So im 19, i decided to shut up and put all my doubts about God even existing to the back of my mind and just go along with it. Im sure things will be explained eventually, all i need is to humble myself and do more in "the truth" right?
Then another major milestone... my dad hasnt been well for years. He goes to the doctors one day, Dr sends him to the hospital to have tests. It turns out he has cancer. Not only does he have cancer, but he's had cancer for years and didnt know it, by now his body is riddled with cancer and he's told he has about 4 months left. Further tests show that it started in his prostate - if he'd known back at the start he could have had it removed and he'd have been fine. So im hit with this news and im immediately upset but also pissed off against Jehovah. This is a man that has given 30 plus years to "the truth", while being looked down upon by elders and their families, worked as a humble carpenter, never caused trouble, always accepted direction and criticism from elders and now he's gonna die? What would it take for Jehovah to cure him? Or even just to let him know he was sick all those years ago when it was just in his prostate? Dad deteriorates in the following weeks. He goes blind. They move him from the hospital to a hospice, i happen to be visiting him on my own that day they come to move him. At this point i didnt know he was blind, i'd bought a new suit for the convention. He feels the material and tells me he likes and its a good colour and "all the girls will be after you". Little did i know he couldnt even see it.
So he's in the hospice. A week later he goes deaf. Then he's paralyzed. Then he's just a body that attached to a machine that breathes for him. Until his heart stops they wont pronounce him dead. He goes brain dead then the next day he dies. In a way it was a relief because i knew he wasn't suffering. Through all of this i think of Jesus curing people, raising the dead. What would it have been such a small thing for God to step in?
Guess how many JWs visited? None. Only our family.
So after my dad died i was the one who looked after the family. My brothers were hardly reliable or "worldly wise". So whenever there was a problem the family would come to me and i'd get them out of it. Money trouble? See me. Emotional problems? See me. My sisters ex-boyfriend is stalking her? See me. I got so used to not relying on anyone and being the one people rely on that i never did snap out of it. Even now, today, i do not know how to rely on other people emotionally.
So like most JWs, the idea of seeing my dad again became the reason to stay a witness. It was a powerful motivator. I started dating a 16yo girl when i was 21yo. Which, looking back sounds worse than it is, she was wayyyyyy more mature than i was. In fact, she was quite bossy. Her dad was an elder but also believed he was anointed. I didnt buy it, but i didnt say anything. Sometimes he thought he was, and sometimes he thought he wasnt so every so often he wouldnt partake of the break and wine. I was with this girl for 3 years. Looking back i cant beleive i lasted that long. A 3 year relationship without sex? Damn.
So we eventually split up and i end up with another girl. Her dad is also an elder. This family is way more fun. However... they are THE CENTER of the cliques in the KH. This is the family everyone wants to be friends with. So i was popular throughout the courtship. Now, my mum always had a high opinion of elders and their families (she still does). Being chosen personally by Jehovah via holy spirit just made them better than the rest of us. But it wasnt long before i noticed some uncomfortable things. Sitting around the dinner table with other elders families and their wives and kids, they'd talk openly about judicial committees and what was said and who was there. Their wives would chirp in and give their opinions too and make sly comments. One particular case will never leave my mind, in that a brother confessed to the elders that he had a problem with pornography and visited a strip club. The elders told their wives, the wives all thought it was disgusting and were talking shit about this brother and making jokes. The elders laughed and my girlfriends dad said these exact words "we knew he was repentant, but we disfellowshipped him anyway" and they all laughed. The brother never did come back into "the truth" and his family still shun him.
So fast-forward, i marry this girl and the next few years are hell...
She has OCD. During the courtship she'd managed to hide it quite well. I knew she was very tidy and neat but never to the extent that i would discover. She has to know how much money is in the bank, she cleans the house from top to bottom at least 3 times a day. The house constantly stinks of bleach. Im supposed to eat over the sink so as not to make crumbs etc It gets worse as the marriage goes on. She's sectioned 3 times, attempts suicide 4 times, and if we have an argument and she doesn't get her own way she punches herself in the face or stomach. So people start to think im hitting her. We'd wanted kids from day one, unfortunately we'd suffer two miscarriages. Due in part to the fact that she's severely underweight because she hardly ever eats. Eating causes crumbs and dishes to wash, so it's easier in her mind to just not eat. Eventually im married to what looks like a holocaust survivor. All my efforts to help, to get her to therapy etc fail. The change needs to come from her, and she doesnt want to change.
During all of this she has an annoying habit of telling her parents everything. And i mean everything. What i earn, when we have sex, what we watch on TV, what music is on my iPod, what books i read, where i go, what i do, who i speak to, what time i come home etc etc. I've had more elders visits over silly things than i can remember. So as you can imagine it really gets on your nerves. So we grow distant. She stops becoming physical. No hand holding, no kissing, no hugging. Nothing. We're basically two people sharing a house. I give up trying to be intimate because she constandly pushes me away. At the time i was still in love with her and still attracted to her so that was hard. So eventually i just gave up. We'll be one of those couples that dont have sex.
I was 25.
TO BE CONTINUED