My little brother has the sweetest little manboy. It breaks my heart that I can't watch him open his 1st b-day presents, and knowing all the shit he has to endure the next 18 yrs. I love my bro, I practically raised him, but his heart and soul are in the "truth". He doesn't know any better. I can't imagine how much harder it has to be now than it used to be. There isn't anyone raised as a jw that had a normal childhood complete with worldly friends, sports, holidays and birthdays. I would tell my mom I was studying with my friends just so we could hang out in my room like normal little girls. What the f*?
Regrets of Being Brought up as a Witness
Hi Chuckie, thanks for sharing.
Biggest regret is not learning to know how to love God (Mark 12:30). Sure, those in the congregation "said" love many times. They even "said" Jehovah loves. They "said" that they loved Jehovah. Why is it that I felt that their words were only that, words? It was obvious for me while growing up that to love Jehovah was to show terror. I was inculcated with a rabid fear of God.
When I would meet my neighbors at the door in field service, I would come across several Christians who really showed that they loved God. It was evident by their demeanor and by how they elevated God in their daily affairs in life. As a pharisee-like JW, I was perplexed. However, consider me now like Nicodemus in the night!
Alligator Wisdom (aka Brother NOT Exerting Vigorously)
Chuckie ~ continue on your quest and we all are happy to hear you. You're not rambling. Venting, as I discovered, helps.
I actually don't have a lot of regrets being raised a witness. However, like you chuckie, my parents were older - 40 yo when they adopted me. I felt like I was being raised by my grandparents as they had grandchildren as little as 1 year younger than me. A tough possition to be in as I got different set of rules than the grands had. They were an old 40.
My mom would bake me a cake on my "special day" - my birthday. But it wasn't a "birthday" cake. My (gr)grandmother would dig out her christmas ornaments and we'd decorate all her plants for fake christmas, and wrap up empty boxes and put them under the plants. I was allowed to sing christmas carols as part of the curriculum in school, just not up on stage for the christmas pagent. All-in-all my parents were reasonable.
My biggest regrets:
1973 allowing my parents to bribe me with a car to drop highschool and go into the ministry "cuz 1975 was just around the corner".
Not backing out of my wedding (June 1975) when I saw things in my fiance that I didn't like. But he was that good JW man on MS track... I didn't bother bringing it up because a) the invitations were already in the mail, and b) I knew what gossip would be like in the congregations in our circuit.
All other regrets are small potatoes in my life compared to these two, as they were privitol in my adulthood.
Thanks everyone for your words of understanding, it feels really good talking to people that are in the same boat as I am. Im not really one to talk about feelings and emotions very much I tend to move on quickly and forget.
Last night when I wrote the post, I was in a bit of a bad mood. I work on a boat and have been on it now for 32 days straight with the same 26 guys, Im starting to suffer from severe cabin fever!!! Anyway, only another 10 days to go, then a weeks holiday in Thailand before heading home to Australia! Cant wait!
DebBeachBabe, I had a conversation with my niece when she was about 16, she was going to quit school, get baptised and pioneer. Im so glad I had the talk to her, I managed to talk her out of it and "live" a bit before she made those commitments! Shes now 20, out of the organisation, and really happy!
Regret nothing. Learn and grow from your experiences. As long as you dont stagnate in life there is no reason IMO to regret.
This is perhaps the saddest part of being a Witness, a wasted life. Witnesses never really live life, they are stuck in limbo waiting on a false promise while life passes them by.
Chuckie - The real regrets are having believed, listened to and obeyed the crap bellowing form Brooklyn.
I regret my foolishness and intimidation I felt from Fanatic JW parents and JWs in general.
I laugh at them now.....but, could still kick myself for the things I lost. BUT.....I gained the best man in the world as a husband. Some people never find their soul mate.....sometimes, there's more to be thankful for. In reality, if I hadn't been JW, I would not have been married for 23 years to an angel!
Regrets of an oppressed childhood....YES!
Regrets of not going to Uni....yes!
But...onwards and upwards now.
Regrets? I've had a few. I regret that it took so much time to deal with JW installed fears about demons, people outside the JWs, the vengeful God seeking retribution at Armageddon. It took a lot of time and energy to process. However, I was so enriched by the coming-out process I find it difficult to be too upset about it. The books I've read! The people I've met! The things I've learned! These things have been a treasure to me. Perhaps it's a case of enjoying the cure because it's so much better than the sickness.
The main regret I have is the way I left the JWs. I could have made it easier on my JW wife (at the time), her family, my JW family and siblings, friends. I was incredulous with shock and anger at the info I was digging up when I was first coming out and I shared it liberally with the JWs in my life, scaring the hell out of them. I was an apostate bomb going off in the midst of my smug JW family and friends and didn't realize how terrified they were of the truth. They wanted nothing to do with truth. They wanted the Watchtower illusion they were God's organization and that they were the Chosen Ones. Any attack on their belief system was met with paranoia and hostility. If I had to do my exit over again I would be discreet and gentle and patient with the JWs that were in my life.
Hey Chuckie, welcome to the board and thanks for the uplifting story. It's our goal to help people like you.
We might not get our childhoods back, but we do have friends here that we never would have found otherwise.
It's reading things like this that gives me hope for the future.
Best of luck,