I lost my faith when I was twelve. I have to start from the beginning: My father started molesting me when I was 5 years old. My mother started studying with the JW's when I was 6. She was trying to find the "right" religion and found it with the JW's, so I was brought up as one as well. My father started studying after a while. He studied off and on for the next 8 years. I was abused during this time as well. When I was old enough to understand that what he was doing to me was wrong, I was confused as to why Jehovah let that happen. I figured that maybe I was a bad person and that Jehovah didn't love me 'cause I wasn't worthy. Then I would go to the meetings and they would tell you that Jehovah was a loving God. I was really confused. I tried my best to be a "good" person, but the people in the congo always treated me differently from the other kids. To this day I'm not sure what it was about me that made people think badly of me. I never did anything wrong. I went to the meetings and service. I commented at the meetings and the book study. I didn't smile much and kept to myself a lot of the times. I wasn't anti-social or anything.It always seemed like the brothers wouldn't want their kids to hang out with me. Anyway, I decided to get baptized at age 11 because I thought that Jehovah would protect me if I devoted my life to him. Of course I was greatly mistaken. The abuse didn't stop and the brothers where even nastier to me. One year later my father got baptized. He had stopped molesting me 2 months before. The day he got baptized was the day I started to lose my faith. He started to get privliges in the congo and even said the prayer at the end of the book study. Everyone treated him with respect and treated me like dirt. Needless to say I stopped praying. I told my mother that I didn't want to go to service anymore because I didn't feel the love for Jehovah that the bible talked about and I didn't want to be a hypocrite. She said she didn't care and that I would have to fake it. At this point I had already told her of the abuse and my lost faith. By the time I was 15 I was convinced that I didn't want to be a JW. I decided to tell a friend about what had happened to me and he in turn told the Elders. To make a long story short, CPS was called and my father had to flee because he was going to be arrested. People in the hall didn't know what was going on and the few that did didn't do anything to help me. No one tried to talk to me about why I had lost faith in the religion. It was real easy for me to leave. My Mother just wanted to get rid of me so she let me marry my 21 year old boyfriend. Of course everyone in the hall thought I had run away from home and that was that. No one tried to get me back. No one cared. So now, 10 years later I'm on this site and very happy to be out! Thanks everyone for listening.
Why and when I lost my faith
Sorry to hear of your troubles but glad to see you are here and doing better. It's quite a shock when we discover that the "loving" group of "brothers & sisters" could really give a rat's ass about us!
Welcome to the board, and thank you for sharing your story. All I can say is that I am glad you have been able to get away from the cycle of abuse. Good for you.
I have seen stories like yours many times. The social culture of Jehovah's Witnesses is so favorable to new converts that the average member is typically not able to comprehend that bad people have come into their religion. They reason that because the person 'passed the test' by getting baptized and receiving privileges God must be blessing them. Such naive thinking allows for abusive people to stay free from the responsibility of their actions sometimes for years or even decades.
Watchtower policy is also very poor when it comes to dealing with women who have husbands that are abuse either to them or their children. Women are often told to put up with the abusive behavior and hope for better days. Even if this poor advice is not given directly, it is certainly suggested in their printed materials.
Again I am glad that you were able to break free from that world. Thank you for sharing your story.
Welcome. Very sad story. I hope you find some true friends here and in your life.
I see that you posted a few months ago. Here was my response on that thread:
This is my first time in a discussion forum. I'm an ex-JW who hasn't "officialy" left the religion because I'm afraid my family will shun me. I've been "inactive" for 10 years. My Mom has started threating me with shunning.
I never liked discussion forums before this one. I am an ex-JW who hasn't officially left for
the same reason, but just for my mother's sake. I have an aunt, uncle, and cousin who are
JW, but we never talk anyway. I have been inactive for only 1 year. My mother still talks to
me, no problem.
It's bizarre that she suddenly has this desire to shun you. I know it comes from recent information
to the members from the leaders. Still, you are not disfellowshipped. Remind her of that, tell
her you are a member in good standing, but have no desire to come back. Say that you have
not been in front of a judicial committee for any sins, and if Jehovah wanted you to be shunned, he
would arrange such a thing so that your family and any people who love you can treat you like
fertilizer with a clear directive from the leaders in Brooklyn.
From what I read here on this thread, you may want your mother in your life, but your own
happiness may be hindered by trying to please her or keep her in your life. You may need to
seek some counsel to discuss real true happiness and how you could achieve it.
Welcome to the board. It sounds like you've been through a tough ordeal - but it also sounds as if you are bouncing back well.
OnTheWayOut: Thanks for your post. I really love my mother and want her in my life. You are right though about that getting in the way of my healing process. I've been going to counseling since Dec and it's been helping a lot. My father is the one paying for the counseling. Ever since I've been to therapy my relation with my Mother has been a bit strained. I now know that I've been harboring resentful feelings toward her. I feel real bad about it, but my happiness comes first. I'm glad I joined this forum.
Welcome to the board and thank you for sharing such a tragic story. I look forward to reading more from you!