Growing-up Witness was Wonderful ...Until My Bubble Broke

by Green Jade 39 Replies latest social family

  • Green Jade
    Green Jade

    I was raised by a wonderful and close family. I loved my congregation growing up. When I would go to the meetings, I felt I could go to school the next day and deal with the pressures of that day. I never smoked, drank, did anything behind my parents back. I did not have the "fear" of anything except displeasing Jehovah. While I say all that, I don't mean that all my memories were good.

    Some of my earliest memories were being at the Kingdom Hall. The first congregation I was in was not very friendly and malicious. It was an older congregation that still had some wordly tendencies. There were several "good christian racism". This disease can be found in many Christian and non christian congregations and religions today. Many times the afflicted are not aware. This congregation was probably not a good starting point for anyone but as a family we endured it. Infact, it brought us closer together. As a family we were close and my siblings and I were friends. We did not have any respect for Elders or MS or Pioneers, but all we saw was alot of small minds that reminded us of politicians.

    We later changed congregations and wow what a change. This congregation was very uplifting and encouraging. The brothers took the time to get to know us and encourage us. We were invited to alot of social gathers. We found many friends within the congregation. All of us participated in the meetings and took an active role in the congregation and field service. I can not think of anyone having a better childhood. I did not date until I was in my twenties. I was serious minded and focused. We were encouraged to go to public school, and we did. For me, school was like work for adults, and I could not wait until I got out to "get to my real life".

    In my twenties, I moved to a new congregation. This was probably the worse move of my life. I saw people who did not care for one another. I saw hatred, malice, covetness, and racism. I had been in the bubble and now the bubble burst. I entered into a depression but no one came. Not one friend, or elder or MS came to visit me. I didn't tell my family. I didn't want them to worry or get discouraged and pretended all was well. The following convention, I saw many of my old friends but instead of encouragement. I was looked as a "downer and not fun anymore" and officially dumped. They smiled at my face but never returned any of my calls. no one wants to be around a party pooper. One day drifted into another. I went to the meeting irregularly and stopped going to Jehovah in prayer but once I stopped I was unable to start again. I dated a a brother, but he didn't know me.

    When I was cursed at in a meeting by another sister, my family realized what influences I had been exposed at. My family never once berated me for not attending a meeting. They encouraged me to attend other congregations but I didn't have the heart for it.

    I met and fell in love with a wonderful, handsome, and understanding man. He has accepted me for who I am but understands only some of my dilemma. He understands my need to raise our children as Witnesses. But really what does that mean anymore? If I can't get myself to the meetings, then how am I going to get our children to the meetings? So here I am ....not attending meetings. I make it to one District Convention and Memorial every year. That is all the strength I have.


    Green Jade,

    thank you for sharing your experiences. It struck me that above all you have a family that does care so much. That and you've got yourself a great husband. Having good people around you is so important.

    I have also experienced good times in congregations, met some fantastic people, however this was for a brief time. The reality is many congregations fall far short. I was never treated particularly badly compared to many stories I've read on JWN although I have observed a few shocking examples. Being treated poorly by people can have a deep effect and I'm sorry this has happened to you.

    You mention your need to bring your children up as JW's. Is that because you felt you had a good childhood and want the same for them or because you want to please your family or because you still believe it is the truth?


  • nelly136

    you've left behind the unhappines and lonliness, do you really deep down want to take yourchildren back there?

    maybe you could get hold of the steven hassan books, it may help you come to terms with why youre feeling the pull.

    and welcome

  • designs

    Jade, I could relate to your growing up in a nice congregation with a lot of young people. In mine there were 30 of us going through High School together. We had parties, went on bike rides, camping trips, surfing, football games you name it.

    Whe I was 19 I was transfered to another congregation and made School Overseer and Book Study conductor. Absolutely no training for either only my Regualr Pioneering was seen as good enough. This was in the late 60's pre elder era by a few years. The Overseer and his assistant were two of the most awful two humans I have ever met in my entire life. We had more Disfellowshippings in my first year there than I had seen in the previous 10 years. They were pro 1975 and announced the countdown to Armageddon by the month at the Service Meetings. After 3 years of that I was a wreck.

    My journey with the Society would last another 20 years until I stepped down as an Elder in the late 1980s. You sound thoughtful and deliberate and particularly caring with regards your children. Your instincts will guide you to do the best for them.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Please check your library or Amazon or whatever for Steve Hassan's two books and Raymond Franz' two books. Break the cycle and let your kids have a real childhood, please.

  • Dumi

    The very fact that "the buble broke" means that you have started to apply your thinking. Take comfort in the fact that you have a loving family(Your husband and your children) arround you. Of utmost importance is the need for you to find personal peace, and to heal emotionally and mentally.

    When you are at the brink of understanding the truth about "The truth TM" , it is normal to be ancious about your loved ones. You know leaving is the right thing to do, but what will you fill the void with? I mean what will the sundays be for" and maybe you have some fond memories of your childhood that you may feel you will be depriving your children of if you dont raise them as witnesses...

    The truth of the matter is that in time you will understand that your children can enjoy their childhood without having to grow "in the buble" and there is nothing stoping you to teach them about god and the bible, and to encourage them to use their mental capacities when it comes to issues of faith.

    Above all else, teach your children to "live life aboundantly", afford them all that is in your strength to enjoy every moment "alive" in every sence of the word (free of guilt or control)... it is the least you owe them.

  • Ding


    You mentioned the pre-1975 month by month countdown to Armageddon.

    At what point did they give up the count, and what did they do when Armageddon didn't arrive? Did they offer any explanation or did they just forget about it and go into denial?

  • designs

    Ding- Things hit a wall in our circuit when Fred Franz came to town and gave his famous 'I didn't say what I said' speech in late 74. We had numerous Overseers who had sold their homes and were making plans to ride out the Big One in some foreign country. People literally laughed at us in the ministry, and they were right, we were idiots. The meeting announcements quickly went from '10 more months to...' to 'we never said that', it was a mind boggleing time.

  • GrandmaJones

    I know that we are not allowed to read "apostate" literature, and I began "lurking" here with an amount of fear that would make the organization proud. (except that I went ahead and did it). I have been in the "truth" for the better part of six decades, and have been regular in meeting attendance, field service, I aux pioneered even though I worked secularly in a demanding full time job. I still attend meetings regularly, but my eyes have been opened. There are doubts that have crept in, concerns about the organizations increasing emphasis on obedience to it, and reverence for it, loyalty to it....instead of to god. I did not dedicate myself all those years back to the organization. In my day, we recognized ourselves as sinners and dedicated ourselves to Jehovah. (not to the WT) The organization is making a sham of that. Now, to say and feel that defines me as an "apostate". Yes, that is where we have come to.

    You have many concerns yourself. Racism, lack of love among the wittnesses, and I am sure of many others. Please read "Crisis of Conscience" written by Ray Franz, a former member of the governing body. He is the greatest "apostate" the organization fears. Rightly so, because when you read his story, you realize that any person truly dedicated to God, would feel the same way and express himself in a similar manner. As a young person, you will doubtlessly be shocked at the information. That is because you are young and haven't seen it all. Don't be afraid to read it as it is a good place to start. (Hide the book for now from others) Then read all the old posts here in the "Best of" series that Lee recommends on the home page. I suggest you start with Farkel, read one, and then read some others, back to Farkel. The thread concerning Rutherford is very enlightening although it may be overwhelming for you. Very well researched.

    There is a vast array of information here for you. Strong stuff, more than just words of comfort. (I am not dismissing that, you need that very much, especially right now in your time of uncertainty. Then read the books on cults by Steve Hansen. You may be able to get thise books aat your local library right off the shelf. Or, they may be able to order them in for you. Ask at the desk.

    When you have read enough, it will be clear to you. Investigating things by reading things outside of our literature will help you get a more balanced viewpoint. We are not encouraged to do so. You will find many articles her that are well researched and well reasoned. Take advantage of this information.

    For now, my thoughts and wishes are with you and yours. Now is a crossroads. Know what is at the end of both roads.

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    Green Jade

    Look at what you have a good husband and parents who love you and put yourself around people who build you up. I too have been around some good JW's but like you I have had horrible times with being yelled at and put down. The put downs stay with you, they do not leave, they just stay in your head. I can still here that sister yelling at me at how stupid I am every time something happens I hear her voice. You do not want that for your children do you? Be around happy caring people take OTWO's advice and get those books. Please read them before you make your next move. Life is to short for pain like you get at the meetings.

    Drsigns I can so totally relate what you said I was only 12 when 1975 came but I so remember the hype and I was scarred out of my mind because the elders hated my parents and I thought for sure Jehovah must hate them also so I was going to die in 1975 at the age of 12. I thought that for years, what a way to grow up.


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