Growing Up in a Divided Household
I needed to tell all of you how much you have helped me. I too, have been hurt by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I grew up in what they call a “divided household.” My mother was a very strict Jehovah’s Witness and my father was a military man. My earliest recollections of being a witness child were in Germany. My father was stationed there. I went to school on the military base. My mom wouldn’t let me salute the flag. I remember the other kids making fun of me and teasing me. I would wet my pants on the bus ride home. My mom told me it was good to be persecuted for Jehovah God. But a little girl 5 years old doesn’t understand that. I remember being afraid from then on. I was moved around a lot to many different schools. I was always the Outcast, the Jehovah’s Witness, the Communist, the new kid. I was always afraid.
My father didn’t have much to do with me. My mother wouldn’t let him. She let him spend very little time with me. I think she was afraid he would influence me in worldly ways. She would tell me during our Bible studies that if I wasn’t good and follow Jehovah that I would be destroyed right along with my father at Armageddon. I remember well the pictures in the “Paradise” book of the earth opening up and swallowing people. I would have nightmares about it. I would look at my dad and want to love him, but I was afraid he was in Satan’s control. How I wish I knew then what I know now.
Years went by and I did everything my mom wanted like the perfect little Witness child. I was afraid of displeasing her and most of all, displeasing Jehovah God! I never got to know my Dad. But I loved him so much! Then my dad went back to school to further his education. I secretly was so proud of him. I wished that I could be like him. My mom would talk with some of the Witness friends and say things like, “He’s such a fool to try to get ahead in this world.” The gap was so wide at this point that I knew I would never get to know my dad.
Years went by and I married, and I had 2 boys. When my husband and I saw the pain the children went through in school, we knew it was time to leave. We did the slow fade. My mom never gave up trying to change my mind. Finally I had to do a slow fade from her, too.
I had to get away from it all. I didn’t want to live in the “paradise earth” and serve a God who seemed so cruel. I used to sit and wonder how long I had left before Armageddon would come and swallow me up. I used to pray to Jehovah and ask him if He was going to kill me, please make it quick. I didn’t want to suffer and feel pain. I finally realized at that point, that I would go down with my father.
Finally, my parents divorced. The religion had a lot to do with it. They fought all the time. My mom wouldn’t let him have friends. She wouldn’t support him as he got his PH.D. She only looked down on him as a poor worldly person. He was alone with no friends.
The past three years, though, I have finally gotten to know my dad. Oh! What a wonderful feeling to finally be able to talk about all those years without fear of my mother! We have celebrated Christmas together and talked and talked and talked!!! How much I love him!
I know now that this religion destroys families. How sad. I wish that more of the Jehovah’s Witnesses were allowed to know the truth about the truth. It might save some from so much hurt. Keep up the good work! People like me need people like you. Don’t stop.
from discussion board at http://www.jehovahswitness.com/6/64781/l.ashx
From Free Minds Journal, Vol. 23 No. 1, Feb/April 2004