An Ex-JW – Part 2

Last week I started writing about being brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness for the first time. I thought it would just be a new challenge for my writing, maybe attract a few different readers, that’s all. I didn’t expect that when I started writing, I wouldn’t be able to stop. It’s been pretty therapeutic for me so far, and I hope it’s been enlightening for other people who are interested. So, today I’m going to start from the very beginning…

In the beginning (pun totally intended)

I went to a Christian school, not a Jehovah’s Witness school (those don’t exist). There was always a prayer in assembly which, as part of my religion, I was not allowed to be present for. So, every day I would be placed in a seating area, outside of the assembly hall, the rest of the children would march past me into the hall and I would wait until they were done. Yes, I was ‘that kid who had to sit out of everything’.

Eventually I moved to another school where there were at least three other JW children. This primary school was less religious, so it was less difficult to be seen as ‘normal’. Whenever there was something that I couldn’t do (a good 75% of anything fun) I had a few other JW kids to keep me company. It wasn’t so bad, it was a bit like being in a small club, except no one else wanted to join.

From the lips of children and infants…

As I got older, people started asking more questions about my beliefs. ‘Why don’t you celebrate birthdays?’ ‘Are you homophobic?’ ‘Why hasn’t Armageddon happened yet?’ The questions became discussions and the discussions often became arguments. I would get annoyed, not because they questioned my faith, but because I didn’t have an answer for so many things. I would relay questions to my family and was generally met with a very vague, wordy piece of text from the bible that could just about justify why we believed something. Alternatively, I would get something along the lines of; ‘God’s mind is much greater than ours, we mere humans can’t understand everything he does’.

When I went to high-school I became a bit more lenient with my religion. There were boys, and gossip, and rude words – I couldn’t miss out on all of those! I tested the waters with ‘sinning’ because I didn’t think most the things I was doing were actually wrong. However, I still felt all the standard worry and guilt, that seems to come as part of the package with religion. (‘Pray, pray, pray, that’ll make up for it, right!?’ I thought.)

The end is nigh…

As I got older I started to hate being a JW. I had to go to meetings twice a week, do a bible study once a week and knock on people’s doors once a week. Occasionally I would find myself knocking of the doors of people I knew from school, including my best friend which was pretty awkward… I also couldn’t read some of the books or watch some of the films that my friends could. Worst of all, I couldn’t go to my best friends’ birthday parties. In fact, even saying ‘happy birthday’ was frowned upon, but I was a sinner so I did it anyway! (Then felt guilty and prayed, again…)

When I was about twelve, my parents got divorced and my mum decided to stop being a JW. I lived with her most of the time so I had an excuse not to go to meetings, too. Eventually, I told my dad that I didn’t want to be religious either (when I say told, I mean I nervously wrote a letter) and although he was disappointed, he was very accepting.

Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget…

After that, I got to go out an be me! I still had the tag of ‘used to be a Jehovah’s Witness’ – in fact, I still do – but I was free. I dated, I partied, I studied, I took up hobbies, I travelled, I lived with friends, I tried new things, I moved abroad, I made lots of mistakes – I lived.

I celebrated my first birthday, the pressure of all the attention on me was overwhelming! I had my first Christmas; me and my mum were ecstatic with the one present we bought each other (a dressing gown each) and have got slightly better at present buying each. I stayed up until New Years eve for the first time, I felt like I was finally catching up with the rest of the world.

Now, most of the negative points that I’ve written about here sound pretty banal. They are really, there are so many worse ways to be brought up and treated, obviously. However, ten years ago I would have been scared even to think these thoughts, let alone write them down. (1984 thoughtcrime, much!?) So, I wanted to write today’s blog to show that I can think for myself, act freely and still be a good person. It’s so sad to think I wouldn’t have believed that a few years ago and that there are people who still think that today.

PS. Isn’t it funny how you can use bible quotes for whatever you want them to mean? ;)

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15 thoughts on “An Ex-JW – Part 2

  1. I am going to be one of those people that ask arb questions right now, but what was the supposed purpose of not celebrating birthdays or new years eve? Why on earth was celebrating frowned upon?

    1. Haha, no worries!
      They believe they both came from pagan celebrations and therefore think it’s wrong to celebrate either, despite no one chopping anyone’s head off to celebrate birthdays or deciding the destiny of the country on NYE.
      I think really they just don’t want to associate themselves with the rest of the world though.

  2. When you were still a JW did you ever received a gift from friends for birthday or Christmas and were you allowed to keep it?
    What if somebody gave you an iphone that time??

    1. Haha, I did when I got into Highschool. I was always really happy and kept the cards/pressies but then felt a little guilty about them. I think if my parents knew then they would have tried to get me to give the presents back.

  3. i loved reading your story!
    i was born in and raised in a very conservative Mexican family of jehovah witness. im in my fading process now after 5 years of trying to leave the religion. I still live with my active family of witnesses and its really hard to get by sometimes but i want to be able to write it down too, i find it could be very therapeutic for me, id love to keep reading about your story as well, i wonder how many of us are out there! i love learning how good is been for you outside of the borg, there is hope! 😉

    1. 5 years of fading!? Wow, that sounds tough. Well done for keeping going with it!
      I’m really glad the blog’s give you a bit of hope. Definitely have a go at writing it down, it’s very helpful.
      And don’t give up! :)

  4. I am so glad there are others! I have been wanting to write my story also and you have given me the encouragement I needed! I have been out for almost 7/8 years (6 years out from under my parents roof) and my parents still don’t “associate” with me. And I just had thier first grandchild which they don’t see either. Thankfully all of my extended family never bought into all of that so they support me!

    1. I’m so glad it’s given you that boost! :) Im sure you’ll remember all sorts of forgotten feelings and stories once you start writing. Both sad and hilarious!
      Really sorry to hear about your family. My mother has been cut out of her family herself. I just don’t get how that shows ‘Christian love’! At least the rest of your family are supportive though, they’re the keepers ;)

  5. I happened to watch Orwell’s 1984 a couple of months before I left & all I could think was Watchtower Society. I never really understood the stance on Birthdays since it was just an anniversary of our birth & Wedding Anniversaries were perfectly OK. I remember a part on a meeting once that discussed things that are connected to Eastern religion such as wind chimes. They said that if there’s no superstition or religious connotation in your community then it was no problem. Isn’t that the same with Birthday celebrations? A lot of the pagan ties from the past are no longer believed or practiced today. I questioned wedding rings once as there was a list of things that came from pagan customs in the Revelation book & wedding rings were one of them. I was told “Yes but today they have a practical application so single people looking for a marriage mate can recognize people already married”. So pagan practices are OK as long as they can be justified? It all seems very contradictory to me.

  6. I just read your 2 post about your Ex-Jehovah’s Witness – Part 1, 2
    and see you can live in world and still worship Jehovah GOD
    (sorry if I misunderstand)

    For me and my family(1 mother and 2 older sister )
    I was born 1977 in JW organization
    but I and my family necessary to leave since 1998

    I’m thai people live in Thailand Buddhism country
    since I leave from JW organization all my friends and neighbor around me have many various faith.
    Like generally thai people that combine all faith in to Thai culture
    about Buddhism combine with Brahmin religion + Hindu +gods of nature and many many

    We still worship Jehovah GOD and do Memorial day for Jesus Christ every year
    and accept primary doctrinal as GOD is not trinity,eternity life in paradise on earth
    and waiting for a Jehovah’s government for rule this world by Jesus Christ the king

    I Unacceptable about faithful slave and governing body
    they try for centralize power and now i see they achieve.

    Now JW organization is under a evil servant completely

    —————————————————————————

    Several years before my family leave from JW organization
    my mom write many open letter to inform about
    abnormal thing happen in JW organization
    and all elder said my family is resist organization
    and major event is JW organization is hidden link with United Nation

    We see Jesus’s prophecy will success again and this event will be Great Tribulation
    in Matthew 24:15-18

    24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,
    spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,
    (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
    24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
    24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
    24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

    In verse 17 “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house”
    We see it’s not happen in 70 AD. but will happen in a near future
    because in that time when ROMAN army destroy Jerusalem a man “on the housetop” no survivors

    —————————————————————————
    So we necessary to leave from JW organization to the Babylon world
    but not change our faith in Jehovah GOD and holding his doctrine in bible for living
    Of course, we were cut off from relatives it’s JW organization rules.

    all this Micah chapter 4 was completely again.
    Especially Micah 4:10
    “Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion,
    like a woman in travail:
    for now shalt thou goforth out of the city,
    and thou shalt dwell in the field,
    and thou shalt go even to Babylon;
    there shalt thou be delivered;
    therethe LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.”

    —————————————————————————

    Since we leave. we found a great hidden agenda a “New world order” by a seed of satan
    to control all world and merge all religion in to “One religion”
    This is answer why now have a many a war news
    they will do a world war 3.
    this hard to believe but one thing is reference why JW Organization is under a evil governing body

    Matthew 24:48-50
    But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart,
    My lord delayeth his coming;
    And shall begin to smite his fellowservants,
    and to eat and drink with the drunken;
    The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him,
    and in an hour that he is not aware of

    —————————————————————————
    since 7 year ago we know this. We leave from Bangkok the metropolis of thailand the city I was born
    Living and working in agriculture ,Sufficient Economy

    Several years ago, while i stay in a Babylon world
    I do not stop to inform my neighbor,my friends about news from Jehovah GOD ,
    for my family No problem to live with neighbor . but not a part of them
    “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:16

    We learn to living in the world of babylon in Thai culture that have many faith
    if you know Thai culture you will understand
    Not easy, but not too hard to maintain stance about Jehovah GOD
    This case had already occurred 2 time in bible
    1. Ancient jews in babylon
    2. Christians in the first century

    I have many friends(Buddhist) all they know I am EX-JW.
    I inform they know about our faith standpoint.
    we can work together, can be friends, can trade
    and alway announced about Jehovah’s kingdom will come for they.
    No Problem to live outside JW Organization

    —————————————————————————–
    For me sometime must go to their party like a married
    sometime funeral.
    (except ordination I Do not get involved)

    Many Foreigner know Thai people banquet have base on their faith or religion.
    in this case useful suggestion is 1 Corinthians 10:27-31

    10:27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go;
    whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

    10:28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols,
    eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake:
    for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

    10:29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other:
    for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

    10:30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

    10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

    important is we must inform them before party and do this for Normally for life
    for first time it’s seem hard to do this and neighbor is not understand.
    but when many year have passed, and i keep to do this alway they will understand
    and they inform me automatic with one can eat or not.
    and some party they not invite me because the know about my faith

    Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
    be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

    —————————————————————————–
    Now in physical i prepare for Great Depression around the world
    (economy will collapse)
    by working in agriculture ,Sufficient Economy
    Self Food Production ,self Training survive
    and In spiritual I Develop myself day by day

    Ephesians 4:13-14
    Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
    unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
    That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro,
    and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men,
    and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    —————————————————————————–
    The sign of a new world under Jehovah GOD
    is very near and very clear

    Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass,
    then look up, and lift up your heads; for your
    redemption draweth nigh.

    Although we live outside JW Organization in babylon world
    Let us use biblical principles for living .

    for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
    And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee,
    saying, This is the way, walk ye in it,
    when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
    (Isaiah 30 all chapter)

    —————————————————————————–
    All this is story of me and my family
    sorry about my english language
    I used google translation for read your story and write my story
    However nice to read your story

    don
    https://www.facebook.com/dazedx

    1. Great to read your story Don. I too came to reject the authority of the Governing Body & could no longer be a part of it either. I too have learned that it is possible to be a true Christian outside the Watchtower Organization. It’s sad though that so many still in the Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot see through the control & power that the GB has over people’s lives. Jesus said that we will know the truth & the truth will set you free. It is wonderful to be free of that domineering controlling religion.

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