Ditto all that Farkle, I too was a born in. I am just trying to make it up to myself now, in an age appropriate manner and make life different for my own kids.
Remember Jehovah in the Days of Your Youth REDUX
Thanks for bringing up these bad memories. I hated standing or sitting through the flag salute/national anthem. All the other kids always looked at me weird.
I'm glad I'm out, and like hell if I'm going to put my kid through this. I will never allow him to go through what we went through as kids.
Yes, the national anthem horror. I'd almost forgotten. My parents didn't allow me to miss school for such things. I had to go. I tried to wait outside in the hall or stand against the wall inside the auditorium until the anthem was finished and I could safely sit down. Didn't always work and there I sat, the object of revulsion by students and teachers alike.
I was so stupid -- there were no other dub kids in the school to rat on me. I could have faked it all along and my parents would never have known the difference. And I would have had a quasi-normal schooling.
"The only thing that that I can tell you to do is enjoy the hell out of the holidays now. We decorate for every holiday with inflatables and lights and it is a wonderful feeling. I take the kids trick or treating and just stand there with a huge grin on my face living through them. It feels so right just being normal. Enjoy your life now, but it is hard not to regret the hand we were dealt as kids."
We didn't have to deal with the flag/anthem thing very often as I grew up in the 80s/90s. What got me was bad association. I couldnt understand how when "worldly" kids were 1000 times better behaved than my choices of association in the hall, that Mom and Dad said they were bad and I couldnt go to their houses even if I was playing in the street with them after school!
This was confusing and frustrating. School=okay, grandmas house=okay, outside on street = okay. Them in my house=BAD, me in theirs=BAD.
Then I got older. Mom and Dad both had friends outside the church through hobbies and the internet (maybe 2-3 tops). They both had them over every 2-3 months. I did not understand this. I asked again. "Mom can I go hang out with soandso after school? They promised to follow Jehovah's rules while I am visiting so I wont get in trouble!" I was told no it was wrong and I was also asked to stop asking at that point.
When I became a teen I fought my parents about this constantly. I was allowed to, "leave the religion at any time sweetie, its your choice I cant make you believe in jehovah, it will make me sad to not have you in the paradise though because you're my baby". When I went to, I was scolded for it and was made to study for hours with my Mom.. and my Dad...who is an elder was never really any part of it. To this day both of them still break that rule.
It frustrated me as the witness kids were very unkind and my only option to someone wanting to be my friend, was cut off by someone doing exactly what we were being told not to do. The worse was any talk or part about bad association the whole family even my sibling would turn and kind of glare at me, as if "This is for you Bettie, pay attention".
When they do all these things on top of watching reality shows like "the real world",it makes it worse. I think them watching that stuff is just as bad as hanging out with the people because you are privy to all their business and emotional outbursts and you get to "be there" for all the drinking an nonsense that goes on (not anti drinking, Im anti getting drunk for the sake of getting drunk and making an arse of oneself/fighting with housemates while drunk). I was a very frustrated kid to say the least.
So all that was pretty bad in itself. As for missing out on other things. I never cared for any specific holiday and still dont do anything special. This is more because I am non religious than the fact that I "cant celebrate" them. I just dont see the point in obseving a religious holiday, when I simply am no longer religious. Thats just a small part of it but thats what stands out as the most troubling thing in my youth that frustrated most of my young mind. Dont be fooled though, if someone wants me over for xmas dinner or a dress up party, Im there.
Farkel what a sad story. My parents became witnesses just before I started school so I too endured all those sort of things. The flag salute, the anthem, the lord's prayer in class every morning, xmas, easter, anzac day, school events etc. I was also in the school orchestra and had to sit it out (and at times very guiltily fake it) through the anthem. School days were filled with feelings of shame, fear, guilt and wierdness. All this inflicted on us and enforced by adults who never had to go through it themselves as children.