For those raised as JWs...

by Country Girl 31 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    I have found that while I can remember my childhood from ages 3-5, I can't remember much after that until I was 17 or so. My Mom came into the JWs when I was 3, and I remember celebrating our last Christmas. It was a small Christmas tree on the end table and it had a present for each of us (2 kids). I got a small set of luggage with a black sawtooth design on it, but after that, I don't have many memories. A few here and there.. but most of the time from 5 on, I don't remember anything.

    I was diagnosed as PTSD, and I think this is one of the symptoms: amnesia. I try so hard to remember things, but I just really don't. I can remember a FEW things, but not a whole lot.

    Do any of you have this?

    Country Girl

  • Swan

    Nope. My memory of my childhood is very good. I was diagnosed with PTSD, but the symptoms may vary from person to person, I understand.


  • MonkeyPrincess

    Yes, i know what you mean. I was diagnosed with PTSD also, i dont remember alot of my childhood, and certain ages are a blur to me.
    I think its your minds way of trying to cope, more of a defense mechanism.
    I was born and raised in the Org, im not sure that it has anything to do with the meetings and study
    but i had alot of other abuse going on that i had to deal with.
    Either way i was doomed, i had no real childhood whatsoever.

    Dont worry, im all better now.


  • Dustin

    I was born as a JW. I remember bits and pieces before 5. My memory is pretty clear from 6 or 7 on. I remember both the good times and bad times of being a JW. My childhood was very hard though. I don't have many memories of happiness. I remember being picked on by JW kids and non JW kids, all for a religion I now despise. I think I have been gradually getting over some of the hatred and guilt it left behind. Memories are what you make them. Alot of my childhood memories suck! But I've been doing my best to make new friends and new memories that make me happy. They say time heals all wounds, but I hope that's not true. I think alot of the sadness that was left in me makes me who I am. Even though I wish I could go back and change my life, I have come to the realization that I can't. What I went through, has shaped me into who I am. For better or for worse those memories will always be a part of me.


  • Elsewhere

    I experience that too.

    Sometimes something will happen that causes all sorts of forgotten memories to come flooding back.

  • Jim_TX

    I dunno. My mom started studying when I was a wee lad of 5 or so.

    My childhood memories? Well, I can remember a few from that time period... mostly of my dad whaling the daylights outta me with a leather belt.

    I don't remember much else of my dad, though. (I always figured I was a real evil kid.)

    I can remember things from about 7 years onward... but not much from before that.

    As for celebrating Christmas prior to my mom studying? Well, I have two small 'flashes' of memory... one deals with one of my sisters sewing a sock puppet (you know... a sock, buttons for eyes, felt for a tongue), and me carrying on so - wanting her to make me one too - not realizing that she was making this one for me - and as a Christmas present.

    The other Christmas present that I remember was given to me by... well, I'm not sure. A very tall fella... near as I can remember - my cousins' husband - a whole set of plastic toys - cowboys and indians and horses... that sort of thing. I had those toys for a long time. (We were very poor, so to get something like that was like gold to a kid like me.)

    Other memories of my childhood prior to 7 years old are like 30-second commercials... very brief - and very sporadic. Not much of anything really.


    Jim TX

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    I just keep trying to remember certain things, and they are only coming to me in bits and pieces. There was a lot of dysfunctionality in our home, since my Mom was a JW and my Father wasn't. I vaguely remember pieces of fights. One time, my Mother laid on the couch, and my Father held a gun to her neck. He was drunk, and was demanding to know where his car keys were and she wouldn't tell him. She had me hide them in the drain spout, and my Mother was demanding that I not tell my Father where I put them, and my Father was yelling at me that if I didn't tell him where they were, he would shoot her in the neck. My Mother just laid there on the couch and kept telling him "Well, I am not going to let her tell you where they are because if you drive, you will go out and kill someone. I am going to Paradise, and if you shoot me now, it wouldn't hurt me. Jehovah will remember me." I was just DYING to tell my Father where the keys were, because I'd rather he'd kill someone else other than my Mother. It was awful... I still remember that.

    I ended up disobeying her orders and running to get the keys out of the downspout.

    Country Girl

  • Elsewhere

    What is odd is that I remember people I knew, but I can't remember any of their names.

    There are a few who were "borderline" JWs and I wish I knew their names so I could track them down.

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    Thanks for sharing all of your pieces of memory with me. I was wondering if it was just me, or others, also. I seem to remember that my Mother was more of a liberal Dub, and gave me art lessons, and music lessons, but I just don't seem to remember very big chunks of my childhood. I am wondering if my mind is blocking out most of it that was painful, and only allowing me to remember the more pleasant memories. I do remember some very bad things, yes, but it's only bits and pieces. I can't put a whole comprehensive memory to some of the more terrifying things. I *do* remember my parents doing some horrifying things to me at age 17 and 18, and when I bring those up to them they don't remember. Maybe they have selective memories, too? I *do* remember that when I was 17,. and still living home, that my mother had become inactive, and she and my Father took my old checks, held them up against the light of the window, and forged my signature on my checking account to pay their bills. I had a job and wasn't staying there much. I was saving up to buy a car, and when I went to buy the new car, my check wasn't good. You know how I found out that they did that? I asked her and she told me the truth, that yes, she had done that.

    I checked at the bank and they showed me all the checks my JW mother and non-JW father had written against my account! They asked me if I wanted ti file forgery charges on them and I said I did. When my Father found out, he called me at my work and begged for forgiveness. I didn't pursue charges on them. She says that she does NOT remember doing this, and demands that I show her the checks. This was 25 years ago. I doubt that that bank still has those checks. Wish I would have saved them. But they insist that this is just a FIGMENT of my imagination, and that they never did this. Selective memory.

    Anyway... I have memories popping up, pieces of them at least, and am wondering if you experience this, too.. and whether we are all just crazy.

    Country Girl

  • Special K
    Special K

    Sometimes it can be easier to start remembering your childhood if you focus on each Grade in School

    Start with your teacher for each year. Can you remember her/his name. What the teacher looked like. Who was a good friend that year in school. Give that a try.

    Special K

Share this