I've been wanting for so long to write about that part of my life but every time I sat down to do so, my head would start spinning, my stomach got knotty, and I felt like throwing up. There is so much I want to say, so many stories to tell....but I don't know where to begin. I don't know if I should write the sad things or keep it funny. Honestly though, no matter how funny I try and make it seem now, so much about it was sad. I can only spin it so much.
I'm going to tell this in the best way that I know how, and I'm going to start in a very random way. Today I'm just giving you snippets, but I may eventually go into more detail. I'm not real sure where I'm going with this. I'm going to mix in facts about the organization with my own personal experiences. My personal experiences are just that, personal experiences.
*I was born and raised one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm not now and haven't been one in a while. I haven't gone into a Kingdom Hall (church) in about a year. But in my heart, I haven't been a Witness for even longer than that. Before I quit going altogether, I had what I can only describe as mini panic attacks whenever I would get ready to go. I felt like a truck had landed on my chest and I wanted to cry. Eventually, it just became too much and I stopped. I never plan on going back. There are many specific reasons why I left, but simply put, I just no longer believe what they believe.
*My mom is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses. My father is. If he were ever to find this blog, he would be forced by the religion and his own conscience, to never speak to me or my family again. Writing my opinions about the religion makes me the most evil of sinners. Essentially, I would be dead to him. I'm taking a risk. But sometimes you just need to say what you need to say and there is no other way around it.
*Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate holidays. No Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, etc....I've never celebrated a holiday in my life. This past Valentines Day I sent in candy/cupcakes/valentines for each of the kids' class parties. If I were to believe what I had been taught my whole life, God now hates me.
*I don't know if I'll ever really celebrate holidays. The idea is foreign to me. Within a family, I think that so much about holidays is tradition based. I have no such traditions. Although Jay celebrated holidays as a kid, his childhood wasn't all that great and he doesn't really have any fond memories. Essentially, we would be starting from scratch. The idea is daunting. (Having said that, we love the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. We love cooking and being with our family. It's a beautiful time of year.)*Jehovah's Witnesses believe they are the one true religion. Yeah, I know all religions believe that, but they really, really believe it. This is why they go knocking on doors and handing out copies of The Watchtower and Awake--they don't want to just convert you, they want to save you.
*As a kid, I had my Jehovah's Witness friends and my "worldly" friends. Time with my "worldly" friends was limited because they were considered "bad associates." Besides, when Jehovah brings an end to the world and destroys the wicked, they'd be gone anyway so why bother making friends? (Ironically, my oldest, dearest friend, was one of the "worldly" girls. She is amazing. I love her to death and am forever thankful that she's always been in my life.)
*Jehovah's Witnesses are only to marry "within the Lord" aka other Jehovah's Witnesses. Also, we were to date only with the sole purpose of getting married. There was no casual dating and (obviously) no sex before marriage. I knew a lot of people who got married very, very young. I know a lot of people who got divorced within a year or two of marriage. I also know a lot of people who stayed unhappily married for decades because they thought that was what God wanted.
*My first real date was with a man from the congregation. I was 19. He was about 25. We went to Perkins with about eight elderly people, our chaperones. When I ordered a Belgian waffle with whipped cream, the old lady next to me told me that my skin would clear up if I cut back on the sweets. I never went out with that man again.
*Although Jay later became one of Jehovah's Witnesses, he wasn't one when I met him and doesn't consider himself one now. When I married Jay, I was only 20. He was the first man I loved, the first man I kissed, the first man I had sex with. To this day, I still like him, I still love him and I don't regret marrying him. There are times I wonder if I've always been a really good judge of character and even at 20 I knew what I wanted---or did I just get really fucking lucky? Possibly a little of both.
I think that's all I want to divulge about this at the moment. I definitely plan on talking about this more, as I feel comfortable, but it is in no way going to be the main theme of my blog. That would just bring me down way too much and it isn't my style to be serious for so long. As always, comments are of course welcome and so are any questions.