Well, I finally made an account. I’ve been lurking on here for four or so years, enjoying the debates and experiences of all of you. It really helped in that initial year after I woke up, when the frustration and betrayal felt strongest. So thank you.
I join now after all these years because I’m going to need help with my fade/dissociation and I think branching out is best. I also have a small hope for organized protest against the society but that’s a secondary goal.
Now for my story. I was born into the “Truth,” with my parents being fresh converts. We all came from Uzbekistan, and my father was an activist who slowly got more involved with defending the Witnesses in that country from pretty vicious persecution. Naturally the government didn’t like that. So after a few death threats from the top intelligence agency in the country, we sought refuge in the USA and thus I grew up in the West (we moved when I was 3).
I underwent a pious phase in sixth grade. The experiences published over and over again in the publications about kids as young as 10 and 11 getting baptized moved me to do the same at age 11. And like many Witness kids at that age I was fully convinced that the end was to come any minute, with any sign of civil disturbance around the world being evidence. Because of this, I cut off contact with all my “worldly” friends and isolated myself into the small world of homeschooling. What followed was a full year of missing my old friends and feeling quite empty with my role in the organization despite auxiliary pioneering and getting new congregation privileges.
I was always a naturally curious person, especially when it came to history and culture. Even now I could recite to you the entire history of the United States, or the unification of Germany, or the Chinese civil war. That curiosity and love of digging into the past was going to be the deciding factor in my awakening to all the bullshit. By eighth grade, I found out a few things about how hot women could be and also about how unlikely the stories in Genesis were if taken from a literal perspective. This slowly put me in a place of opposition to the organization, and it wasn’t long after that I discovered JW Facts, this forum, and a few other anti Jdub sites. Within a month I called it quits and wanted out of this religion. That didn’t happen of course.
I tried to share my findings with my parents and expected them to come to the same grand realization I had. My 13 year old mind couldn’t comprehend why they so vehemently opposed the information or used apologetics to defend the organization. It didn’t help that I was so scared of their reaction that I started shaking, which led my father to say: “look at what Satan’s done to you.” It’s something I won’t ever forget for some reason.
And so I stopped trying to convince them for a while. I got back into school when 9th grade came around, and as a freshman in high school I had to adjust for the two years where I hadn’t socially developed whatsoever due to isolation. In that time I managed to somewhat rebuild those friendships I had destroyed but also was able to make some new ones, including getting a girlfriend (secretly of course) who’s lovingly supported me for the past two years.
During that time, the only Witness who’s had a lot of suspicions about me had been one girl in my new congregation that I’ll call Amy. Amy saw a picture of me at a birthday party and I’m pretty sure she silently watched as I kissed my girlfriend while we thought we were alone. She never did anything about it though. I never understood why. Maybe it’s because we have a lot of mutual friends that would hate her if she ruined my life by exposing me. Either way, after she confronted about it after a meeting a few months ago, I felt the strongest anxiety I have ever felt in my life. That was perhaps six months ago. Amy is in the Russian group with me at my local hall, a group I have to attend because I’m a native speaker. This caused a lot of tension for those first few meetings but things have calmed down now. Amy still does her best to avoid eye contact with me and goes out of her way to not sit next to me during meetings. I have to admit that it hurts in a way I had never felt before. It was the first time in my life I had ever really experienced discrimination just because of my lifestyle. I like to think that this is a preview to what disfellowshipping will be like.
Things are starting to look up, though. Now I’m a senior in high school. I’ve become more sure of my beliefs and in myself. I’m ready again, for real this time, to tackle the organization. I partially opened up to my parents about my views on what the organization is doing, and they’ve been mostly graceful about it (they’ve always been liberal as far as jw parents go). My main goal right now isn’t so much winning them over to my side, but instead reaching a point where they respect my reasons for wanting to leave the truth. I hope that I can do my part to keep newcomers away from this faith and from similar ones to it.
And that’s it. A brief synopsis.
Sorry if it wasn’t that brief lol