What was life like for you as a JW teenager?

by highdose 43 Replies latest jw experiences

  • highdose

    in the WT's illistrations they portray jw teenagers as happy, together group. My experinace is that the JW teenagers in the cong were some of the bitchyist backstabbing arse holes i'll ever meet.

    It was unheard of for us to engage in group "wholesome activity" as show in the WT's illistrations. The competition amongst the girls for the handsome, sane and elders sons were cut throat. The boys in turn played the girls like pianos, reveling in the attention.

    The older people in the cong constantly told us off for everything. especailly they looked out for any sign that you might be developing a personality/ mind of your own... and quickly acted to nip that in the bud!

    the kudos of meeting attendence, answering up, bible studies, pioneering, TMS, MTS etc were all used as whepons in the war of "whose the most spritual"? This in turn scored bonus points with the opposite sex, in fact that was the whole and entire motivation. The JW equivilent of wearing a mini skirt to attract attention.

    Being a teenager was misrable due to having all the impluses of a adult and not being allowed to act on them. Instead knowing you would have to go through the whole scene of courting then getting married before you could do anything. Either that or you lost everything.

  • NomadSoul

    I think the only fun activity I remember doing once was playing tackle football with kids from another congregation. It was hell of fun. But didn't last too long before the elders put a stop to that.

    Then there was that water balloon fight where some teenage sisters were involved.... lol

    Besides those times, it was pretty much dull.

  • undercover

    I think the only fun activity I remember doing once was playing tackle football with kids from another congregation. It was hell of fun. But didn't last too long before the elders put a stop to that.

    Then there was that water balloon fight where some teenage sisters were involved.... lol

    LOL.... were you in my hall?

    We used to have weekly football games in the fall and weekly basketball games in a rented gym during the winter, early spring. Each of those were constantly hassled by the stick-in-the-mud elders or snoopy older dodgy folks.

    And I remember getting in trouble for a water related incident with a well-endowed sister when we were all about 15-16. It was a congregation picnic and we got to horsing around with empty chicken buckets filled with water. She got me first...I chased her and got a full frontal blast of water on her white t-shirt. Oh, it was nice... but I got in trouble but good.

    And there was the time I got to take the girl of my dreams home from a picnic. Just me and her in the car... ALONE! OMG! I about couldn't stand it. But - nothing happened. Oh well... so much for that JW idea of leaving two single people together falling into lustful sin at the drop of a hat. I was looking forward to it.... but it just didn't happen.

    But by and large, life as a JW teenager was BORING. Until I got my license and got to get out a little more I was stuck at home, except for meetings and service. There were no family outings, other than a once a year vacation. Going out of town meant going to a convention.

    There was more freedom when I had a car, but with heavy curfews and not really fitting in with the popular cliques, I got to where I cherished my time alone with music more than anything.

  • charlie brown jr.
    charlie brown jr.

    Well In High School I was.......

    Yep that JW people didn't mind hanging out with......

    See me and 3 other JW's hung out and DID have the Double Life....

    Drinking ...Weed... trouble.....

    Then Stupid me ......

    I took it seriously.... and got Baptized!!!!!!

    We got away with Lots!!!

    I took it serious my Senior Year.......

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Utter horror. Unlike others, there was very little socialization in my KH. I lived in a very different neighborhood. The isolation was so keen. College and the Beatles were my raison d'etre. Much had to do with my father but the Witness culture is also present. Atrocious.

    It is normal to flirt, dance, date. How does anyone go into a decent marriage unable to stand on your own two feet and at such a young age. My cousins married at 14. Pregnancy was the reason. If you counted the time to baby's birth, the child was conceived out of marriage. The elders looked the other way. My opinion is that if teenagers were able to do slightly supervised teen age things, social skills would be developed. An education and a job would connote maturity. I cried b/c they seemed to skip all these years. The truth is they did not skip them to be more mature. B/c they never had to go through what I endured, they stayed at a juvenile age. Grown ups should marry, not children. Pregnancy is a very bad reason for marriage.

  • Jadeen

    Oh yeah, I remember the competition for the guys attention. There was one guy in particular in our congo that I got along with. We had a similar, dry sense of humor. We weren't attracted to each other, but we were buds. One of the girls set her sights on him, and after meetings, I could count down how long before she pulled him away from me- in the middle of a conversation!

    Her goal was to get married at 18 and to be the first in our age group to tie the knot. Someone beat her to it- ha!

    I thought that their behavior was embarrassing. I wasn't attracted to the guys in my hall; they just didn't seem genuine, acting one way at the hall and another way outside. Of course, we weren't allowed to show our true personalities; we all had to act "spiritually minded".

  • charlie brown jr.
    charlie brown jr.

    There was one guy in particular in our congo that I got along with. We had a similar, dry sense of humor. We weren't attracted to each other, but we were buds.
    they just didn't seem genuine, acting one way at the hall and another way outside.


    Just Kidding LOL

  • straightshooter

    I had fun as a teenage jw back in the 70s. There were lots of gatherings, games, dancing, and music. I remember several of the elder gatherings where card games were played, good food, and alcoholic drinks. There were multi-cong park gatherings of vollyball, baseball, and picnic food. Then about twenty years ago, the fun-loving elder body passed away and the younger elder body placed all sorts of restrictions on gatherings. Now I feel sorry for the teenage jws today.

  • undercover

    Now I feel sorry for the teenage jws today.

    I dunno...

    While we see evidence of the WTS becoming more and more cultish, I see evidences that everyday dubs are less zealous than before (which is why the WTS is reacting so cultish). I see JWs actually living more like the world around them. They shun holidays, politics and hope to never have to face the blood issue, but aside from those few things, most of them are pretty normal living folks. They're sending their kids to colleges. Maybe not an Ive League school or anything, but they're getting them higher education. They're buying homes and cars. Taking trips and enjoying life and what the world has to offer in the ways of entertainment and culture.

    I'm sure there are some hardcore dubs that hold to the party line, but it looks like from the dubs I still have contact with that, generally speaking, today's JWs aren't holding their breath for Armageddon. They're living and planning their future in this world. As they have less zeal, then their kids are going to have even less. And they're going to start breaking the taboos that we didn't. Worldly association. Entertainment. Sports. Dating. Traveling. Education. Careers.

  • d

    I went to a few gatherings when I was younger but overall they were dull. Young Jw's can be very weird.

  • charlie brown jr.
    charlie brown jr.

    Today's JW teenagers LOL they're probably Worse than We EVER THOUGHT OF....

    "I hear Jack and Billy went to a Party at Jen's with some other sisters and brothers and it was called a Rainbow Party.... Isn't Jehovah's Org. wonderful...."

    Sure Is LOL

  • NomadSoul

    Undercover, did the white tee gave you a sneek peak? Lol. One of the girls I played with was wearing a white t-shirt so I was going after her. She put up a good fight, but soon I was dissapointed because she was wearing a sports bra.

    As playing football goes it was really fun. I've always got stuck playing running back. Even got a couple of bruises on the ribs. But JWs take the fun out of everything.

    Yep, the family outing was the convention. And family Friday night was studying the magazines or any watchtower literature.

    I got away from that once I also got my car at the age of 15. I was able to leave the meetings early and skip the ministry even though I didn't have anywhere to go, it was better than staying there.

  • undercover

    did the white tee gave you a sneek peak?

    My first wet t-shirt contest...so to speak. And at the ripe young age of about 15. It was glorious.

    The football games sometimes ended with injuries. One guy broke a leg or ankle or something. We had to take him to the hospital. I broke a rib one time. Basketball de-evolved into shoving matches and fights. One game we "allowed" a couple of 'worldly' guys to play. A fight broke out. Not the worldly guys. Two pioneers. The worldly guys broke it up and left disgusted. Said it was just a game, why get so worked up about it. Injuries and the reports of violence eventually ended the football/basketball traditions. Pesky ole elders...

    The car was freedom. But even then, if you weren't in the right cliques, there wasn't always any where to go. I had just enough friends that I was able to escape the house a couple of nights a week. Otherwise it was headphones and Pink Floyd. I couldn't skip meetings or service without a third degree later. I remember one time I was supposed to be aux. pioneering but a friend and I spent Satruday afternoons going to the movies. When my parents found out I wasn't in service there was hell to pay.

  • Londo111

    I was a very lonely teen, an only child. In the KH, I was the only nerd amongst preps. I was into computers and physics, they into clothes and football. Needless to say, I was not on any female's radar.

    I struggled heavily with issues of faith, the existence of God, if the Bible was True, and whether JWs were The Truth. At 17, after much deliberation, I decided for the Org. Last year, I realized how wrong I was!

  • No Room For George
    No Room For George

    I love reading through these threads getting a picture of everybody's life. I'm thinking that a comedic coming of age movie based on a young JW's life and double life(in some cases multiple lives), is long overdue. Not a drama like World's Apart, but something more along the line of Dazed & Confused, or a PG-13 rated American Pie.

  • Tuesday

    It was an awful lot like this...


  • NomadSoul

    Yeah I remember when I decided to stop cold on being a JW my parents took the car away for a few days thinking I would change my mind. Then they gave it back to me thinking that would change my mind. Funny.

    Yeah, Pink Floyd the wall album basically interprets my teenage life.

  • designs

    It was the Best of Times and the Worst of Times. Best part was there were probably 2000-3000 teenagers in our District all going through High School in the mid 60s, parties every weekend, we usually hit 2-3 every Saturday night. There were 30 of us just in my own KH, we had football leagues, mountain and beach camping trips, bicycle trips, surfing trips.

    Worse parts- the Vietnam War was building up and that meant Pioneering, we were told not to go to college, that killed my career ambitions. When I got into trouble with the Draft the Society threw me under the bus. At 19 I was sent to a KH and made School Overseer/Book Study conductor and Pioneering with Stalin and Lenin as my Overseers, I was in deep trouble and no one to help. I had been an alcoholic for 4 years by then and it got worse, much worse with blackouts and the whole nine yards.

    Because of the Society's strict Dating standards many of my friends got married at 18-20, by 25 most were divorced and on to their 2nd mates.

    1965-1975 were Orwellian times.

  • ~Question With Boldness~
    ~Question With Boldness~

    Yeah, the "wholesome activity" was few and far between. I remember a couple barbeques when I was younger, a "dance" if you could call it that, and a party for one of the Elder's and his wife. Oh and the house warming party for another elder and his wife when they moved...

    Other than that...yeah, nothing.

    I didn't hang out with any of the people my age. There were only a few and I did not much care for them, or know them well, or desire to. There were maybe four or five females my age, two disfellowshipped. One, Amber, was the sort of "double life" JW, and she was a B*t*h. The other, Elise, was nice and we actually hung out a bit at high school, we were both on the school paper, so we chatted. Beyond that, we just never did anything and I haven't seen her since I left. We weren't close. And the males...well, they were divided into two camps. The double life jock JW, who I actually liked but they usually had worldly girlfriends. Taken. And the others were very theocratic brothers, studying for their baptism and terribly excited for the chance to unwind the electrical cords. You guys know the type....

    Anyway, the boys... most were actually very attractive. But like I said one half was taken, the other half, well.... I was not interested. Not that my parents didn't try... Always with the little subtle, and not so subtle comments. And the funniest part, I was already dating someone at the time. A worldly guy from my school. He had way more character dimension than any of the "brothers". If my life had been a movie, my boyfriend would have been the dashing hero, and the JW men would have been the flat, random guy you see in the background buying coffee... He was twenty times more masculine, attractive and honorable in his teenage years than any of the JW men are TODAY. When he left for boot camp (yes. Soldier. Oh, did that piss my parents off!) was about the time this mid-twenties guy started being "groomed" by the Elders. Still was a ministerial servant, but you could just TELL he would be an Elder. He was the "golden boy" of the congregation. well, I made the crappy mistake of offhandedly mentioning to my sister how attractive he was. My father overhears and started instantly with the, "maybe we should invite him to dinner" and "maybe you should go out in service with him" yadda yadda. I just rolled my eyes and shook my head. My own father, trying to pair his seventeen year old daughter with a 25-28 year old. At that age aren't the parents usually having panic attacks, "he's too old for you!" Geez.

    All in all a very boring teenage life... But oh was I the most terrible daughter when I left. I didn't sleep around, smoke, drink, do drugs, run away, sneak out of the house go to wild parties. With all the vitriol and disgust they treated me with for leaving I was really tempted. Heck, I'm getting treated like I've done all this crap might as well go have the fun too....

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    I'm in the BOTR camp---- "Utter horror" best describes my experience as well.

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