User Tag List

First 1234 Last

Results 11 to 20 of 48

  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    6

    Default You could try hanging out with former JW's

    Ex-Jehovah's Witness Meetup Groups

    It makes sense that the people who would understand your predicament the most are those in a similar situation. Plus, seeing other people who are in various stages of integration with the rest of society can help you to better learn how to make friends and meet others (who are not JW's and never have been, but are nevertheless normal and good people )

    It is important to forge friendships in your difficult time. You need some support. I also think that meeting other former JW's would give you the opportunity to, on some issues, be a help to them and offer advice -which would probably make you feel good too!

    By the way, congratulations on the 25th birthday. I'd say 'happy birthday', but you didn't seem too happy. I know you're in a tough spot in your life. I can't really relate, but there are others who can out there. Get some support. My sister did not. She did not even make it to 25. So I urge you to go forth and meet others, find support wherever you can.

    Good luck to you, Sabastious. May you find peace and happiness.

  2. #12
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    8,828

    Default

    After reading that post, does anyone here still hold the delusion that religion isn't harmful and unfair? Part of me wishes to have religion outlawed, but I know I'm not being reasonable or restrained in that feeling. I admit that I see no distinction between organized religion and dangerous cults.

    I'm sorry about what has happened to you. I just want you to know that you're not the only victim of religion, there are several people who've gone through similar things to what you describe. I'm not one of them (at least not as directly and personally), but I'm drawn to their plight.

    I wish so much that I could help people away from that inhumane, oppressive... thing that distorts their lives and destroys their identities. I can't be objective enough about this to understand how people could view it as anything else.

    Anyway, please do your best to make friends outside of those circles, and push away most of your current associations. The beliefs of the people around you are going to affect you to some degree, so it's important to surround yourself with people who aren't brainwashed or malicious, and will make you feel good rather than bad about moving forward.

  3. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    MBTI
    estp
    Posts
    3

    Default

    hey sabastious!

    it sounds like you are in a tough situation. there's probably no easy way out of it, but i think that with time and effort, you can feel better. i don't know exactly what your story is, but i have a somewhat of an idea about how you might feel ...

    i am also an infp, also raised as a JW. although i drifted away from the religion quite awhile back, i guess i know that it's very tough to understand the social isolation that goes along with that sort of thing, and also the confusion that can ensue. after all, your whole life you thought you had TRUTH, which to even doubt was taboo, you know? now you have a whole lot of questions and uncertainty to wrestle with. it's a load of both personal and social issues.

    you said you feel like all the doors around you are closed. i think that may be true, but it may also be true that there are doors you're not seeing yet that will open themselves up to you. perhaps your separation from the religion will be a way to investigate what you really believe ... it sounds like you've definitely been doing that for awhile. i just think it's a maturing of faith, and pretty much a universal one for people our age ... and not to make your problem smaller, but many people separate from their birth religion and have to find their own answers ... you're not isolated in your struggle. many understand how you feel. it seems that ironically moving away from religion has the potential to increase your cynicism about the world--but also to deepen your spirituality. the answers that you come across in your journey will be those founded upon what you've sought out and struggled with from the ground up. you know? there is light at the end of your dark night ...

    umm ... what does your wife think about all this? she's still a JW? and do you still have your therapist in your life? hmmm. maybe ... as you live through this ... work through it ... and as time goes on, you'll begin to make friends outside the religion. people you can jam with again would definitely be good!!

    i'm glad that you know that you are NOT less of a person because you've decided to follow your instincts. it takes a LOT of guts, especially in your situation. hang in there, and know you aren't alone, even if it seems like it ... there are many people who care.

    feel free to pm me if you like ... and take care ...

    [climbs off soapbox]

  4. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Wow, I thank you guys for taking the time to write those things, they most definitely helped me.

    This "journey" has been a road filled with extreme hardship and jagged edges. I seem to have an "okay" handle on things with the help of my therapist but every now and then I will comepletely break down, like today for example.

    I got home from a bad day at work and a few little things just broke the camel's back. I can feel my heart sink sometimes, and when it does I feel almost like I have the flu but worse cause it's accompanied with intense sadness and rapid negative thoughts as well as suicidal imagry.

    I stumbled to the back where our bedroom was and flopped on the bed. It's almost like I just got shot with a taser. My body is just limp.

    Sometimes I just... crack. I want to burst into tears but something holds them back. Something inside me blatently reminds me of how alone I really am.

    There are a few major passions in my life. Music being the foremost and writing being a close second. I make sure I play music almost every day (piano/keyboard) and record with my little computer music setup. That really helps, but again, it's not enough.

    Like some of you said I need to contact people, make some friends.

    The REALLY hard part is not all my old JW friends are aware of my stance. It tears me up inside to think about telling them because I know their reaction. Comeplete disappointment. Wouldn't you be disappointed if you thought you were going to live in an eternal paradise earth with a friend and find out he's not going to be there? Few disappointments can match that magnitude.

    So I almost have to relive the trama over and over with each person that doesn't know. It is SO HARD to deal with. I want to just move away, but I don't think it would solve much plus I don't have the money to do that.

    I also think I have some forms of PTSD with certain people I told, my mother and brother for instance. Both of them started sobbing and didn't know what to do. It's a weird feeling when you are around to see your own death in the eyes of people you care about.... heavy shit.

    But anyway, I really like this forum. That's another issue I am having. INFP's tend to be a bit passionate and I am having a hard time finding people who what I dub "give a shit." I'll start talking about movies I like to some of my friends and they will say stuff like: "why do you care so much about movies?" "Why do you always have to be so intense/passionate."

    I look at my passion for life as a strength, but it seems to piss off/intimidate people a lot of the times.

  5. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    Well, if you're willing to elaborate, I'd love to hear the reasons for your conclusion.
    PERSONAL OPINION:

    After a LOT of studying and research of the bible I have taken one thing from it as valid: Jesus' teachings.

    After all the faith is called Christianity. The sayings and teachings of Jesus are extremely profound and IMO really contradicts most of the rest of the Bible. When you read about the Israelites what I see is a historical account of a conqueroring nation, they wanted land (the promised land). I would think people like Ghengis Khan or Alexander the Great did all their genocide in the name of all that is good and holy. But really what they wanted was land.

    The Israelites ransacked nations, killed all their woman and children all because they had defected from their creator.

    But wasn't that the choice that god gave all humans when he gave us free will? The RIGHT to chose not the priviledge. But of course if the creation with free will doesnt make the "right" choice he is swiftly killed. Well what's the point of giving free will if they just die if they don't do what their creater wants them to do.

    The story of Jesus seems completely out of place in the Bible. It's company is dire, wrathful and just plain dark. Jesus taught that following rules verbatim was a mistake, a mistake that has been proven by billions of human inhabitants over the course of history. He ridiculed the pharisees that held onto mosaic custom stubbornly even when the rules seemed not to apply to the current situation (Jesus' eating wheat on the sabbath). Jesus said "pick up your torture stake and follow me." He did not say "if you don't pick up your toture stake and follow me you will die eternally in an abyss/firey hell etc etc." He was about your choice, not scare tactics to get you to do the things he wanted you to do. He wanted you to follow him because you wanted to.

    And here we are 2000 years after Jesus' death and what are most so called "christians" involved with? Bible Law, and not Bible Principle like Jesus taught. Rules can be bent or ignored if it will yeild a better result. That's something we as humans have forgot.

    But I do not believe Jesus to be a super natrual force. History of that time would indicate he was only trying to offer some sort of relief to people who had no hope because of extreme Roman oppression. He was their savior, he was the Roman's mortal enemy and his weapon was Love. He is not our savior, we are no longer under Roman oppression. But that doesn't mean we can't follow his teachings. To love one another is a wonderful message that will never be obsolete.

  6. #16
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    ESFP
    Enneagram
    7w6 sx
    Socionics
    SEE Fi
    Posts
    6,727

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Colors View Post
    Relevance, Jeffster?
    What?

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    After reading that post, does anyone here still hold the delusion that religion isn't harmful and unfair? Part of me wishes to have religion outlawed, but I know I'm not being reasonable or restrained in that feeling. I admit that I see no distinction between organized religion and dangerous cults.

    I'm sorry about what has happened to you. I just want you to know that you're not the only victim of religion, there are several people who've gone through similar things to what you describe. I'm not one of them (at least not as directly and personally), but I'm drawn to their plight.

    I wish so much that I could help people away from that inhumane, oppressive... thing that distorts their lives and destroys their identities. I can't be objective enough about this to understand how people could view it as anything else.
    I'm not sure where to start in response to your narrow, bigoted presentation,. but I guess I will say that "religion" is not a creature that has the power to be "harmful and unfair." People can use religious dogma to do so, but you are placing the blame on a belief system (rather ALL belief systems that exist under that umbrella) rather than on the people themselves, where it belongs. One CANNOT be a "victim of religion" as religion is not an action. And your statement about "destroys their identities" is particularly ironic in that in recent times it is those crusading against Christianity specifically who are most interested in convincing people to embrace false identities and cling to beliefs that life is not supposed to require sacrifices or self-denial.

    Quote Originally Posted by sabastious View Post
    The story of Jesus seems completely out of place in the Bible. It's company is dire, wrathful and just plain dark. Jesus taught that following rules verbatim was a mistake, a mistake that has been proven by billions of human inhabitants over the course of history. He ridiculed the pharisees that held onto mosaic custom stubbornly even when the rules seemed not to apply to the current situation (Jesus' eating wheat on the sabbath). Jesus said "pick up your torture stake and follow me." He did not say "if you don't pick up your toture stake and follow me you will die eternally in an abyss/firey hell etc etc." He was about your choice, not scare tactics to get you to do the things he wanted you to do. He wanted you to follow him because you wanted to.

    And here we are 2000 years after Jesus' death and what are most so called "christians" involved with? Bible Law, and not Bible Principle like Jesus taught. Rules can be bent or ignored if it will yeild a better result. That's something we as humans have forgot.
    But Jesus said "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them."

    So, Jesus' purpose was largely one of clarification, and ,of course, hope in a time where many people had given up. I agree with you that there are many people today who could be described as "modern day Pharisees" - concern for the letter of the law over the real human relationships. Jesus knew there always would be, but also trusted that his true message would carry on despite that. And it has. Because no matter how much people try to distort it, it's a message too powerful to be obliterated entirely.

    I'm sorry you've had rough times with your family. And I wish you the best on your current adjustments in life. I've been through quite a few of my own, and I came out of my 20's feeling much more content with life, and it has made me so much happier. I encourage you not to give up on God, even if the Bible has become discouraging to you. During the darkest times in my life, I had nothing but a faint glimmer of hope that God still loved me, and without it, I'm not sure I would've survived.
    Jeffster Illustrates the Artisan Temperament <---- click here

    "I like the sigs with quotes in them from other forum members." -- Oberon

    The SP Spazz Youtube Channel

  7. #17
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sabastious View Post
    Sometimes I just... crack. I want to burst into tears but something holds them back. Something inside me blatently reminds me of how alone I really am.
    What really frightened me as I got older was just the sense that we are all alone in the sense that no one else can make decisions for our lives. We are each responsible for where we are... and that is a gift, and yet a heavy burden. I always felt alone all my life too, although ironically I feel less alone now that I've accepted myself. You might feel alone, but a lot of us are feeling alone, and thus we are all feeling alone together and still have a point of reference that enables us to connect.

    There are a few major passions in my life. Music being the foremost and writing being a close second. I make sure I play music almost every day (piano/keyboard) and record with my little computer music setup. That really helps, but again, it's not enough.
    You're right. Music was the one that I used for years and years to get by (piano too); when I was a teenager and felt alone and depressed, I would go into a dark room and just play what was inside of me. Music has usually been my interface with the Divine/transcendent and what my role in organized religion was. In the end, it wasn't enough, and all the music went out of my soul... I had to make other changes.

    The REALLY hard part is not all my old JW friends are aware of my stance. It tears me up inside to think about telling them because I know their reaction. Comeplete disappointment. Wouldn't you be disappointed if you thought you were going to live in an eternal paradise earth with a friend and find out he's not going to be there? Few disappointments can match that magnitude. So I almost have to relive the trama over and over with each person that doesn't know. It is SO HARD to deal with. I want to just move away, but I don't think it would solve much plus I don't have the money to do that.
    I totally totally understand the stress and heart-agony brought upon yourself by disclosure. dealing with family is perhaps the hardest part of all, honestly... and you are right, you get to watch the love in their eyes shift to pain and then even distrust or even loathing depending on who they are. I think we all long for family to be supportive of us as we go through life, but this is the sort of decision that impacts everyone and family has its own issues of acceptance to work through, so they usually cannot be there for you... I remember being so frustrated because they were so upset and I felt bad for them, yet each of them only had to deal with ONE of me and they had each other for support -- while I was all alone and had to deal with all of them at once and had no one to lean on and they didn't seem to recognize that and I was sort of pushed outside the circle.

    I tell people that depending on family for acceptance is an unrealistic idea, you need to have other support so that family has the space it needs to work through things too. Your transition from the faith is a transition for them as well... and it sucks they cannot be there for you.

    I also think I have some forms of PTSD with certain people I told, my mother and brother for instance. Both of them started sobbing and didn't know what to do. It's a weird feeling when you are around to see your own death in the eyes of people you care about.... heavy shit.
    Yeah. It really is. It changes you forever.
    But it also makes you commit to your values and beliefs, and the biggest thing I found is that it took away my fear of disapproval. I do not think I ever grew up and took charge of my life until I stood up to family... and now that i went through that experience, I know I will never be caged again. I'm only going to be wherever I want to be, by my choice, and fear is not an issue -- no matter how scared I am. I'm free, finally.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #18
    Member Manimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    60

    Default

    oh wow i cant believe you posted this i'm am only a few years older than you and i am going through the same situation, i was raised LDS tho so a few differences but not really to many. i have been chewing on the idea of making a post like this for a while but i just couldn't figure out how i would write it so i'm really glad that you did!!

    i wish i had some wisdom to impart here for you but i really don't.

    for me the hardest thing is viewing myself as agnostic its such a huge loss/change of identity coupled with the loss of my support group, they all think i'm making the wrong decision even tho it just feels so right, thats really making it tough.

    well anyway maby knowing your not alone in this will help some...

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    669

    Default

    Hi, Sabastious!

    I just turned 29, and can really relate to your OP! I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian church in a small, religious town where everybody knows everyone else's business, and my dad was the pastor. I was quoting Bible verses from the stage at age 2 and protesting abortion clinics with sandwich signs at age 7. After a 4.0 semester of college and a passion for knowledge, I tearfully opted to quit and volunteer at church, and then I put down roots here and had a son. I've spent the last two years working my way out of this hole and learning to think for myself, but it's been an extremely complicated and difficult journey.

    I understand what you mean about the solution not being as simple as "leaving" or "not caring about people's opinions." I lost almost my entire social support network. Everything I've ever known from the time I was tiny has crumbled in front of my eyes. It is both the most exhilarating and frightening experience of my life.

    My family has told me they'd prefer I die than not be a Christian. I even had someone grab me by the wrists and shake me to tell me that I needed to return to church. I've showed up at people's houses with the expectation of hanging out, only to find they planned to show me a sermon on DVD instead. I can't bump into someone at the grocery store without them crying and telling me they miss me at church. I get cards and letters in the mail all the time from people I never even talked to at church.

    My friends have burst into fits of sobbing like the ones you mentioned above. I also still have old friends or long distance friends who are not aware of the changes in my life, as you do. One of the worst parts for me is that if I'm genuine and open, people are critical and overly simplistic. If I'm angry, hurt, bored, depressed ... it's only because I'm rebelling against Jesus. If I'm happy, I'm only "deceiving" myself.

    I understand your need to find new friends, and although that's been a difficult challenge for me, it's crucial. I took a big cut in pay and started a job working as a barista in a small, local cafe. It sounds stupid, but it's been one of the best things for me. I've met all sorts of different people, and I can choose who I want to engage in deeper conversations without much pressure. (Plus, free coffee can solve all sorts of problems, let me tell you. ) Going back to school has also helped.

    In your case, I would definitely look into a universalist church, as someone else mentioned. I'm very wary of "joining" anything, and will not join any kind of group like that for now, but I do find that there are plenty of open minded people there who are like a breath of fresh air to be around.

    The complete overhaul on my view of life is draining and overwhelming as well. I've been working feverishly to read, catch up on pop culture, figure out my views on parenting, etc.

    I know most of this post has been about myself, but I want you to realize I truly understand! I'm really looking forward to continuing this conversation and hearing how things turn out for you as you move forward in your life. Also, feel free to PM me any time if you want. I'm really proud of you for having the guts to become responsible for directing your own life. *hug*
    Last edited by Wiley45; 06-15-2009 at 10:40 PM.
    I-71%, N-80%, F-74%, P-96%

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    669

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
    for me the hardest thing is viewing myself as agnostic its such a huge loss/change of identity coupled with the loss of my support group, they all think i'm making the wrong decision even tho it just feels so right, thats really making it tough.
    Manimal, I don't know if this will help, but I've discovered a great podcast on itunes called Reasonable Doubts. (It's free.) It's a good mix of fun and lighthearted conversation mixed with serious, critical examination of a lot of the claims of religion (especially Christianity.) It's very current, and for someone like myself who often has a hard time with logic, I find it really useful and thought provoking.

    These three guys who do the podcast demonstrate that there are plenty of people out there who are not your typical "angry atheist" types. They also make me feel part of a larger community of non believers, especially since atheists don't typically walk up and introduce themselves on a normal day in my world!

    This is the link for their blog.
    Reasonable Doubts
    I-71%, N-80%, F-74%, P-96%

Similar Threads

  1. this is my first post
    By itsamusical in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-01-2009, 11:53 AM
  2. First post- please help type me!
    By Annuit Coeptis in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-21-2008, 03:58 AM
  3. Reviews of Type Books: Read First Post
    By rivercrow in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-15-2007, 09:46 AM
  4. Replies: 27
    Last Post: 05-20-2007, 03:18 PM
  5. Hello - First Post
    By Sartorial in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-27-2007, 12:16 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO