My name is Donna. I was directed to this forum through freeminds.org by Randy Watters. I found his site to be very helpful to me and I highly recommend it to other newbies. I have been a member here since the end of May. At first I was taken back by some of the language and ideals. Since then, I've grown to understand that many different beliefs are professed here and that it's ok.
Since age 12, I was taught the doctrines of the jw's. I was young and simply believed my parents. I remember the first time that I learned that celebrating Christmas was evil. I was saddened but I believed my parents and wanted to please God, so I didn't argue. My parents were not baptized and neither were us kids. I am one of 5 children. We were all formerly non-practicing Catholics. After a few years of weekly studies, my parents were convinced that the witnesses had the truth but for whatever reason they were not baptized. As my brothers and sisters and I grew up, we were taught the wt doctrines relentlessly. As a teenager, I rebelled and started to 'party'. It eventually led me into a lot of trouble and pain. I was married at the age of 18, mainly to get out of my unhappy house. I thought that I was in love but in retrospect I think that 'being felt loved' was more accurate. My husband overdosed on drugs and suffered brain damage. I remained married to him for 9 years until he died. He drowned. It was a very painful time for me.
I have since remarried a fabulous man. I prayed for a man like him and met him a week later! He has been my best friend, lover and earthly hero for 13 years now. We have two children. When my first child was born, I began to feel the awesome responsibility of teaching her everything including spiritual issues. The only thing that I knew was......the dubs......My husband was raised Catholic, even went to 12 years of Catholic school yet he claimed that he learned nothing of spiritual value. So, I fell back to my witness teachings and began to teach my husband what I had learned. He was interested enough to agree to home bible studies with them. Well..............I had a lot of questions for them and I think I made them crazy. I must admit that they were very patient with me. I was convinced that they had the truth about a lot of things....ie: Jehovah's name, the trinity, certain holidays, even blood transfusions. I could not however accept 1914 or the 144,000, or certain other holidays. My husband was interested but he had not been indocrinated as a child, so he had an easier time shrugging them off.
I am having a difficult time articulating all that has happened to me as a result of this cult. I could probably write for years! I have been through so much. I will try to shorten this......here goes....I was entually indoctrinated thoroughly and desired baptism but something stopped me. I was confused as to why whenever I brought up the topic of Jesus....I was redirected to Jehovah. I had always wanted to know more about Jesus because I fell in love with him as a child, through tv movies such as The Greatest Story Ever Told and Jesus of Nazareth. I prayed and I read my bible. My marriage was being turned upside down because I became very critical of others and I was very strict with our little girl. After all, the world and everyone in it was EVIL except for the dubs. I was a monster full of fear, anxiety and depression! This went on for years. I continued to pray and pray and plead with God to help me see if this was the 'truth'. During this time I became pregnant with my second child, a boy. I was ever so earnestly seeking God. I wanted the true truth! I read two books by David Reed,( verse by verse and subject by subject ) I was amazed, I was learning more from the bible with him than I ever had while studying with the witnesses! I began to read my bible only!! I did research, I even bought books to teach myself Greek! I was learning weird things about the WT like, pyramids, false predictions, new lights that flashed etc. I was shocked and horrified and totally submerged in confusion. I could never believe another religion again!
One September evening, my husband was late coming home from work. I felt an eerie feeling as I waited. His dinner was getting cold. Then, the phone rang........it was the hospital telling me that my husband had been in a motorcyle accident. They told me to remain calm but come asap. I numbly put our daughter into her carseat and pulled the seat back for me, as my belly had grown quite a bit with my new pregnancy. I arrived at the hospital and was told that my husband needed surgery and he would be in the OR all night. I called my father and asked if he would take my daughter to his house for the night. As I waited for my dad, my husband was wheeled past me on a girney, they stopped so I could see him. He was only concerned about me and our daughter and my pregnancy.......he was asking the doctors to take care of us....I bent to kiss him and when I stood up as they hurredly took him to surgery, I noticed that the front of me was covered in his blood. He was in surgery for 16 or so hours! After the 1st surgery was over, I was told that he had been given 23 red cell transfusions during surgery and after because he had internal bleeding and they could not find the source. The following evening they found it, it was an artery in his intestines. He had many broken bones...he was put on a ventilator for 2 weeks...He developed ARDS, which is when your lungs don't work properly. They told me that he would die. I could only hold onto my newfound love for the Jesus that I had discovered, full of love and compassion and mercy. I did not have guilt about the transfusions, I knew that they were merciful, despite my family. My parents and two of my sisters had been baptized a few months prior to this into the Borg. I had to hear from my sister in the ICU while my husband was lying there that I was wrong to let him have blood and she was never more convinced in her entire life. I held close to Jesus and kept praying, staying in intensive care intil midnight for weeks. I love my husband with all of my heart and I remembered how he'd been so patient with me while I struggled with that religion. He was a gentle, loving, kind hearted man who never let me down. I loved him more now than I ever thought was possible to love a person. I prayed and prayed for him. We had just sold our house and we had to move into our new one in a few weeks...lol?.......The trauma surgeon asked me to continue praying because he knew of no other reason why my husband was still alive. So, I did.
After a month in the hospital, Anthony began recovering.........it was a very long haul. I gave birth to our son in '97 and we named him Michael. Yes, he was named in rebellion to the WT teaching of Michael the Archangel being Jesus! A few years have passed, my husband is strong and healthy again. We were shunned by my family, even though I was never actually baptized. I guess it was because I spoke openly to them against their false teachings and of course the blood thing made me a bad association. It was a painful time as well, only tempered by our new beautiful little boy.
Now, my husband and I are Christians......even been baptized! I homeschool our two children and make a welcoming home for my precous husband. A year ago, my father was diagnosed with 2 brain tumors. I forced my way back into their lives, they were very angry at first. Now they put up with me because I only offer them love. I love my parents and siblings and will always show them love because to me, they are simply misguided and miserable as I once was.
I have a request for you all, if you find the time I would be very grateful for prayers for my parents to be freed from this stinkin' cult and to find the love of Christ as I did in Matt 11:28.
Thanks for letting me share. Love, DJ