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.