Hi there. I was toying with the idea of re-writing my lifestory. Frankly, it would be long. So I will just do some random experiences instead. (maybe I will delete this before I post it... lol)
What got me pioneering? Well, I was in the Hollywood Fla area shortly after I was married to the ex. 19 years old, new MS, made the accounts servant because no one wanted it, and starting a new job, living in 2 rooms attached to a real apt attached to a house that a sister owned. (a very nice sister as I recall). Oh, and my ex was mentally unstable. She had an eating disorder and actually kept it hidden from me for the first year before she eventually confronted it and stopped. Long story, I will stop on that one here. Suffice to say, it was more then any 19 year old should have to deal with. After all, that should have been my freshman year in college.
I had went to Builders Square, willing to accept any work I could get. But because the ex was insistent that we pioneer together, I asked for part time work. At the time, the manager said that he was only hiring full time, but he was impressed with my vocabulary, partly because I used the word "bombastic" in a sentence. He loved that. At the time, neither of us knew that this came from a lifetime of training in using the english language to bullshit, courtesy of the Theocratic Ministry School... but I digress.
I got the job, part time. It was perfect, it wasn't fulltime, and it had no benefits. HAD to be Jehovah telling me to pioneer. At least thats what the ex thought.
Not me. I was beginning a lifelong adult experience of being worn out. This was the first time I could ever officially remember being... mentally and emotionally tired. The thought of pioneering while she was battling an eating disorder was a lot for my head. I suggested I wait a year.
Holy cow did the SHIT HIT THE FAN! I tried 2 family WT studies, and both times, she was so unreasonable. The 2nd time, she yelled at me because we didn't look up each scripture and read them together while allowing her time to write them verbatim in the margins of the WT. I just looked at her and that was it. We didn't have a family WT study for 3 years. Never did more then 3 in a row as I recall.
But then, after all of that, she started talking about why I didn't sign up to pioneer. I recall trying to use logical grown up reasons with her, like living on one income (she couldn't work at the time due to her immigrant status) and my responsibilities there, to which I got the "you don't have enough faith in Jehovah do you?"
That statement started this whole little experience. I just remembered today that this is was the first time she accused me of having no faith when it suited her. The 2nd time was in Cameroon after I was attacked and told her I needed to come home to the States. Same response over 10 years later, I didn't have faith in god, which evidentally inconvenienced her life goals.
A life lesson here folks, if only I could talk to 19 year old ATJeff, I would tell him. "You tell that crazy bitch that a job pays for the bills. If you can get insurance, it will pay for the therapy she desperately needs. Stick to your guns!"
I didn't of course. I pussied out and signed up to pioneer with her. Official start date: April 1 1994*. I would be categorized as a full time pioneer of some sort from this time until my resignation in 2006.
What I didn't have was the ability to be honest with myself. Of course, I loved her a ton. And at the time, I was thinking that I wanted to be like most elders I saw, set an example, maybe be a CO one day, after we got on our feet and I could start pioneering.
But I lacked the ability to be honest with myself. Under all kinds of pressure, this cult produced people that I allowed to influence me. And I bear responsibility for that. As I look back to what got me started, sure, the cult is culpable. My ex was nuts, and the cult fed her mania. It allowed her to deal with her personal demons by giving her so much preaching to do that she could ignore her mental and emotional issues for the sake of Jehovah. I will never forgive her for sacrificing her marriage on the altar of full time service to the WTBTS or for wanting me to rot rather then recover in Africa.
And I let her do it, because I loved her.
But, its easy to see that now. Don't you just love experience?
Anyway, that is what got me started in pioneering. I wanted to be a CO, but the ex had other plans. She wanted to be a missionary and go overseas. Thanks to that damn Gilead video "To the Ends of the Earth", she got all the energy she needed. She could have worn a nice nighty to seduce me, instead, she used this video. More on that another time.....
*Edit: It was 1994, not 1995.