First of all, I'd like to say a warm Hello to everyone here. I'm going to try to be coherent in this post, but if I should stray, please forgive me. I hope you'll enjoy what I'm about to say; I look forward to reading your responses. You all know I haven't been well at all, think of this as a great big hug to you all.
(At last I've found out the reason for my pregnancy migraine--unacceptably low blood pressure; summat like 85 over 39. And therefore my thinking is a bit cloudy.)
When I started posting on WitNet last June, I was already convinced that I did NOT have 'the truth' by any means. Although I have used the internet extensively since the BBS and Pine days, I had never really bothered to do ANY research on JWs.
Some jackass (I think his name was BobCarl) on Witnet REALLY got my motor running; talking about how 'vegetarians' are 'weak before God' etc etc and basically running his bigoted mouth off. Well, needless to say, my grand entrance to Witnet had all the subtlety of Mohammar Quadaffi.
However, at that time, I was just beginning to distance myself from JWs in an EARNEST manner. I had been disillusioned for some years, but always thought it was just ME who didn't get it, I was too worldly to understand the deep things of God.
I had watched my brother and sister be forcibly separated from my parents due to the WBTS and I wasn't interested in losing contact with them.
Thus began the long painful process of leaving and having to 'watch my words' so as not to arouse suspicion. Which, in retrospect, is why some XJWs thought for SURE I was TRUE BLUE and treated me in an unfriendly manner (although unable to win any debates with same, lol).
The root cause of why I left is probably simpler than most. I grew up in a cong of pinheads. Our whole childhood we suffered from not having any true friends, only those arsehole 'elder children' at the hall who were jealous of all the traveling we got to do (when you're a JW kid, the only thing allowed is family vacations, and others couldn't afford to take them as frequently if at all). They were NOT in the same league with us.
Always wondering why my parents subjected us to being around people who didn't like us yet alone love us, and who rejoiced over time as all three of us children were disciplined by the trailer park elders. The whole time they were calling themselves Christians.
Over and over I talked to my dad about how discouraged I was getting, I felt like I was dying. And of course, the scripture he cited as encouragement was "continue putting up with one another."
Well I suffered through my childhood and early adulthood, thinking it was all me.
Then I met my hubby, and together we moved to California. (it's ok, do the math--we were living together). When I got out here, I immediately started attending meetings, looking for just the right 'cong.' I pestered Jerry to go with me; he never did. He said he would go worship when one of them invited him, a 'worlding' into their house. Well, THAT never happened. Around that time, my condo in Clovis was burglarized, everything was stolen, and Jerry pursuaded me to move in with him FOR REAL. I stood my ground and told him I'd move back in, WHEN I HAD A WEDDING DATE. Of course, we got married soon thereafter. (You know what I mean, ladies. ha ha ha)
The cong I was attending, there were two real nice elders, very young zealous guys. They got real close to inviting us to their houses but no dice. Jerry kind of laid down the law on that one, and said we could have JW company in our house when THEY INVITED US TO THEIR HOUSE FIRST. I agreed, as I was relatively new in the community and felt the burden of making me feel welcome was on the cong. But alas, not to be. I was married to an unbeliever, which in JDub talk is akin to Satan's first cousin.
So during this time, I got to be more and more accepted by JERRY's friends (all worldly, and not a bad apple among em!) I start seeing more and nore how critically I'm being judged by 'jehovah's people' and yet how accepting these 'goats' were of us and our wierd looking blended family. These are people who have their own religions (most) and some who don't. And the topic of religion NEVER came up. Imagine their surprise on finding that a (relatively ha ha) bright attractive articulate young woman had been raised as a JW! I was so ashamed, not of Jehovah, but of the assholes who call themselves his followers. I was forced to come up with some cockamamie bullshit story about how "we weren't like all those horror stories you've heard!" (yeah right) and how normal our childhood was. Just to save face, and also because Jerry's friend's (who knew he was NOT raised JW) was always asking him--Man how'd you get her unbrainwashed? I felt terrible for him. It was like he pulled me from the depths of white slavery)
The level of acceptance on my friends part has been unbelievable. I have a core group of women friends who--shockingly--never discuss religion. mine or theirs. what a welcome #*@&$^# relief.
And now that my life has come full circle, I watch my gorgeous 11 year old triumphing in her life. I just don't understand where my parents and millions of others got off restricting children from leading normal lives. Last week, Eden finished her softball season UNDEFEATED. It was pure joy, watching her come home and tell me (I would've been there but I'M SICK remember).
She also made Student of the Month last month. Remarkable. I can't get over how much balance she has in her life, and how little of it there was in our childhood lives. I could NEVER make her go sell magazines from door to door every weekend, nor could I steal her dreams and tell her how important it was to PIONEER!
She asks me questions about whether or not it is normal for her to 'have a crush' on someone--I cry because in my house we would have known better than to ask that question! I could never expose her to their pubs. like the one (help me out) with the couple necking in the backseat of the car. or that $*%&ed up YOUTH book that was sheer madness, foisted off un unsuspecting parents who were doing their best to raise godly children and instead ended up with the unhappiest lot on earth.
So although I've left for good, it's not getting any easier day by day. It's getting somewhat harder as I watch my daughter growing up so normally, and weeping silently for all of us who had our childhood robbed. Everytime she makes an accomplishment that would've never been allowed in our household, I ask myself, "What were my parents thinking?"
Then last summer I realized (back to the story) it wasn't just the cong I grew up in, all JWs were self-righteous bastards who think they're the only ones who will be saved. I watched sisters in my cong give looks to single moms struggling to make it. I had been there, and done that. And I could never forget that when I most needed emotional support, they weren't there for me AT ALL. I just had enough of harsh, judgemental rightwous over much attitudes, and I just couldn't take it.
I just wanted to share this with you all as I watch others like Zev (?)try to extract themselves from this vicious painful web, and I want to tell them, it isn't painless. It hurts like hell. Try to extricate yourself quickly so you can live your life. The sooner the better. I know how you feel.