I've done a good deal of posting in my brief 24 hours here so far, figured I might as well provide a slightly more in depth narrative.
Second generation born-in. Elder's daughter and elders' granddaughter. I can't say I ever really believed the dubs, but I couldn't imagine a life without my family (especially as a young kid). My first talk was at six on the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (I must say I was quite the playwright). I got baptized at ten because my older brother (who never got baptized) told me I'd get presents. I had no idea what I was committing to. I tried to force my way through it - regular auxiliary pioneering, regular pioneering for a bit. I "served where the need was greater" abroad for months of every year; I loved traveling and learning new languages/experiencing new cultures. I had loads of "friends," though I always knew it was conditional. I always HATED "the ministry." And I tried every single form imaginable in search of something tolerable - early mornings, buses, letter writing, street corners, businesses, phones. And I HATED that ridiculous weekly routine, especially when there were three meeting days. I'd resist by pretending to be sick. But I loved the theater of meetings. I commented on every part I could comment on, I did all the demonstrations I could, I was on assembly parts. I basically wanted to be my dad, but - WHOOPS - had a vagina. No place for smart, eloquent women in "God's organization." Not to mention the racial issues in this self-purportedly post-racial organization that's always been run by a group of old white dudes (with one exception in 100 years). I left at 18 to pursue a life of letters (academic work around literature and visual art of the African diaspora). I'm generally happy but suffer the occasional bout of depression. I have my integrity and my dignity and a peace of mind I never had growing up. And I'm mother to a beautiful child who, born "out of wedlock," is surely a sign of my moral depravity to my former friends who are all either in unhappy and/or abusive marriages; can't find husbands because, well, there are only so many Bethelites; or have chosen to wait to have kids until after Armageddon lolololol. I'm good 💪🏾