Here goes.

  • Pyre85

    Posts: 213

    Nov 27, 2012 9:05 AM GMT
    My friends have urged me to post something I wrote about my coming out experience for a while, so I figure what the heck. For your enjoyment(hopefullyicon_smile.gif
    Ex Immortal
    Until I was twenty, I thought I would never die. I know every teenager thinks themselves invincible, but that's not what I mean. I literally thought I would live forever, never having to grow old.
    You see, my parents are Jehovah's Witnesses, who believe that the end of the world is minutes away. In the new system of things that God would put into place, those who survive Armageddon would live forever in a paradise earth. Those who died would be resurrected to life on earth except for the 144,000 who go to heaven. (Yes it's weird.) But as my parents believe it with an unshakable, blinding faith, they taught it to me like other parents teach their children about gravity and hot stoves- facts of life; as the way the world is.
    So I grew up knowing that the world would end, 'probably before I got out of high school,' and that I would be made perfect, living forever, without the fear of aging, getting sick or dieing.
    When I was 19, I moved out of my parents house and stopped going to meetings. (Jehovah's Witness church)
    I was walking down the sidewalk, enjoying the sun when it struck me: I wasn't going to live forever; that I was aging the same as everyone else, and I would continue to do so. My world view shrank from all of eternity to eighty years. I can't even fully describe what it felt like. I looked down at my hand in horror, turning it this way and that. I could FEEL myself age, my cells dying, the seconds running out. For a few minutes it was almost intolerable.. and for weeks after the feeling lingered. I felt brittle, fragile and utterly vulnerable. I had to force myself to keep going, what was the point? I was going to die. And It would be permanent.
    The other problem with the way I was raised is that it taught me that I didn't need to accomplish anything in this life, because to a Jehovah's Witness, this world as we know it is but a fleeting thing, soon to be wiped away, made perfect under God's rule. Thus the goal--the only goal, is to be one of the ones who is chosen to be in that new system of things. College? Unimportant. Being a success in business? Irrelevant. Jehovah's Witness is the poor mans religion, because everyone strives not for worldly possessions or comforts, but rather just enough to get by until Armageddon sweeps the world away. The only important things are spiritual, maintaining your faith, and trying to save more people.
    So I struggle with the things I know I should be doing. I am unused to the idea of this life mattering.
    I still find myself waiting.
    Waiting for the end to come, waiting for the world to change, waiting for...something.The conditioning goes that deep, that even as I intellectually know that I need to put it behind me, that I do not want to believe, its carved so deeply into my life that trying to break free and think in the present, in the now, is nearly impossible for me.
    I think it's why I identify with Fantasy novels so much. My world used to be a magical place. I was destined to be Immortal; I knew the secret to living forever. I was on the right side of a millenia old battle between good and evil, all around me invisible forces were at work, angels acting out God's will, demons trying to break my faith and take me from the path of life. Imagine thinking you KNEW the answer to life; that while the rest of the world stumbled in darkness, you walked in the light, knowing the true face of the world, why everything is the way it is. I liked the feeling, thinking that I understood how everything worked and why. They have an answer for everything, and it is a beautiful shining bubble separating you from the masses.
    I miss that. I want the world to be more than the gray husk daily life is, stripped of the magic and wonder. I want some of that magic back in my life. Books let me have that. For just a small moment I can slip into another life and pretend that mine is a little brighter, imagine being gifted or powerful the way the characters are.
    I really do wish I could still believe.
    But I can't.
    It's for the best.
    When I stop looking for things that aren't there and start looking around at what is, I'm blown away. Every experience, a great party, a pretty sunset, a hike through the woods, all of them infinitely more precious to me than they were before, because now the sand is running out for me like every one else.
    If I only get eighty or so years, then I'm sure as hell going to make the most of them and enjoy every second of the time I do have.
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    Nov 27, 2012 1:02 PM GMT
    Good for you for breaking the rules you were taught. Many of us aren't even aware of the rules we live by and how unhealthy those rules can be.

    Denial is like sleep. We don't know we're doing it until we're done doing it. A world that recognizes the value of every single life is a world coming out of denial.

    Now fall in love with the monotony of today because today is the most important day of your life. It's the only day we ever have to pay attention to. That's where joy, compassion, and love live-- not in our fantasies of yesterday or tomorrow.

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    Nov 27, 2012 1:07 PM GMT
    This is a good post.

    I grew up in a very religious home, too. I also grew up believing that the rapture would happen before I was an adult. I never even thought about the future and what I wanted for my life.

    What's good about your "revelation" is that now you are free to explore the future and begin pursuing what you want for your life! What are your dreams? You are free to follow them.

    All the best to you.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Nov 27, 2012 3:15 PM GMT
    Oh, my God..........
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Nov 27, 2012 3:18 PM GMT
    Pyre85, do you mind me asking, do you believe in a God?
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    Nov 27, 2012 3:18 PM GMT
    As you become older and people pass, you will realize this for sure, without the trappings of any religion...so good thing you are thinking about it now and broke out of religious dogma
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    Nov 27, 2012 3:25 PM GMT
    hell-cross-moon-poster+(1).jpg
    WOW. Out of the thousands of posts I've read on here, I can relate to your post more than any other. I could have written this myself; just replace "Jehovah's Witness" with "Missionary Baptist". And one other difference.....I didn't really accept that I was actually going to die until I was in my 40's! It wasn't that I was that stupid or naive, but they scared me to death about hell to the point where it was something I just couldn't allow myself to accept. Honestly, I'm not even sure I fully accept it now. Even to this day, I think about death DAILY, and sometimes it's all I can think about. I get panic attacks if I don't keep myself busy enough. Just responding to this thread creates a lump in my throat.

    I know intellectually I will die some day, but on a subconscious level, my mind will have nothing to do with that idea. icon_cry.gif
  • Drift

    Posts: 217

    Nov 27, 2012 3:26 PM GMT

    Wow, amazing post. I've never encountered the ideas of Jehovah's Witnesses before, except in random references in movies and shows.

    To have such an all encompassing belief in the world shaken...
    My family was not raised in faith. We tried a few things, but that sort of belief never stuck with us. We were too grounded in the world. And yet, all 7 of us adore fantasy as well. Books and games and films, that help us fly, and explore wonderful worlds. Sometimes it was escapist, and sometimes it lit up the earth around us, illuminating all the wonders that do exist, or have existed, or will exist in some future.

    Hope to hear of what else you discover. icon_smile.gif by the way, I have a new set of fire swords. Ill send you pictures when I burn them.
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    Nov 27, 2012 3:51 PM GMT
    Nicely written. Glad you were able to get outside of the box and see the world in a much more open and inviting way.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Nov 27, 2012 7:31 PM GMT
    Whew .. that was a close call for a second there I thought there wasn't going to be enough space for me to be part of the the 144,000

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
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    Nov 27, 2012 7:34 PM GMT
    Incredible post, thank you for sharing. I feel the same way about religion. I was raised Catholic and Christian, talk about conflicts.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Nov 27, 2012 7:42 PM GMT
    My ex bf of over 2 years was a JW. I never quite understood him and his fantasies, but this seems to shed some light on it for me...... I didnt know JW's were so uninterested in this current life, rather the most important thing for them is gaining entrance into Heaven..... It would annoy me that he didn't wanna finish school, that he had no major career goals or anything, it was just as if he was existing...... and doing nothing else.

    Little did I know it probably had a lot to do with his religious upbringing, etc.

    For this reason, I shall never date another JW
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Nov 27, 2012 8:08 PM GMT
    I'm very touched by your post. My family was Southern Baptist. I carried a red-letter New Testament around with me as a kid and read it. What it said to me, though, wasn't what it 'said' to most everyone around me and that was confusing.

    My revelation about religion came at age 12. You see, I was to have been baptized along with all the other 12 year olds in my church. However, when that Easter Sunday came around and we were all to have been baptized together, I had the measles. Some weeks later, they arranged a special baptism just for me. We lived just a couple blocks from the church and after Sunday morning services I was out in the back yard playing around when I saw this I black smoke going over my head. That was odd. So I hoped on my bike and started following the smoke to find its source. Low and behold, it was the Baptist church! It was on fire! I stood there astride my bike and watched the church literally burn to the ground -- we're talking steeple falling into the naive amidst billowing clouds of smoke and fire! I got the "message" loud and clear. I thought to myself, "Lord, you didn't have to burn the church down; I'm not *that* clueless!" LOL

    I love your post. Life is an amazing thing, really. And, you know, no one knows how weird it all is. Someone once said, "The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." None of us know how long we get to live as we are. But we also don't know what happens exactly when we die, either. Maybe that is it, we just "are no more"... but maybe not! Maybe what we are is more than just flesh. Personally, I tend to think consciousness is universal. The mistake is thinking that who or what we are after death (if anything) is the same "me" that we are now. Not likely. But that doesn't necessarily mean we aren't "anything" at all. Who knows?

    You said:
    When I stop looking for things that aren't there and start looking around at what is, I'm blown away. Every experience, a great party, a pretty sunset, a hike through the woods, all of them infinitely more precious to me than they were before, because now the sand is running out for me like every one else.
    If I only get eighty or so years, then I'm sure as hell going to make the most of them and enjoy every second of the time I do have.

    And I couldn't agree more! One guru once said, "You should have all the fun you can stand." Not to say it should all only be "fun" just that we should obviously enjoy life to the fullest and not feel guilty about that.

    Good on you! Love your post.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Nov 27, 2012 8:48 PM GMT
    Import saidMy ex bf of over 2 years was a JW. I never quite understood him and his fantasies, but this seems to shed some light on it for me...... I didnt know JW's were so uninterested in this current life, rather the most important thing for them is gaining entrance into Heaven..... It would annoy me that he didn't wanna finish school, that he had no major career goals or anything, it was just as if he was existing...... and doing nothing else.

    Little did I know it probably had a lot to do with his religious upbringing, etc.

    For this reason, I shall never date another JW


    2 years and you didn't know this about him. Did you ever talk? Gay men are so odd.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Nov 27, 2012 9:02 PM GMT
    MikePhilPerez said
    Import saidMy ex bf of over 2 years was a JW. I never quite understood him and his fantasies, but this seems to shed some light on it for me...... I didnt know JW's were so uninterested in this current life, rather the most important thing for them is gaining entrance into Heaven..... It would annoy me that he didn't wanna finish school, that he had no major career goals or anything, it was just as if he was existing...... and doing nothing else.

    Little did I know it probably had a lot to do with his religious upbringing, etc.

    For this reason, I shall never date another JW


    2 years and you didn't know this about him. Did you ever talk? Gay men are so odd.


    When did I say I didn't know this about him.
    I just didn't know how deep it went..... it's freakin cultish and bizarre. Reading this made me understand the whole thing a little more. . .

    whats odd about that?
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    Nov 27, 2012 9:23 PM GMT
    MikePhilPerez said
    Import saidMy ex bf of over 2 years was a JW. I never quite understood him and his fantasies, but this seems to shed some light on it for me...... I didnt know JW's were so uninterested in this current life, rather the most important thing for them is gaining entrance into Heaven..... It would annoy me that he didn't wanna finish school, that he had no major career goals or anything, it was just as if he was existing...... and doing nothing else.

    Little did I know it probably had a lot to do with his religious upbringing, etc.

    For this reason, I shall never date another JW


    2 years and you didn't know this about him. Did you ever talk? Gay men are so odd.


    I went on a date with a guy once and he told me that the conversation we were having was longer than any time he had talked to his last boyfriend of six months! And we hadn't even finished dinner yet!
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    Nov 27, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
    Thanks for the post.

    As a Muslim I know the feeling of being of not truly being loved by my siblings. For them they feel I am on the dark path and a Sinner.
  • Pyre85

    Posts: 213

    Nov 27, 2012 11:27 PM GMT
    Thank you all for the kind words ;)
    Mikephil Perez- To answer a few of your questions, I'm not sure If i believe in god anymore or not. I do believe that if he exists, and can see into a persons heart and soul, that he has no reason to be bent out of shape a tme simply for loving a man. My relationship with my boyfriend is infinitely more loving and healthy than that of my parents. I'd say that I'm open to almost any possibility, life is amazing, and noone can prove the existence or non existence of god, so I'm not going to stress on it either way.
    Import- You were dating him while he was still in the church? Or had he already left? Either way, I'd say it probably had something to do with it. Not everyone in the faith takes it quite that seriously, though my congregation certainly did. It's kinda an all or nothing thing.
    Mike w- Wow, talk about subtle signs from above icon_surprised.gif
    Fivealive: I know exactly what you mean. My cousin, who was a like a sister to me growing up is a mega witness and lovingly told me that she would love to hear from me when I change back. *sigh*
    I got uninvited from my brothers wedding when they found out I was gay too.
    I haven't spoken to most of my family in almost ten years :/



  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Nov 28, 2012 12:06 AM GMT
    Pyre85 saidThank you all for the kind words ;)
    Mikephil Perez- To answer a few of your questions, I'm not sure If i believe in god anymore or not. I do believe that if he exists, and can see into a persons heart and soul, that he has no reason to be bent out of shape a tme simply for loving a man. My relationship with my boyfriend is infinitely more loving and healthy than that of my parents. I'd say that I'm open to almost any possibility, life is amazing, and noone can prove the existence or non existence of god, so I'm not going to stress on it either way.
    Import- You were dating him while he was still in the church? Or had he already left? Either way, I'd say it probably had something to do with it. Not everyone in the faith takes it quite that seriously, though my congregation certainly did. It's kinda an all or nothing thing.
    Mike w- Wow, talk about subtle signs from above icon_surprised.gif
    Fivealive: I know exactly what you mean. My cousin, who was a like a sister to me growing up is a mega witness and lovingly told me that she would love to hear from me when I change back. *sigh*
    I got uninvited from my brothers wedding when they found out I was gay too.
    I haven't spoken to most of my family in almost ten years :/





    Thank you for answering my question in such detail. I do believe in God. I was raised a Catholic and still regard myself Catholic, but I don't agree with the Catholic church teachings on a lot of things, the Gay issue being just one. As you say, God would not be bent out of shape because you love a man.

    Reading the last line of your post about your family brought tears to my eyes. I hope they come to their senses some day.

    Hugs.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Nov 28, 2012 12:20 AM GMT
    Import said
    MikePhilPerez said
    Import saidMy ex bf of over 2 years was a JW. I never quite understood him and his fantasies, but this seems to shed some light on it for me...... I didnt know JW's were so uninterested in this current life, rather the most important thing for them is gaining entrance into Heaven..... It would annoy me that he didn't wanna finish school, that he had no major career goals or anything, it was just as if he was existing...... and doing nothing else.

    Little did I know it probably had a lot to do with his religious upbringing, etc.

    For this reason, I shall never date another JW


    2 years and you didn't know this about him. Did you ever talk? Gay men are so odd.


    When did I say I didn't know this about him.
    I just didn't know how deep it went..... it's freakin cultish and bizarre. Reading this made me understand the whole thing a little more. . .

    whats odd about that?


    You said it in your post above."I didn't know JW's were..........."

    I find a lot of gay men very odd. Discussion for another thread.

    My partner, when we met, was very raped up in religion, and I knew all about it in less than two years. Much less.
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    Nov 28, 2012 2:31 AM GMT
    So, I actually happened upon this thread coincidentally...
    I've never been very religious- I actually thought of the Bible as a storybook until I was 13 or so, when I realized that the people around me reading it believed in it wholly. It was mostly a sense of disbelief on my part, on how people thought it was true. /but, this is a tale for another time. XD
    You're an amazing writer, really. Hearing you mention this stuff through mail, I couldn't really imagine what it was like. I think I understand now, though.. I can't imagine what it'd be like to have your entire perception of the world shattered so suddenly. And to have a family of that nature..
    You're such an inspiration, in your own way, yet you don't realize it.