Just wondering how this board relates to you. Were you ever disfellowshipped? Baptized? How long have you been in the borg? How long have you been out?
i was never baptized and therefore never disfellowshipped. my dad was catholic and 'found the truth' when i was 5. from that time on it was always something of a war in the household because my mom never went for it. us kids had to go to the meetings, whether or not we said we were jehovahs witnesses and adhered to the letter of it was our choice, in theory... however it was made clear that my mom loved us no matter what choice we made and just as clear that the same was not necessarily the case with my dad. the obvious choice as a child was, of course, to become a witness. i was a good little witness until my teens... and then i dont know that it was so much me deciding that i didnt believe as it was teenage rebellion. so for my teenage years i went back and forth, not really certain what i did or did not believe. my parents divorced when i was 16 and about 17 was when i finally decided once and for all that i didnt believe... however i still went to meetings partly through the guilt of hurting my dad, partly because my dad was threatening to sue for custody of my younger brothers and sisters if i didnt... and i coulndnt have them put through the constant (and this is only my opinion) brainwashing that would occur if they were to live with him full time without my moms influence. so i attended meetings until about the age of 20 when my youngest brother was old enough to go to court and say which parent he would prefer to live with. i still had nightmares that god was going to kill me through my early to mid 20's. my sister is the only one of the four of us who is still a witness. she decided to live with my dad. when i was 22 she called me all freaked out because my dad was threatening to commit suicide. one must understand that my dad is an addict. throughout his life he has been addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex... the religion is simply his latest addiction, one that he finds acceptable and therefore doesnt feel a need to get away from. he had pissed off one of the elders and had been disfellowshipped and said elder was making it impossible for him to get back in. and, this religion being an addiction that after so many years he could not longer live without, he was threatening suicide. it is the most difficult thing i have ever done trying to talk my dad out of it and then finally deciding to sign him into a hospital against his will. my sister threatened to run away rather than live with her worldly family who frowned on the religion. all in all it wasnt a pleasant experience, which im sure every one of you can relate to. thats really the last contact ive had with the witnesses, other than my dad and my sister... and we seem to have come to the agreement that i know what the religion teaches, ive made my choice, and so they dont preach to me and i dont walk away from them... which to me is an amazing accomplishment. to get you up to date, immediately after his release from the hospital my dad was reinstated (which im sure had nothing to do with a few media threats on my part) and we all have a great relationship, we just dont discuss religion.
i think the reason ive looked for this now (im 29, this was all several years ago) is because my sister and her husband are trying to have kids now. i guess the idea of a niece or a nephew being raised like this turns my stomach so perhaps i just feel a need to connect with some other people who understand. i mean, honestly, if i went to someone who hadnt been in the religion and told them that for the longest time i would get literally sick to my stomach every time a special news report came on television because i just *knew* that they were going to announce the signs for the beginning of armagedon and that it was too late for me they wouldnt understand that. so to explain why it would kill me to see someone i love raised in this way doesnt make sense to them.
i dont have anything against the witnesses themselves, they can be very nice people, for the most part, who just believe in some screwed up things that make them not so nice when the religion tells them not to. its the religion itself that makes me sick, the idea of it, the way it perpetrates itself upon people who need something to cling to.
anyway, i suppose ill stop rambling. hope i havent bored you all to tears or offended anyone ;)