Hi everyone, this is my first time here and only in the last 2 weeks have my eyes been opened. Still trying to take in all this new info. Anyways here is my very condensed story:
I was born into the religion. Both my grandfathers were elders. My parents were quite active up until I was about 5 years old. Even though they were not fully active, all rules still applied in our house. No Christmas, birthdays, national anthems etc. It wasn’t until I was 11 years old that my parents started having marital problems and my mom actually left our family. My dad was left to raise my brother and I. It was at this point that my dad blamed the failed marriage on not going to the meetings. So he decided to go back, and boy did he go back. No missing meetings or field service.
In less than a year after divorcing my mom (I was 12), he married another woman from the congregation. If one person could be a poster person for a narcissist, my step mother would be it. She was evil. She had no love for my brother and I. She was constantly on our case about something. I have to mention, I was a golden child. I could do no wrong. I was always out to please everyone and I always listened to my dad. No matter how good I tried to be, she mentally pushed me down. It was at this point I dove head first into the religion. It was my life. I was baptized at 15 years old. I had this love for Jehovah that I felt no one could even match. I read all the literature. I knew I was going to pioneer and eventually go to Gilead. That was my dream. It was also during this time, that I developed a severe anxiety disorder. It wasn’t just being anxious all the time. It was severe panic attacks combined with Emetophobia (fear of vomiting or seeing vomit). Looking back now, it all made sense as Emetophobia is about fear of losing control. I was quite ill with this disease as it lead to anorexia. I was afraid to eat too much because I felt a full stomach could cause me to vomit.
In my senior year of high school I met my future husband. He was new to our hall and he was studying with one of the elders in our congregation. The elder had taken him in because his mom kicked him out for studying with JW’s. I remember really noticing him for the first time at school. It was instant infatuation, especially knowing he was studying to be baptized. We eventually became quite close, although not officially dating as we were not ready to get married being still in high school. He was eventually baptized and once we graduated we both started full time pioneering together and got engaged. We pioneered for about a year, then we got married.
Less than a week after getting married, the abuse began. I was always on edge that I was going to make him mad. He especially got mad before meetings or even more so if he had a part in the meeting. I was miserable. Money was tight so we both quit pioneering and took on full time jobs. I got a job with the Provincial government which was a decent paying job. He got random jobs that he could never hold down because he would always get into some kind of conflict with his bosses. The location of my job changed and we had to move about an hour away. We started going to meetings in a new congregation and met new friends. Unfortunately the abuse continued. I even remember calling an elder after one attack. He asked me to come to his house and his wife comforted me. I was basically told to be more mild and meek to my husband. That way he wouldn’t get angry. No action was taken by the elder to speak to my husband about the abuse. Apparently I needed to be a better wife.
About 2 years after moving to this congregation, we had to move again because my husband’s next job was too far of a drive. We had to move somewhere between our jobs. After we moved to the new location, we attended our new hall. I remember while there no one approached us to introduce themselves to us. That was the last meeting we attended. At this point, I still felt it was the truth. I wanted to to go back to the meetings. I was just too scared to go to that cold congregation. As the years passed, we were believers but inactive. I eventually became pregnant with my first son. The abuse continued, even in front of my son. After my second son was born, the abuse escalated to the point my children were in danger. I ended up leaving him and checked myself into a women’s shelter for abused women.
I eventually found myself a place to live and had every intention of going back to the meetings. I remember my best friend and maid of honour calling me to encourage me. We spoke for about 5 minutes before she quickly ended the conversation and asked me if she could call me right back. She never called me back and I never spoke with her again. She even unfriended me from FB.
It was not long later that I met my now husband. He was not a witness and he was the most kind man I had ever met. How could a worldly man be so kind, loving and understanding? He took on my boys as his own. As the years progressed, my faith dwindled. I gradually lost belief in god altogether. I wish I had an ‘Ah ha’ moment, but I didn’t. It was just a love for science that made me realize the notion of a god was ridiculous. I still had respect for JWs though. I refused to look at apostate material out of respect for my dad. I felt they were still nice people (I was delusional even after all I went through). It wasn’t until a few weeks ago I started listening to Podcasts about people leaving the JWs that really opened my eyes. Seriously I had no idea!! Right now I finally realize the mind control that religion had on me. It’s to the point where I’m thinking back to how I thought before and it still takes hold a bit. Like, maybe I’m wrong now? What if it’s the true religion? I feel like I’m kind of grieving the loss of my love for Jehovah. But on the other hand, I feel like I just woke up! Like, holy cow they are actually a cult and they had control of my mind. I still have a lot to read here and I look forward to it. My number one goal is to get my dad out.
One last thing I never mentioned but I’ll keep it very quick. Two years ago, my brother decided to go back to the meetings (he was never baptized) at 41 years old. He also claims he’s one of the appointed. (Insert eye roll emoji).
That was an extremely condensed story of my life.