What is a JW childhood like?

by knighthawk1981 49 Replies latest jw friends

  • Reborn2002


    Alienated from classmates.

    Ridiculed by your peers.

    Unable to participate in any school functions or activities.

    Unable to play after school with schoolmates.

    Indoctrinated with the thought that all of your classmates would be destroyed at Armaggedon.

    Forced to spend your Saturdays out in field service instead of watching cartoons.

    Forced to sit through personal study, the Book Study, the Theocratic School, and the Service Meeting instead of spending time playing or with friends at school.

    Talk about a stolen childhood.

    I know, that was how I was forced to live.

  • onacruse

    Another perspective:

    I was absolutely, totally and unequivocally sure that I was doing the right thing. No classmate rejection, no "odd-man out," no amount of derision from ANYONE made me feel bad, or even gave me pause. I did field service, meetings, and WTS publications study with unreserved enthusiasm and complete confidence. As an 8-yr old, I preached to adults with the arrogance of youth, and as a teenager I gave talks to the congregation like a little Samuel. I spent my summer vacations studying Rutherford's books as if they were divine revelations, and was a regular pioneer before I graduated from high school. I eschewed a free ride at virtually any university without regret, as I had NO doubt that the world was about to end. Destruction of people around me? No my problem. Holidays, parties, friends? Not time or need. Went to Bethel, and can clearly remember my first night there, laying on a cot, oriented E-W with head toward west, thinking "I have finally reached my goal. Dear Jehovah, please bless my work here."

    Then, spent the next 30 years struggling, drinking, doubting, apostasizing.

    So, my journey started as PURE HEAVEN, and degraded into SELF-DESTRUCTION. I am only now just beginning to see what I sacrificed. It took me 40 years to get to this point, and I am sure that I will spend at least the next 40 years figuring it out and healing.


  • SpiderMonkey

    Reborn, "stolen childhood" hits the nail right on the head. I've described it that way myself many a time... When I told my mom, who's still a dub, that that's what she helped do to me, she said that I "didn't have a good heart condition," and that that's why I didn't end up accepting it. Yes, folks, they're peaches, those Witnesses of Jehovah. Fine, upstanding citizens, happy, well-balanced, family-oriented, you name it. If you got a problem with it, then YOU must have a problem

  • finnrot

    I have posted quite a few times about how awful it was to grow up as a J.W. child. You can look up my old posts if you want, and feel free to email me also.

    One of the things I found fascinating when I first typed in Jehovahs witness on Google, was findind sites where people described their experiences and emotions while growing up in the 'Truth'. Growing up, you think you are the only one experincing all the boredom at the Kingdom Halls and feeling ostracized at school.

    No matter how long you're out of the 'Truth', you never seem to be able to relate to people who grew up in a normal environment.

    Edited by - finnrot on 3 August 2002 4:23:19

  • LittleToe


    What's a normal environment like?

    ~sucks thumb and returns to the corner~

    There's not much more barbaric than schoolkids, when someone stands out. I imagine that most of us, who were raised as dubs, suffered bullying and derision. I'm not saying that is unique, because some other kids did, too, for other reasons. The defense mechanisms that we used, to cope with that, probably polarised our personalities a little more than most.

  • Number 6
    Number 6

    An absolute and unutterable living hell!!!!! This is the one part of being a JW that was truy unbearable. After being out of school for 16 years this is still a very open sore.

    I just used to love the way Elders would give talks to the platform telling us 'what a wonderful example' we were setting by 'making a stand for Jehovah' whilst at school. 'Oh yeah' I used to think, 'you don't have to put up with the daily ridicule, beatings, living in constant fear of the next jibe, wondering what part of the curriculum you would have to excuse yourself from next, less it cause some offense to the delicate sensibilites of the Watchtower.'

    It was beyond any doubt whatsoever the most miserable time of my life and to this day my ability to socially interact with normal people on a day to day business was affected. This cult stole my childhood, my teens and my twenties as well because even though I left when I was 21 it took me 10 years just to get all the shit out of my head.

    I cannot begin to describe the contempt I have for the Watchtower Society and the way it ruins young peoples lives by having them brought up as JW's. My parents still think they have done no wrong by bringing me up in their cult.

    Fuck you Watchtower for ruining my life and causing my parents to be trapped in your mind controlling grasp.

  • Tammie

    IT SUCKED BIG TIME!!!. I had no friends. Well I take that back. I did have one friend, but she was not a JW. I got her during the three years my mom was inactive. But when she started going again, that was the end of my only childhood friend.

    Edited by - Tammie on 3 August 2002 5:57:53

  • JT

    I don't believe any of these "Horror" stories you all are making this stuff up to make the Organization look bad, YOU ALL just wanted to drink , get drunk, party and have sex and the Truth Portected you and for that you all are so unthankful, You all had loving parents who cared were you were, unlike manykids who were out running the streets and got into trouble, look at the 2 girls who got kidnapped and raped

    No well respected young bro or sister would have been there at that time alone,

    yes it was not easy being a young jw child but real christians KNOW that doing right has never been easy.

    I am so thankful for Jah organization for it served as a protection for young folks.

    __yes this is what almost any dyed in the wool jw will tell you, Until they leave the "Truth" and then they will tell the REST OF THE STORY



  • drahcir yarrum
    drahcir yarrum

    Growing up as a JW was difficult for a lot of the reasons mentioned in previous posts. There were some good times, to be sure. On of my JW friends and I used to love to fish and we would go on many fishing trips together. Another of my JW friends would invite me over to play Hearts or Pinnocle with his family until all hours of the night. Being a JW wasn't just a religion, it identified who I was. I think that is the reason so many former JW's come to this and other web sites like it. Those of us who are out have new identities and we still like to stay in touch with the old. Not that we want to go back, we're just morbidly curious.

    When non JW's leave a church or religion, it generally isn't as big a problem because they don't think of themselves as a Catholic first, or a Baptist or Presbyterian, etc. Their religion is simply a part of their life. They don't consider it all of their life. Of course in other religions, if you leave, you don't lose the fellowship of all of your former friends and relatives.

    It's interesting that when I read some of your stories about life as a JW I feel sorry for you, and yet I don't feel sorry for myself. I look back with disappointment because of what I could have done or could have been, but it doesn't make me crazy. I've moved on in so many ways.

  • SYN

    Read THIS.

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