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?
Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11
My dad was raised as JW, and has nothing but bad things to say about the experience.
Rockin' mama to Allison (9), Asher (5) and Alethea (3), head over heels in love with my sexy husband, Tony.
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.
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.
trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , ,WOHM Kiddos born 12/11/06 and 08/09/08
with #3 EDD:01/2013 So in love with my sweet Swede and my bonus-son 10/25/98
Never been happier. They all said noone ever "improves" upon leaving but my family has improved a thousand times over. Sweet, sweet freedom.
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.
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.
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.
Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang , born 11/17/12
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.
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.