How do you feel about your JW childhood?

by Emily1987 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • Emily1987

    I was 5 years old when my mother was baptised. We went from celebrating Xmas to no presents or decorations. We would still go to my unbelieving Aunty's house on Xmas day, all of my cousins would be playing with their new toys and would wonder why I didn't have any.

    When friends at school had birthday parties I would tell them I wasn't allowed to go. I would find myself saying things like 'we don't need to have one day to get presents, we get them all year round'. When all I wanted to was day to get presents and have a party.

    I never really thought about how cruel that was of my mother until having my own children.

    Last year we celebrated Xmas and we had parties for our children's birthdays. We enjoyed spending time together, giving gifts to our children and just having some precious family time.

    Enjoying these holidays with my family last year has made me realise that I really missed out as a child. I was brainwashed into thinking that these holidays are Satanic. I never got to experience these magical family moments that I am now enjoying with my children.

    I would be interested to know if you feel you missed out during your JW childhood?

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    ditto. i was about 10 when it all changed. i lost contact with most of my uncles, aunts and cousens afterwards.

  • Biahi

    I was born in, never had holidays or birthdays either. It sucked! I so much wanted to fit in, and never did. Not just holidays, but I hated not saying the pledge of allegiance, it is said daily in American classrooms. I felt like a fool and outcast every day.

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    What Biahi said. My childhood in a nut shell. Still Totally ADD

  • LovingLifeNow

    I was also about 4 or 5 when my Mom got Baptized.

    I am going on my 3rd Christmas this year, and I am living thru my kids. I hated the excuses as a kid and always had a hard time explaining them. But now, I am cramming as much Santa in my house as possible. I am also decorating the outside more then I did the past 2 years. I am still not DF but my wife keeps saying "If you do all those decorations, be prepared to be DF". I am done anyway, so let them do whatever they want. I Have posted pics of my family in front of my tree, and the only ones that said anything was my Brother, who said to never contact him again, and I know my Elder Dad knows and my mom, and also my wives elder cousins all know. We have been inactive for over 3 years so maybe thats why they have not really asked to talk with me.

    Emily1987, Have a great Christmas with your family. As well as the kids birthdays and Halloween, and also Have a Great Thanksgiving.

  • Phoebe

    JWs brag about raising kids in the truth and having a 'happy family life' but so many of us can say that is definitely not true.

    My childhood was desperately unhappy a lot of the time. Domestic abuse. Sexual abuse. No celebrations. Guilted into everything for fear Armageddon would come and I'd die a horrific death. All this from very devout JW parents who couldn't have been more hypocritical if they tried!

    Nope. It was a dreadful childhood.

    We went on to raise our own kids as JWs and although we stopped them having birthdays/Xmas we didn't stop them having a good education or playing sports for the school/taking school trips etc. Now I have left I have since apologised to all our kids for trying to raise them as witnesses.

    Luckily, none of them became we dodged a bullet, but I do feel so guilty that we stopped them having birthdays etc.

  • Searril

    I was a born-in. My experiences are as others have said. Having a Watchtower worshiping elder as a father plainly sucked.

    I'm a father and my family's life is far, far different.

    I know we all make mistakes, but I would be so ashamed of myself had I forced children to grow up in this religion. I know there are some here who did, and I don't envy the guilt they have to live with every day because of it. I do hope they can find or have found peace with themselves. You really do look at everything differently once you become a parent.

  • scotsman

    I was born in and had a really good childhood, full of love and rich in experience, rarely felt I was missing out and secure enough not to feel the need to always fit in. Ironically it was probably the security of my upbringing that helped me handle the total rejection I experienced when I left as an adult.

    But appreciate a lot of peers had grim childhoods.

  • Emily1987

    LovingLifeNow, I would love to decorate the outside of our house at Christmas but I still worry about the consequences! We had a wonderful Christmas last year but we still did it in secret, we didn't post photos online and made sure all of the decorations were not visible to passersby! Crazy how even after 2 years of being out, they still have this hold over us! This year we are going to see Santa at his grotto, we have an Elf on Shelf visiting in December and I have got us all matching Xmas PJs for Xmas eve 😂 I'm going to try and not worry about what other JWs think and if we get DF so be it! Maybe I will buy a big inflatable Santa for my front garden 😂

    Thank you LovingLifeNow, hope you have fab holidays aswell!

  • truth_b_known

    It was pretty awful. I was born in. My father was the presiding overseer until I started high school. We moved to a new congregation then and he was seen as a threat by our new presiding overseer.

    Up until high school I had no Witness friends in school or even in my neighborhood. I had neighborhood friends who shared the same interests I had. Both my neighborhood friends and my interests were frowned on by my parents.

    Until I moved and started high school I was ridiculed constantly by classmates for being a Witness. I never felt proud to be ridiculed for my imaginary friend. I hated it. I often tried to hide the fact I was a Witness.

    Every Saturday morning I had to get up early to go out in field service. Unless I was sick, I couldn't stay home and watch Saturday morning cartoons. Sundays were no better. If we had the morning meeting I had to go out in service after the meeting and starve until dinner. If we had afternoon meetings I had to get up early on Sundays to go out in service. That means I couldn't stay up late on Friday or Saturday to watch my TV shows. My parents didn't want me falling asleep during the Watchtower Study.

    That which was hardest was that I am a huge sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast, So much of what I was into was deemed "demonic" by my parents and forbidden. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to stash a $2,000.00 comic book collection as a 12 year old?

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