You know, when I read many of your stories on here (my fellow posters), I sometimes have to stop, scroll up, and re-read what some of you have written. I am flabberghasted, but in a kind way.
When I look back to my early days, growing up in a military family, and having four younger brothers and one sister, and a very tired Mom, as a child, I thought nothing could ever go wrong. Being a child was like being in a make-believe world, almost every day.
I loved living on the army base as a kid. I had loads of friends, and it was a pleasant experience. Then in March 1967, while walking with my Mom and my sister, we were hit by a drunk driver. My sister died a couple of days later. Do I remember the incident: absolutely. The images, almost 35 years later, still remain. My mother, I don't think she ever got over that.
We moved around quite a bit, as you can imagine, that's military living for you. My father was not around much, just to give out discipline (which we always got loads of) and to drink beer, watch Hockey Night In Canada, pass out. He was not alot of fun. Trying to win his approval was futile.
I remember when I was about 9 years old, we all of a sudden had to move out of the army base and the residence where we were living. My father had been discharged from the army and the circumstances, were not very good. We had to basically find some form of shelter, and find it fast.
My world as I knew it, was becoming tenuous. My safety nets were being removed. I felt naked and vulnerable.
We moved to a tiny remote rural community. One road in and one road out. We weren't from the community, and it was very close knit, and not the most welcoming place if you are not from the area, or the province. We moved into an old abandoned house. It had NO running water, no toilet, no electricity and it really was a: DUMP.
Somehow my father and some of his former army buddies, helped spruce the place up, but there wasn't much that could be done. We moved in, and it was summer (thankfully). I attended school in the new community. I was a novelty, for about 1 week, then the misery of bullying and shunning (geez...do you think this was a foreshadow of things to come?). It was hell. I wanted to kill myself...yes, even at 10 years of age. I wanted to die, because I could not understand why I was being treated the way I was, and why our living conditions were so pathetic and substandard. It was so embarrassing. Everyone knew what our living conditions were like.
Years of torture at school, no friends and really no peer support whatsoever. I dreaded school 24/7. I loved holidays, weekends and summer. No school, no bullying and no abuse.
As my teenage years came into view, I was dealing with the changes, but not knowing what the heck was going on with me. Being the eldest in the family, of course, I had to be the one to go through puberty with four annoying younger brothers. I was not understanding my body, and it was causing me grief. I wanted to die then. It all seemed like it was just me going through all this. Nobody else.
One night, I was bored and very nosey, and I found a perscription for pills. I didn't know what they were, but I remember taking 1. It didn't really do anything, but I remember taking a few more.....and then I threw up! I was so down in the dumps. I think I was 13 at the time.
Visiting a neighbour a few homes away, I happened to be there when the Jehovah's Witnesses dropped by. Being easily impressed and naive, I was attracted to their friendliness. I was probably 14. My neighbour had been a Dub before, and they were visiting to try to get them to go to the meetings again. I was invited, but I was too afraid to go.
Eventually, I did go, and eventually, I was introduced to a brother, and was offered a bible study, and well...the rest is history.
Cut to the chase. Post-JW - I am 21. Having been a Dub for almost 7- 8 years, knowing what had been drummed into my head, I have to admit, I contemplated SUICIDE many times. After being a JW you are conditioned to feel worthless and without hope.
I remember after I left, that if I heard that comment about 'true peace and security' etc., that I would end it. Afterall, if I'm going down to the second death, I don't want to have to go through any nasty Armageddon. No thanks! So I was ready to end it. Doing it on my own terms and in my own non-violent way. But as time went on, and I was months away from the Borg - then a year - then two - then three - then ten, it became easier, and I began to feel better about myself. I wanted to LIVE again.
BUT...finding other XJWs - man oh man...did that ever help. NO longer did I feel alone. I felt like finally, someone could understand where I was coming from.
As I read all the other posts, I guess we've all felt depressed and down. No doubt exaserbated by having been a JW. No kidding. The doom & gloom cult can really work a number on your brain.
Thanks for everyones honest forthright posts. Doesn't have to be a long winded thing like what I've just posted, but a few words can do it too. Makes you feel like you belong, and gives you a sense of comradery.
Many thanks from Rayzorblade.