For years I have felt I was the only one on earth that was reeling from my involvement with JW. I stumbled upon this website and feel an overwhelming desire to dance. Here is my story:
My parents married near the WTS home base in Brooklyn. They were sure we would never see school since we were born in the late 60's and early 70's and 1975 was soon upon us. My parents moved to a tiny town in the midwest when I was 4, to serve where the need was greater. I grew up in a very small congregation. These people were the only folks we ever associated with. My father went on to be an elder and my mom pioneered in many shapes and forms over the years. However, our seemingly little happy family was far from it. My mother was mentally ill, and was very off kilter and abusive. My father stuck his head in the sand and did nothing. The elders looked the other way when my mom would drag me by my hair out of the Kingdom Hall from some unrealistic infraction, like not sitting up straight enough. My teenage years were a blur, I tried to be a good girl and when I realized that it was impossible to please my parents and the JW as a whole, I started feeling like things were not right. I tried and tried to do the right thing. Gave nice talks on the theocratic ministry school, was baptized, served as a auxilary pioneer. I unfortunately met and married someone who came into the "truth" for me and of course that didn't work. In the years that followed that, I moved from the area to pursue a career in something that would support me and my child, since janitorial work was the only approved career field it seemed, and that was not going to support us. That relocation was God's gift to me. I was finally able to see the organization for what it truly is. I haven't been to a meeting since 1995. I started seeing a psychologist for anxiety and he had helped other JW's free themselves from the guilt and burdens that were inbedded in their brains. I guess I did what is called "fading away". I don't talk to anyone that is a practicing member of JW...even my parents. I have never felt more free of anxiety and at peace then I am today. I remarried a great guy 6 years ago and we are so happy. It's still hard though, there is no one to share memories from childhood or the crazy way in which I was indoctrinated. Even my dear husband can only understand to a point. I think you have to have been there to truly understand what life was like.
It is so nice to know I am not the only one! Glad to know you all. I look forward to sharing more thoughts and getting to know you better.
I'm not the only one!