THIS IS ALL COMPLETELY NORMAL???
Remember the Kingdom Hall bathroom spankings for us kids that did not sit quietly for the meeting? The threats, the manipulation, the head games, the forced meeting attendance, forced field service activity, forced family WT publication study, the forbidden association with non-JW?s, the berating and chastising for having a thought or idea of your own, the dresser drawer searches looking for music or magazines you were not suppose to have . . . you know, the typical JW upbringing . . . abuse and all?
Especially for those born and raised in the organization of Jehovah?s Witnesses, at what point did you begin to realize the way you were being treated was not normal?
Probably at about 4mo. old, the first beating i ever recieved. And yes, from what I hear it was at the hall.
Seriously, though, My first memories of those beatings....I was 2 or three, and i remember thinking it was bullshit. I used to say when recieving spankins "But....I'm just a little child!!!!"
None of that "Jehovah help me" crap, though.
I think my first inkling was when I was around 6. We went to a Sunday meeting and I got smacked for not sitting still and being quiet. My then recently Dfd grandmother attended the meeting as well and took me back to the bathroom, gave me a piece of candy and said she hated it there too. On the ride home my grandmother got into it with my mother over making us kids "act like adults."
I was a little slow on the draw in that regard. It wasn't until I was completely out - having already decided quite clearly that the Witnesses were completely wrong on doctrinal matters (due in no small part to the fact that I discovered I did not believe in the Bible). I started talking to a friend who was having doubts because, as he put it, "I realized that if you are depressed, you need to take steps to correct it, but the Witnesses prevent you from taking those steps."
That was the first time I ever thought about the social / cultural problems in the JWs. Of course, once I began studying psychology and learning what healthy, adult behavior was, I was blown away by how I could not see it before. But yeah, it took me a while. :-)
The thing that blew my mind the hardest was the sheer lack of love. It is a doctrine among the JWs that they are the most loving organization in the world, and I guess I just bought it. It wasn't until I got out and began to realize the depth of love, patience, and maturity that non-JWs showed that I began to see the mammoth difference. Sometimes I would lay awake at night thinking of the ways people had tried to help me to grow, while I was stuck in high-minded elitism, and be profoundly moved by how much love the average non-JW really had.
In the love department, what the Witnesses have is an inch of water compared to oceanic depths in the healthy population.
Amazing. It really is amazing.
None of that "Jehovah help me" crap, though.
That is morosely funny, avishai. I remember watching my older brother getting beat, he broke free running crying out, "save me, Jehovah!" What a effing head-job they do on kids.
As a kid, i never figured it out. The beatings and crap was normal for my psychotic parents. It was a religion that suited them well.
In my late teens i started suspecting that there might be something more to life than my unhappiness in the wt. I made some forays into the world, but they did not go well. So, i went back to the wt thinking that it was the best afterall.
Btw, i just started therapy, one session so far
Well ... when I realised they wasn't reliable enough, and didn't really love anyone (must been around 7)
by then my favourite answers come out (by eyes or in talking) as : GIVE ME A BREAK !
Hmmm.... probably sometime in grade school, although the *full* consideration didn't hit me until mid-30's regarding the doctrines.
at what point did you begin to realize the way you were being treated was not normal?
Like SNG, I was a little slow on the realization that life as a child and teenager JW was not normal. It really hit home later in life when a good friend of mine, who had always had trouble fitting in the typical JW mold, committed suicide. Everyone thought he was a happy, well-adjusted young man, but inside he was in turmoil. I knew he wasn't completely happy, but even I didn't know how desperate he was. His suicide, sad to say, jolted me to the realization that the JW way of raising children and treating people in general was damaging, not healthy, and definately not Godly.