Hello everyone. My name is Alex. I have been a reader/lurker of this site for over a year now. First time I am posting.
My story is probably the same as most born-ins. My parents learned the "TRUTH" when they came here from Puerto Rico. I am the youngest of three and the only one that is not in the org. I was baptized at 13 years old, far too young and dumb to know what I was doing. I can honestly say my parents never pressured me into getting baptized. In fact, I remember my mother kind of sort of trying to talk me out of it until I was older. But I didn't listen because I thought I was doing the right thing (what do you really know at 13 LOL). In hind sight, I am not 100% sure why I did it. I hated studying and field service most of all. I can recall getting into many a fight with my dad on Thursdays when he got home from work and it was time to do our Bible study. I absolutely detested it, but I enjoyed talking to my dad and asking him questions about the Bible and our doctrine. I would accept his answers because he was my dad and an elder at the time, but deep down inside I always knew that something was wrong with the org and with doctrine. For example, why would Jehovah create Adam and Eve and then tempt them with the tree? Why would god allow the angels to materialize into humans and then punish the humans for the angels mistakes? Why did Jesus feast with tax collectors and prostitutes, but we shunned people for questioning? And let's not get started on that famous red book. Revelation. LOL What a cluster f@#k!
I never really considered myself a "spiritual" JW. I was fortunate enough to have a good personality and I was quite popular in high school. So you can say I sort of lived a double life for many years. I had a girlfriend who's family was JW but she was not baptized (which my parents were worried about). I actually was named an MS for about 2 months, but at that point my girlfriend and I had already been doing what most 18 year old kids do, so I lost my privileges and was put on public reproof. That began a up and down JW ride for me that lasted I would say up until recently (I am now 30 by the way).
My dad stressed education, believe it or not, so I went to college and got my business degree. Of course, my parents received grief from the congregation for that. "How can the PO promote secular education???!!!" But my dad insisted and I am glad he did. As I mentioned before, I had a rough time since about the age of 17 up until recently. I was young, conflicted and wanted to live my own life, but was too scared to disappoint my parents and Jehovah. For many years I dealt with sever depression and deep, deep guilt for the things I knew I was doing. Looking back it's sad to know an organization could have such a grip on you that you feel guilty for even THINKING certain things and feeling that god hated you for feeling certain things about life and the org. So deep was my despair that I tried committing suicide at age 20. I remember being in the hospital and asking for my oldest sister, who was disfellowshipped at the time. As I was in the recovery room I just spilled my heart out for the first time ever. I told her I hated the org and I didn't want to live that life. She agreed with me and assured me that I would be fine with time. (She has since been reinstated after 13 years being d'ed and has shunned me of course. Ironic.)
I am babbling at this point. Sorry. Lots to say and I don't really know what to say. It's been a difficult journey. I got married young, divorced 2 years ago, had two wonderful children. Family and friends have shunned me. We all know the JW routine.
I have been disfellowshipped THREE times in my life (I know! Crazy). But this time it's for good. I have been d'ed for over a year now and although it has been hard, I have never been happier. I will be honest, I began to search for TTAT out of trying to get justification for my years of 'bad' behavior. Looking back at my awakening process, it is funny to know that even has a disfellowshipped one I was terrified to research the cult on the internet (just shows the grip the org can have). But little by little I began reading articles and watching YouTube videos on the JWs. JWStruggle, John Cedar and JW-Facts were crucial in my awakening.
Part of my awakening was finally accepting that what the org classified as 'bad behavior' was just me being a human. Me being a kid and young adult. I have finally accepted who I really am and am living my life the way I see fit. I have two beautiful children who I would never want growing up in a mental prison that is the JW org. I want them to be free to be who they want to be. To be truly happy. I met a wonderful woman who has shown me soooo much about the beauty of life. And you know what? Life in the "world" is not as evil as the JWs want you to believe. There are good people in the world.
I have recently gone back to school to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a barber and opening up my own barbershop. I have a good job. A good woman in my life. I take care of my children. I would say that I am a good person. My family and friends don't see it that way because I choose not to be brain washed into the GB's way of thinking. Do I miss them? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. I will be there in their time of need as much as their cult allows it. I think the best way to deal with them is to "kill them with kindness". Show them that we are not the bitter, mentally diseased, demon possessed apostates the GB tells them we are. We are people, with feelings, dreams, aspirations, doubts, questions. We are people!
But sorry for the long post. I have so much to say but I will leave it for another time. But I would like to say thank you to all of you that post. Your discussions, research, and well thought out points do make an impact on lurkers like myself. I am sure that there are many that are still in that look at the site and are impacted as well. Thanks again everyone.