When I was 11 or 12, my best friend (who's father was also an elder) suggested I get some of my mom's cigarettes for us to smoke. Sounded like a good idea, so I did and we tried it. I thought it was horrible, but she had done it before and whatever. A couple of times she skipped class at her school and came to mine to see me... we hung out with some "worldly" boys from my school and kissed a little bit... no big deal. However... since I had become very conscious of not doing things that made Jehovah unhappy and since I told my dad "everything". I told him about it.
He handled it calmly, but told me that he was going to have to call her parents and meet with a judicial committee because we were something called "approved associates" - yet, NONE OF US KNEW THIS. (my brother who tried a cig. with us found out he was one too.) I was shocked to say the least. And I thought it would just be between me and my dad.
But the next week there we sat, my dad (elder), her with her parents (another elder), and the commitee (3 other elders) to discuss what happened and what led up to these things happening. It was very nerve racking, we were all sort of scared and felt really bad... but imagine my disbelief, when she looked me in my face and said, " I never did that. Why are you saying this about me? I never skipped school. i never kissed anybody." (I just want to interject, that this poor girl was adopted by these witnesses, and they told her her mother had been a prostitue. I personally believe this elder might have sexually abused this girl. He once made her pull down her pants and spanked her bare bottom when she was 13. She was extremely promiscuous, did indeed live a double life, was eventually found out. Had two kids by the time she was 18, which she abandoned and the same couple now raise. Last I heard, she joined some gang in Detroit.)
But back to the story.... Needless to say, her parents believed her, my dad believed me and a horrendous rift was caused between our families that would never be repaired. There were other repercussions now that certain people thought I was a liar, a bad seed, and other witness youths thought I was a rat, so I was somewhat alienated even within the congregation.
But what did come out of this meeting was realizing that we were this really special, fun thing called "approved associates" because we were children of elders (this is like some sort of pre-baptism type dedication, one makes until they're "old enough" to get baptized, (i believe the society has now discontinued this practice) and since we were children of elders of course we had to set an example that was above reproach and our parents thought with all the indoctrination we had been given (we would hardly be able to think for ourselves.).and to some extent they were right. What the judicial committe did to us, since my brother corraborated that we all did indeed "inhate" was removed our privileges. We could not comment at meetings, participate in the theocratic service school and lead a prayer at a bible study or something else, I don't remember. (Isn't this type of "punishment" given to those baptized?)
I think shortly after that is when I began cutting myself. I would unscrew the flaps on my dad's razor, take the blade out, run my wrist under cold water and hav at it. It made me feel better, but I also felt guilty and always asked for Jehovah to help me.
When I turned 15 and was deemed old enough, I went ahead, walked the plank and let them dunk me. I would have done it sooner, but dad felt 12 was too young to get baptized... but not too young to unknowingly be an approved associate. It's crazy. I mean, it was as if I was already baptized. They even removed my privleges!
Therefore, i feel that my baptism wasn't valid, because it was done in the light of this approved associate business, that I was given no choice in. Make sense?
I therefore also feel my disfellowshipping is not valid. Comments? Do I have a legal case in there somewhere?