But as I poured out my thoughts quite by accident it became much more. I wanted to share my reflections with you here, so excuse this indulgence.
Rather happier now I have had the opportunity to say goodbye, as it were, to Nan.
As an Atheist graveyards are strange places for me. I know once we are gone, we are gone. I know there is nothing after, we return to dust and our memory is carried on by our family. Eventually we will return to the stars and become at one at an atomic level with the universe – quite beautiful really.
Life is like energy really, it never really stops it just changes.
When the matriarch of any family passes away a huge whole is left and families can fall in to disarray. I hope my children and grandchildren realise how important family is and make the effort to stay close.To me family has always been important. You realise that when yours is gone and take pains to ensure that your own family treasures their relationship with each other.
I am thankful for my Wife for her loving support, and grateful I have the opportunity to educate my children without the confines, constraints and nonsense that any organized religion imposes. My children question everything, are encouraged to research everything for themselves and are richer for it!
Critical thinking is so lacking in this modern world it is becoming a rarity. Perhaps this is the next form of mental evolution for mankind? Those that have knowledge through research and mental dexterity, and those that choose not to trouble themselves with it and therefore embrace ignorance by blindly believing everything they are told, either from the pulpit or the many forms of filtered media.
It saddens me, which is why I speak out. After a lifetime of controlled blind obedience I feel obligated! I know it is unpleasant for some to hear and see, which is why 5 years ago I had over 600 friends on Facebook and today I have 133!!
For whatever reason, I have very few real friends, but those that I do call close friends I view as my family. They know who they are and know I value their companionship greatly. I confess I am a very lonely person and have a huge whole in my life, not because I have removed ‘God’ from it but because a religion chosen by my family requires them to be totally removed from mine. So all of the friends I ever had and all of the family I was so closely attached to are gone. Their choice killed off a part of me, and left a gaping hole.
Can you even imagine how hard it is to rebuild that?
Can you imagine how hard it is to socialise when you are disabled and wheelchair bound, unable to work any more?
Add in to the equation you have two autistic children who have three siblings. All polite and well behaved children – but looking after 5 kids is daunting.
You also only have a loving and willing father-in-law as the only person you can rely on to look after the children to enable you and your Wife the opportunity to go out and perhaps you begin to see the struggle we have.
BUT, I am not moaning, I don’t think people realise how much Emmajay and I have been through in the relatively short time we have been together, and what we go through on a daily basis.
We almost lost Jacob at 6 weeks. Micah is a very poorly boy with dysfunctional kidneys, he will also face a lifetime of awkwardness from his vitiligo. Autism is an incredibly difficult mental illness and we regularly face meltdowns from both Jacob and Reuben. Imagine a child throwing themselves in to the road or smacking their head on a brick wall because they face a change in routine, a strong smell, a new flavour they haven’t tried etc.
If we were advertising this as a job it would have to come with one hell of a salary and benefits package!
I doubt even then many would cope,
Which makes Emmajay even more amazing.
She does all this AND has to cope with a husband not coping with a recent and permanent disability.
My life is nothing like I envisioned at 18 when I was fed up and bored.
I’d love to have my youth back, and equally I am grateful for the journeys I have taken since then that have shaped me to become the man, husband and father I am today.
There is truth in the saying that life is a journey, just make sure you’re not sat on the bus looking out and watching it pass by! I did that for too long and when I got off at a stop, I found out it was fucking amazing.
Disfellowshipping or excommuniation –
Jehovah’s Witnesses practice something they refer to as ‘disfellowshipping’ this is something they use to control their congregations by fear. As someone who was a Jehovah’s Witness and who has been disfellowshipped allow me to please explain what happens to you once you are disfellowshipped.
I was brought up as a Witness* and left when I was in my early thirties. Unlike many ex-JW’s I didn’t walk away from it, despite many seemingly unanswerable questions, I was excommunicated and treated like a criminal. This meant that all of the friends that I had grown up with over the years of being a JW were now no longer permitted to have any contact with me. I couldn’t contact them and explain my side of the story (they wouldn’t take my calls). It meant my immediate family were to no longer have any communication with me (not even via email or text message).
*you can read my story in full here
Now credit to my folks, they allowed me to stay in their house as, due to a divorce I had lost my own along with everything I owned after 6/7 years of marriage to an upright christian sister (yeah right).
Now unless you’ve been through a divorce you cannot understand what it is like, you go through a mourning process as if someone close to you has died. In my case my ex had two kids from a previous marriage who lived with their biological father, but I still loved them as my own.
I mention this as I want you to appreciate how depressed I would have been. I had lost my house and my marriage. I was still working but was obviously not in the best frame of mind. I had a friend and his name was Vodka.
Then I met someone. I could talk and she would listen, we became friends and the rest is history. I was getting on with my life. But this wasn’t what the Jehovah’s Witness plan allowed. Oh hell no, you can’t be happy after you’ve left them! I had had many accusations thrown at me by my ex so they had to act on them, she was of course out for blood. Plus the ‘committee’ were on a witch hunt and I was the target. I never got on with any of them really and none of them knew the real me. I attended the first meeting as I was misled but refused the second one as I knew the outcome already.
(Note; none of the buffoons had any legal or educational qualifications so were never in a position to help – which is surely what Jeebus instructed them to do right?).
So that was that.
My family, my friends, everyone I knew were erased in that moment. Imagine falling from an aircraft a mile up without a parachute that’s kind of how it felt. That inevitable feeling of imminent death.
But it doesn’t come. Well it didn’t for me because I had someone who cared for me. Who encouraged me and helped me to find the answers to those unanswerable queries I mentioned before.
But that isn’t the end of the story. Despite moving on, being social awkward, making a few friends but none I am really close with. I have moments of dark depression and loneliness. These appear at random times and vary in veracity. Sometimes I can mentally kick my ass and get on with it, but when I am low because of illness or whatever, it gets harder. Being disabled doesn’t help much either.
These moments are when you need to speak to a parent, sibling, or mate over the phone or over a pint down the Dock and Duck. But you have no one. I don’t anyhow. I am a social outcast who lacks the skill to befriend. Don’t get me wrong, I have over 100 friends on Facebook! But aside from my wife none I am close to. I’ve put it out there a few times about meeting up for a coffee or a beer. But no one ever responds. I know folks have their own lives and are busy. I know too I am a very vocal Atheist, perhaps too vocal. But I care. Why should anyone have their heart ripped out twice?
So I admit it here (though I doubt anyone reads this blog anymore) I am 42 years old. I am married to a woman whom I love very much. I have five lovely children and……..I am painfully lonely.
I watch those films where a guy meets up with 4 of his buddies who he’s known since school and they go on a road trip and get drunk have a right laugh, gamble, drink, sky dive etc.
I’ve wanted that since I left school! I couldn’t then because of the cult’s restrictions so lost all contact. I couldn’t befriend workmates, because of the cult’s restrictions. Then they took all that away from me (though I am glad to be out trust me).
But they left behind a dysfunctional social outcast. Not that I have a social life.
I get up, I take my medication, some days I can leave the house. Most days I stay in my bed.
I sit and wonder what is the point?
I read to keep my sanity.
There’s that big question mark. What’s the point?
Honestly, if my Wife and kids weren’t here I wouldn’t be.
Even then I have my moments.
Because for all eternity we hold the hand of the person who brought us in to this world, who loved and cared for us, sacrificed much and yet will no longer have any contact with you.
So the wound is an open one, and the pain continues. The anger rises, the frustration takes a grip, but overall that feeling of utter rejection and self loathing permeates your very being.
All because a printing company decided that this control method, never mentioned in their bibles, should be adopted in 1952.
I am thankful for my wife, best friend and soul mate for being there.
Learn more about the Jehovah’s Witness practice of disfellowshipping here:
Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide are being instructed to ‘step up’ the shunning of former members, or family that have left the faith.
It has evoked a powerful response from many who are being victimised by this act.
This pretty young woman succinctly voices what many, including myself, feel about the Jehovah’s Witness cult.
“On October 6, 2012, at the Annual Meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses, held in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A., during the discourse “When Does Jesus Appoint the Slave “Over All His Belongings”?”, it was publicly announced that the worldwide Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses (the slave of Christ) has just undergone a major re-structuring of ‘doctrinal teachings’ and asset ownership, the net result being that the church now claims it no longer has billions of dollars in assets or ‘belongings’ but is, from a legal position, an unincorporated association with no assets whatsoever.”
What a bunch of bastards – Chris
JW NEWS | AUSTRALIA
| February 1, 2013 | Report | jwnews.org |
A $3 Billion class action lawsuit is being launched in Australia on behalf of up to 6,160 children within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Documents relating to the class action reveal over 14,000 serious criminal breaches of mandatory child protection laws, committed against these children by elders and “ministers of religion” within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses over the past 4 years.
The Victorian government “Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organisations” is currently investigating the allegations, and is expected to hold a closed hearing in relation to the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses on February 18, 2013.
JW Survivors – a victim advocacy group for survivors of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses within Australia – is currently bringing together the…
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I have finally been able to post the second and conclusive part to my ‘escape from the JW cult’ story.
Click here to read it.