Born-ins (childhood memories)

by tornapart 52 Replies latest jw experiences

  • tornapart

    As a born in, or in at a very young age, what were your worst memories as a young JW child?

    I remember not being allowed to go to sleep in the meetings when I was tired. Not being allowed to do lots of things at school other kids could do. Never ending 5 day assemblies. Miserable family studies where we always copped it if we got something wrong. (Thankfully these were sporadic). Going on FS when it was bitterly cold and then getting chilblains from it.

    I know from things I've read I had it relatively easy. So what are your memories?

  • Pistoff

    8 day assemblies, I attended two of them, Vancouver and Milwaukee; they went from noon to 9 at night.

    In the Vancouver assembly, you would cook in the sun during the day, and get chilled at night.

    But the food, ah, it was wonderful.

    Full meals in trays you would push along freshly built pine stands, Keep moving brothers; if you are done with your meal, brothers and sisters, make way so that more can enjoy their meal.

    Or just a hamburger for supper on the way out, just off the grill, awesome.

    Even the coffee was good.

  • jeremiah18:5-10

    Most are from school years:

    Having to sit in the hallway during holiday parties in class and having to say "that's against my religion"

    Having to sit in the principal's office during pep rallys

    Having to stay seated during the national anthem when at a Houston Astros game when 30,000 people are all standing and then hearing ridicule the rest of the game

    Being scared to death to talk to "worldly girls" for fear of what to say and what to do even if I hit it off with them, where go, what do, girlfriends weren't allowed

    Going in service on Thursday or Friday afternoon at the DC instead of getting to go back to the hotel to swim

    Spanknings for every little thing done wrong

    The worst memory: Being asked to spy on my older brother to see if he was masturbating and then having to tell on him. Then having to listen to him get the crap beat out of him when he was. Sick, sick, sick as shit!!!

  • Fernando

    A significantly dysfunctional home life thanks to religion in general and the WBTS specifically.

    The supremacist, divisive and socially destructive "us versus them" WBTS propaganda and imposed worldview.





    Tricked by deception and propaganda into taking a totally unyielding stand as a "religious objector" against conscription, including to any and all available alternatives, and being in military detention for 3 years. My conscience was not my own as it had been taken captive by the Watchtower. It was therefore not possible to be a "conscientious objector" (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Neither was it possible to serve in a pastoral/spiritual capacity (in the military) since the Watchtower (as an enemy of faith and spirituality) had kept me ignorant of the "unabridged gospel" and its message of grace.

  • Hillary

    Not a born-in so I was lucky that the first 9 years of my life were normal. Everything changed in 1980. Ages 9 to 19 consisted of dogma being shoved done my throat, constant fighting/arguments with my dad, assemblies and conventions sucked big time, hated field service, hated meetings, hated all of it. I left home a month before my 20th birthday

  • hijosdelawatch

    My parents were baptized when I was 8. Until then, I was a "normal" boy. After that, I couldn't play with kids from school, celebrate Xmas, Halloween or any other holiday.

    It was so painful at that age!!I remember one of my friend's mother asking my mother: 'Why can't your son play with the rest after school?'

    Plus, there were no many kids in the congo. It was depressing.

    When I have doubts if it's a cult or not, these things come to my mind. How many religions teach that kind of crap?

  • coffee_black

    Bad memories...having to explain to the teacher why I wouldn't be saluting the flag....being scared if there was a bad storm while I was at school...'cause it might be the start of Armageddon... Being picked on...6th grade was the worst...for my religion... Having to keep classmates at arms lengh because they were worldly. Having to refuse invitations to BD parties and dances....I was the only jw in school from k through 11th grade. Finally when I was a senior, a jw family moved into my town.

    Good memories

    8 day assemblies... Yankee Stadium.. The smell of the oudoor cafeteria..and the pushing crouds... made me nauseous as a kid. After the sessions there were sidewalk vendors with snocones!!! Loved that. JWs. in native dress from around the world... We always stayed at the Commodore Hotel...

    My mom always took a group of kids to the local museums and landmarks between sessions. Specific memories...Plymouth, MA, New Bedford, MA

    Dad was always in charge of the Sound I got to go into areas of the assembly site that others didn't get to see. I thought that was pretty kool.

    Watchtowers taped to the inside of car windows so you could wave to others on the way to assemblies...made it seem like an adventure.


  • Ucantnome

    As a born in, or in at a very young age, what were your worst memories as a young JW child?

    The relentless boredom of the meetings and assemblies. The droning on of the speakers. Those who went way over time at the assemblies and then those who felt the need to drone on in prayer covering everything again.

  • exwhyzee

    Knowing since early childhood that our father was going to be destroyed at Armegeddon because he didn't want to get baptized after being studied with.

    Anxiety and sleeplessness caused by worrying over how I was going to help my little sisters live through the trubulation. I was afraid I'd renounce Jehovah and be destroyed if anyone threatened to hurt them. (great stuff for an eleven year old boy to be carrying around)

    Sitting on bleachers in the hot sun all day and then into the evening listening to talks being blasted over loudspeakers that I thought sonded like rantings from Adolph Hitler. I had to wear my brothers ill fitting hand me down meeting clothes. The pants were held up by a big diaper pin with a plastic duck on it and I was too embarrassed to take off the jacket for fear everyone would see it. I baked in the sun for days with my suit jacket on. One time a sister behind us tapped my mom on the shoulder and told her she needed to take me out of the sun. I got to go sit on the concrete steps up in a shaded area and I thought it was such a treat.

    Running into kids from school at the door.

    Living in a no mans land of not feeling "good enough" to be a Witness but not being "bad enough" to be part of things at school.

    Feeling guilty because I didn't want to read the "new releases" after the Convention .

    Feeling guilty for hating going in service during the afternoon break at the assembly. It was torture knowing you had an entire afternoon and evening of religion to endure when you got back to the convention grounds.

  • DesirousOfChange

    I've forgotten how bad some of those feelings were (meeting school friends in D2D; feelings of guilt over things that were normal growing up experiences).

    Compartmentalization it's called.

    However, like some of you obviously older folks can who remember 8 day conventions, those do seem like better times. It seems to me that the religion was indeed more about love than discipline. (Obey! Obey! Obey!) I think the WTS has lost sight of the fact that the only real motivation that is long-term is love. Fear works short-term, but it's only because of the instinct of self-preservation. Fear does not motivate from the heart.


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