An honest question for those who were "born-in"

by stuckinarut2 27 Replies latest jw experiences

  • OneEyedJoe

    I wasn't really aware of the coincidence of my birth until my late teens (don't get me wrong, though, I was an arrogant little cunt as a child as far as religion was concerned - so proud to "have the truth") at which point I started thinking, "If I hadn't been raised a JW, I'd definitely be an atheist." I had enough objectivity to see that JWs must look pretty wacky from the outside, but still trapped by the pressure of family (and, well, everyone I'd ever had any sort of relationship with) to not rock the boat. In retrospect, once I started letting myself think about things with any objectivity at all, my JW days were numbered.

  • stuckinarut2

    Wow, such heartfelt responses everyone!

    Thanks for your sincere comments.

    It seems we all faced similar feelings in some ways.

  • SummerAngel

    Hi stuck, maybe this is a generational thing but I hated it. My situation was I was born in my patents had been in 1 since childhood the other as a young man. I left approx 30 yrs ago. Family still in. I absolutely don't relate to feeling fortunate or privileged in any way.I felt special all right but in a dreadful why do I have to be saddled with this kinda way. I always had doubts, could never see whole end of world thing happening and always aired to uni from a young age. I recon I tumbled it by about the age of 7 as in TTINTT. Hated every aspect door toor nonsense no one was ever interested. The meeting were iccessantly boring and the only good thing about assembles was volunteering to get out of sitting through the sessions. Also the isolation, bullying and rejection I had for not being able to be part in any of the usual community activities - Xmas and birthday parties but also after school clubs or just school fetes.since leaving and having my own kids I realise how isolating and bizarre my childhood was. For those who didn't grow up in it imagine only mixing with people of identical belief and the same sex as you. Remove all festivals major and minor, all community based activities, all mythological beings, take out all tv, books, toys and clothes with varies, witches, unicorns, superheroes, magic fighting or competitiveness. Never give or receive a greetings card or wrapped present. Give up any hope of pursuing a career of your choice. Oh and don't say " bless you" or ' good luck' to anyone.

    The reason I ask if its a generational thing is the modern JWs are far more aggressive and arrogant about their beliefs. The kids are taught to tell other kids they won't play with them as they arnt JWs. The shunning is far more aggressive and the whole thing has a really nasty overtone. Any vestige of Christianity is long gone. I feel sorry for kids growing up in this now.

  • ttdtt

    I thought I had won the best lottery ever.

    Looking back it really gave me licence to blow off many normal responsibilities because ...
    A. they were not spiritual activities,
    B. the new system would come soon so I didn't have to worry about my future,
    C. because it is easy to become totally lazy about life when you are told the most important thing you can do is wander around your neighbourhood knocking on empty homes and looking for your next coffee break spot.

  • Giordano

    Not born in..... I was a convert at age 12......Mom wanted to become a JW so the thinking was done. One day I was a Catholic the next I'm sitting at a book study.

    Baptized at 16. Why?......... This became my community and helpful to a teenager who's beloved father a none JW......... had passed and was replaced by a violent Non JW drunk. So I was given a lot of support by the 'friends'. And I thought of them as such. We had ex bethelites, a missionary or two...... pioneers. But whenever we got together no one talked about the Truth. Gossip for sure........ but not our beliefs.

    Being a JW made one eligible to hang out with other JW's....that was the important thing.

    One perk was a line from the old Dire Straits song 'Money For Nothing' which was...... "and the chicks were free". Man oh man you only needed to catch the eye of an appealing sister at an Assembly or another congregation...... walk up to her and start a conversation. We dated in those days, A lot of kissing and....sometimes we got on first base. At Parties we danced our ass's off. Now this was in the greater NY City area so perhaps we saw things a little more progressively?

    As far as school went never abused by anyone, I had a few friends went to a party or two but preferred to hang with the JW's my age and older.

    All of this was the best part of growing up as a young JW. The beliefs however rolled off my back. Having been dragged through the Catholic religion I was not too concerned about believing it was the one true religion.

    I loved the friends and ignored the beliefs. I did go and pioneer where the need was great (early 1960's)......... seemed like the thing to do. I met my wife who became my pioneer partner, so that was my one great achievement as a JW. Still married 55 years later.

    The Blood ban and Armageddon were the two beliefs that unraveled the entire construct. Now Married I began to see that being a believing JW was not a good thing with one's entire life in front of us. My wife agreed (she also became a JW at 12 baptized at 15) and we moved out of the area, stopped attending and never second guessed ourselves and........... that was that.

    Were we able to come to understand TTATT because we remembered life before being in this religion? Because we could compare our former non JW experiences? Was it because we were curious and read and had the ability to question and think it through? Or was it because we were both 'coming out' at the same time and were united?

    Sometimes I think it was just because the WT and all the publications and meetings and assemblies were sooooo boring. Probably all of these things combined for the perfect storm.

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    I believed 110% that I was lucky enough to be born into the ''one true religion'', per se as it were.

    As naive and arrogant as I was, I really didn't give much thought or care that 99% of the world's population would be wiped-out at the big 'A'. Only later in life do I regret big, big-time for feeling that way when I was a child and young adult. I feel just horrible about that now.

    Only to believe that everything you were taught growing-up on young, very impressionable minds was probably just a ''lie''. UGGGH!!! Just makes you cringe thinking about it.

    It, really, really helps though when your ''awakening'' was a ''gradual'' as mine. It wasn't like everything hit me all at once. That was the beauty of the whole thing. It was a very gradual awakening, years, even decade or two.

    Socially, isolation can definitely wreak havoc on one's confidence, on the social aspect of things.

    But, to think I would have a future and I wouldn't have to worry about anything. I was so naïve that I was ''stupid''. I remember telling people I was buying RRSP's for retirement and the look I got was ''which galaxy are you from?''

  • moreconfusedthanever

    How did you feel to have been "privileged to have been born into the only true faith - The Truth"?

    I was not born in but my mother chose the religion when I was 3. We moved countries and my mother began studying again when some knocked on our door. From then on these were our only friends. Our house was always full of people. My mother, a beautician, had many many "friends" who needed to be beautified regularly for the meetings etc. and of course they all wanted mates rates.

    Did this make you feel confident, or proud - or perhaps arrogant?

    I never gave any thought to being in the one true faith. I didnt know any different and life was what it was. I believed the things my mother believed because adults know more than kids right? I didnt have any friends in the truth and was always overlooked for social gatherings and friendships. I was socially awkward. Could this have been because we were foreigners? I dont know.

    How did you reconcile the fact that 99% of the earth's population was not born "into the Truth"?

    I never believed that if god loved everyone so much that this would be true and if I ever brought it up with my mother she would say that Jehovah reads hearts and he will do the just thing.

    As a child, did you ever question these things?

    Admittedly I never questioned anything. I suffered through life as an outcast both in the congregation and outside the congregation. I hated witnessing and it would give me anxiety attacks but we went because we had to. I hated the meetings because people would go out of their way to ignore me or very obviously talk about me. In my late teens, early twenties I found a friend who was also gossiped about in the congregations. She was an uber spiritual person and this caused her problems. She is now no longer in "the truth" and wants nothing more to do with religion.

    I plodded along going with the motions until very recently. Then I started thinking "Jehovah chose my mum, not me." Now I have the questions.

    I am just glad that the questions are coming now while my children are young. In our congregation, a few years ago, a young boy of 7 or 8 decided to start a study with my son who is the same age. He decided that every Sunday after the meeting he would study the bible with my son. No offer of friendship, invites to come over and play, just a bible study so that he can count time and become an unbaptized publisher. I think that was the beginning of the end for me. I wasn't going to allow my children to live the life that I have lived.

  • All or nothing
    All or nothing

    I did feel "priviledged" to have been born in and have the wonderful hope for the future that I whole heartedly believed up until 4 years ago. I also felt that with priviledge comes responsibility to help as many as I can learn about our wonderful hope. I seriously was such a hook line and sinker perfect jw. It seemed so simple to me, scriptures like Mathew 24:14. Live your life the best way you can, following bible principles like treat others the way you want to be treated, put kingdom interests first...etc etc. I never believed a loving god will kill so many innocent people and unbeknownst to me that was my first doubt... I remember clearly at age 4 sincerely asking my mother if I could take my baby doll with me at the great tribulation. Looking back I mourn the childhood I never cruel to fill children with all that FOG. One thing that has always been a problem for me even when I was a really hard core perfect JW was this oppressive idea to live for this unknown future date of the end of the world, not knowing if it was next week, next month, next year or my case at the end of the 1900's, next century,lol. Not being able to make plans for your future, waiting to start your life- this elledged "real" life they always speak of, I realize how ridiculous it all it now, but clearly remember how I was in high school and speaking with my guidance counselor, who thought I was completely bonkers not to aspire to a college degree. Well I rambled enough for now...😔

  • ZeusRocks
    How did you feel to have been "privileged to have been born into the only true faith - The Truth"?

    No, As a small child, ironically, it made me feel safe and protected. Nothing really bad would happen to me or my family. When I was 8 years old, most of those things had gone, but I did still feel a bit special, despite what was happening.

    Did this make you feel confident, or proud - or perhaps arrogant?

    Confidence? No. Proud? More embarassed really once I started high school. Arrogant? Not in the way I interacted with my 'worldly' friends, but I'd been indoctrinated to believe I have been given all the answers to life and the future, so that does make you feel a bit special, not to mention, in my mind I was either going to die at the end of the system or live forever. I wasn't exactly a model teenager.

    How did you reconcile the fact that 99% of the earth's population was not born "into the Truth"?

    I didn't think about it. Throughout school, only 1 friend of mine ever asked what religion I was, aside from that I never told anyone. I didn't view other people as being fit for destruction, except when I was around witnesses or at the hall, giving the token answers, which any born-in knows exactly the right answers to give. I have to say, even though the paradise and living forever sounded mostly nice, I didn't want this system to end (except to get rid of mean and cruel people who hurt others). There was too much fun to be had with all the things humankind have discovered and built. I mean come on, who would really want to see Disneyworld destroyed? I actually started becoming envious of people who weren't born into "the truth" because I felt they were enjoying their lives more than I was.

    As a child, did you ever question these things?

    I didn't question anything I was being taught as a kid and by the time you're a teenager you've already learnt to 'wait on jehovah' for any doubts and pretty much self regulate your thoughts to keep them in check. Even though I believed completely, I didn't share the watchtower view of the world around me. For the most part growing up, I just considered myself wicked, because I enjoyed so many things in this system, I hung out with the friends I wanted to hang out with, did the things I felt I could get away with and then flip the good witness switch on when at the hall or social JW events.

  • Disassociated Lady 2
    Disassociated Lady 2

    I did not feel privileged to be a "born in" I was ridiculed at school for being different, I was not a "JW robot" as a few other children were in the congregation as I could not connect with it or develop a relationship with a God I could not see. I asked too many questions from a young age and was looked on as troublesome from then on. The last straw for me was being swept off my feet at 14 years of age by an extremely handsome 17 year old brother. My parents took me to his local convention so that we could surprise him only to find him holding another sister's hand and looking embarrassed. After that an elder in my congregation made advances to me when I was 16 years of age and when I exposed him for it, my parents blamed me for getting this lovely elder into trouble. When I had to see the J.C over this matter I asked to be DF. I had had enough. I never considered being "born in" to be special, it was more a curse. As a child in your most impressionable years you are indoctrinated to be a certain way and this stays with you for life no matter what choices you make in the future. :-/ x

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