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former Jehovah's Witnesses

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was raised a Witness. I am inactive now, married to an unbeliever and would likely be disfellowshipped if any one congregation/elder body decided to really do some detective work.

What I am wondering is how many women here were raised JW, or left in any other situation? If not too personal, what precipitated the exit? What are your spiritual leanings now?
post #2 of 12
My best friend and I have been friends since we were 11 (we're 37 now) and she was raised JW (both her parents still are). She is inactive now. I can't remember if she was DF'd or not, but maybe at one point. Basically what led her to leave i believe was that she could not live within the confines of the strict religion. She married once (eloped) then divorced, and is remarried to a non-believer. The sad thing (to me) is she still believes the JW beliefs so feels she is falling short/not going to be saved. That is so sad to me. They don't attend any church, currently. I know when my kids were dedicated at a non-JW church she didn't feel comfortable enough to attend. I think the whole thing is totally sad.

My dad was raised as JW, and has nothing but bad things to say about the experience.

post #3 of 12
I was raised JW. DH and I left the religion not long after DD was born. The responsibility of teaching our beliefs to a child caused us to look more closely at what we believed. In the end, we decided that we would not be raising our daughter as we had been raised. We are now agnostic/humanist, celebrating holidays, and getting involved in politics/social action. Who would have ever thought?
post #4 of 12
I'm not sure if I fit in here but I was raised JW. We were disfellowshipped at a young age as my mother would not stay married to my non-believing, alcoholic, adulterous father and the Elders thought she should. We agreed with my mother and so were disfellowshipped.

I've really struggled with my spiritual beliefs for years. For the longest time, I was atheist, then agnostic, and I've recently been led toward being a Friend (Quaker). I still have a lot of spiritual issues that I deal with on a regular basis that stem from being a JW, and from being disfellowshipped.
post #5 of 12
Another former JW here.

I was DF at 15 or 16 years old. My parents still are, my brother was DF a couple years back and went back.

I now identify as an atheist though I dabbled in buddhism for a bit.

ETA: oh and what precipitated my exit was that I had sex with my boyfriend and was unreppentant of it. Still am.
post #6 of 12
I'm here. I left a little over a year ago. It was getting to where I had to make some decisions re: parenting (pushing them further or allowing them to think for themselves) and I just could NOT allow my kids to be brainwashed.

Never been happier. They all said noone ever "improves" upon leaving but my family has improved a thousand times over. Sweet, sweet freedom.
post #7 of 12
My dh and I left also about a year ago. We are also extremely pleased with our decision. Loving the freedom. Loving that my kids arent going to have this pushed on them. They love not having to sit at the meetings and assemblies Sucks that our families are sad about it. We arent df'd but most of our families limit contact. I am sure a lot of them think we are screwing up with the kids, being selfish, want to sin etc...

We left because we began to notice inconsistencies. And differences in what we took the bible to be saying and what was being taught. At first we were ok just thinking something different, but bring that up to anyone and it gets you "bad attitude" "selfish" "look what watchtower says.." when it was things we wanted to see from the Bible. Then on to reading Crisis of Conscience which was really eye opening. I would never ever go back. Now we arent really religious at all and don't put stock in the Bible etc. We are spiritual. Just dont fit into in category really.
post #8 of 12
I would like to be, but my DH is still a believer.

My biggest fear is DS growing up and shunning me if I DA myself, that would break my heart. So I feel trapped at the moment.

I discovered the "generation" change was the 3rd change in the past 15 years, and I started researching the history of the organization on Wikipedia and other sources. How Jesus "evidently meant" the generation in Mathew overlapped was a bit of a stretch for me.

I read Steven Hassan's book which was enlightening.

I still believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. I've never felt more spiritual or at peace in my heart.
post #9 of 12

I was raised JW. Never DFed, because I was never baptized, but I left...about a year ago, I guess. I was "inactive" for a while (probably around a year) first. It was a huge number of things that made me leave- my mom died when I was a teenager and I was told constantly that unless I was perfect I wouldn't see her again...that didn't sit well with me, obviously.

Once I started thinking about the little things, it was everything. I hated the control, the encouragement to NOT think critically about anything. I hated the guilt- no one can EVER be good enough, so you're always trying to be good enough, but know you can't be. I hated the hypocrisy (I won't touch on this part much on the spirituality forum, but if anyone wants to PM me to talk about it more, feel free!), about everything, but especially donations. I hated feeling like everyone in the world was bad because they were gay, atheist, played sports, etc...unless you were JW, and a good JW, you were to be hated.

Once I got through all of that, I started to research doctrine, and that's where it all fell apart for me. Too many inconsistencies, too many changes over the years, too little factual evidence and too much "Because we said so", basically.

I love being out. My friends/family that I didn't talk to or hang around much for years because they were DFed, have turned out to be the best friends/family I could ask for- so supportive, so loving, so helpful and understanding. It's also wonderful to pick friends based on qualities and not just whether they attend the meetings or not.

Forgot to mention my current beliefs: I identify as an atheist/humanist. I am fascinated with religion and spend a large amount of time researching it, reading about it, learning about it, and I may even start attending various churches someday soon, but I have no belief in an involved, responsible deity.
post #10 of 12
Hello ananas!

I always felt like I wasn't good enough either. There weren't any young ones in my congregation after my friends all left as teenagers, so I felt like God wasn't blessing me to have any friends because I was a bad person. I was so lonely!

I got over my fear and began researching doctrine online, starting with 607 BC. Secular history says that Jerusalem actually fell in 586/587 which I didn't know.

I also wondered why Jesus approved of the organization when they were still doing things that would now be a disfellowshipping offense.

My sister left the organization a few years ago, and I even missed her wedding because DH didn't want me to go. We had very limited contact, and then I realized that I was being so unloving. She lovingly forgave me for all the hurt I caused her, and we have an amazing relationship today.
post #11 of 12

Favorite Charles Taez Russell Quote

"If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now:
But with god there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from god must be like its author.
A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. New light never extinguishes older light, but adds to it...
So is it with the light of truth; the true increase is by adding to, not by substituting one for another."

This fits so well with the ever-changing "this generation" meaning.
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by mi_amor View Post
This fits so well with the ever-changing "this generation" meaning.
It definitely does!
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