:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 6137 of 13276
    Joined 6/25/2009

    Welcome, breaking away from the cult is the first step, deprogramming yourself is the second, Living your life your way is the ultimate goal. Good Luck.

    Band on the Run posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 22:13:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 1387 of 9818
    Joined 12/18/2010

    When I started college, the change was so hard I thought I would die from loneliness. My whole life I fantasized all would be well when I was eighteen and started college. My father was in the process of pulling me from school against my will when he died. Children of alcoholics develop similar traits to survive. These traits save lives. They are destructive for adults. Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families is a Twelve Step group. Any Witness should amply fit in.

    When I was your age, I thought I could control all. I had no successes or the reverse by which to gauge progress. If something did not happen instantly, I believed it would never happen. One fact I think many people ignore is how extremely hard it is to abandon the Witnesses and family even, maybe especially, when they are highly dysfunctional. Psych. calls this a trauma bond.

    Another item that I have expertise with the covert abuser. My father actively abused me. He is the clear monster. My mother, whom I loved so much, abused me by not walking out, not setting boundaries, and going with fear, rather than risk and courage. She could not do any different b/c she came from a loony, dysfunctional WT family. This disease drives down generations.

    Yet another thing I've noticed throughout life is that circumstances matter. I've made no friends in some settings and a wealth of friends in others. The same thing is true with men. I lived in Manhattan which was conducive to find people I meshed with but now I'm in an exurb and lonely. There is no correlation between loneliness and social skills. People with extraordinary social skills can be very lonely. I'd sugges time is the strongest element on your side.

    People told me this when I was a teenager. I thought it was ridiculous. Sometimes you just go through the same crap your age peers are enduring, too. Your age is difficult for someone from a fab background. It is also a wonderful age in terms of discovery and deciding who you will be. KNowledge learned in school can make you heady, too.

    nugget posted Wed, 08 Jun 2011 22:15:00 GMT(6/8/2011)

    Post 1977 of 3911
    Joined 11/22/2009

    Welcome to the board. You have achieved so much despite all the problems you have faced and deep down you have the strength to pursue happiness and attain it. It is very hard but you have done the right thing, the elders behaved very badly as have your Dad and step mum but despite them all you have had the courage to make positive changes in your life.

    You are so young and your life so full of promise and it is hard to have to rebuild a new support network from scratch but you have made progress. Contact those on this board that have gone through similar experiences and use us to vent to and get support. Take each day as it comes life will get better but allow the healing process to take time.

      Close

      Confirm ...