The death toll from Watchtower increases with the latest suicide report of Laura Ann Gracey. Here, her father recounts the events leading up to his daughter's taking of her own life - undoubtedly starting with her indoctrination from birth into this stifling, doomsday cult.
I see many similarities to myself as Laura. I internalized the pressure brought on by the Watchtower and had even attempted suicide at the age of 19 due to the perfectionist standards I inevitably kept falling short from. Coupled with the gruff injustice I was subjected to by my elders, I eventually snapped and left the organization a couple of years later to self-destruct with every vice possible.
Of course, I never drew the parallel to my dangerous lifestyle choices and depressive behavior to my religious upbringing and encounters with the elders. Although I had left, the seeds of my childhood indoctrination were firmly established with gnarly branches strangling me from the inside out. This was evident when I was careful to NEVER reveal to my then-therapist that I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness for fear of giving the organization a "bad name". I couldn't have her associating Jehovah's Witnesses with drug abuse and promiscuity, now, could I? It would hinder her from ever speaking to the Witnesses one day if she was contacted. With this vital piece of information left out of my blueprint, nothing my psychologist could say or do would penetrate through the thick sediment of delusion, misery and self-hatred that I was harboring.
Eventually, the organization beckoned. I'd hit rock bottom. Where else would I go? I returned at age 24, ready to be freshly programmed. I welcomed my child into this world in 2015 as a sister in good standing. And then 2016 rolled around and brought with it the Remain Loyal convention. I woke up. Hard.
I am thankful every day that my infant will NEVER grow up with the harrowing milieu of the society to envelop and encumber his mind and heart, as it did mine. Sure, troubled times may hit him later on in life, but I know he will never look up at me accusingly with the painful realization that he'd been lied to by the religion his mother raised him in and leave me with the one tortured question I'd asked my own parents after waking up: How could you?
Beautiful thread, and touching comments WakeMe! Thanks for sharing.
Yes, that link is indeed so disturbing on so many levels....I'm left speechless to be honest. There should be an investigation into the events that led up to that poor woman feeling that there was no option other than overdosing.... why was she left so vulnerable that she felt that the only option was such a permanent step....
Is the organisation responsible in some way? Are those elders bloodguilty?
Your personal comments also resonate. With your new awareness, your little one will be privileged to be raised with a balanced and healthy view of life!
@stuckinarut2 I think many of us can attest to the erosion of our self esteem while in the organization. Throw in a dormant, biological predisposition for depression and the flames of mental illness will be fanned by the smokescreen of WT. Some of us do rise from the blaze like a phoenix by waking up. Others continue to smolder among the ashes of their existence by remaining "loyal" to the organization. And then, sadly, there are those whose lives are snuffed out completely because it got too much.
Unfortunately, we will continue to have cases like this till we learn that others cannot teach us what we ARE (it is not for others to say what we ARE) and what God’s will is for us. Only we could discover by observation, what we ARE, and only we could discover by reasoning, what God’s will for us.
Teaching through words, are an attempt to put Life into a shoe box. It just will not fit, hence will result in confusion and tension for which some would try to end their lives.
Amazing thread Wake Me Up, a few years ago I knew of a single sister who was a mother with children and this elder would be a bit flirtatious with many sisters, including her. It's very sad because this sister seemed to have had other emotional struggles as well and sadly took her own life. Now I'm not saying that this elder is the reason why she took her own life but is it possible that whatever occurred between them contributed to the decision she made?
Its very sad and it makes it worse when I've read and heard other stories of how people have taken their lives, whether they were disfellowshipped and being shunned by their family or any other circumstance.
@Jules Saturn As a fully awake mother, my heart aches for the children she has left behind. I'm really sorry to hear about this case. @pale.emperor has had his own run-in with a flirtatious elder who slept with his now ex-wife. I believe these men as elders are more than aware of sisters' vulnerable states and submissive need for a head. Shame on that elder you mentioned for playing into that single mother's vulnerabilities. RIP.
@Venus I agree that WT's stubborn "one size fits all" box has resulted in said confusion and tension. With the additional threat of being ex-communicated for spilling out of this box, sometimes death can seem like the only solution for those in such a beaten up state of mind.
Ultimately, disfellowshipping is loving in the same way drinking out of a urinal trough is hygienic.
The two are irreconcilable.
Thank you for sharing. It is always amazing to me how so many people from different walks have stories so similar. I actually remember this happening (I grew up in this area.....know elders in the Orange hall). I didn't know her personally though.