Part ONE: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/forum/thread.asp?id=24348&site=3
Part TWO: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/forum/thread.asp?id=24359&site=3
Part THREE: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/forum/thread.asp?id=24426&site=3
For my first 9 years of life, I never experienced the death of a loved one. I also never experienced the birth of a sibling. However, both would come within days of each other. (I must say that my mom's dad died during my very early years but I don't recall the details).
My grandfather (my dad's dad) was dying from Prostate cancer and my mother was about to give birth. My baby brother was born on January 26, 1980 and my grandfather died within a couple of days after Baby Bro's birth. As much as I adored my grandfather, I never shed a tear for him. I don't know why. That's just the way it is.
One year later, my aunt died of Ovarian cancer at the young age of 34. Her memorial was held in a 4-H Club building. An elder from my first Congregation gave the talk even though my aunt was not a JW and she wasn't even studying. My mom asked him to give the talk. I guess this shows how much my mom was progressing as a JW. I wish I could give you the details of his outline but I don't remember them.
Is That a Hair On My Chin?
Here is a summation of my life up until I hit puberty: I had...Big, curly hair. Wide open green eyes. Lots of schoolyard fights. Older sister, older brother, younger brother. Intimidating dad. Loving mom. JW friends. Non-JW friends. I never had a girlfriend. I never even kissed a girl. I got hit on by a JW boy named Chris. Go figure...
Then, the Summer of 1983 arrived. I graduated from the 8th grade. The Sixers won the NBA Championship. I grew a hair on my chin. And I had my first kiss. There was a girl who lived across the street from me. I had known her all my life. It was a beautiful Summer evening and the sun was setting. We were hiding behind a big tree in front of my house and we kissed. She was no prize in the 'looks' department, but neither was I. It felt like it lasted 5 minutes when it probably only lasted 10 seconds. I was becoming a man.
I'm a JW. No, I'm Not. Yes, I Am...
Here I am, a teenager. I will begin going to high school in the Fall of 1983. Girls are beginning to notice me. I have so many so-called worldly friends. Now isn't the time to get baptized. Or is it? See, the JW's used to preach that you must be baptized in order to survive Armageddon. This Great War was supposed to be coming any day now. Crap! I don't wanna die! I better think seriously about getting baptized.
In 1982, my sister was baptized (I think that is the year she got baptized. Maybe it was 1983). In 1983, my mom was baptized (I clearly remember because she had a big towel that had the word 'DISCO' on it. Up close, the towel just looked like it had a design on it. However, from the stadium seats, that towel said, 'DISCO'!!! We were laughing at my mom as she was walking to the pool! LOL!)
Anyway, now my mom and sister are baptized and I've already studied My Book of Bible Stories and the Youth book. Should I also get baptized? My older brother was in college in another state. The 'truth' hadn't yet set in his heart. Then, I found out that badwillie and two other guys from my congregation were going to get baptized at the District Convention in 1984. That was what made up my mind. I got baptized, not because I felt like I wanted to dedicate my life to Jehovah, but rather because I didn't want to die at Armageddon AND my friends were getting baptized. Fear and pressure were the only factors involved in this major decision.
I did it. I got baptized. It poured rain that day AND the convention was being held in an outdoor horse racetrack! Sigh...
Now, I could rest easy. Jehovah won't destroy me at Armageddon now...as long as I don't sin. Crap! I'm going through puberty and my hormones are raging. I'm becoming quite handsome (so I was told) and I loved girls. I am now in high school and I have a 'worldly' girlfriend and I'm baptized. Talk about dilema's! What's a boy to do?
No, I'm NOT a JW...
1984/1985, my mom and my sister drift away from being JW's. I reasoned, 'If they're not going to go, I'm not going to , either!'. By the time the Summer of 1985 comes, we had all stopped going. My pioneer sister is now an inactive JW young adult dating young, 'worldly' men. My mom is participating in holiday celebrations. All of these changes within three years of all of us getting baptized. How? Why? It's just the way it is.
Let The Partying Begin!
My teenage life revolved around girls, partying, hanging out, and having fun! I even hung out with Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff. They used to MC and DJ all the parties that were held at Central High School in Philly. I would meet a girl at a party and we would be kissing right there in the middle of the dance floor. Two strangers who were bold. This happened quite frequently. (Now, the women would probably run away!!!)
I would have a steady girlfriend usually all the time. Even though this was the case, I had a female friend who was one of my best friends. Strangely, even though this friend had a boyfriend and I had a girlfriend, we would get together nearly every weekend and 'make out'. No guilt was involved. We had that kind of relationship. I'm still in contact with her to this very day (although we have our emotions under control, now!). There is a reason why I'm sharing all of this with you. LURKERS, take note...
My Second Negative JW Experience...
Coming tomorrow (or later today).