BORN-INS: If you could go back and Change this.

by hirotaka 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • EmptyInside

    Well,it would be more like if I knew then,what I know now,yes,I would go back. I would like to go back even further and wish I wasn't born into the religion at all. But,my mother claims if they hadn't found the "truth",my parents would probably be divorced. So,in other words,she was pretty miserable no matter.

    But,at 16,I did believe in the religion and thought I was making a wise choice and planned on pioneering. So,I wish I could go back in time and listen to some of my initial doubts.

  • DesirousOfChange

    If you could go back in time, let's say to the time you were a teenager, before being baptised. Do you regret not telling your JW parents that you just couldn't do the JW thing anymore and that you wanted out?

    See, that is a tough question, and a lot of furror might come from this answer. I think my brother and I were more successful in life in avoiding problems than were our closest friends and family members (cousins). We were both baptized (too) early. And I no longer think that is the right approach for born-in children because of the harsh shunning policy. In our time, did it keep us stricter in line with JW morality? Maybe.But lots of JDubs had serious problems too.

    Other non-religious family members who ridiculed the JW side of the family, most have had kids in jail, murdered, committ suicide, drug convictions, multiple divorces, illigimate kids..... Of SEVEN JW kids, none of us had any of the above except one divorce -- by the DFd sibling. Of the other (non-JW) family members, only two (of 8) went on to college and good careers as a result. Some of the others did OK without it thanks to the union trades or their own businesses. I am as successful financially as most of them. (My brother was killed in an accident in his late teens.)

    I regret not going to college. Unusual since our dad was a college graduate. (Raised non-JW.) I still did OK in life in most respects, but could have had greater opportunity with a degree. Yet, I did not get involved in many things that could have derailed my success and happiness in life, as compared to my peers.

    I think the advantage I had is that my parents were moderates as far as JDubs are concerned. Nothing extreme. No coleporters. No pioneers. No concern about us not going to Bethel. Able to overlook or understand us growing up as normal teenagers with normal teenager problems and curiosity -- booze, partys, even dating -- but supposedly not past 1st base.

    Biggest regrets: College. Years of deception that there was Hocus Pocus divine direction and "infallibility".

    The folks are still captives of the concept. Better to let them live out their lives that way.


  • dogisgod

    My mom basically "gave" me to the cong. specifically a married couple who studied with me. They would take me to assemblies, in service, and finally said to me (at 16) "who will survive Armegeddon? The remaining 144,000 and the Great Crowd. How does Jehovah know you are one of the Great Crowd? If you are baptized." Okay there was an assembly in Spokane and they took me and I got baptized without telling my mom. She was really pissed off when she found out. Now I feel I was bullied into this. I don't think it makes any difference about life beyond death. It's pretty irrelevant to anything unless you are a JW. My brothers were never baptized. My mother felt that it was great as she could bring them into the New World. She was very upset to the second she died that I had left. SHE judged me because I was baptized. This was a tough situation. One of my brothers had been in and out of prison and had killed someone with a hammer. My other brother was a lifetime Marine. Guns, guns, guns. But I was THE bad guy.

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    It couldn't happen in my family.

    My dad would throw a big yelling fit (bi-polar powered fit), and my mom would sit and cry and beg and cry some more and beg some more.

    Then, I'd get threatened that I'd have to go to meetings because I was under their roof.

    See, I wouldn't dare say anything like that.

    Besides, in my teens I was all about acceptance and craved approval from everyone.

    Everyone being my family, the congregation, and kids I went to school with, who were my "territory."

    I was a very good little dubby most of the time, when I wasn't watching for teachers outside the girls' room at school so my friends could smoke...or those times I snuck rum with them at school.

    I tried, really I did.

    I was a 4th generation and my kids were the fifth in our family, and our grandfather was an elder.

    Just try to miss meetings as a kid with a family like that.

    Won't happen.

  • LoneWolf

    This is a question that would be hard for me, I think. We are all a product of our life experiences, and now after 70 years, I've come to a place that I like. There were times that were difficult, sometimes extremely so, but I survived and those bad experience were some of the most valuable teaching sources I've ever had. I guess the main question in my mind now would be if I changed something back there then, what would I NOT have now?

    Even in 1940 (when I was born), I was fourth generation, so yes, I was "born in". My first time card was in December, 1946, so I was raised with it.

    But I feel that I had one advantage over most people, though. We lived way out in the country and I was the oldest. The Oregon wilderness was our playground with all its myriad hazards, and we'd disappear into it all day, sometimes going miles inside, climbing mountains, swimming in the river, and doing things that kids nowadays would never be allowed to do. This started when I was 10, so for a 10 year-old to do this and keep his little brothers of 5 and 6 alive and in one piece gave me a whole different outlook on life than most people.

    One thing alone makes all the difference in the world. Fear. I didn't have that luxury, because if I didn't face whatever the dangerous reality was and do the right thing, my brothers would probably be dead by the time I brought help.

    After a while danger and fear weren't factors in my life, but were considered normal. There were three main results: I went where I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted, danger be damned. Others considered me reckless, etc., but I have never had a severe accident where I had to be hospitalized, so I must have been doing something right. My brothers were never hurt when with me, but thinking back now, it's a wonder we weren't all killed.

    The second thing was that I viewed authority of any kind as perhaps a necessary evil, but one that should be kept a close eye on. That includes the Organization, so I probably don't need to explain how grateful I am for that.

    But perhaps the greatest benefit is that I learned at a young age both to think and make decisions for myself. I happily take input from anyone, but I make the decision as to what makes sense and what doesn't. This one factor alone saved me a huge amount of heartache and confusion in coming years.

    Of course, you can just imagine how much the elders hated it! Har, har!

  • i_drank_the_wine

    I was pressured to get baptized as a 13 year old by some uber-JW family members and by some of the other kids at the hall because I was like the oldest out of the kids that hadn't taken the plunge.

    At 15 I was living with my newly reinstated mom at which point I told her that I didn't want to do meetings or service anymore. It became a bit of a warzone at times. Once she even woke up me on a Saturday and told me to get dressed, that an elder was coming to pick me up for service in 20 minutes. I basically did not have a choice. It was either live through hell routinely at home or comply.

    There never seemed to be any other possible outcome.

    I got into my fair share of trouble and racked up quite the list of reprovals before getting the boot, but I found that the kids who were getting into real world trouble at a younger age all left the JW's years sooner than me.

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