Did you suffer humiliating childhood experiences as a JW?

by yadda yadda 2 26 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Heartofaboy

    ................and then you get some starry eyed newbie at the meetings telling you 'how wonderful it must have been & how lucky you were being raised in the troof'

    They have no idea.

  • Ucantnome

    my father started cutting my hair because he believed we should stand out as different being witnesses.

    i remember the kids clambering on to the railings of the school playground pointing and laughing at me on my way to school when i was barely visible to the naked eye because he'd cut my hair.

    you also had to thank him and tell him how much you liked it.

  • Suraj Khan
    Suraj Khan

    Good gracious where would I begin?

    Having to sit alone in a room while 119 other kids from my grade rehearsed Christmas carols for the winter choral concert?

    Responding to "How much Halloween candy did you get last night" with awkward silence?

    Not trying out for sports (too worldly!) or plays (too worldly!) even though I'd have loved to?

    No Witness kid leaves childhood unscathed.

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    Oh man way too many humiliating experiences to pick from !

    I hated my childhood .It is so sad when I look back how everything that could have been a good memory was ruined . For example I came home from kindergarten wanting too go trick or treating ,and my non- witness Dad told my Mom to get me dressed and let me go . She took me to the bathroom ,and slapped me across the face ,then told me to never 'do that to her again in front of my Father ' ! Then she dressed me up like a ballerina and made my brothers take me out .

    At school it was a whole different kind of humiliation ...Being set out in the hallway ,desk and all ,during a birthday or holiday celebration ,and having other teachers walk by tsk..tsking you asking what bad behavior you had done to merit sitting out in the hall .

    I remember the constant pull of guilt feelings . My regular teacher knew I didn't salute the flag or say the pledge of allegence ,but when a sub came I would pretend to say it because I was afraid . Sometimes teachers would save birthday treats for me and say they were just regular snacks ,and I would feel guilty taking them anyways .

  • FirstLastName

    My mom always met with my teachers before school started and gave them some magazines and explained what I would not be participating in. In that respects, my teachers always gave me alternate activities and never embarrassed me. I think sometimes they did feel sorry for me and a couple teachers would sneak me birthday cake (or they forgot), which was always a guilty pleasure.

    I probably get more joy than I should standing for the nation anthem now and singing it. Feels a little rebelious :)

    That being said, I realise that everyone is going to have a different experience and my heart goes out to those who were treated so poorly.

  • respectful_observer

    Ugh...where do I start.

    - In grade school my music teacher HATED Witnesses and took every opportunity to announce to the class that I would not be able to sing a particular song.

    - I, like many of you, remember being dismissed to the school library whenever:

    - a fellow student had a birthday party

    - whenever a holiday party was held

    - whenever a holiday movie was watched.

    The librarian and I became good friends.

    - I once had a teacher practically drag me out of the gym during a school assembly in front of the entire school because I wasn't standing for the National Anthem.

    A few years after I graduated, my parents (not "raised in the truth") were only ever self-employed after they coverted. After they recently both got jobs working for other companies, they expressed how "hard" it was to explain their stance on holidays, etc. to their co-workers-- they'd never really had to do that before and they were afraid of making our beliefs sound weird.

    I laughed a bit (too) sarcastically and said to them, "Seriously?!?! YOU think it's awkward and hard? You DO realize that I had face at 5 years old, what you're now facing at 55, right?? As a 5 year old, I had to try to explain why I couldn't celebrate any holiday, any birthday, watch certain movies. I had to explain at 12 years old why I couldn't go to dance or play sports, or at 18, why I couldn't go to the prom. You celebrated Christmas when you were a kid, you played sports, you went to school dances. You honestly have no clue what it was like for us growing up, do you? For once, you can't sit here as a parent and say 'I was there once too', because you weren't!"

    They had this look wash over them as they realized I was right. They were struggling with their first minor "test" as middle-aged adults and finally got a tiny taste of what our entire childhoods were like...and they knew it was just a tiny taste compared to what we went through as small children and it suddenly hit them like a ton of bricks.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Yes. The times were different. Many school districts have been sued successfully for large damage awards. During the Cold War, teachers would make fun of immigrant kids, Democratic party members, Roman Catholics. I was only one of many students publicly embrassed. Looking back, I can understand kid bullies. What I find appalling is how much abuse we suffered from teachers who had professional and moral duties to us. Little kids have poor impulse control. They lack an adult brain. The worst tormentors were adults with power.

    My mom let me do many things that Witness kids don't normally do. I had it easy compared to most of my generation. This abuse cause me to champion the rights of minority groups. Shocking things happen even today. My mom went through serious persecution at school so she knew the great emotional pain. It helps to have diverse groups in school. There should be zero tolerance for religious bias.

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