And then it hit me: we were abused

by Anders Andersen 25 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • zeb

    David jay.

    I have never seen a more accurate description of the 'witness way'. at its extreme of extremes.

    I had a shift work job for all the kids growing up years so my family missed many meetings which was a good thing for them and for me. We had life balance. A few times when my wife accepted offers of a lift to hall for the ms/sm meetings now called 'midweek' (as the jw pretend they don't run schools; to do with working with child clearances) they elder who gave them a lift never got them home till after 10.00 pm with the kids going to school next day. So she and I said 'no more.' In more recent years I despaired at the lost time losing hour apon hour to hearing the same thing over and over and speakers at conventions who could be caring, concise and to the point would use 50 words and often with poor grammar when a few would do.

    Think of the greatest speeches of history, the Gettysburg address, (Lincoln )the battle of Britain speech,(Churchill) his inaugural speech by Mandela and the sermon on the mount of Jesus (Yeshuah) all of these went no more than 15 to 20 minutes. and to when elders giving their first talk have to do so word for word from a prepared script in the balky witness 'English' with strangled paragraphs and stunted flow but I digress.

    Anders Andersen. I extend my love and my pity to you for a lost child hood and the nightmare you have lived through. Please have you sort counselling? I hope you are finding little joys in your days to heal the cuts on your spirit. My love to you all,

    peace hugs live long and prosper...... it drives the self righteous nuts!

  • David_Jay

    Hey folks, I am being sincere that I may have made a mistake and written things in ways I shouldn't have. No one needs to apologize for anything they said either. Before my God I promise I hold nothing against anyone here.

    I went from being abused all my life suddenly to the lifestyle of living as a JW at 16, going to meetings, no Christmas, going to assemblies, Saturday service, etc. That was not abuse for me, but one man's paradise can be another man's hell, huh? Sorry how it sounded. I know it must have been horribly abusive for many if not all of you who went through it.

    A last thought: when someone said they were afraid for the people I worked with because of what I wrote, that did some damage. I understand, and I forgive you, but I am moving on. The damage from that one comment has to do with something...well, it is far beyond what I can explain now, and for reasons you couldn't have known it is damage that will be permanent if I don't leave now.

    Hey, it happens, and it's okay. I've survived worse. It could happen again in the future that someone may say something in a thread that will just stab an old wound they don't know is there. On this forum I would be stupid if I thought it couldn't occur again. It will happen in other parts of my life too.

    I can't stop all those situations from popping up. But I decided I won't stay and continue after tonight as exposing myself to that possibility in the future has to be minimized for my own good. I can minimize future pain and have to. You are still wonderful people, and I am sure and know in my heart that no one means to be malicious. Just sometimes two sick people will only make each other sicker unless one goes to their own sickbed. That is what I do now. Regardless all is still forgiven. We can only do what we can to keep exposure to the elements at a minimum and do what's best for each other's healing.

    Good nignt. Shalom. My best wishes. And my most sincere thanks for all the help you have given me. You have been to me a most wonderful mitzvah.

  • Diogenesister

    David_Jay I know well that nightmare of thinking "oh no I'm a child again"and the abject fear it entails.

    Anders Anderson What struck me suddenly like a bolt when ai read that list is kids were victims of religious abuse when I was a kid in the 70's and 80's

    Jehovahs witnesses : almost all the kids I knew were subject to most things on that list

    Sikh kids couldn't mix with Hindu kids even in school, so seperation and looking down on others. Violence toward non compliant kids in terms of religon

    Hindu kids couldn't mix with lower cast kids

    Sikh kids were kept seperated from society, forbidden absolutely to carry on froendships with whites and blacks out of school. Again kept seperate from "the world"

    Muslim girls often ended up in young marriages with abusive partners. Surprisingly drink often involved but their separation, again from " the world" often limited their opportunities for help.

    The more I think the more I realise how prevalent religeous abuse was back then.Even now my brother's best friend has had to take a court order out on his wife who was physically abusing his daughter, all in the name off religion. He is a Sikh.

  • Diogenesister

    I disagree strongly that

    Public performance :


    Fraud are not a part of Witness childhood abuse.

    Public performance: How can anyone say that PUNLIC PERFORMANCE are not a part of witness life. Children are expected to go D2D what more literal public performance is that??? Also the secondary meaning of this problem - that children are expected to behave impeccably in kingdom the extent that VERY young children are smacked and physically abused in the bathrooms for behaving like, well normal toddlers. Older kids are expected to put on the fake "happy witness" face, another public performance.

    Fraud : With regard to this we all know of the avalanche of sexual abuse cases that were not reported because protecting the witness name was more important than protecting kids. THAT is the very definition of this type of abuse...parental and adult pressure to comply with keeping quiet and not reporting crime committed within the congregation.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen


    It was that same feeling that made me post this. I never felt abused. I didn't even classify my JW upbringing as abuse until reading that list.

    It made me realize that 'stealing' the mind and free will of your child in an authoritative way in name of your religion is abusive. All these children will never be compensated for their lost years, the anxiety and feelings of guilt they had to unlearn, etc.

    At the same time David_Jay made me realize that I hadn't thought the topic through well enough. There are other forms of abuse that have way more impact and longer lasting effects than the level of religious abuse children of JW experience.

    I never have nightmares, nor can a forum post trigger an avalanche of uninvited feelings about my JW upbringing.

    This thread has almost no impact on my emotions; it's foremost an intellectual exercise, an exchange of ideas.

    David_Jay participated in this thread at great personal cost, teaching me in the meantime. To be honest I wouldn't have started this thread if I had known it would cause him (or anyone else) to leave. David_Jay always has great input here, he brings balance. I really hope he finds his peace.

  • Rather Be the Hammer
    Rather Be the Hammer

    When I read the list of signs, I thought you meant being a 'parent' and the JW's being the 'children'. And yes, it was abuse. When you are NOT allowed to think your own thoughts, that's criminal and abusive. Even when you have parents that really love you, when you grew up in this religion you have been caged.

    And the feelings of people abused like this can be as strong and overwhelming as the feelings of people who have been physically abused, and so can be the effects on the life. It can make you ill. The feeling of not being possible to live the life you want can make you physically ill, and cause a lot of mental and physical troubles. So no need to apologize for anything you wrote.

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