Growing up JW kid: do you recognize
Born in 1970, 4th generation JW and parents who were loyal to but could also think on their own.
My father always said, the show goes on, so he had a respectable community job, advisor of the City counsel of the town. And buying ald building houses for us. We were on the move.
What I remember is the many conversations at home about the other witnesses. Not about doctrine but about people. And their strange behaviour.
I remember my survival modus in the organization. At school, college and work believe was never a topic. Became MS at 18 and did public talks at sunday.
It never captivated me at all. It was an empty shell.
Survival modus started at a very early age. Avoiding discussions. Take no stand. Letting it flow. Neutral. Feeling an outsider.
Now I know that my JW youth was not that bad at all. We were not indoctrineted and were making plans years ahead. One thing was not good: all the loose of time, we could invested it in better things. And because it was not done to go to University, I had to start with this when I was 35.
My original question was: do you recognize this?
I wish I could say the same as you Gorby. I was raised without a radio, television or computer at home. All those 'worldly' influences were no good. Started as a regular pioneer at 15, and continued with an intensive theocratic 'career'.
It took me until I was 38 years old that I realised it was all nonsense, after many strange ideas just didn't add up. However, because all my family is still in, I am still held captive.
Just managed to stop the fieldservice two months ago, mentioning my concerns about many unexplainable things in the Bible to the elders. Love to see that they have no good answers at all. Will one of them wake up too?
Still waiting for my wife to see what is going on in the org. She has a similar background as I have.
What I do recognize is the survival modus. I never liked the forced conversations promoted in the Kingdom Hall, I knew these didn't work anyway.
Great thread, Gorbatchov.
I came from what the JW's at that time (maybe even to this day) would call a 'divided household'. My mom was attending meetings and father was df'd.
Having said that, both parents supported us kids in whatever career we wanted to pursue. None of us had good enough grades to study at university. My sister undertook a secretarial course and did exceptionally well in her life and career. My father insisted on us boys undertaking an apprenticeship. He couldn't care less what trade we took up, but an apprenticeship we will do.
My electro-mechanical engineering trade served me well. It was also a solid basis for my current profession. In time, I added higher education too.
Thanks, mom and dad!
My original question was: do you recognize this?
Not at all. I think that you were fortunate to have a father with some degree of power and recognition in the community. That may have influenced the way he was perceived in the congregation.
What I do recognize is the never buy-into the WT nonsense. Growing up I never cared for any of it.
My parents were very theocratic and talked about our beliefs a lot and studied with us as kids.They made sacrifices in life to do more and be more active. I witnessed at school and at work and brought some to the kingdom hall. I pioneered from school.
I guess you could say I had a 'moderate' JW childhood. My dad was an atheist who was raised protestant but ended up hating religion and my mom was fairly liberal for a JW. We secretly celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays. Before my dad died, I even got to do a little trick-or-treating and when I was in 2nd grade I had a girlfriend. My dad had a good job, invested a lot in my education and encouraged me to study science and math until he died when I was seven.
From then on, things pretty much went to Hell. We moved to a crime-ridden rural area with unspeakably terrible schools and fundy Christians and racists for neighbors. I got into fights several times a week and was nearly raped and killed on several occasions. My mom went on welfare and encouraged me to do the same when I became an adult. I had some good JW friends, though, or so I thought at the time. We went through lots of dangerous adventures together, did some drugs and ended up forming a sort of hopeless love triangle where he was in love with me and I was in love with her, but none of it was mutual. They won't talk to me now, but I still like to annoy them from time to time by sending them unwanted letters, emails and gifts. I'd rather they hate me than just forget that I was ever alive.
Even so, sometimes I wonder if that extra bit of freedom I had as a child made it easier for me to leave the JWs later on. I thank my dad for impressing upon me a love of knowledge and liberty as well as an accompanying contempt for faith and stupidity.
Yes, I do. I could see in other young witnesses in the area and it was hard for me to understand. I really believed in all the doctrines so I was astonished by the apparent lack of faith of other young JWs. I was trying to do my best and was the "model young JW". I was at the conventions being used as an example to others, I was interviewed many times and always doing what the publications and elders said.
Finally I moved to a foreign-language congregation where all youngs were so uber-spiritual like I was.
It was just one thing that I couldn't stomach and always had doubts about: why couldn't we go to uni? What was wrong about it? I went to uni at time and tried to be even more zealous in other areas to balance that.
I would have liked to be one of them. I wouldn't have lost so much time in worshipping the WT: they never pioneered, they never did so much effort. I should have done the same!
i grew up with a regular pioneer mother and an inactive stepfather.mum use to put a head covering on and pray at meal time.. school was hell.when i left i got a job as a window cleaner and pioneered for 10 years..got married and slowly started to fade... eventually divorced and was df'ed - now work in education in an asian country.
Well in my case I started attending the Tuesday evening book study........ dragged there by my Mom when I was 10. It was so boring. The Society takes pleasure in boring the young...in my opinion they are very good at that .
My Dad passed when I was 13 and Mom decided that getting Baptized was the thing for her to do.
My JW teen years were pretty normal...... this was in the mid to late 1950's. I dated in and out of the truth. And being in the greater N.Y. City area there were a ton of JW parties to attend and friends galore.
Assemblies were strictly to meet sisters. I never remembered a talk...I just walked up to an age appropriate and attractive sister and introduced myself. Like us guys...... they were able and willing to meet young brothers.
Perhaps, because it was so easy to meet the opposite sex, I never committed to any one person. After getting baptized, which for me was simply a formality, I watched my conduct and behaved as a gentleman. Of course this was not by today's JW standards as it applied to dating.
Graduating HS and really not knowing who I was and what I wanted in life I promised my Mom I would Pioneer for at least one year. Mom thought Bethel was in my future ....I thought not.
However I didn't say where I would pioneer. I learned of a small Congregation in North West Pennsylvania that was in desperate need of a pioneer................ one who had a one hour talk that he could give throughout the circuit. I became that person.
In short order I was giving my one and only talk all over that circuit and was appointed to be the assn't Presiding Minister, the Bible Study Servant and the Kingdom Ministry School Servant. There's nothing like serving where the need is great(est) to be used.
I would remain an active pioneer for the next 3 & 1/2 years. During that time I got married. She has been the love of my life and I remain as she says, 'her current husband' all of these years after.
While a pioneer, though not related to that at all, I experienced being shot at (a stupid mistake on the shooter's part).
However it did startle me to learn that while I was in fear of dying I failed to pray and ask for help.
That got me thinking about what I really believed....actually it turned out....I believed very little. So did my wife come to find out.
My wife and I moved to another state and faded. We moved twice again and that cut off all ties to everyone we both knew.
Did I mention I was also the servant that took care of the publishers cards? Strange then that our cards were lost.
All said and done........ those years still remain with me to this day.
My wife was once asked 'you guys were so young when you got married what did you do after' and She replied....'we continued to raise one another'.
Great story's, folks. Please go on, like to read more. 😎