It is really normal to miss the structure and community of the JWs. I did a few counselling sessions and I had to explain to the counsellor that it is not just leaving a religion, you are leaving your entire culture, your entire social support system.
It was very validating for me to be told that leaving the JWs was a traumatic experience and I'm clearly going through a grieving process.
Things that have helped me:
- realise you need time to discover your real identity after it has been suppressed for so long. This includes
re-examining everything you have been taught since you were a child, not just religious stuff, but some people may have been told they are not smart or too emotional and they believe it - and it is not true.
- make it your goal to prioritise building yourself a new social support system. One that will be there you. Boyfriends come and go, but friends are forever. Join a bookclub. See if there are any local social meetup groups on Facebook. -- Making non-JW friends is going to take longer and more effort than you're used to.
- Start building a bucket list of things you would like to try. Even having a Pinterest page for inspiration helps.
- seeking counselling / therapy to learn how to adjust and cope
Books I highly recommend:
- Exiting the JW Cult handbook a good stepping stone before counselling. It helped me label and identify all the emotions and issues I was experiencing so I could communicate it better.
The reality is your feelings about being controlled are all true - you're stuck in a cult, your parents & close friends are controlling, your partner is abusive - but your thought about having no control is false, you have just been conditioned and broken-down so you are like a bird in a cage with the door wide open.
The next time you see your counsellor ask them to read this linked document about providing therapy to exjws. You will not be able to free yourself until you are strong enough within yourself to do so. Learning about healthy relationship dynamics and boundary setting is very important if you come from an abusive background. It may be the case your situation is beyond the counsellor's skill level to handle and you may need therapy instead.
Other resources for you:
"Exiting the JW Cult - A Healing Handbook" - Bonnie Zieman
https://www.youtube.com/user/KatiMorton - not a substitute for therapy but her videos are very informative.
This book was written by Bonnie Zieman,
an exjw who became a therapist. It may be a help to her.
I’m sorry that you had abusive parents. I’m glad that you have woken up. There are a lot of great exjw you Tubers, John Cedars, John Redwood, Fifth etc.
Books I recommend: Steven Hassan’s Combatting Cult Mind Control. He’s a licensed therapist.
Bonnie Zieman’s, exjw who is a licensed therapist.
Therapy can be helpful. Message me if you want to talk.
Check Bonnie's books:
Very common symptom of religious trauma .
Try "EXiting the JW Cult: A Healing Handbook: For Current & Former Jehovah's Witnesses" ................ https://www.amazon.com/EXiting-JW-Cult-Handbook-Witnesses/dp/1508477132/ref=sr_1_30?ie=UTF8&qid=1550324746&sr=8-30&keywords=jehovah%27s+witnesses
This is a great book to have! Find a counselor and take the book with you.
Breathe, it’s going to be okay. You have a great plan to escape! �� College will open so many doors for you.
There have been lots of examples of PIMO that write their required f.s. Hours down each month but don’t do them or only do some of them. Find a JW that isn’t really into it and go on long coffee breaks or go to a park. Find rv that are not home or they are way on the other side of town. One sister in my old hall would constantly go on her return visits by herself. Just play the game; a year will go by quickly. If you’re still in high school, you have projects and homework to do so you can’t do too much extra at assemblies (make up some excuse).
What about if you got a part time job in the meantime so you are too busy to pioneer?
How about you both go to couples’ counseling?
You could probably use this book:
Please go slower with someone who is PIMI. You know that they can’t handle so many topics being lies. I know you were frustrated, but it’s not the way to get someone to wake up. Your wife has so many thoughts whirling around in her head. She may push you away.
Just in case:
The effects of a cult.
Reading Bonnie's book may help a lot:
Why we're messed up:
Read Bonnie's book. ( more than once.)
For you (and your future therapist):