Monday, July 28, 2014

Sondra Dumont, Her Awakening

I thought a lot about how in the world I would begin my story, but I have thrown all those ideas out the window.  I will start from….. the Beginning! 

I was under the age of two years when my mother became involved with the Jehovah’s Witness religion.  I saw my mother get baptized when I was two years old.  She always told me that from that point on, I wanted to get baptized.  I honestly just wanted to go swimming.  I mean.... "Come on!  I was at a boring convention!  There was a pool!  C’mon, Mom!"
As a child growing up in the Jehovah’s Witness religion, I went through all the fears and scariness that a child goes through in that cult.  “Will I make it into the Paradise? Am I good enough? What will happen to my Grandmother, who is not a Jehovah’s Witness?” What a sad way to grow up.  Thinking all those you love are going to die.  I was a very judgmental little child.  Telling all and anyone about the Paradise and they would die if they did not become a Jehovah’s Witness.  I was not allowed to participate in any extra-curricular activities, or associate with any children who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses unless I was studying with them.  So, I made up Bible Studies....lots of them.  In fact, it landed me on stage in a circuit assembly. All my Bible studies!  Oh, if they only knew!
I lived my life in fear.  Fear!  Fear of my Father, fear of the Elders, fear of Jehovah, fear of doing anything they considered wrong.  No mistakes could ever be made.  It is a lot of fear and anxiety for any child to go through, but I still believed what they preached, although I was full of doubts.

I was baptized at the age of ten years and when the heavens did not open up to me and I felt no different than before, I thought there was something wrong with me.  I truly thought I was harboring evil.
Here comes the "klonopin journals" (see Klonopin, also known as Clonazepam.)  I need one just to write this part.  My father, who was a Ministerial Servant, molested me multiple times.  He used the same old tactics a lot of sexual predators use, “Don’t tell anyone or I will kill your mother and sister."  Because he strangled my mother and beat my sister, I had no reason to doubt him and his Knife collection.  So, I didn’t tell anyone. I kept my mouth shut.   

Fast forward to the age of fifteen years.  I was raped on my way home from working at the local CVS Pharmacy.  I knew my attacker, in that he asked me out on a date and I had vehemently said, “NO!"  I guess that just pissed him off.  Knowing how much "justice" the Watchtower Society was capable of, I kept my mouth shut for as long as I could.  That lasted about three months.

Then I ran away and because I was thinking all worldly people were evil, I assumed one would murder me.  Well, he did not. He picked me up in the fair city of Boston.  He took advantage of me, but it was still better than being molested and raped.  Eventually, I returned home.

After I returned home, I made a really good attempt at suicide.  I was unconscious for days in the hospital.  Then I ended up in the Psychiatric ward.  That was a blast, but at least I was out of the house.  My father was obviously nervous, because he did not have access to me to threaten me, but I was too scared to tell on him, because I was not home to protect my mother and sister.  I actually got the hospital to talk my parents into having me live outside the home for a while.  Granted, it just had to be a sister in the Kingdom Hall with whom I stayed, but it was a somewhat brief vacation.  I still saw my sister in school.   I later found out that she took the brunt of our father's anger while I was away.  So, she was none too happy with me for a while.
The almighty Elders' meeting.  The Judicial committee. Yes, the Elders held a Judicial Committee meeting for me, when I was age sixteen years, molested, raped, taken advantage of and suicidal.  Their main concern?  They wanted all the dirty little details and even had me draw a diagram of what the penis looked like.  Did I like it?  Did I scream out loud when I was raped?  Well, I just could not be sure if the screams were in my head or out loud.  There was no concern for my suicide attempt.  No Elder was there for me in that matter.  No visits from anyone else at the Kingdom Hall.  They only wanted to disfellowship me.   For that reason and for my runaway attempt, as well as the gentleman that picked me up in Boston, in the Judicial Committee's opinion, I had earned a real live disfellowshipping for myself.

The other Jehovah's Witness children in school were harsh.  They threw rocks at my head on the bus and they also threatened my life.  The Elders told me that I was getting what I deserved "for displeasing Jehovah."  It took me a hellish year to be reinstated.  Even my teachers were offering me their homes to stay with them, but I just could not leave my sister and mother.

For the duration of time in which I was disfellowshipped, my parents separated me from my sister, putting me in the basement.  I was allowed to only come up for meals.  I was not allowed to speak.  You see, I was considered to be bad association at that point.  I had to admit to a lie about me to be reinstated.  Ironic. Why did I bother?  I truly did believe the lies. I needed to be reinstated to make it into the Paradise.  If "the End" came before I was reinstated, I would die.  I lived every day with that fear.
During my senior year, I was finally reinstated and was back to being a "good little girl."  An unexpected flood forced us to leave and move to New Hampshire, where I met my future husband, a Bethelite (Bethel = Watchtower HQ).  I know what you are thinking.  Bad marriage, right?  Actually, we are still happily married and have both left the organization together.  I know!!
After we had been married for approximately a year, I became pregnant.  When I gave birth, all my memories of being raped and molested came back full force.  I was having nightmares, day-mares and flashbacks.  I forbade my father to come to my house.  So he became my "stalker."  My mother doubted me and my claims of him molesting me.  I am sure it is because she felt guilty.  She defended the organization, which would do nothing about it, because of the "two witness rule," which states that there needs to be two witnesses to an act in order to disfellowship, unless there is a confession.  I mean....who molests a child in front of an audience?

It took a few years but my father was disfellowshipped, not for molesting me, mind you, but for committing an act of fornication.  No justice for me, but at least my mother got her “scriptural divorce."

Later, in 2010, we lost our six-year-old boy in a tragic car accident.  The donations poured in to help us bury our son.  The grief and anger was overwhelming.  It was difficult to speak.  I wish this agony on no one.  It was actually people's comments that put me over the edge.

“You should be happy! Your son has a one way ticket into the Paradise!” 

“Oh he is just sleeping until the Paradise and is better off.”

Lots of comments like those were made.  They pushed me over the edge and caused me to finally, truly question how I was raised.  Why is it that my son was better off dead?  Then maybe I am better off dead as well?  That started me on a very severely spiraling depression.  I tried suicide again and ended up in the hospital with nervous breakdowns.  I even had Shock Therapy Treatment, which helped a lot, but I still had the nagging feeling that this “better off dead” thinking was very strange and wrong.  Almost cult like?  Hmmmmm.....
My research then led me to my new belief that if God is real, he has no part in what we do or believe now.  I do not believe that he will murder good people just because they are not Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is what the Watchtower Society teaches.  My wasted childhood has led me to a brand new life.  I am at peace.  I am happy.  I am strong.