Raised in a Cult and want to feel like a normal person

Was raised as a Jehovah's witness and feel like I can't properly socialise with people in general. Especially when it comes to girls. I'm currently 19. I have completely been out of it for a year and a half, never baptised and mentally started questioning the whole thing perhaps 3 years ago. This was the time during my final high school tests and I just mentally couldn't study and instead watched bloody Atheist experience/AronRa/Scientific videos and all that sort of Youtube content. If I were to describe how I felt at the time imagine everything your whole life you thought was right was wrong and vice versa and that if I made a wrong choice I’d be Punished by God (If anyone has read 'Brave New World' imagine both John and Bernard's character amalgamated into one). Lost all my ‘friends’ that were in the cult because of how they treat ex-member. (disclaimer if you haven’t been in this sort of position, coming out of a cult/religion 1) you’re lucky ( I wouldn’t wish it on my enemies) and 2) you may read some things that seem like a weird way to describe something but honestly there is no other way to describe it)

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From childhood you are indoctrinated to believe that everyone who isn't a JW is 'worldly' which is a derogatory term but one that I didn't subscribe to as I felt it was wrong to treat people like that, but feel like it's something that comes up now and then. But I actively correct myself whenever I catch myself thinking that way (By the way I am in no way racist/homophobic/misogynistic etc they were actually some of the many problems I had with their teachings, and the definition of a 'worldly' person really just means not a JW but that by definition means that a worldly person is evil, controlled by Satan and anything else that is 'sinful'). It’s pretty hard to make friend when you’re a child when your told that ever one is the enemy, even with my liberal view that you should be kind to people it still made it so I never felt comfortable being invited to someone’s house or to go and do something.

I was ostracised for 3 years as a small child starting school as I used to do all the usual JW shit like no Birthdays/Christmas at school and so was picked on, can’t blame the kids. Eventually by the end of primary school I ended up being acquaintances with everyone I knew pretty much, even those who made me feel like shit. Even though I made 'friends' I feel like I could never really keep them so I guess I have attachment issues ( also because every 'hip' toy like bey-blade/Pokemon etc somehow ended up being 'demonic' {they are big on that sort of shit} I would obviously be all excited that I had something to connect with other kids and I actually enjoyed and then would have to mentally stop myself from liking it once I found this unfortunate fact out, get rid of all the 'witchcraft' and go back to mediocrity and being a good little sheep).

Biggest problem that I'm aware of is how I interact with people especially the opposite sex. Somehow, it’s almost like I have developed a phobia and I believe it’s 'old programming' from being in the cult. Essentially, I took Mathew 5:28 [But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart] literally as a child and as a result really struggle whenever I just like a girl. I feel ashamed to even admit I like a girl to myself. I have a libido but it fluctuates from Asexual to being Heterosexual and a full-on white knight/chivalry sort of thing that makes me cringe. I have been in a relationship with a girl, unfortunately it was really toxic as I was still in the cult but was starting to question it all. She asked me out and initially I turned her down (for stupid religious reasons) but after a month of talking to me I felt like I could actually be happy with someone for once and she asked again and then we were 'together' for 6 months.

There were other JW's at my school and somehow, we agreed to not see each other while at school and met up after school (this is because JW's are trained to tell on each other when they mess up as it is seen as a loving thing to do. And I feared if my parents found out they would disown me and kick me out, which is something I know has happened to people I knew of {For your information I came to the point where I had to choose between becoming an Atheist and being true to myself, possibly losing my whole family and being Punished by God or Living a lie and God knowing I was living a lie and being Punished by God and I chose to become an Atheist and be true to myself no matter what anyone/anything thinks of me. Thankfully that decision was a catalyst for my parents to both escape as well}).

It honestly felt like a long-distance relationship. We only ever went on one official 'date' and we just went to see a movie (obviously behind my parents backs) and it was at a local shopping centre. I was so paranoid that I would be spotted and ratted in that I couldn't keep a steady hand in hand with her while we just fucking walked around. She broke it off and I don't blame her (It’s been a couple years since the relationship). I was honestly quiet upset and in a bad place but knew it was completely justified and don't hold anything against her. I honestly feel bad that she even was with me for that long and have since apologise and done my best to make up to her and believe we have both moved on. She did a lot for me and I had a lot of other things going on at home and in the relationship, she would always lend an ear and I'm always going to be really thankful for that but at the same time know how it affected her. When I contacted her to apologise, she said that " all my problems were insignificant compared to yours." And its honestly something that really hurt me to know that just talking about my problems made someone feel that way.

I have friends who are girls but it is still really hard for me to address them like how I address guys and even that’s messed up. I’m severely socially awkward and still fucking ask to go to the toilet out of habit which is really embarrassing and hopefully illustrates how much you are controlled when you are in something like the JW. When it comes to girls though its almost as if something is broken and I just don’t know how to fix it. I don’t want to end up in another relationship and have a repeat of what happened to my last girlfriend but at the same time feel like the only way to heal is to engage in that sort of stuff (to me that’s something like going to the bar which is a massive feat for me and I end up being a nervous wreck {but at the same time think I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and to feel ok with even just thinking to myself that a girl is cute}) and end up in a vicious cycle where I conclude the best thing, I should do is work on myself. I have been doing that and have been improving ever since I left and am tremendously proud of myself even though I have a long way to go, but at the same time it doesn’t address the problem of how I interact with people and has led me to become very isolated and so the cycle continues.

I don’t know how putting this all on a site like Jow Forums is going to help but I am clawing for help, council doesn’t seem to work as it feels really unnatural and I end up just talking the whole time which is something I do by myself at home anyway. I think I just need advice on both how to meet new people to become friends with, how to stop this stupid phobia of girls given what I’ve said before and honestly, I don’t feel like I belong anywhere because I don’t understand anyone or anything like social norms, and jokes etc and I just feel like I’ve been left behind and really want to get better for myself and others.
By the way if the solution has anything to do with religion its safe to say that I’m extremely against it and want something that’s actually going to help me
For Context I have come across the red pill/MGTOW and listened to it for a while but ended up deciding that I didn’t agree with it. I Don’t really want to talk about it
I’m also open to questions about what the experience was like being a JW if people care
(Also that picture isn't mine)

Interesting read, user. Most religions are a scourge upon society. My family was only moderately religious growing up and I still feel like it had a very negative impact on me.

It sucks that you've had to deal with all of this shit, but it seems like you're working to move past it. I get the impression that you have a good idea of the direction that you want to go in and just need to vent to people who will listen and understand more than you need advice. It sounds like having religion envelop every fascet of your life was fairly traumatizing. How did your parents end up breaking free?

As I started questioning it, I started asking them questions like how is Noah's ark even possible. at the time my Dad was really mad as he has been it his whole life. My Mum had been hiding some things she didn’t like about the religion. Only once I left did I find out the reason they never let me get baptised (being baptised is like signing a life contract and they pretty much own you {the JW organisation}). My Mum used to rip pages out of some of the children's books and make her own as they depicted some graphic scenes like the story of Lots wife being turned to salt. She wanted to protect me and my autistic younger brother from it all. When I had to decide between coming out Atheist and living a lie, I didn't know any of this and when I bit the bullet my Mum jumped at the opportunity to leave as well. Only after she knew I left would she leave because otherwise she could have lost me too, as well as my bother. My Dad is still trying to process all that has happened but I think he can see we are telling the truth. They have a clever way of making ex members become "apostates" which means anything we say is immediately a lie and luckily my Dad loves my Mum and didn’t let this cult get between them unlike so many other families this cult has torn apart. My extended family think I’m ‘mislead’ and some ring us up constantly and harass us or have disowned us/me.

your shit is too long post a tldr

anyways, iwas raised mormon and feel like it impair me socially i can answer any questions you want

1Ti 5:11-16 ESV
11) But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry
12) and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.
13) Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.
14) So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.
15) For some have already strayed after Satan.
16) If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

How long you been out? What are some things that helped/help you?

ps also didn't realise that /tldr existed my bad

alright just read through your shit and it seems like you got fucked quite a bit harder than i did.

wait whats a tldr. I read that wrong

im 31. i checked out mentally at like 6 but went through the motions till 8th grade and 9th-10th grade i said fuck this shit and started 'openly rebelling'. by the time i was a jr i was completely detached more or less, at least on my own terms. i went back for a couple months when i was 19 i think to see how i felt again and arrived at 'yep theyre a cult'.

i guess you mean help me out with socializing and being normal? hard to say. i didnt have a dad because he died when i was really young so i could have friends with normal kids and my dumb fucking mom couldn't do shit about it. funny thing is i got diagnosed with legit high functioning autism TWO FUCKING YEARS ago. when i was in middle school my mom sent me to counselor (who was conviently recommended to her by my aunt who is in the same mormon ward as this 'counselor'). it was basically some crap attempt by my mom to get him to tell me my moms right sbout everything uincluding church shit and convieniently didnt catch the autism.

tldr is short for too long didnt read. meaning its too long amd i didnt read it. and the end you tldr and summarize you enitre thing two a few lines for example

>tldr, raised in JW cult, cant socialize properly, wat do?

ill try to answer as much as i can but i have to go to bed soon

OP it seems like you've got a head on your shoulders. I often wonder if I myself would be strong/smart enough to get out of a situation such as yours. Good luck with everything

just wanted to say, I empathize and this is an extreme trauma/abuse thing. I've been beaten, molested, etc, and having such difference experiences from others makes one feel like an alien or like a paper cutout of a human or some shit. Nothing to relate to with others, looking at the world through a glass darkly.

I don't have a cure for it but I acknowledge it's very hard.

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In that case I'll message here in couple of hours I have to sleep too. And sure helping socialise but if you wanna share what helped you realise it was a cult. I've engaged with mormons but never an ex mormon.

In that case I'll message here in couple of hours I have to sleep too. And sure helping socialise but if you wanna share what helped you realise it was a cult I'd be interested to hear your story. I've engaged with mormons but never an ex mormon. Its funny I recon there are a lot of people out there like us who have been chewed up and spat out by religions and it just never seems to be talked about from what I see. Not just the ones who are Atheist but the ones who genuinely lose everything. And a lot of the time the person has been manipulated and had no control as they watch thier life fall apart.
>tldr what user said essentially

In that case I'll message here in a couple of hours as I have to sleep too. And sure tips to help socialising would be great but if you don't mind sharing I'd be open to listening to your story about leaving the Mormons or what made you check out. I've engaged with Mormons but no ex Mormons as I've never met one. Its funny I believe there are so many of us out there who have been chewed up and spat out by religions and it just never seems to be talked about. Not just those who become Atheist but the ones who end up losing their whole family/lifestyle/children. And a lot of the time the person has had no say in it/been manipulated and can't do a thing as they watch their life fall apart.

>tldr I was raised a Jehovahs Witness and need help with social skills and socialising in general.

my bad it came up with errors and said it didnt send my mistake

for the socializing bit, its hard to give tips. im not an incel or virgin but i have a really really fucking hard time approaching girls. so much so much so that i literally dont at this point. a lot of it just stems from my special situation which i will now tldr
>be 4
>dad dies
>be traumatized whiny little bitch
> not havE any father figures
>be young kid
>start being normal and talk to classmates kids at school
>also have an 'out' group (friends outside of mormon church)
>was always aware mormons are weird
>always be quiet, shy, reserved nit realizing im legitmatly autistic
>put through life with the normal motions with close group of friends going to concerts, small kickbacks, some parties and shit
> realize im just truely a loner and purge all friends at like age 22
>havent made friends since

this probably wont be you though. i would just start with finding your interests and making friends with people you have stuff in common with. for example last week i had to turn down some asian faggot because i was at a chiropractor for a massage/adjustment. so the massaues and i were tslki g sbout fitness and shit thn he starting talking and his male stripper friends so i just stopped talking.

so tou can talk about your incterests (cant go wrong here, its external to both you and the person) and that leads to joke around and getting to know each other. then it just kind of snowballs, instead of just talking about lifting you go lift together, then go to bars together and double team thots and such. or music related stuff you get the idea.

for the realizing its a cult bit; because its the over the top conformity and suppression of anything ideas/thoughts that contradict what they believe. its NEVER "oh you disagree with all this and want to leave? okay sure i respect that". its always, okay but what about morals, what if there IS an afterlife shouldnt you stick with it just in.case? mormons can you get s job you know? 1/2

you dont have faith? oh gosh! just prayer more! iKNOW the spirit will reach out to you. then theres the actually physical logistical leaving off the cult. they will 'tag team' you with confrontations if you start resisiting too much for example, brother smith i your closest 'friend' in the church so the bishop prompts brother smith to try to reel you back. you tell brother smith to fuck off and if you keep it up youll beat the shit out of them or call the cops for harassment/stalking when they show up your house on sunday when youre trying to sleep in. so now the bishop will prompt brother johnson to do the exact same thing in an attempt to 'wear you down'

anyways im just not religous. imjust wanted to play my fucking n64 and the church took all my fucking free time so fuck them. and its the sheer extent of controll they try to extert over you.
>3hours of church
>1 hour bible study in morning
>1 hour boyscout/youth activity shit
>hours of self bible/BOM study
>2 yearlong mission
>stupid church related 'awards' during youth

yeah, no. i have better shit to do.

i gotta go to bed though. if you keep bumping the thread so it doesntget archived ill answer more when i get up

accept that you ARE a normal person, many people have messed up / weird childhood
once you can accept that you are now a normal person, come to terms with you beeing uncomfortable around girls, have higher than average moral standards and such
those aren't necessarily bad, or they don't make you non-normal, just straying from the average here and there is just fine
once you've done those, just go to meetups, online or IRL, don't force yourself to act unnaturally, but be willing to talk to people you haven't talked to before, soon you will feel a lot more like yourself :)