I was born into the religion, being a fourth generation Witness on both my Mother's and Father side. My Father was an Elder by the time I entered Junior High, and my life was extremely regulated by the image he was concerned with giving the congregation. Until I was a senior in High School I regularly Aux. Pioneered, did Assembly parts and lived the perfect lifestyle that was expected of me. In the meantime my real feelings and emotions regarding the Faith were conflicted and confused to say the least. I always felt that I was just a terrible person inside, because I never felt and believed the life I was living. It was always just a show to gain the approval of those I loved. When I was a Senior I left home and moved to Alaska to live with my disfellowshipped Mother. It was the best decision I made in my life. Although I've made more than my share of mistakes since then, I feel free to live my life and live according to my own conscience, without fear of reproval from the "collective". I haven't spoken to my Father in over two years, since he called to tell me he would not be attending my wedding due to a "Theocratic Engagement". I miss my Family, but I have filled my life with good people who love me, the joy of accomplishment, and true family values. I can say that one good thing that came out of my bleak childhood is being able to truly appreciate freedom of thought and wholeness of mind. My life continues to get better and better!