Many of us have suffered in so many ways as a result of the WTBTS. I know intense pain, fear and loneliness as a direct result of the WTBTS. I have overcome most of it in life and am happy now. But I do get flashbacks. Recently, because of the graduation season, I have been thinking back on my own high school graduation.
When I graduated from high school (22 years ago), at the age of 18, I walked to my graduation ceremony alone. Keep in mind that I was not DFd or DAd at that time (I've since DAd myself on my own terms to live my life free). But no one went to my high school graduation. Not one family member. No parents. No grandparents. No friends. I was literally all alone. I walked a couple of miles to the graduation, and walked home alone. Because I had turned 18 and was kicked out of the house during my senior year (for being accepted into and planning to attend university), home wasn't even home. Talk about feeling totally alone in the world.
This experience was a real turning point, and, thankfully, within three months I was far away at a university (which I had to do all alone as well). Thank goodness for that escape.
Being a parent now for the past few years, it's brought a lot of stuff from my upbringing back. That's why I think I've started posting and visiting on this site.
I wonder what it would have been like to grow up being loved unconditionally and without the abuse of the Watchtower. Going to my high school graduation alone and without family was the first real sense I had of what it's like to be totally alone in the world without family. During the past 20-some years, I have lived what it's like to not have that "forever family" that so many take for granted -- people who are there for you, no matter what. A strong family support system is so important in so many ways, not only as an emotional safety net but a physical one as well.
As an adult, I've been able to build my own forever family and I never take my beautiful children for granted. I love them no matter what. But I've had to do it without the support or backup of family.
Looking back, that high school graduation experience foreshadowed the next two plus decades and presumably the rest of my life.