Well it tool me awhile, but here is my story. It is rather long so grab some popcorn and a drink and enjoy.
I was born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1973. My father came to the US shortly before I was born. My mother and me joined him about three months after I was born. My family and me settled in Houston, Texas. My sister was born two years later. I don’t remember much about my early years. I remember living in an apartment building and having lots of other friends to play with. The first big change happened around 1978. My family moved to a house across town I went to school, but didn’t get along with other kids as well as I did in the other place that I lived. In my neighborhood there were hardly no kids to play with and the few kids that where there I didn’t get along with very well. I was very shy as a kid. Making matter worse was the fact that my parents didn’t speak English very well and I had to interpret for them. My sister and me hated it! We would have fights to see who would interpret for them. Even to this day my parents want me to translate for them and I still hate it! Despite this we still managed to have good times.
First Contact With Witnesses
Anyway, my life changed around 1981. My mother became disillusioned with her Catholic faith. She left the church and started going this other church where people would do things such as faith healing and speaking in tongues. She started having nightmares and was convinced that a demon was trying to take hold of her. She stopped going to that church and started reading the bible on her own. I few months later she was visiting a cousin of hers who ran hair salon. One of her clients was a woman who was a Witness. She began studying with the Witnesses. We started going to the meetings. Then everything changed. We stopped celebrating holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, and just about everything else. I didn’t really question it. I was told that that was what God wanted and I accepted it. In 1982 my mother was baptized at the District Assembly in Beaumont, Texas. My Dad was baptized two years later and then my sister was baptized in 1991. I never remember my Dad going out on service or really participating in the service. Eventually he became inactive. Thankfully I never got baptized.
As a Jehovah’s Witness I was told that this was God’s true organization. I never really questioned anything. My family seemed happy. However as I look back I realized there were things that did not seem right. Although our family stopped celebrating several holidays we never replaced them with anything else. There were gatherings of Witnesses, but it was never really any fun. Sometimes we would go to someone’s house for some kind of gathering, but I never had any fun. Also I never really had any Witness friends. For some reason I never got along with anybody. Sometimes at school people would try to be friendly with me, but of course I rejected them, because as a Witness I should never be a friend with a “worldly” person. So I didn’t get along with Witnesses and I rejected “worldly” people. Guess what? I didn’t have any friends. However, when I was in the fifth I made a “worldly” friend. His name was Eli. My parents never made any attempt to stop me from seeing him. He is my best friend. A better friend than any Witness was.
Also there were other things that I thought were rather off. I remember when I was nine years old. My Dad gave some money to spend however I wanted. I remember buying this magic card set. I went home all happy and showed my family these magic tricks that I learned. My mother then told me that Jehovah God detested magic and I had the magic card set taken away from me. I remember the woman who my mother started studying with came and she gave the card set to her. I don’t what happened to them, but I guess she threw them away. I also remember buying these two Smurf books when I was about eight. During this time there was all this talk about the Smurfs being demons or something. I had these two books taken away from me as well. Looking back at both these incidences I realized how stupid and dumb some people could be.
However the incident that had the most impact on me happened in 1990. My father was working for this elder who had his own business. My father had some money saved up and decided to start open up his own business with this elder. The business started, but the problem was that the elder did not have any money to put into the business. That was just the start. His family tried to muscle my father out of the business. However, it didn’t happen. My father eventually fired him. My father went to the elders in our congregation to talk about what had happened. However, since the brother was an elder himself guess whose side of the story the elders believed. People in our congregation stopped going to our business. My father, who was inactive, became more disillusioned and stopped going to the meeting altogether.
School was tough for me. I was told that Witnesses should not participate in sports activites. I was rather tall and big for my age. I remember in junior high a coach telling me if I wanted to try out for football or basketball. I really wanted to, but I had to be a good little Witness and turned them down. I wanted to join band in high school, but people in my congregation told not to do it, because in band you had to go to sporting events and you also had to play the national anthem. Of course as a Witness you couldn’t do that. So I joined Orchestra, which I hated. I felt really embarrassed sometimes when I had to explain why I couldn’t salute the flag or in Orchestra when I had to explain why I couldn’t play Christmas songs. I remember one particularly embarrassing episode in Elementary school. When I was in fifth grade, students had to pick a boy and girl from each class to represent the student consul. Well in my class guess which boy chosen? That’s right, me! I felt flattered that I was chosen, but worried too. I remember being told that Witnesses should not participate in school politics. For the rest of the year I felt so guilty about being on the school consul. I didn’t have any fun at all, because of this guilt. Well in high school I got very depressed. My family went to a doctor who it turns out was a Witness. He gave me some Prozac, but it didn’t do anything. This very same doctor had a grandson who went to my school. He and these two twin sisters who were Witnesses hung around each other. I never knew of any other Witnesses in school with me so I was excited. I tried to talk to them, but they never expressed any interest in being friendly with me. So much for true Christian unity.
After high school I didn’t really do much. I worked at my Dad’s bakery, but didn’t know what I wanted to do. I went to the meeting sometimes and I even had two different people give me a bible study, but I was never really interested. I felt so guilty. I never understood why I was never interested in the meetings. I was told that they were so great, but all I ever felt was boredom. I tried making friends, but all the Witnesses I knew were rather boring and the other ones never wanted to be my friend.
In 1994 I went to a small technical school and studied electronic engineering. After a few months I got a job at a local computer company and I hated it! I was fired from the job and I was thankful. I worked for my parents for a year. In 1996 I went to Mexico and stayed there for six months. During this time, I came the closest to getting baptized. I meet several brothers who actually cared about me. I had a great time while I was there, but I finally left, because I missed my family.
After this I bummed around for about a year and a half. I was still working for my Dad. I started working out and I lost about fifty pounds. However I was still miserable.
I went back to Mexico in the fall of 1998. I got a job as a waiter and I started going to school over there. Later an English congregation started and I was happy to be a part of it. However, I never felt comfortable going out on service. I felt so guilty. I began to feel more independent, but I still was still attending meetings. I never got along with anyone at the Kingdom Hall. I remember that this sister came from England. I trying talking to her once, but man did this chick hate me! She was the biggest snob I have ever meet in my life! After her I gave up trying to make any Witness friends. Depressed, I gave up my job and school and came back to the States in the summer of 2000. I stopped going to the meetings regularly. When I came back I got a job as a courier. It was a really cool job. It was just me driving my car and delivering packages. I still attending the meetings, but I was feeling worse and worse everyday. Finally last March during the middle of a meeting I got up and left. As I drove home, I was sad and angry. All the anger that I had inside me started coming out. When my mother and sister came back from the meeting, I told them that I had no desire to attend the meetings anymore. I told them that I was going to take some time off. They were against this, of course, but told me I could do what I wanted.
Since giving up on the JWs my life has never been better. None of the elders ever came to talk to me. (Thank God.) I also started going on the Internet and checking out several sites then were critical of the Witnesses. I discovered many things I didn’t know about; such as the blood issue, 1914, 1975, the truth about several of the Watchtower leaders, how Kingdom Halls protect molesters, and the backstabbing, manipulation, and hypocrisy. Once an elder came to my parent’s business and asked me I was still going to the meetings. I told him that I wasn’t. When he told me why, I told him because I did not agree with several of the Witnesses teachings. He then just nodded and left. In May I started seeing a psychiatrist. I learned that I suffered from anxiety. My doctor helped me to conquer these fears. I started taking dance classes and I started working out. Later I took a class to learn Portuguese. I meet a girl there named Janie. She is a really good friend to me. In September I moved out of my parent’s house and I moved in an apartment with my friend Eliud. I felt more freedom. Being on my own is great! In November I went to Las Vegas. It is the coolest place on earth! I just got a great job selling insurance and recently I lost me virginity. My mother told me yesterday if I was interested in going to the meeting again. Yeah right.