To sum up...a normal life!
What Things Were You Deprived Of Because You Were A Jehovah's Witness?
Well, the relationship with the extended family was definitely missed.
I think mainly, though, I was deprived of the ability to deal with my own mortality in any normal sort of way. I was raised expecting Armaggedon, always "any day now". So I never planned for any sort of life here in this earth. Most of you can definitely relate to this.
I've progressed somewhat beyond this, but this is still an issue at times, even today. I don't consciously believe that the end may be tomorrow, but the subconscious is sometimes quite stubborn.
My life while a JW was crammed with lost sexual opportunities, but above all there was no social life because their society was so impenetrable all those promises that you would find there many brothers and sisters and relatives were transparently false. You had to be part of the circles that existed there otherwise no one invited you round (there were though very few honourable exceptions).
They also gave no freedom of speech, there was a lack of reasonableness in this respect, the decent way of doing things, I object and you try with rational arguments to overturn by objection, did not exist. If you object to the FDS then automatically you have to be in error, in grave error.
I had a good childhood despite growing up in a cult. I never really felt deprived . Ya looking back, I would have liked to be more active in sports and extra curricular activites in school. However , the main thing I missed out on is something I just recently realzied, I never had true friends. I spent my whole life with relationships that I now come to find out, were just based on certian conditions. That is one thing I really regret...I now, being 23 years old, have to start all over with finding new friendships. Something most people establish during their childhood and teen years.
friends, a backbone, self respect, money...
Sports-the opportunity to compete, and be part of a team
Dating - not sex but a meaninful relationship with the opposite sex without the pressure of having to marry the first lady I dated.
College Education-I am a 38 year old working on getting a BA.
I knew of one OUTSTANDING athlete who became a JW while in high school. He was considered the BEST football player to ever grace the city. He was an intelligent teenager, raised in the south and considered THE example of a young man who was making it. He was offered a top scholarship to a number of colleges----yet he declined it all because 1975 was just around the corner. Instead he became a Regular Pioneer! He witnessed to everyone about how the end is right around the corner. When people would kind of mock him for his beliefs, he'd do the same thing back, very assuredly because he KNEW he had "The Truth". 30 plus years later I believe he's a milkman, making deliveries. He had a cleaning business, 2 or 3 kids and nothing else to show for it.
Interestingly, a Witness is trained to believe that it is the WORLD that's deprived of true peace, security, love, etc. JWs are the "happiest people on earth". If this is true it is because most are on every known medication available.
The one thing that is closest to my heart is my children. We have four - 3 boys and 1 girl. They are all fine, productive adults now w/their own families.
They were raised in the org. and what I can honestly say here is they were deprived of a normal childhood w/ friends, overnights, holidays and just good old down time with the family.
We were always racing around to get to some mtg. on time or service.
I wish I could go back in time and redo all of that.
Yeah....time lost is something we'll never get back. I actually enjoy birthdays! Why not?? Because John the Baptist got beheaded???