by SWALKER 29 Replies latest jw friends


    I guess that one of my first memories, about 3 years old, had to be sitting in a hard chair being made to listen to a boring talk that I didn't understand. We weren't allowed any toys or books to look at besides the WT publications...I remember getting taken outside and beat for something I did...but I didn't even understand what I did wrong. I remember that our car didn't have air-conditioning and during the summer how hot and sticky I was by the time I got to the KH. We had to cram 6 or 7 family members in one car and I usually had to sit on the edge of the seat the whole way there! We were usually running late as it would take forever to get everyone ready with only 1 bathroom to use! So we would be going 60 or 70 miles an hour down these old country roads and I remember several close calls where we almost wrecked. Everyone would agree that an angel had saved us. It probably had nothing to do with the fact that whoever was driving was still trying to tie their necktie or lace their shoes or something to that effect. A lot of times we almost ran out of gas, but again everyone would agree that the angels were watching out for us!

    I absolutely HATED going in service when I was little. I wanted to stay home on Saturday mornings and watch cartoons and would make up almost any story to stay home. Usually, my mom didn't buy it!!! I had to be near death to miss a meeting or service. Mom would let us keep the money that we got for our placements so that was some motivation for me to try to "sell" as many publications as I could! We'd stop at some old country store on the way home and I'd at least get some candy!

    Mom is 80 now, and the other day, she wanted to take a walk around the property they own as she felt that it would be her last time to do so. I took her down to the stream that runs on the edge of the property line (which is a trek through the woods!) and where I spent a lot of time as a kid playing. She looked all teary-eyed and said, "I wish I would have brought you kids down here for picnics on Saturday's instead of going out in service! I wasted all that precious time that I could have spent with my kids selling books for a corporation."

    Swalker (wishes Mom would have thought of that earlier, too!)

  • general

    I was first introduced to the "truth" when I was 6 years old and my mom became absolutley captivated by all the "wonderful" things she was "learning." Things quickly changed within in weeks, I was no longer allowed to associate with my "worldy friends" and of course came the torture of sitting through those tedious meetings that literally epitomized monotony. To have everything that you valued at 6 years old such as friends, holidays, birthdays, and organized sports suddenly ripped away from you was what I like to call real shock and "awe." Like any other 6 year old I quickly rebelled, I would never sit still at the meetings and basically I became the menace at the Kingdom Hall that had to be controlled. Since my Mom couldn't control me the elders decided that they need to exercise their "theorcratic authority" and began to tell me that "if I didn't start obeying my mom and causing a disruption at meetings I would die at Armeggedon," which they always loved to constantly remind me "was around the corner." (LMAO yeah this was back in 1991)

    For a 6 year old child I was bright enough to know that I didn't have the resources, the will power, and the strategy to stand up to these "powerful tyrants." To ensure my own survival I began to purposefully live a lie. I went to meetings, I commented all the time, "Loved" field service, loved talking to people, hated everything worldy, Oh I was the perfect role model of what a JW child should be. Perhaps, that is why I am such a good actor today and can deceive anybody I choose at will and not get caught. Of course, I had my own little group of friends in the congregation I would associate with and don't get me wrong I have lot of fond memories. I remember all the parties we would have at each others houses when we were teenagers...but there was always something missing at those parties that we all harangued about for hours on end GIRLS...

    "Sigh" I remember all the dates I passed up when I was in High School because it was not "right for a christian to become unevenly yoked with an unbeliever." However, some have asked well why not pursue the girls in the hall? LMAO right...thats what I tried to do...but could I even get close to a girl in the hall without the "Loving" elders always keeping a tight rein upon the associations between the opposite sexes. OF COURSE NOT!!! Infact I had this one elder tell me " the advantages of being single in Jehovah's service" afterall he was single and loving it... " Jehovah was all he needed..." or maybe it was more like " I am gay and I don't like women but I can't tell." Speaking of that there were a couple of people in my hall who I seriously think were Gay. "

    When I was 17 it was very evident that me or my friends were happy and we couldn't figure out why. Of course I pointed out to them as to what their source of unhappiness was and that was the smothering forces of the congregation that wouldn't allow them to GROW and BE MEN...Infact my ex-bestfriend is still living at home with his parents...and not even working...he just free loads off of them. Some of my friends agreeded with me but their responses were ones " what can we do...we don't want to fall away from Jehovah eternal life in the paradise is more important..." I almost flipped out at their attitudes of defeatism and resignation...

    So when I turned 18...I just stopped going to meetings, Hung out with my friends at school, and dated a "worldy girl.." who became my first gf...

    My mom could never figure out why I was angry growing up and sometimes depressed... its because I WAS FORCED TO GROW UP AS A JW

  • candidlynuts

    I have wonderful parents, my dads grandma was the first jw, so the family was well entrenched in it by the time i was born in the 60s.

    back then congregations were close, weekends were spent playing music, or visiting others. association back then was encouraged not discouraged. that all changed in the early 80s.

    as a child, i remember being passed around in the hall to sit with other ladies or kids, we had fun going out in service because we'd have picnics with the other kids, my parents were never abusive or mean. poverty i think prevented any resentment of a lack of a social life as a teen. i knew i couldnt afford it. so i found other things to do..mainly reading.

    if jw life now, was like it was then, i'd not have a problem being one. but its became a police state and very restrictive. and frankly, plain unpleasant to sit there and be judged by what time you did or didnt turn in.

    in the 80s it became necessary to have an acceptable time card before you were considered good enough to associate with. everyone started watching everyone else to see if they were keeping up with the cong. average. my parents are still witnesses but are elderly and only attend sporatically.

    i went thru a bad marriage and was invisible the entire marriage to the cong. and since i had to work and raise kids i never had a good enough time card to be invited anywhere.. my ex was often invited but i was specifically excluded. after he cheated and i went 4 yrs without any elder contact or any of the " friends" saying anything other than a hello to me ..i had enough of it. even when i'd reach out to help others i'd be rebuffed.

    my parents are still wonderful people, balanced and wise ... i live a ways away from them and they'll talk to me on the phone and on occasion call me. but because i'm inactive most of my family is good at ignoring my exsistance. but overall growing up a jw wasnt a bad experience for me and i credit that to my parents not the religion.

  • Nosferatu
    I absolutely HATED going in service when I was little. I wanted to stay home on Saturday mornings and watch cartoons and would make up almost any story to stay home.

    Did any of you ever try this: Making a deal with your parents to stay home Saturday morning and promise to go out in service on Sunday instead? Then, Sunday would come, and you'd waste your whole day away with the meeting and service. Then you'd get home and realize how much it sucked to waste a whole day. You then had to weigh the pros and cons: is it worth having a Saturday morning of Cartoons to spend a whole day doing spiritual things?

    Anyway, my JW upbringing sucked. All holidays and violent toys were removed when I was five years old. That's when my mother became a JW. Just recently, she tried to remind me of all the birthdays I had when I was a kid. I told her, "I only had four of them!" She responded with "That was enough."

    Anyway, I now had to stand out in the hallway for O Canada, and not participate in holiday crafts, plays, or music. My mother started many arguments with the music teacher who saw I loved music. My mother forbid me to join the school choir, even though the teacher tried to stick up for me and come to a comprimise of me just not singing "questionable" songs. I'd like to find that teacher and thank her for her effort to stick up for me.

    I believed in Jehovah and that he was going to bring Armageddon, but I hated the meetings and conventions. I also hated how my mother always said "Don't do it for me, do it for Jehovah" to get her own way. I was also beaten often because Jehovah says to use the rod. Many times I was beaten for nothing of my doing, but because my mother was pissed off at my dad (or something else).

    My dad didn't get involved in the JWs until after he got picked up for drunk driving. He had a "nervous breakdown" and stayed in bed for three days. My mother read him Watchtowers for those three days.

    It was a shock when I saw my dad getting ready for the meeting. He said "It'll be good for me to go once". That's when I realized that my only exit from escaping the meetings - my father- was gone. We then became a true JW family.... except my dad just couldn't quit smoking, therefore he never got baptized.

    Me and my dad ended up studying with a well-respected elder. It was during this time that I decided to give the JW religion a good effort, and I did. I became an unbaptized publisher.

    At school, I was getting beat up on a daily basis because of my religion, and my ugly, outdated hand-me-downs. My mother forced me to wear them because "Jehovah's people are supposed to stand out". If I didn't want to wear them, I was threatened with a beating.

    All the beatings from home and school caused me to develope Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Whenever someone in my vicinity would raise their hand, I would duck even if they were no threat to me. How was I supposed to answer when the person would ask, "What, did you think I was going to hit you?" Whenever I would duck around my mother, she'd ask me "Would you like a beating?"

    I also developed the shakes from even thinking of going to school. I would uncontrollably shake all while I was at school, or when I was getting ready for school. I was a nervous wreck.

    Daily, I would pray to Jehovah to protect me. He never would, and I would constantly get the shit beaten out of me from my classmates.

    After this experience, my faith in Jehovah and his stupid religion started to go down the toilet. When I changed high schools, I began living a double life. Although I was enjoying a taste of a normal life, I started getting depressed and suicidal. My father told me that I might as well be out of the house if I didn't follow the JW religion. My mother was also going through all my personal belongings while I was at school. All of this combined made me want to kill myself. There were only two things that kept me going: having a worldly girlfriend and knowing that at age 18 I could make my own decisions.

    When I turned 18, nothing changed. I was still forced to attend meetings. I felt that I was in a cage, and I didn't belong there. My mother had me study with a brother who was closer to my age. She thought that I'd be able to relate to him better. Instead, I rebelled.

    This guy told me to throw out all my Led Zeppelin and Guns N Roses albums. I hated him. He forced me to sit beside him at the meetings by moving my books to the seat beside him. I was ready to punch this guy in the face. I hated his guts. It seemed the more I tried to pull away from the JW religion, the more I was being pulled back in. I still think it was funny when he came to pick me up for the meeting, but I had drove there in my own car.

    Nobody would talk to me at the meetings. I hated arriving early as I stood at the back of the hall by myself. Occasionally, someone would come over and say Hi, but that was it. It was also around this time that I started smoking. I honestly didn't care if I got caught or not.

    Then, one day, all the force stopped. My father had quit attending a few months back, and I was no longer being forced to attend the meetings. I was 18 1/2 years old by this time. I was actually honest when I got my shepherding call. I told them I needed to take a break. I was told in return that I would be toast at Armageddon. I didn't care. If I was going to die, I would die happy. I never went to another meeting (with the exception of one funeral).

    This year in August I will be celebrating 10 years out of the org. I have the date written down of the last meeting I attended. I will be throwing a huge party this year... 10 years out and Armageddon hasn't come yet!

    When I was seven years old, I was told that this system of things wouldn't last more than five years. I constantly lived in fear of Armageddon coming any day. I thought I'd never experience graduating high school, getting kissed by a girl, having sex with a girl, living on my own, having a job, getting married, and having children. I've accomplished all of those, except my wife is only 9 weeks pregnant with our first child.

    Damn, that was long!

  • Dune

    Father passed away when I was four. Mother was baptized soon thereafter.Mother became a special pioneer. Mother became sick when i was about 9.

    During her sickness, i used to pretend i had a cold by rubbing soap powder under my nose to make myself sneeze so the local elders wouldnt take me to the meetings. Nannies knew i was faking but wouldnt make me go. Mother died when i turned 10.

    Adopted by another JW (My luck huh?). Really wasnt interested, but young, charismatic elder became my bible study instructor. Baptized right before i turned 12. Have been doing Mic's, watchtowers and assistant accounts since then.

  • Bryan

    Born into it. My mother was disfellowshipped and my "Servant" father kidnapped me at age two. Had an abusive step-mother "elder's wife". Didn't find my mother until I was 33 years old.

    Have You Seen My Mother



    General---real shock and "awe." LOL!!! If only Bush knew the real meaning!

    Candidlynuts---sounds like your childhood was good for you. It wasn't like that everywhere, believe me! Sorry about the rest!

    (((((Nosferatu))))) & Congratulations!

    (((((Dune))))) Sorry you're still going through it!

    (((((Brian))))) I don't know what to say!

    So many bad memories in connection with this religion....


  • hazeljane

    This is really odd, i've never been on a JW site before, but realised that i have so much to say about them that i might aswell come on here and get it all out! Lets call it therapy!

    I was brought up as a JW from being born until i was 17, going on 18. Like many of you on here were saying, my family had been in 'the truth' for atleast two generations before me, so they were/are all pretty strong in it. I was the youngest of 5 kids and after one by one all my brothers, sisters and mam left 'the truth' i was left alone, attending with my dad. I was too young to protest, though, again, like many of you say, i faked ill as often as i could. Actually, i developed really bad panic attacks and the meetings didn't really help. Nor did the soothing, brain-washed voices of every person i spoke to there.

    Don't get me wrong, i love my dad to bits and, there are some JW that are good people, you just need to search for them! I had a great childhood, generally, but the meetings and ministry weren't happy times for me. I was seen as one of the 'bad influence' children in the congregation, who didn't get invited to social events within the JWs! I didn't actually behave badly, but i remember hilariously stupid incidents where i would write 'john Lennon' and 'Elvis' in condensation on KH windows and get told off by other peoples mothers! haha. Madness.

    I had an extremely difficult time dealing with my hatred towards elders, and i still do, even though i've been out of it for 3 years-actually, that doesn't sound too long now i say it aloud. The elders treat my father very badly, and only in very very recent days has he decided to do something about it and spoken to the circuit overseer. I don't know what the outcome is yet. The elders in the congregation i was from were pretty much all corrupt, and couldn't stand my father because he was genuine. My dad used to be a prosiding overseer, before i was born, but when his family started to leave the other elders saw this as a brilliant opportunity to make him 'step down' and since then hes been kept down. They didn't mind giving my dad all the shitty jobs to do around the hall though.

    I really disagree with institutional religions, and witnessed so many cases of repression growing up. Young lads who, to this day, have never had girlfriends and are depressed about it. There's so much unhappiness amongst people due to what they cannot do according to this religion.

    I'm just curious, is there anybody else on this sight from England, because everybody so far seems to be American or Canadian.. Cheers

  • serendipity

    Hi hazeljane, welcome to the forum!

  • hazeljane

    Oh cheers! It's frustrating almost, coz there's so much i want to chat to people about, but forums are so slow! xx

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