I joined here because I feel like I have come to the end of my own coping. Also, my wife has come to her limits of understanding me about the witnesses related grief I have been having. She has told me many times to stop reading the ex-witness sites because I get depressed and become angry, which sadly is true. I have also told myself not to go read because of the very same reason. It's not very productive to be sad throughout the entire day and then shout at your wife for the reason she has no first hand experience about, therefore how could she possibly know and help? Despite agreeing with my wife that I shouldn't be reading, then again who else can I talk with who has been in and is in the process of getting over the anger and grief. I told my wife that I joined here, because there is no way she could understand what's going on inside the organization without experiencing it yourself. She agreed with me that it is probably good that I share my experiences with some people who can relate to it better.
I'll start from the beginning because technically everything is somehow connected to each other. I don't know if anybody can relate to it, because it's pretty semi-absurd even on "worldly" standards, let alone in this God's perfect organization that's supposed to have the best standards and morality from all the people on the earth.I would also like to warn some more sensitive readers that the story is somewhat graphic and might be disturbing to some.
I was born in the 90s and live somewhere between Sweden and Russia. *ba dum tss*
Yeah, bad joke. Anyway, I'm a born-in into a poorish witness family. I am youngest of my siblings which both moved away from home early in my life. We lived in the forest middle of nowhere. About 20 km from our home, there was a Kingdom Hall, having around 20ish members while I was living home. When I was about 2 years old, my father committed suicide. It's weird to think that one can have feelings that range all the way from apathy to love, hate and sorrow about a person you never even knew. Anyway, not too many years after my mom remarried a 20 year older man. I was very little (around 5-6) when that happened. This new marriage would lead into my mom's and step dad's constant drinking and they were always drunk when I came home from school. Often there were stuff waiting for me on the table such as soda, candy and chips. When the night falls, they would often be fighting either by shouting or threatening to kill each other with knife in their hand. This went on for years and in that time I have witnessed my mother and step father back and forth both be taken out of our home with an ambulance because of them attempting suicide due to jealousy related to me. My mom was also taken into the mental hospital few times, leaving me alone with my step dad. I used to get some anger outbursts as a child and for years, we would be going into all kinds of different Satan's system of things. Most being child protection. To my understanding, over there my parents explained things basically to their favor because the officials told them that if I got anymore outbursts, they could put me on floor, force my hands behind my back and lay on me until I calm down. This did happen once. There I was, a helpless child having my body and head pushed against the hard wooden floor with my spit and mucus on floor due to crying and screaming that it hurts while my mom watching next to me while her husband is doing this.
While all this going on, we kept going into the meetings, field service and I was never allowed to skip any of this, despite how I felt. At some point, my mom was summoned into the judicial committee because of her excessive drinking. She got away with the warning that strips down all of the "privileges". When I got older, they both used the literature, meetings, field service and other witnesses against me when I disagreed or questioned something about their parenting methods. Because we lived in the middle of the forest and I didn't really have many real friends in or out, I played video games all day long. One place where I could be free. Punishment for not doing what they say about the religion (forcefully come in to the meetings, go in to the service, read the Bible and all the other stuff) was that I am not allowed to "play for a week". Every time the same punishment, which eventually started to have it's toll because I questioned even more, quoting the Bible in my mind and proving them wrong. Already at young age, I can remember sitting in the meetings thinking that how can this be the only one and true religion and how can God be so messed up that he is willingly and very soon killing everybody else on earth, just because they don't belong to this religion.
Years went by and I became more and more of a rebel. Somewhat secretly listening to metal music, secretly playing violent games, watching violent movies and having worldly girlfriend. When I was 15 the stuff at home got critical after breaking up with her. At some point, I started to assault my mom and child protection got involved. One time I remember my mom calling the police, saying that I am attacking her and then the cop on phone was blaming me for it. After I said that my parents are basically blackmailing me with religion, his tone changed and he wanted to talk to my step dad who of course denied it and said that "he's the one blackmailing us!" What the hell?!
At the age of 15, my sister and her elder husband agreed to accept me to live with them at their home (early beginning of my waking up). Officials took the status of guardian away from my mom and from this point onwards my sister and her husband would become my legal guardians. Well, some time later I did the "best decision of my life" and got baptized as yet another fully mature underage person. Every meeting I went with them were hell on earth for me. I would feel more and more depressed. I said that it is the social contacts, but I didn't even realize myself what was wrong. I was always crying in bed before sleep and eventually was diagnosed with depression, adjustment disorder and some others. I was guided into therapy where I went for some time. By the end of the therapy, therapist said that I should keep with the religion since it's such a big thing in my life. Now that I look back, I guess I was brainwashed in a way that I couldn't talk anything negative about it and didn't even realize that the religion is one of the main causes for all of my problems. The feels of never being enough, not a pioneer, not doing enough as a regular witness, very soon to come Armageddon that is going to kill me. All the normal witness feelings that everybody has.
For the first time, I volunteered as half-time pioneer and the weekend before I was supposed to start I had mental breakdown when I was walking outside. I went into a scrap yard/dumping ground and dug up a broken piece of glass that I used to cut my hand. Luckily the cuts were only minor, but I was sent to a mental hospital locked away for the summer. I still feel, it was the best thing that happened to me. I didn't need to worry so much about anything religion related, and I was with people who all had their own problems. I felt safe and I felt home. However, after some point I had the feel I am not doing enough and the summer convention was getting closer. Weirdly enough, I was let out for the convention. On the second day, before sleeping I was getting weird energy spike that lead me to talk a lot and run around the place and because of this, some (4) "brothers" dumped me into a dumpster, holding me from the legs. This led me go alone onto the roof of the building. I was there for about 45-1h, standing on the edge looking down to my death. After I got myself to think that I am not doing it, I ended up to do another cutting and worst mental breakdown I have ever experienced. While I was cutting in front of the mirror, another brother, completely unaware of what happened before, came to see what I was doing. He stopped there, watching me from a distance and asking if everything is OK. Little later I would collapse in his arms saying that "I have never felt anything like this and I feel like shaking". He said that I was literally shaking. Even to this day, I respect him due to the fact he wasn't judging me and he actually emotionally supported me for the whole time I was there, despite me completely spoiling their romantic night together. I said at some point that I need to use the toilet and he said he will come with me, which is the thing you should do because suicidal individual might try to hung themselves or otherwise commit suicide in the toilet. I have never met any other witness doing something like that to a suicidal individual. Now that I think about it, everybody always judged my father that he will not get resurrected because of his, obviously, unforgivable sin. Anyway, I called up my sister's husband, and he came to pick me up. Next morning at their hotel, people from our congregation and some I have known from childhood would turn their head looking at me when I come in for the breakfast without knowing what has happened. Some even came to ask what has happened because I have never looked anything like that. Imagine a human being face-to-face with their own demons that are showing you death. Then you should act all happy as "the happiest people on earth." Anyway, I missed the final convention day and was taken back to the mental hospital by my parents. After the summer I was let out.
At the age of 18, I moved into my own apartment to live alone. I still kept going into the meetings for some time but around 2010, I stopped. I had enough of the emotional torture by the organization's never ending demand for more and more free slave work in the hopes of everlasting happy life somewhere, who knows when, in the future. I started slowly feel better and better and I didn't magically die because of a lightning bolt or anything else. However, for years I would get same kind of outbursts now that I got as a child. One time I went into the meeting with normal clothes, once I remember ripping the New World Translation Bible into pieces, another time writing disassociation letter (never sent) and at some point again attempting suicide, but this time on a lethal level. However, the want feel ended after writing farewell text message to my best friend and praying at Jehovah to forgive my sin. After some time, I decided that this is not the way I want to go. Go through all this shit and now end up repeating my fathers "destiny", no. That's not me. I called emergency number and ambulance came to pick me up. In the morning while I was laying in the hospital my friend is calling me worried saying that he just saw the message and am I still alive. That morning, I weirdly felt new born because I knew I didn't want it to end like this.
Next point to my awakening was that at some point I was invited into judicial committee on grounds of pornography. I was mentally still in, and confessed to an elder. Then he came to my home asking what kind of pornography I am watching and what not all kinds of irrelevant questions. He then later came with another elder, and later got a call that elders want to "help" me and would you come to the Kingdom Hall. I went and the end result was that I am being ripped out of my "privileges" right before the next summer convention. There I felt humiliated and told people I was in judicial committee. Why the hell?! I don't know... Anyway, I told at the same first elder who I discussed with, that I volunteered into this pornography/sex therapy group via Skype that was held by witness therapist, supposedly elder(?) across the country. I went there for some time but later left without saying anything because I felt weird and after meeting my wife, I realized that porn used to be one way of looking for the love and comfort I was never given.
My final straw for never going again into the meeting and making the decision of fading was the 2013 summer convention. It was the speech about how rotten, demonic and sick all the apostates are. I was sitting next to my best friend, listening that what the hell is this abomination coming from the speaker. For the first time, I felt sick for listening it and I realized I don't want to do this anymore. Later I met my wife who eventually would shoot the final nail into my coffin that I am in the cult and thus I was awakened. My jaw dropping on the floor realizing everything was one of the scariest, but still best feelings I have ever had.
I sometimes still get the same outbursts internally and might occasionally cry because it's too much for me to comprehend, but day by day I have been better. I have subtly told my family that I will never ever go into another meeting or do field service, but surprising they still keep in contact, despite that and the fact that my wife is not a witness. It's so much better out here than the organization told me. I am not drunkard like my mom, I am not doing drugs or having any sort of addictions that make my life hell and I feel free. I feel born again and I am finally somewhat happy about life. I can do my hobby without the constant need to "stop" because time should be aimed for slavery instead of worldly stuff that is obviously useless.
Finally I came into the realization that God, religion and their Holy books are in general man made stuff simply to control others for their own gain. If God somehow magically exists, he is obviously a deistic entity who wouldn't care less about his creations. He doesn't answer the millions of prayers by starving children, raped individuals or care about anybody else for that matter. All he wants is worship and praise. Why should I worship such a monster? Even if I did, as a thanks he would just kill me in the Armageddon or send me to hell, depending on your point of view.
In the end, with all the problems going on that humans are fixing while Jehovah or any other god that is sitting on his arse, he really doesn't seem to take his job very seriously. Due to these and on top of all that giving me his lovely organization with the wise men from the Governing Body that made me go through hell, for all I care, you all can go fuck yourselves.
I would like to thank my wife for all she has done for me and all who read through. I end this tirade with this great quote by Richard Dawkins:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion