Should I stay or should I go?

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LightWanderer
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PostShould I stay or should I go?
by LightWanderer » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:47 pm

Hectic week. As a lot of you know, I'm currently living on a goat farm.
Here's some stuff I'm figuring out (if you guys have any suggestions):
The farm is quite isolating in the fact that it's so far away from everywhere (literally the middle of nowhere) and none of my family or longterm friends lives in this part of the country. I've made friends with a few volunteers who work here but they all leave after a set period of time. There was an absolutely amazing guy who started working here shortly after I moved in and we had so much fun together, went to the pub a lot of nights (a three hour walk to the nearest pub is a lot more bearable when you've got good company) but ever since he moved back to Italy I've been having a downward depression streak; spending all of my free time in bed (granted it's doing stuff on the laptop but even my creative projects are suffocating).
One thing that's been happening is that the lady who owns the place started introducing me to the Jehovah Witnesses after I moved in. I'm a Latter-Day Saint (aka Mormon) but there were no LDS churches in this part of the country and going to the JW Kingdom Hall meetings with her meant a lift into town twice a week, where I could buy some nice snacks afterwards. A friend of hers started teaching me the lessons, and honestly it's shattered my worldview in terms of revealing just how much LDS doctrine strays from what it says in the Bible (LDS spend most of their time reading the Book of Mormon, so I haven't really read much of the Bible until now).
I've been here since the end of July so it's been a couple of months.
I'm paying 100 euro a week rent which means I only have 100 euro left each week (exactly what the Technicolor DreamRakoon might have been on about when he mentioned that he thinks the farm sounds like "cheap labour".)
I've found an opportunity on the volunteer website where I can go to a the house of an elderly man who needs some help around the house (I spent several years as a live-in carer for my Granny, and two years looking after a friend's teenage son with autism when she was at work so hospitality is a strong suit). He wants me to move-in tomorrow but I've been tossing back and forth. Been too scared to mention it to the farm lady but finally mentioned it tonight. She said the following:
Moving away now would be dumb when I'm finally getting close to Jehovah. That it's best to stay here as I know the local congregation and can continue my lessons with the man who's been teaching me. She's seen so much progress in me lately (which is true, although emotionally I've fallen into a depressive state, spiritually I'm closer to Jehovah) that she's afraid that if I move away now I'll be leaving myself open to Satan's influence (which is also probably true, the Italian guy I was very close friends with when he was here, he had such a strong influence on me, I didn't drink much before I met him, hadn't had alcohol in over a year and that had been one drink, but with him I ended up going to the pub a lot; I seem like someone who can be easily influenced by certain people, not everyone but certain people I feel a strong connection with).
I'm planning on just going to the place until Christmas, meaning I have a chance to save up for a deposit, and then I'll have enough money to rent a place here in the part of the country I'm in now, so I can continue my lessons with the man who's been teaching me in the new year.
But the farm lady is strongly encouraging against it, and I've seen how good Jehovah has been to her life and to the life of the girl who lives here full-time (someone who had been a previous volunteer years ago, from Brazil, but then learnt the gospel and moved here full-time) and another guy in the congregation who had also been a volunteer and now lives in the local area, about to be married to a girl in the congregation in a couple of weeks.
When I prayed about it, I received the scripture about how Jesus went away for a couple of months, but then - despite all the temptations Satan threw at Him - He never gave in and eventually returned to the place He was meant to be in, to live the full gospel life. Similarly, I'm going away for a couple of months, yes I'll probably face temptations but Jehovah's strong enough that if I'm meant to be a disciple then I will make it through in the end. Jesus is the example we're all meant to emulate, so I can see why that scripture came to mind, but that very same scripture also says not to put Jehovah to the test. Thinking "it's okay to do it cause even if Satan tempts me Jehovah is a lot stronger" isn't exactly the best line of thinking..

So, you know, you guys are great at advice (even blunt advise at times). So I'm posing the question to you. What should I do in this situation? I know most of you guys aren't religious but just think of it as any other moral code someone really wants to live by. Obviously strangers on the internet can't make life-altering decisions for anyone but you guys are definitely good at giving advise and less-blinkered perspectives. I'm too close to the picture to see all of it so I'll read your comments and then tomorrow evening decide whether I should hop onto the bus to the new place or not.

Side-note: to the Fictional Characters Quiz contestants, sorry there's been no new round this week. I've had a lot on my mind so haven't been abe to think of enough characters

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Drumstick
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Drumstick » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:59 pm

Shut all the nonsense out and focus on the one thing you wrote that is most alarming:

downward depression streak

Get the strawberry float outta there, pronto.

(Also the fact that the old woman appears to be grooming someone quite vulnerable but that's a debate for another day.)

One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily I'm not an ordinary man.
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more heat than light
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by more heat than light » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:14 pm

If you go there will be trouble. But if you stay it will be double.

jawafour wrote:You definitely have the biggest one, mhtl - it's strawberry-floatin' massive!
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Wrathy » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:38 pm

This sounds crazy. Get out.

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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Karl_ » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:04 am

If volunteering on this farm has made you feel isolated and depressed then I think you should go and do something else. It sounds like going and helping that man would be a good opportunity for a change of location, and possibly better working conditions as well.

I don't really understand the religion stuff, but if there is a kind and loving god I don't think they would want you to be depressed and I can't imagine they'd have much issue with you helping the elderly. I think a responsible religious leader would tell you, you don't need to derail your whole life so one particular person or church can teach you, you can read the books and explore it yourself at your own pace.

A friend I made at University is Jewish, and he told an amusing story about his rabbi telling potential converts -- "Are you sure? Judaism can be a lot of hassle, so you have to be really sure. How many years have you been studying the Torah?" and so on. I'm not sure how universal that is, but I thought that's probably how it should be, rather than rushing or pressuring anyone into it. I think if you do feel at all rushed or pressured then something's wrong.

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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Dowbocop » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:17 am

Missing variable: is the Brazilian girl fit?
Drumstick wrote:Shut all the nonsense out and focus on the one thing you wrote that is most alarming:

downward depression streak

Get the strawberry float outta there, pronto.

(Also the fact that the old woman appears to be grooming someone quite vulnerable but that's a debate for another day.)

In all seriousness though, this. Massive safeguarding alarm bells going off in my head reading about you being told not to leave because it will stunt your "progress" - this sounds like a nascent cult.

Fill us in - why do you live miles away from your family on a goat farm? Because I'm reading your post and wondering why you don't go back home (not like racistly or nuffink :dread:). What do you think about visiting the doctor about your low mood? I really think some talking therapy or even just a chat with a doctor could give you some sound advice from someone who genuinely has your best interests at heart. If that is frowned upon in your congregation then I think that's telling you something important. Also, without wanting to get into a theological debate (you'd win and I'd let you :lol:), if you've spent ages as an LDS but found JW teaching to be so much better, why are people now suddenly scared for your eternal soul in the wider world?

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Skarjo » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:26 am

Pick your favourite goat and leg it.

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Karl wrote:Can't believe I got baited into expressing a political stance on hentai

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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Karl_ » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:27 am

Skarjo wrote:Pick your favourite goat and leg it.

Wasn't it you who accidentally joined a cult once?

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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Skarjo » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:28 am

Karl_ wrote:
Skarjo wrote:Pick your favourite goat and leg it.

Wasn't it you who accidentally joined a cult once?


No I'm the cancelled wedding guy.

Karl wrote:Can't believe I got baited into expressing a political stance on hentai

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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Karl_ » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:31 am

Skarjo wrote:
Karl_ wrote:
Skarjo wrote:Pick your favourite goat and leg it.

Wasn't it you who accidentally joined a cult once?

No I'm the cancelled wedding guy.

This forum lore is so confusing.

Okay, I just looked it up and it was Pontius Pilate (and it's a great story :lol: ). EDIT: Involves a farm as well! It all slots together.

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Skarjo » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:46 am

Karl_ wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
Karl_ wrote:
Skarjo wrote:Pick your favourite goat and leg it.

Wasn't it you who accidentally joined a cult once?

No I'm the cancelled wedding guy.

This forum lore is so confusing.

Okay, I just looked it up and it was Pontius Pilate (and it's a great story :lol: ). EDIT: Involves a farm as well! It all slots together.


:lol:

We should make a Wiki.

Milk;

A source of argument to do with order added to tea. Also the last thing member JK went out to buy before being murdered by his girlfriend for calling her fat.

Karl wrote:Can't believe I got baited into expressing a political stance on hentai

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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Jenuall » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:54 am

:lol:

Interesting how both Pontius' tale and this one involve some form of farm volunteer work. Always knew farmers were dodgy!

It doesn't sound like these people necessarily have your best interests at heart Lightwanderer, I'd be inclined to distance myself from them if I were you.

I'd also echo Dowbo's question - how come you are in this situation where you've isolated yourself in this farm away from friends and family?

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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Snowcannon » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:07 am

You clearly showed concern for RichardUK’s welfare. I would request that you show the same concern for your own. From what you are typing it is clear where you are now is depressing you, and that you know this, but you are letting yourself be swayed by others who have their own best interests at heart, not yours.

With that in mind, I suggest you get out

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LightWanderer
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by LightWanderer » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:43 am

Karl_ wrote:If volunteering on this farm has made you feel isolated and depressed then I think you should go and do something else. It sounds like going and helping that man would be a good opportunity for a change of location, and possibly better working conditions as well.

I don't really understand the religion stuff, but if there is a kind and loving god I don't think they would want you to be depressed and I can't imagine they'd have much issue with you helping the elderly. I think a responsible religious leader would tell you, you don't need to derail your whole life so one particular person or church can teach you, you can read the books and explore it yourself at your own pace.

A friend I made at University is Jewish, and he told an amusing story about his rabbi telling potential converts -- "Are you sure? Judaism can be a lot of hassle, so you have to be really sure. How many years have you been studying the Torah?" and so on. I'm not sure how universal that is, but I thought that's probably how it should be, rather than rushing or pressuring anyone into it. I think if you do feel at all rushed or pressured then something's wrong.


The thing about that is that Jehovah's Witnesses has this thing where we have to go through various stuff before we are deemed ready for baptism - there's a lot of lessons we have to learn, then we become an "unbaptised publisher" (a personal promise to follow Jehovah) and eventually we are ready to become baptised (an outward promise to follow Him). Baptism means we get to teach other people about the gospel and get to be more actively involved in meetings. Because I'm a pretty particular person (aspergers), it takes a while for people to get to know me. The current teacher and I get on great but if I leave I'll have to do all that work again from ground zero when the new teacher is trying to get to know me.

Dowbocop wrote:Missing variable: is the Brazilian girl fit?

She's in her 30s and really short, actually seems more like a younger sister, despite me being 24 (25 next month!) So no, don't think she'd be what most people would consider "fit" :shifty:

That said, another reason I've started looking for somewhere else to live is because the farm lady (let's call her Rosie) has been saying about how there's a rule that Jehovah Witnesses can not have young males and females in the house overnight unsupervised in case of temptation (it's a dumb rule; some of us are more likely to be tempted by cake than by sex) and Rosie's been complaining that she can't go on holidays at the end of November because she can't leave us in the house without her. But when I mentioned that to her tonight when I told her I'm thinking of maybe leaving, she said that it doesn't matter as there's still other guys in the house, so I should stay? It's confusing.


Drumstick wrote:Shut all the nonsense out and focus on the one thing you wrote that is most alarming:

downward depression streak

Get the strawberry float outta there, pronto.

(Also the fact that the old woman appears to be grooming someone quite vulnerable but that's a debate for another day.)

In all seriousness though, this. Massive safeguarding alarm bells going off in my head reading about you being told not to leave because it will stunt your "progress" - this sounds like a nascent cult.
Both you and Drumstick think this is like grooming. I'm not too familiar with what that is (I watched a documentary on how Michael Jackson allegedly "groomed" children but that's completely different as - if true - that was attacking someone) and don't know what a nascent cult is, but yes it does seem like she's deliberatey keeping me here (safeguarding) at times. The message is ringing clear from everyone in this thread that something ain't right here so while I'm not sure what you mean by grooming, it seems evident that it's a situation I have to rectify

Fill us in - why do you live miles away from your family on a goat farm? Because I'm reading your post and wondering why you don't go back home (not like racistly or nuffink :dread:). What do you think about visiting the doctor about your low mood? I really think some talking therapy or even just a chat with a doctor could give you some sound advice from someone who genuinely has your best interests at heart. If that is frowned upon in your congregation then I think that's telling you something important. Also, without wanting to get into a theological debate (you'd win and I'd let you :lol:), if you've spent ages as an LDS but found JW teaching to be so much better, why are people now suddenly scared for your eternal soul in the wider world?

I was raised in the care system. Luckily had the same family for most of it, and they're who I think of as "family". I will be seeing them at Christmas. But they don't allow me or the other kids who aged out of the system to live in their house. The two other kids who've aged out are my brother who's living in Mexico with his husband, and my sister who's living in a hostel with her boyfriend (yes seriously, a hostel). So it's pretty much a "must empty the nest" policy.
Why I'm all the way in a different part of the country on a goat farm is because I'm finding it impossible to find a proper job (aspergers means the interview stage ain't ever successful, and during my college years I had a nervous breakdown that resulted in me living on the streets so I never finished college and am seriously underqualified) Rent prices are impossible on social welfare. Found the farm thing on a volunteer site call WWOOF (World Wide Organisation of Farming) and it seemed good because it gave me a place to stay and something to do. But my options are really limited, which is why the possible new place is another volunteer opportunity. Homelessness is a really big issue in my country right now.

In the process of finding a new doctor, though that's another reason against moving because I had a health scare a week or so ago and need to get to a doctor as soon as possible.

Why are people scared for my eternal soul in the wider world? I think it's because the volunteer I was really close to, he had a certain influence over me that made me act in ways that weren't fully in line with Jehovah's teachings (nothing society would deem as bad but definitely not stuff a disciple should do). Rosie saw what I was like with this volunteer so think she thinks I could stray from the covenant path if left to the outside world. Plus she's made it clear that she thinks my aspergers means I can't stand on my own two feet - I'm an adult goshdarnit!


Skarjo wrote:
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I adore absolutely everything about this!
Also something coming across in a lot of you guys' comments (eg Jenuall's and Snowcannon's) is the people I'm around don't have my best interests at heart? They seem like genuinely nice people and they've helped so many. I'm not the first volunteer they've given the gospel to, and the others who've gone through this path (some of whom remained living in this congregation) all seem to have benefited a lot from it. That's the thing that scares me the most: I have gone down wrong paths in the past (there have been some truly great people in the Mormon/LDS faith who I'm friends with to this day but the local leaders when I was in that church definitely played me for a fiddle) so I know it's possible that maybe the people I'm with now are wolves in sheep's clothing, but it's also possible that this is the path Jehovah wants for me and I'll benefit like the others have done. I don't want to turn my back on that when I've spent my whole life looking for peace. Leaving could either be one of the best decisions I've made or the absolute worst.

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Skarjo » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:28 am

To be serious, it sounds like you're feeling pretty isolated and if you feel like you're in a depressive spiral, especially if that's coupled to having a massive shake up of your faith by learning about the differences between the Bible and the BoM, then perhaps somewhere that far away from your support network is not a positive place to be.

Also, you said you're paying 100 Euro a week in rent and have 100 Euro a week leftover? So about 800 Euro a month pay, half of which they're docking in rent? Does that include board? Because if not, that sounds pretty exploitative.

Karl wrote:Can't believe I got baited into expressing a political stance on hentai

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LightWanderer
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by LightWanderer » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:47 am

Skarjo wrote:To be serious, it sounds like you're feeling pretty isolated and if you feel like you're in a depressive spiral, especially if that's coupled to having a massive shake up of your faith by learning about the differences between the Bible and the BoM, then perhaps somewhere that far away from your support network is not a positive place to be.


The only reason I'm living that far away from my support network (friends/family) is because I literally don't have a choice right now. Homelessness is a huge issue in my country and I happen to come from its biggest city so the rent prices are ridiculous.

Also, you said you're paying 100 Euro a week in rent and have 100 Euro a week leftover? So about 800 Euro a month pay, half of which they're docking in rent? Does that include board? Because if not, that sounds pretty exploitative.


My income is from social welfare allowance, don't get paid by the farm lady as it's voluntary.
Not sure what the difference is between rent and board but I have my own bedroom, in a house shared with (currently) five other people. But get dinner for free as part of that €100. Was meant to have my own cabin but when I got here turned out the cabin is under repairs.

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LightWanderer
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by LightWanderer » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:48 am

Yeah screw it - I'm going. Religion can sort itself out if it's meant to be. The situation I'm in atm is pretty exploitative.

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Skarjo » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:21 am

Don't forget the goat.

Karl wrote:Can't believe I got baited into expressing a political stance on hentai

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Mommy
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Mommy » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:35 am

LightWanderer wrote:Yeah screw it - I'm going. Religion can sort itself out if it's meant to be. The situation I'm in atm is pretty exploitative.


Its the right move. If you have any further doubts, just google 'Jonestown'.

Good Luck with the goat(s)

OK Boomer :simper:
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PostRe: Should I stay or should I go?
by Rocsteady » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:22 am

LightWanderer wrote:Yeah screw it - I'm going. Religion can sort itself out if it's meant to be. The situation I'm in atm is pretty exploitative.

Good choice.

This sounds very manipulative from the woman (eg you can't look after yourself because of the aspergers, etc).

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