My father is a fast learner. He studied hard and he was really interested. I don't remember exactly when he got baptized but it was around 1991 at a circuit convention. All of a sudden there was a real change at home. My father had taken his place as the spiritual head of the family and we were going to STUDY and UNDERSTAND what we studied. God will spit out the lukewarm J-dub and we were not going to give Him a reason to spit us out. It was, after all, a matter of life or death. Recess was over.
Before I even started 1st grade my parents came with me to meet my new teacher and tell her about our beliefs as Witnesses. I didn't have to particularly do anything to avoid the Halloween crafts that year because tuh-duh-dun! I was not the only JW kid in my class anymore, there was also this guy named Andrew, so you'd figure with two JWs in her class the teacher would've remembered what to do and at first she did. Oh yeah BTW, Andrew was not from my congregation, he belonged to the English-speaking congo and we were attending the French-speaking one (so please pardon my English if it's not perfect). His parents thought it was a good idea to send him to a French school, as some kind of immersion. Put yourself in Andrew's shoes for a second. He's 6 years old, he's a JW and he doesn't even speak the same language as the rest of the kids. Poor guy, but at the time I didn't like him. I didn't want to behave like a JW at school. I had made many friends, friends amongst whom I could be myself and say what I wanted and they wouldn't tell on me. That guy Andrew and I… it just didn't click.
As much as I wanted to be like my wordly friends, I really didn't want to celebrate holidays. A week or two before Christmas 1991, my teacher forced Andrew and I to color a picture of Santa Claus, just like the rest of the class. I refused. She said I had to. So I took a black Crayola and painted my Santa Claus black from head to toe. I was so angry. ''Black as night, black as coal, I wanna see it painted, painted black'' – The Rolling Stones… Andrew's Santa was red and white, tsk tsk. He was so going to die at Armageddon.
At the KH my family was going through the love-bombing phase. My father was in, thanks to mom and he was a zealot. Mom was pioneering, she was going out in service on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays with Dad and I and even on Sundays after the meeting. So we were invited to all kinds of get-togethers and dinners with other Jws. I have fond memories of those days. Some JW kids even had a Nintendo, wow I wasn't even allowed to have one!
One night though, something terrible happened. I might give out my true identity with this story but I don't care.
It was an evening of late-October / early November 1991, we had been invited by another family from the congregation for, you know, dinner and an evening of fun, harmless JW time. So all the adults are upstairs joking and having fun while all the children are downstairs playing, me included with no one to watch on us. The oldest daughter in our hosts' family was around 9 years old. She had the face of a dumb ape. We were playing a game : I was a thief and my goal was to steal Jenga blocks from her imaginary house. Everything was fine you know, for a while there my robbery business was doing great, until she began to stomp on my right foot. Hard. Real hard. I'd try to put some distance between us but she'd chase me around the basement and stomp again, the hardest she could, until I was cornered and she continued to stomp my foot, again and again.
I made my way upstairs. I was crying so much. My foot was a huge ball of PAIN. I couldn't even walk on it. I couldn't even speak. My mom, embarassed by me crying in front of everyone grabbed me by the arm, took me to the bathroom and gave me a spanking. Yeah huh, why couldn't I just shut up?
Well my foot wasn't
getting any better so we left. I had ruined the party. I couldn't
wear my right boot, my foot was swelling. Dad was worried so we drove
to the hospital. I had a huge bruise on my foot but luckily no bones
had been broken. Then we went back home. Dad filled a bucket with
warm water so could dip my foot in it. I was then able to tell what happened. Mom realized she had been
wrong and she felt real bad. Dad on the other hand... yelling at the top of his lungs ''So that's how they raise children in the Jehovah's Witnesses?''
The bruise was changing in color. Sometimes it was black, blue, green, blue again… Something was wrong. It was growing too, like a ball, right between 3rd and 4th toe (starting from the big toe), pushing them on each side. I was literally walking like a penguin, with my foot pointing 90 degrees to the right, otherwise it was too uncomfortable. For 6 months we went to the same doctor, a real dumbass who'd say ''It's just a bruise. If it's not gone in two weeks come see me again''. Two weeks later : ''It's just a bruise. If it's not gone in two weeks come see me again''. FOR SIX MONTHS. My parents were idiots.
So one night I was playing Karate Kid with my cousin and as I kicked high in the air I knocked my lumpy bruise on something hard and all hell broke lose. The pain was intense, I was screaming like I was being killed. My parents took me to see the same doctor. He wasn't there but the nurse sure didn't like the look of my foot at all. She gave us the name of a specialist, we went to meet him. I went through some tests.
Turns out I had a malignant tumour inside my right foot, the size of a golf ball. I needed surgery ASAP.
It's getting late... at first I thought that it wouldn't upset my emotions too much to tell my story but finally I gotta admit that it does. Maybe this is therapy after all, I don't know. PART 3 coming soon. Good night everybody.