Hi, I have been posting for a while now but haven't shared my story, and feel it would be theraputic to do so now. My family is also on the site, although they dont post, just read.
I grew up a JW. My parents were baptized when I was just a toddler...they were brought in by the only JW members of my Dads side of the family. It was against my Moms wishes to be a JW, but my Dad thought it was the best way to raise kids. My Mom never really wanted to be a witness, but played the part well for 25 years.
We were pretty much your classic JW family, although, secretly, my Mom encouraged independence in us. Thank goodness for her. Anyway, growing up, I was constantly tormented with guilt. For as long as I can remember I have felt guilt and dread in my head. I could barely function at times and would become paralyzed with guilt and fear. Fear of Jehovah thinking I was "bad", fear of witnesses thinking I was "bad" fear of disfellowshipping. This was all before I was df and I was quite a good girl, no reason for me to feel this kind of guilt, but I did. I still do sometimes for no reason. Must be post traumatic stress or something. Anyway, I simply could not shake the pressure and guilt and wanted to just be normal. Well, I guess I kind of thought, If Im going to feel this guilty I might as well feel guilty for SOMETHING....
So, I got disfellowshipped when I got pregnant. I did not want to get df at all. I begged and cried and pleaded and appealed. I was assured, before my Judical Meeting that the only people that got DF were people actually asking for it. So I went in thinking I was going to get "help" and back on the right track and so on. Didnt happen. I spent the next two and half years begging and pleading, writing letters, attending EVERY meeting, taking notes, etc. I had to switch halls once to be closer to my Mom and Dad (who refused to shun me) becuase I was a single Mom with a small baby and needed help. I changes halls at the urging of the elders in my new hall. It was a trap. They told me if I switched I would have a better chance at getting reinstated becuase they knew me better and knew my family. So I did. Mistake..or blessing, now that I think about it. Anyway, turns out these elders had it out for my Family. We had become less traditional JW's. My Dad is successful and stopped playing by some of their rules. Well, I turned in about four letters to these elsers and met with them after every letter, and each time was told I was not doing well enough (even though I never missed meetings, studied my books etc), They reminded me each time of what a sinner I was, and each time asked if I was sorry. You can really say sorry only so many times. Well, I was at that hall for about a year and NEVER ONE TIME did I ever recieve and answer yes or no regarding my request to be reinstated. I then wrote aletter to the original commitee that had DF me in Portland, and bot did that tick my elders off. They were all red faced nearly yelling at how I NEVER go aroung them to get an answer yes or no. I come to find out, they NEVER forwarded them to the original commitee. They had no idea I had been trying to get reinstated for 2 years. They thought the last time they saw me was the last time I attended meetings. I supposse I could have then corrected them and got to the bottom of the whole mess, buit in the meantime I had started doing alot of research, reading Crisis, etc. My Mom was doing the same, although we keeping it from, my Dad, as he was still holding on a little.
Eventually, my Mom started dropping things here and there to him and he started doing his own research. We also hve soem friends that are alos on this site that did alot of research and founf out the truth. We are very lucky becuase we have each other. My brother still struggles with the guilt and is he doing the right thing etc. But we havn'y been to a meeting in over a year and consider ourselves free form the religion.
My Mom and Dad and there friends have, as of late, been the target of major lies and speculation regarding there stand. My Dad has three Zealous JW working for him. They treat him terribly and have now started up absolute untruths about my Dad. Apparrently, my Ma and Pa and buddies were the talk of the assembly last weekend. I know the elder harrasment is coming for them, and already has for our friends. They are planning on DA if anyone tries to mess with them.
Oh yeah, and the family we have to thank for bringing us into the borg is not happy. They were suppossed to come to this huge family reunion this weekend, had paid for there spots at the campsite, paid for the official family reunion shirts and then never showed up. The rest of the fam is not JW so they do not understand it was because of us they did not come. I think it made my Dad feel kind of bad, like is he so bad they can't even show uo to shun him??? He is very concerened at this point, of what kind of effect these zealous JW he working for him have on his business. They have been there for years and are important to the bz, but if he is DA or DF they are goign to leave and his 25 year old biz is in deep trouble, but they treat him like crap and spead terrible lies about him, so he is in a quandry...
As I metioned before, my Brother is in a bad spot with it all. He doesn't go, but feels guilty for not going, but doesn't want to. He still feels like it is wrong to do research and get to these types of sites. He gets very very depressed about it still but won't dpo anything one way or another. I would love to help him but her puts up such a wall when I try to tell him stuff.
All in all we are pretty lucky for coming out of it, family in tact with some unbelievable friends. I wish I could re-do my childhood, but now I just have to live it all over through my kids:)
And that is our story in a nutshell.................