Normal things you missed out on as a kid (besides holidays)
Being an angel in the school nativity
decorating a xmas tree
Smelling and seeing a firework display for real
attending dance classes they were saturday mornings
doing gym classes they were also saturday mornings
learning to do ballroom that involved dancing with boys -i was 7!!
I missed out on the Education I could have had, my life would have been different, and be very different now, if I had been educated to the level possible, but not encouraged by my JW parents, at the time.
This actually has touched me deeply in a way I had not expected. But I'm feeling very angry and upset over all the lost opportunities we faced.
All your comments have struck a chord...
I was virtually a born-in. Not quite but almost. One parent became a jw when I was 1 year old and the other when I was 11 years old.
The highlights of my youth were the extremely rare non-jw things my parents allowed me to do. School camping trips (each one week long) at ages 10 and 11 and 14.
Even then there was no Xmas or birthdays and I remember vividly dreading whether I might be asked to salute a flag. Here's why.
In England no one outside the armed forces or at remembrance day salutes in the presence of the national flag.
But ... I was brought up on a diet of Watchtowers screaming that JW kids should not be forced to salute the American flag and so when I went to school camp we used a Scouts' (also forbidden for jw's to join because of its links with the Church of England) camp site on the south coast of England. Right in the middle was the Union Flag on a pole.
So come evening when 100 normal kids get their hot chocolate and sit round the fire and the flag is "struck down for the evening" I am dreading being the only one not standing and saluting.
Except of course, being laconic Brits the flag was dropped with no ceremony whatsoever and put away to be raised the next morning, again with no ceremony whatsoever.
Phew! Another jw test passed with flying colours! (Just not flying colours being saluted)
I remember an embarrasing moment being in England for vacation with a friend. We were 19. Then we heard the great Tommy Cooper would give a show in Torquay. So we went but then something we, as Dutch boys, never had seen before. Before the show the audience stood up, and they started to play God save the queen. We stayed seated but received many hateful looks.
As a freshman in my first year at high school, the P.E. coach saw that I had considerable skills as a baseball player. Always had good hand-eye coordination. Could hit the ball hard and ( believe it or not ) fast as lightning in the outfield ( couldn't tell now though ) . So the coach asked me to be on the team to come to practice and join up.
I went home and asked my elder dad and he immediately said, " No, you can't be on the baseball team. It will interfere with meetings on Tuesday night " . I begged him and told him I wouldn't let it interfere, but he was determined to NOT let me be on the team. So I had to go back to school and tell my coach I couldn't join the team because of my dad. The coach was really pissed off and he just shook his head and said , " I'm sorry son " . It's a regret I'll always have from my JW youth.
Later though I was able to pursue playing guitar and music as an adult, another thing my dad tried to restrict in me, and I'm playing guitar, singing, and writing songs to this day still. Which I'll do the rest of my life. Dad kept me from playing baseball, but he couldn't stop my music ! So that's a good thing !
My parents started the road to baptism when I was about 12. What I miss the most is my dad pre Jehovah's witnesses days, but still the best dad a boy could have. Next all the girls I didn't get to know because they were worldy.
Taking home my art masterpieces that my mom would have rejected. My school bus driver ,(the recipient) probably talked about the nasty watchtower church for years. A kid afraid to give a school project to their own mom? That's just wrong.
It's just so crazy all the crap, embarrassment, shame, etc we were forced to suffer for NOTHING!
I think the worst was not developing normal social skills for you age groups. I read that kids that don't have that are pretty much screwed as development is age related. I get by pretty well. I was a flight attendant for almost 40 years but it was really hard work to act normal. I also have no sense of the future and have a hard time planning life. Oh well. Whatever.