I Was Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness: My Story

Setting the Record Straight

First of all, this is literally an objective blog as I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and can tell you a lot about the good and the bad. This is in NO way a slight to the Organization because I truly LOVE Jehovah and, like most religions, there are good parts and bad parts. I have experienced the bad parts but the bad parts usually come because NO ONE is perfect and sometimes they don’t do what Jehovah wants them to do.

There are many things that people like to say about Jehovah’s Witnesses that are not true:

Women can only wear skirts

Yes, women can wear pants, people tend to get JWs mixed up with the Seventh Day Adventists. They are not the same.

They can’t celebrate anything or have parties

LIE! Let me tell you something: When I was a kid, we had a party for EVERYTHING. Sure, we didn’t celebrate the pagan ones (that a lot of people are now jumping on the bandwagon of NOT celebrating) but we had Back to School parties, 50s parties, Dance parties, Movie parties, Spring parties, Cinderella Balls, we did it all! AND the boys got to go camping and come back all dirty every year.

They kick you out if you marry someone that’s not a Witness

Nope. They just advise against it. And, as a child that was raised in a split religion household, I agree wholeheartedly. TOTALLY agree! My mom was baptized as a JW when she was pregnant with me. With that, everything changed for our family. My two oldest sisters, who were used to celebrating Christmas and all that, no longer could do that. What they once did was taken from them and my dad didn’t understand it.

Marriage is hard enough without the added stress of differing opinions when it comes to religion so I totally get it, especially if children are involved. My parents fought over my mother going to the meetings and taking us. My dad used to get mad because, when he wanted to do “manly” things with my brother like mowing the lawn on Saturdays or teaching him about cars, we were with my mother. We witnessed a lot of arguments and the like that we didn’t need to hear or see. So yeah, I totally agree with that.

They are a cult

No, they’re not a dang on cult. If you think they’re a cult, then you haven’t watched real cult documentary. Definitely not a cult. You do what you want and whatever you do is between you and God. BUT if you tell on yourself or it comes to light, accept the consequences (you’ll hear more about this later).

They don’t accept medical treatment or blood transfusions

Um, they DO accept medical treatment. Like, come on. I read charts for a living and I can tell you they sure do. I get tons of JW charts and I laugh because it just seems like I catch them first. As for the blood transfusions, this is correct. They are advised not to. Now, someone lied and said someone got disfellowshipped (we’ll talk about what that is later) for getting a blood transfusion. No, no one gets disfellowshipped for that because it is a conscious decision. You live with your choice. But this has been a suggestion for a long time because people were getting diseases from blood transfusions in addition to it being spoken of in the bible (I’m not looking it up for yall so don’t ask).

Because of this belief, many doctors have found and learned other ways to treat anemias and hemorrhages without transfusions. Among them are doctors that just happen to be JWs. They also have a committee that works with hospitals to educate them on these measures.

My mom almost died from a stomach hemorrhage some years ago. I had to make the medical decision on her behalf NOT to get a transfusion. Her issue would have been cured with a simple transfusion. But I was not going to ignore her wishes. And I didn’t. And she is still alive. They call her a “miracle woman”. She had pernicious anemia and many strokes. We spent a New Years Eve in the ICU. When I tell you that God was there and that he comforted me while she was in that hospital, I mean it. You can feel it. It’s hard to describe but you know it when you feel it.

They think that only 144,000 will live

Now, lets look at the logic here. If only 144,000 are going to survive then…. why even be a JW? There are MILLIONS of JWs all over the world. So that means they’re all preaching to people and trying to save people knowing that they’re going to die? Why preach if the person you help might take your spot? LOL No, they do not believe that only 144,000 people are going to live. They believe that that’s the number that are going to heaven to rule with Jesus (oh, and yes, they believe in Jesus. He is God’s son) and the rest will live forever on earth that they will build into a paradise. They believe that people will be resurrected in this time as well.

My Experiences

I didn’t have a bad experience growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness. And I have been on both sides of the coin with them. I HAVE been disfellowshipped before. I can tell you for a fact that I understand the logic and I brought it upon myself. I brought it upon myself because I have a conscience.

You see, when you are a JW, they teach you about having a clear conscience. They also let you know that, when you are out, you are representing God. So, if I’m out here hoeing around and people know that I’m a JW, guess what they’re going to say “They’re not good. I have an friend that is a whole hoe but she calls herself a JW”.

So I told on myself because I had sex at the age of 20. I told. And I got disfellowshipped. People think that the Elders make that decision. NOPE! They don’t. I truly believe that God was in that room when I was discussing my sin with them. I felt it especially when one elder spoke.

And it’s not FUN for them to disfellowship people. They HATE it! They CRY! They hate it so much that they try to talk to you in different ways. I had gotten pregnant with my daughter while I was disfellowshipped and they would talk to me through my infant daughter. They would say things like “Tell your mother to come back.” I might be int he bathroom and no one else was around and a sister might say “I know I’m not supposed to talk to you but I miss you and love you.” It’s not fun for them to have to disfellowship people.

And the logic behind it is this: In order to keep the congregation from stumbling and being influenced by another’s wrong actions, it’s best to put them out. You can still come to the meetings and all that. They just can’t talk to you and you can’t comment.

Baptism

Baptism is NO joke to JWs. They do not baptize their kids as soon as they are born. Why? Because the decision is the child’s and the child has to know what they are getting themselves into. I was 16 when I was baptized. So, when I got baptized, I knew that if I did some mess that would bring reproach on Jehovah’s name and was not repentant (repentance is very important), I was going to get disciplined. PERIODT!

You don’t just get baptized all willy nilly with no responsibility. You are making a SERIOUS pact with God when you get baptized. Had I not been baptized, I would not have been disfellowshipped. But, with sound mind, I made that agreement with God and I failed.

Do I harbor any resentment for being disfellowshipped? I sure don’t. I was reinstated and it was like a whole party. They hugged and cried and all that. They WAIT for people to get reinstated. I GET it! Also, disfellowshipping is NOT the only means of discipline as a JW. There are THREE types of discipline but people tend to only remember the one where you get kicked out.

Marriage

Now, because they feel that it’s better to be married to a fellow JW, people do. And, so as not to get disfellowshipped for having sex outside of marriage, many of my friends were married by the age of 20. Smart move, right? Not really, many of them didn’t last due to the fact that they were married at a young age and really didn’t understand life. It’s not easy.

And lets not talk about being married as an older person. Listen, I am 40 (about to turn 41) and I feel so bad for the JW women that want to be married. Yes, THE WOMEN, because they greatly outnumber the men where I live. Many people have to go to other states or even countries to find a JW mate. And the older you get, the slimmer the pickings are. I’m being honest here. If I choose to get married at my age, it would be to an old old man or a man who is a widower. Unless you get “lucky”. Marcus Houston from Immature became a JW and married him a nice, younger girl. They don’t want us old hags. Especially the ones that have been out in “the world”. Many men (of any religion) want an easy woman and the younger ones (not little kids) are easier to deal with.

I’m being very honest here. This is not a slight. I truly have seen women waiting for men to get baptized so they could snatch them up, no lie. I ain’t fighting for a man PERIODT! So I’ll be that old, beautiful, hag with no husband. I’m good with it. LOL

Being Sheltered

This is a HUGE issue. As a JW child, I was sheltered. We operated in a little bubble. Although I lived kind of in the hood and could look at the people surrounding me, I had no real knowledge of the world.

Parents that were NOT raised as JWs (or in “the Truth”) see this as a safety mechanism to prevent their kids from making the mistakes that they did before they became JWs. I get it and I know that many parents want their kids to have a better life than they did. But some go overboard.

I can say that my mother did go overboard with it in some aspects. Even as an adult, I tried to verbalize this to her. I feel that parents that got to do all the stuff and THEN get baptized don’t understand what it’s like to feel like us.

They didn’t get made fun of for being “knick knockers” or for not being able to play sports, go to school dances, etc. They did try to make up for it in other ways. As stated before, we didn’t celebrate Christmas but that didn’t mean that we didn’t get random gifts for no reason. We did. Some days, we would wake up and have a gift at the end of our beds for no reason at all. It’s why I give random gifts to this day. I don’t’ need a calendar to tell me when to appreciate someone or to do something nice.

One day, my mom and her friend had a movie night for the kids. We watched Short Circuit and ate pizza and cupcakes while the parents were upstairs wrapping gifts for us. After the movie, we went upstairs and came upon the best gift I probably got as a child, a Cornsilk Cabbage Patch Kid. I even had a Bear Party because I loved bears as a child.

These are the good times that I associate with being raised a JW. People think it was all bad and the like. It wasn’t. Sure, it was different but I met so many people, learned so many things, was extremely smart (hey, you read the bible a lot), and a good child.

Knocking on Doors

I will say, I wasn’t fond of going door to door as a kid. Sure wasn’t. Won’t lie about it one bit. Half the time, I didn’t want people to come to the door. I was a kid. And I certainly didn’t want someone I KNEW to come to the door. But I liked being out because I got to hang with my JW friends and talk while going door to door. That part was fun. We got a lot of exercise too. I walk Owens Road as an adult as exercise but we preached on that long street when I was younger. Maybe that’s why I was so skinny.

People made fun of us and tried to do stupid things to “scare” us. Or they would hide. As an adult, I tell people that if they don’t want JWs to come to their homes, don’t be rude about it. Just tell them that you would like to be added to the list of people who don’t want JWs to come to their homes. They will put you on that list. But throwing things, cussing, coming to the door naked, etc is so unnecessary. They are doing what the bible told them to do. And, if you assault them, well, I’ll just say that just because a person is a JW NOW doesn’t mean they weren’t out on these streets beating folks up in the past so be very careful with that. No one wants to tell folks they got beat down by a JW. And Jehovah protects his folks so you get the life scared out of you. Don’t fault them for doing what they were told to do.

Feeling Like You Truly Don’t Belong ANYWHERE

As a teenager, this became extremely hard for me. When you are a teenager, your “world” is your peers. And it was crazy, I was “popular” with JWs but I was a total NOBODY among my school mates.

I might have mentioned how observant I was so as not to make some of the mistakes that my peers in school made. My friends were getting pregnant, coming to school drunk, smoking weed, and going through a lot of things that I wasn’t trying to get caught up in. Because of that, I stayed under the radar. I had a lot of popular friends in school but they accepted me as a person. They would constantly invite me to do things during school hours and all that but, because I saw what happened with my sisters skipping school and getting caught or whatever, I stayed away from it.

My mom, however, felt that I was going to turn out like my sisters and was pretty hard on me. One day, a friend of mine called before school to see if I wanted to skip and hang out. I have a conscience and am not a liar. So I heard her out, acted like I was going to thinking about it knowing full well that I wasn’t going to even try, and got off the phone. When I got off the phone, my mother approached me angrily. You see, she was listening in on the call. Why? Because she trusted no one, male or female, in “the world”. She had a problem with the fact that it sounded as though I was being persuaded and might possibly skip school. She failed to hear when my friend literally said “You NEVER do anything with us”. I resent my mom to this day for not trusting in me to make the right decision. I do.

So, Are You a JW Now?

What prompted me to write this blog was the fact that I attended the meetings lately and they talked about “inactive” people. I am what you would consider “inactive” as I do not go out in field service or preach to people. I haven’t had sex in almost 6 years now, and I don’t do anything I’m not supposed to do but I’m not “technically” a JW at this point.

The next question would be “Why?” I actually talked to the friend that had the movie party today after the meeting and I told her why. One of the reasons is my mother. I am still working on getting past this right now because I just feel as though nothing was good enough for her and I resent the fact that she lied on me a lot.

Another reason is that I don’t want to go door to door because, in all honesty, I don’t like people. I really don’t. And I can’t say that I care if they get everlasting life. I can’t say that I care if I even get everlasting life. I have spoken about being suicidal in the past. I have also talked about my triggers and my temper. I might be that JW that punches you for saying something that I didn’t like and then that would bring reproach on ALL JWs because that’s what people do. Everyone wants to repeat the bad things they see when it comes to JWs but they won’t talk about the good.

They forget that they risked their lives for one another in other countries as they are all around the world. They forget that they were the second largest group imprisoned during the Holocaust (“Purple Triangles”, look it up). Tribal warfare doesn’t stop them from helping their brothers and sisters. They are in Russia being beaten and imprisoned for preaching or even just meeting in their own homes to study the bible.

Yes, there are some crappy people out there that happen to be JWs but that’s not all of them. Someone recently yelled at me talking about molestation in the Organization. You cannot judge EVERY JW for the trash that sometimes comes out. They are all human and I can say that we never had those issues growing up over HERE. It was like a big family. And if you did something wrong, please believe that just as I got disfellowshipped for having sex outside of marriage, they get at those that are accused of said crimes. But you have to tell them.

There are some things that I don’t agree with though and feel that sometimes they can be judgmental but, as someone told me today, “You are serving Jehovah, not a person. If that person dies tomorrow, who will still be there?” She made a good point. Not gonna lie. But I have some demons to contend with before I can go back. My mental illness is one of them.

I do NOT want this to come off as an apostate blog because it isn’t. As I said in the beginning, PEOPLE are what can sometimes ruin the reputation of a religion but don’t lump them all in just because you knew of one or two instances or were told of some instances where a person of a certain religion was not performing up to par with the teachings.

Again, thank you for reading and I hope this has opened your eyes to a few things that many people truly don’t know or understand about being a JW and why things are done the way they are. Also, understand that I still respect and love Jehovah and would NEVER allow a soul to lie on them because I have been there. Listening to stories won’t always tell you the real truth. I have plenty of friends that have stories like mine. We don’t talk much anymore but many that grew up as JWs are still JWs and are happy. Some got disfellowshipped and some didn’t. But it is not a miserable existence being a JW. Sometimes it’s the most loving environment you can be in. And if my mean behind can say it, you know I’m not lying. LOL

Published by tallgirl79

Blogging about life. Well, my life. As a black, bipolar, mom to a teenager with special needs, well, there is always a story to tell. From my aversion to having a man to my weird experiences while trying to avoid people, it's all there. Being me is.... different but it always makes for good blogs.

10 thoughts on “I Was Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness: My Story

  1. As a former MS, I can tell you that you need to do some research on the consequences on some of the actions. Your understanding of what can and will happen is much softer then what it will be in reality…..in fact some is just wrong.

    For example, if you accept a blood transfusion, its the equivalent of a disassocistion. You will be announced as no longer a JW. In fact, the initial fractions have been a no no for quite some time (red cell, white cell, plasma, etc).

    In regards to it being a cult, one can apply the BITE methology to anything. For example, I was able tonapply it to work. What truly highlights a cult is when you try to leave. If one has a simple change of belief, without any hatred or want to bash the faith, simply does not believe…….what happens?

    Youre disfellowshipped. You lose family, friends, your entire social structure. You know this, as you mentioned you were DFed.

    The rank and file JWs have no idea. You start to see the manipulation tactics as an MS, as an elder you get your eyes opened up a bit more. Bit we are taught how to apply cognitive disodence.

    I beg you to just research within the original JW publications some of what you have said……because you’re quite off on a lot of things.

    1. I’m not off actually. You can also opt out of the religion. People have disassociated themselves. Maybe you should do more research. You don’t get disfellowshipped for what you choose to do with your own body. That would be between you and God. Even IF you choose to divulge what you have done to the elders, you don’t just get disfellowshipped for it. Sorry you had an experience that makes you feel the way you do but my experiences and the experiences of the people I have grown up with in my 41 years tells me differently. I read the publications just fine. They don’t arbitrarily just disfellowship people.

      My question to you is: are you an apostate? Did someone hurt you? I didn’t have a change of faith. I obtained a disdain for the people in the congregation and they still treat me fine when they see me.

      Did you find ANY truth in my blog or did you come simply to disagree? Are you an elder? I need to know the source of your convictions here. Are you still a Witness it the main question I would like to ask? Were you ever a Witness? And I will do MORE research but my experiences and studies show me differently.

    2. I’m not off actually. You can also opt out of the religion. People have disassociated themselves. Maybe you should do more research. You don’t get disfellowshipped for what you choose to do with your own body. That would be between you and God. Even IF you choose to divulge what you have done to the elders, you don’t just get disfellowshipped for it. Sorry you had an experience that makes you feel the way you do but my experiences and the experiences of the people I have grown up with in my 41 years tells me differently. I read the publications just fine. They don’t arbitrarily just disfellowship people.

      My question to you is: are you an apostate? Did someone hurt you? I didn’t have a change of faith. I obtained a disdain for the people in the congregation and they still treat me fine when they see me.

      Did you find ANY truth in my blog or did you come simply to disagree? Are you an elder? I need to know the source of your convictions here. Are you still a Witness it the main question I would like to ask? Were you ever a Witness? And I will do MORE research but my experiences and studies show me differently.

      You are a former MS, what happened? I don’t want to argue. I simply want to understand and I assure you that I will do more research.

  2. As an ex-jw myself, I’m so confused by what you write, you don’t seem to know the religion well. 1) women are only allowed to wear skirts for all things religion related, this is a fact 2) anyone accepting a blood transfusion with be automatically disassociated and will receive the same soul destroying heartless shunning as a disfellowshipped person, just because the person didn’t want to die (even though jesus says that life is sacred and you should do anything possible to save a life). 3) there aren’t celebrations and parties all year round, I would hazard a guess and say confidently, most JW’s will not have that experience. 4) this organisation IS a cult by definition, look up the BITE model, to see it’s 100% a cult. 5) they don’t baptise kids at birth, but there is an alarming number of kids 12 and under who get baptised without knowing what it means, even at 16 you don’t know what it means, there’s a HUGE amount of pressure on kids to get baptised. 6) reading the bible doesn’t make you smart, it’s actually a load of barely literate theatrical nonsense, read it yourself without the organisation cherry picking verses for you, and you’ll see what I mean.

    There’s loads more points to be made but I don’t want to drone on. All I will say, to finish, is that the biggest most glaring issue that you’re missing is that your mental health is so poor because you were raised in a cult, and mentally, you’re still in the cult. Mental health is terrible amongst JW’s, and the suicide rate is high, because guess what? It’s mentally toxic being part of a high control group being threatened with the end of the world and conditional love all the time.

    I would suggest you do real research on the organisation, including the origins to see it’s just a man made religion like all the others. Also read books that aren’t published by the WT, Crisis of Conscience by Ray Franz is a good place to start. Finally, if you are able to, you should see a therapist, I never did and my mental recovery from having been raised in this organisation, was a whole lot slower and tougher because I didn’t get help. If you can find a therapist who specialises in helping people who are trying to break free from indoctrination by a high control group like JW’s, or Mormons, then even better.

    You’re nearly 40, and you owe it to yourself to break free and live the rest of your life with happiness. Those of us who were born in never had a choice as children, but as adults we do have the choice. Good luck in the future, I hope you can find peace one so many of us have been able to do after letting go and finding out the real truth.

    1. I don’t know what country you’re in but I can assure you that based on MY experiences, your responses are totally off. My mental illness (if you read my other blog posts) comes from a number of things. My dad was a Vietnam Vet. He is an alcoholic. I didn’t live in the best area. Sorry if you didn’t have parties all year round but, by say there weren’t, I guess I went to imaginary parties with all my friends. I even had two parties myself.

      And, yes, people try to pressure their kids to get baptized, however, many have learned that it’s not the right thing to so.

      I also have never been forced to wear skirts. Where are you guys from? And please don’t send another friend to say the same thing. Remember, this states that this is MY experience. Don’t tell me that what I experienced in my 41 years isn’t real.

      Sorry that you had a bad experience but don’t insult my intelligence nor my experiences. I also have a degree in Psychology. I’m also not a child. If you read my other blogs, you will know that I have a therapist AND a psychiatrist. Please don’t send more of your friends. LOL

      1. Another huge error you made was saying that JW’s were the second largest group imprisoned during WW2, where do you get your information from??? JW’s were one of the smallest, if not smallest groups of people to be imprisioned, and had the fewest amout to die. 1200 died compared to 6 million Jews, can you even comprehend the difference in those numbers? On top of the hundreds of thousands of gay, black, or disabled people who died, JW’s were a tiny fraction. I know that the WT organisation makes you feel like JW’s are the most important people on earth, like everybody cares about them, like everyone is watching tnem, but you must have noticed since being out that no one cares and the vast majority of people aren’t even aware that JW’s exist (although you’ll only know this if you’ve actually ventured out into the real world and not kept yourself isolated because “non-jws = bad people”.
        I’m sorry you were born into this cult, and I’m sorry that your indoctrination and mental health are stopping you from researching (literally just five minutes on Google will be all you need) the actual truth behind the organisation. It’s sad to see you desperately try to defend such an awful organisation because of the brainwashing, I cannot even begin to express how mentally freeing it is when you finally break free mentally and escape the JW life, also how mentally freeing it is to know that Armageddon isn’t real, the end of the world isn’t coming, and you don’t have to feel constant anxiety.
        Your psychology degree is evidently useless, and you need to get a therapist who specialises in people trying to break free from high control groups, as I said before, a regular therapist isn’t even going to begin to understand where your problems are stemming from.

      2. I really think you are the one that needs to seek a therapist. I hope someone heals your heart because you are deeply scarred and displacing your anger and hurt onto me. You have a nice day though. 🙂

  3. Bruh, you got a degree in psychology and think JW isn’t a cult.. I guess you don’t understand cohersive persuasion..

    JW use major cult-ish tactics to recruit, and keep members in their religion. Love-bombing, information control, fear, guilt and shame.

    Their interpretation of the bible is inaccurate due to confirmation bias with their own literature and lack of outside information and peer reviewed sources.
    They even use their own biblical translation that has not been officially accredited like other Bibles. (Other bibles will have that at the front of the book for authenticy). They also have a lack of higher education and accurate referencing from their publishers.

    Do some research into your religion. Do you find there are some questions that will ring alarm bells to the ministers if asked? You have the freedom to critically think and ask.

    1. I’m sorry that this was your experience. It just isn’t mine. No one is controlling anything. I have a mind of my own and talk to Jehovah and don’t worry about fear, guilt, and shame. In all honesty, I don’t worry about what people think of me nor my decisions as a person. I’m a true crime lover, I know the tactics of cults. JWs aren’t a cult. It depends on how strong willed you are. Many people that weren’t raised as JWs are sometimes misguided but I wouldn’t paint the whole organization with the same brush. Again, sorry that you didn’t have MY personal experience but don’t insult my intelligence.

      1. I ‘m not a Jehovah’s Witness but have studied breifly with them in the past. Luckily I realised the manipulation and brainwashing tactics before it affected my psyche! I escaped before signing a lifelong contract to the religion through their baptism.

        I was only allowed to believe what they said was fact, even when I had my own thoughts on something and brought evidence that falsified their doctrines. (607 date is actually wrong) whenever I did that, they stopped studying because I wasn’t being converted Lol

        Your religion unfortunately fits the cult BITE model just like mormonism, scientology etc. They’re all the same claiming authenticy and truth.

        They all have the same autocratic leadership style of absolute obedience to the leaders OR ELSE exclusion/shunning!
        I believe you call those people in lead the governing body? What happens if you have a different view on something they think is right? Is your view encouraged (reasonable) or silenced (cult)?

        Restriction of information, unless you are of certain rank, or gender in this case too – elder’s book (have you read it? Of course not, you’re a woman)

        Encouraged group thinking – no one is allowed to think the contrary to the majority. This stunts a person critical thinking and encourages conformity even when a persons true feelings/thoughts differ. Peer pressure.

        Sorry to say, but it is what it is.. at least you’re not heavily in it anymore – you’re sort of free

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