In the spirit of some great life stories i've read on here i'd like to share mine. Sitting comfortably? Good, then we shall begin.
I was born into a JW family in 1984. Dad, Mum, two sisters (twins) and two brothers. I was the middle child. Wham! Were top of the charts. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and Berlin was still divided. Now, i fit perfectly the definition of middle child syndrome. Namely, that my older brother had a lot of attention due to being the oldest and the fact that he'd get himself into stupid situations for which my dad would have to get him out of. My sisters because they were girls. My younger brother because he was.... well, just a bit odd (in his teens he'd be diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and OCD). As if that's not a bad mix of mental faculties, he was also totally adored by our mother. I remember she'd buy him presents almost every week. So he grew up with a sense of entitlement and was quite selfish.
And then there's me. I didn't like sports, i was terribly shy and i just wanted to be left alone with my books. I was 7 years old and 2 years ahead of my class in reading and when i got sick of Dr Seuss or Ladybird books i moved on to something more interesting from the family bookshelf. My Book Of Bible Stories. It was a hardback yellow covered book, i opened it at a random page and saw a great picture of a woman nailing a tent pin into someones head. Lovely. So i started reading from the first story. This book would have a great effect on me. In fact, it was the basis of my entire indoctrination. It taught me the foundations of bible in story form, in order and even now when i think of bible characters i think of that book and what they looked like. After i completed the book i decided to read it again but to look up the bible chapers and verse that were quoted at the bottom. I got a more gory story reading it that way. And just saw Jehovah as quite harsh but, hey, he's god, who am i to question god? Im sure those people deserved it.
As the years progressed i quickly learned that the way to get attention was to be good at something. So i started learning guitar at age 15 and German at 16. I was still very shy but i liked being noticed. So i decided to get good at giving talks. The fact that everyone seemed to be nervous doing talks made me want to be better - to "show them how it's done". I found that if i knew the material or the subject i didn't get nervous at all. So i got better and better and i actually enjoyed them. Eventually i'd be the one they call on last minute if a speaker didn't turn up for their assignment.
Then by age 18 i decided that being nervous wasn't doing my any favors. And i discovered a great incentive to flip that around... girls.
I saw an interview on TV were Freddy Mercury said that he's actually terribly shy, but on stage he's the opposite. And that he forces himself to be extroverted. I could relate to this so much. So i was determined to banish shyness. And i did. I decided to just "do it". Talking to girls, approaching groups of people, being apologetically myself (without being arrogant) and keeping it laid back and funny. And it worked. I soon made friends, some guys didn't like me (but that was ok, i didn't fancy them anyway), and my bible knowledge was quite high. So if there is a god, i'd like to thank him at least for creating tits and asses which inspired me to change my personality.
I was quite the nerd, i used to read and research on the WT Library CD FOR FUN. Can you believe that? At one point i was reading the green insight books as bedtime reading. I was so interested in bible history and why people believe what they believe. Then at age 19 i had a meltdown.
I decided the religion is bullshit. That God cant be in this religion because it's too exclusive. 7 million JWs? (at that time). Why are they updating books? Wasn't it right the first time? Who wrote it then? And why? If they're wrong about this could they be wrong about other stuff? I remember the day quite clearly. I was bitter and had a rant. My mum and my sisters and their husbands piled into my room and they had an answer for everything. My mums answer for everything was (and still is) "talk to the elders". I didnt. Instead i decided to just shut up and go the meetings.
But doubts can only stay buried for so long.
TO BE CONTINUED