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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Story of Happy Awake

I was born into the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses, a religious cult.  I was conditioned my whole life to be the "Best Witness."  I was the "baby" in our congregation, when it was newly formed, so I was close to all the Elders and other members.  My father was not a member, so my mom "programmed" me to look towards being part of a "Real Family," as my goal.  My hair had to always be perfect; my dresses never had a wrinkle.  I took notes, during the meetings at the Kingdom Hall, and studied all my lessons.  I began giving talks when I was only five years old, and I also went out in field service to do the preaching work from house-to-house.
 

I met my first love at an assembly when I was age seventeen, and like many others do, I ended up committing fornication.  This happened before I was baptized.  When the Elders came to our home to talk to me, they came on a Sunday afternoon, after they met with my mother.  I was sitting on the couch in a tee-shirt pajama and my underwear.  I was totally traumatized by the fact that, first of all, I was not dressed properly: second, the Elders never scheduled a time to talk with me.  Instead, they surprised me and I had never had to talk with Elders before; third, my mother was sitting right there, although I was legally an adult at age eighteen.  She had no right to be there.  When the Elders began talking to me, I told them that I was only in my tee- shirt and that I needed to get dressed.  I got up and, pulling my shirt down, I went to my bedroom.  The Elders followed me into my bedroom and held the door so I could not close it to put on a bra and my pants.  I told them I needed to get dressed, and they finally let go of the door.  I got dressed, grabbed my stuff, and climbing out of the window, I ran to my neighbors' house.  Though the Elders never talked to me, they disassociated me, during that next Thursday's meeting at the Kingdom Hall.  I never had an opportunity to face a Judicial Committee, but it was back in the day when they practiced "disassociation of non-baptized members," so, yes, I was disassociated.  The boy was a baptized Jehovah's Witness, so he was disfellowshipped.  The results are the same, either way.....extreme shunning. 
 

What happened to my life after that disgusts me.  I was kicked out of my home and shunned by all my friends and family.  I had no money, no job, and no car in a rural area.  I ended up moving in with a friend, whose mother was a Jehovah's Witness, and I met a guy who was more then willing to help me out.  He was sweet and kind and fun, good looking, too, and I fell for him.  I became pregnant, and we got married.  At that point, the beatings began.  All I could think of was "I reap what I sow."  With no one to support me, I was trapped.  I didn't have the skills to deal with an abusive husband, because I was always so sheltered as a Jehovah's Witness, so the abuse got worse.  I considered the Watchtower Society's advice on how to "win an unbelieving mate over," so I became the submissive wife and talked to my husband about the teachings of the Watchtower Society, hoping he would change and become a Jehovah's Witness, so I would have my "happy ending."  

My husband began studying the bible with a couple of Elders from the hall, men who had known me all my life, but the abuse never stopped.  Instead, he manipulated me with it.  When I would try to leave, he would start up a study again.  This went on for years.  During the eleven years I was married to him, I had four children.  The beatings and repeated rapes continued.  He beat me while I was pregnant, and caused pre-term labor.  He broke my bones, choked me, shot at me, threw boiling water on me, and many other things that I could never share with anyone.  He went to prison on several occasions, for his severe abuse of me.  Because of the Watchtower Society's "disassociation" practice, I was isolated from my family and friends.  I had no one.  The Governing Body of the Watchtower Society made sure of that, but then, so did my husband.

My own sister, instead of coming to my aid when I was being abused, along with my children, called Social Services on me and tried to take my kids away from me.  All she needed to do was let me come stay with her until I could get on my feet.  When I was in my first marriage, the abuse was so bad, my husband was convicted of assault on me over five times.  Each time he was sentenced, the police would make deals with him for time served, if he would flip on drug dealers.  Then he would get out and beat me again.  I am now a patient of the Mayo Clinic, and my doctor says that I have the worst case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that she has ever seen, and that I also suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

Then, in a heartbeat, the Governing Body proclaimed "New Light!  People who are not baptized should not be shunned like disfellowshipped ones."  They must have figured out that they were losing potential members (spelled m.o.n.e.y.).  So I reached out to have a bible study, though I still felt as if all of this was my fault for going against Watchtower Society policy.  I was told that I could work now towards having a spiritual family and that everything would work out, if I was a "Good Submissive Wife."  Please note that I never argued with, nor hit my husband.  I had been the submissive wife all along.
 

Two weeks after that discussion with two Elders, my husband raped me with a knife.  The abuse never ended.  It came to the point that I was so scared for my life and that of my children, I was fearful I would kill him.  It was then that I knew I couldn't count on anyone but myself.  This was something I was never taught to do, to rely on myself.  Instead, I had been taught that it was only Jehovah and his organization that I could rely on.  Really?  I divorced him and walked away with my life and my children.
 

Then I did the "unthinkable."  I walked back into that Kingdom Hall.  It took everything I had within me not to hate the Elders, the men that I was told to look up to, but I did.  I forgave them, and I got baptized.  I met a nice brother and got married to him.  We were married for eleven years.  We began having problems in our marriage and I couldn't figure out why.  One day, he told me that he had cheated on me two years prior with one of my best friends.  I told him that we needed to go to the Elders and he said that he already had, and it was dealt with.  I couldn't understand why I was never told about it by the Elders, and I was angry.  The Elders who dealt with my second husband and his confession were my husband's employers and they should have never been on his Judicial Committee.  My best friend had been disfellowshipped, during this same time period, so I had no contact with her, because Jehovah's Witnesses are required to shun those who are disfellowshipped.  I never knew that the reason for her disfellowshipping was because she had slept with my husband.  Needless to say, my husband was still in love with her, and he divorced me.  Nothing was ever said to me by the Elders, about his adultery, nor about our divorce.  The Elders knew he had cheated, so I left him immediately, believing I was scripturally free (to remarry).  The Elders never talked to me about any of this, before, during or after my divorce.  I took my kids and moved on with my life.  

Over a year later, after my divorce was finalized, I looked up my first love, the one I met at an assembly when I was age seventeen, the one, in my mind, that I should have married.  He was free, and we got married.  Well, guess what?  Without my knowledge, my  ex-husband was invited to sit in on the Judicial Committee meeting for my new husband and me. When I asked him point blank if he had sex with this sister, his response was, "I will not dignify that with a response."  I went into all the details that he told me, that he was with her more then once, etc.  Each time, he said the same thing, "I will not dignify that with a response."  The Elders said nothing to him, nor did they question the fact that he kept saying the same thing over and over again.  Then I came to understand that he did not have to confess anything, because he was the head of our house and I did not have the right to know what he said to the Elders in his confession, because I was a woman.  My new husband and I were both disfellowshipped, because I did not have a "scriptural divorce."  My new husband was told by the Elders that our marriage would never be blessed by Jehovah and that getting a divorce would be okay, because our marriage was not recognized by God.  He divorced me nine months later, believing that I had lied to him about being free to remarry.  Two months after our divorce, my second husband and my ex-best friend got married by an Elder, in my home congregation and are still married to this day, with no repercussions. 

Again, I did the "unthinkable."  I worked my way back and got reinstated.  Then I found the "secret" Elders' Handbook and discovered that Elders do NOT have to tell wives of their husbands' adultery!  The truth set me free.

So....I did the possible.  I walked away from it all.  My children, who are all married adults with their own children now, all did the possible.  They walked away, too.


My sister is still deeply entrenched in the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses.  Her son was molested two times by a brother in their congregation and her husband was an Elder.  When they went to the Elders about the situation, they were told that if they told anyone else, including the police, other Jehovah's Witnesses, or family members that they would be disfellowshipped.  The man continued attending social gatherings of Jehovah's Witnesses and again, my sister went to the Elders and said that she wanted them to tell him he should not be there around children.  She told them that if they didn't stop him, she would notify the parents.  The Elders told her that if she did that, she would be disfellowshipped, and at that time, they also told her that if she brings this subject up again, she will be disfellowshipped.  Her husband stepped down as an Elder because of the whole situation.  Her son struggled for years with depression and suicide, and my sister struggled with depression.  Now her son is reinstated, after being disfellowshipped three times, and he's married and has a baby.  My sister and her husband are on the building committee.  She shuns me.

I'm proud to say that I have been Happy and Awake now for seven years.  Everyone thinks I should be angry, but I'm not.  Everyone says, "How did you survive?"  I just did what I had to do.
 

Every day, I find new information on the hypocrisy of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses cult and the harm that they cause to families and victims of sexual assault and abuse!  Every day, I am blessed with the love of all my children and grandchildren and I am so proud of who they have become through it all.  We ARE a real family, and for the first time in our lives, we are happy and awake!  Best of all......we're all FREE!

NOTE:  If you are a former or Ex-Jehovah's Witness, who would like to have your case reviewed legally, concerning you or your child having been molested/raped and receiving no assistance from anyone in the Watchtower Society, you can contact William H. Bowen, the founder of silentlambs.org.  For confidential contact info, check with Admin. in "The Truth Behind Jehovah's Witnesses" group on Facebook.

If you would like to have your CHILD CUSTODY case reviewed, William H. Bowen also founded the Jehovah's Witnesses Child Custody website to provide information and assistance for former or Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses with child custody issues. 

If you are a former or Ex-Jehovah's Witness in need of counseling concerning you or your child having been molested/raped, please go to the Silent Lambs website for assistance.  http://www.silentlambs.org/assistance/index.cfm

Want to know where to find the concrete evidence against the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses?  Here's a few links to get you started:
 
Facts About Jehovah's Witnesses
http://www.jwfacts.com/

Silent Lambs
http://www.silentlambs.org/

Watchtower Documents.Com
http://www.watchtowerdocuments.com/jw-sites.html

Watchers of the Watchtower World
http://www.freeminds.org/

Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA)
http://aawa.co/blog/how-the-watchtower-uses-undue-influence-to-enforce-its-blood-policy/

Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses Online
http://ex-jw.com/

^^^ The above website includes "An Elder Shares His Honest Opinions"
http://ex-jw.com/elder-shares-honest-opinions  (THAT should be an interesting read!)