A Young Woman Finds Happiness

My story is pretty much the same as most, I grew up in a family with problems, my dad drank and was abusive, mom was a schoolteacher. By the time I was 18, I had experimented with drugs, sex and other things and was in a big rush to get out of my parents home, so after the end of a year long relationship with a man 7 years older than myself, I rebounded into another with a man just like dear old dad.

We married within a year and I gave birth to a son when I was 23. In 1989, during one of my frequent separations from my husband, I was approached by two local brothers and encouraged to study the bible, for the sake of my 5-year-old son, I agreed it might not be a bad thing. Despite my misgivings, {I studied with a wife of one of the brothers through a few years and a few more separations} I was dedicated and baptized on July 4 1992.You see, my religious training up to then had been spotty at best and though I had been force fed Catholic doctrine, I didnít really believe most of what I had been taught or not taught, as was the case and the JW teachings seemed to make more sense at the time. My husband did quit drinking and he was baptized in 1993 as well. Although the physical abuse had ceased at home there was a world of pain I had no idea existed within the framework of the organization whose teachings I had so eagerly accepted 4 years before.

In the fall of 1993, several major things happened, first a worldly friend died of a drug overdose, a close friend in the group was DFíd and then the worst, 3 young brothers all under the age of 20, died within weeks of each other, two in a car crash and the other by his own hand, in despair over the loss of the other two. I had been thinking about leaving the group but felt that it wasnít an option at that time as one of the brothers was my friend and study conductorsí son and I feared that if I didnít stay with her she might opt for suicide as well. I had already experienced some of the Ďíloving kindnessíí of that particular group and wasnít about to leave her alone with them and her grief. I stayed another year, my relationship with both God and my husband deteriorating steadily. Oh hell, I didnít even have any faith in God at that point I was so angry over the loss of the kids, who were good and kind, I felt that it was some reward He had meted out to them.

In late 1995, I was treated to a shepherding call from two of the brothers whom I had come to like and respect and when I told them of the lack of love within the congregation, assured me that I was mistaken, but guess what? They BOTH left the congregation within a week of our visit! A month later we completed a new hall, and my last act as a witness was to vacuum the new building. I never went back. I wrote a letter to the Society and
DAíd the next week.

Since I left the group, several amazing things have happened. I finally found the courage to leave the abusive man I was married to, though he didnít drink anymore he had a different weapon and you can probably guess what it was. I have been clean and sober for 3 years this August and I met and married a man who treats me with the utmost kindness and respect, the only one who ever has. There is a down side to this story though. My 14-year-old son who still lives with his father (I left him there fearing the JW legal aid situation would only prevent my ever being able to see him). He revealed that he is going to be baptized in Oct. He truly doesnít grasp the idea that he will be pressured not to have any contact with me once that happens. But for now all I can do is hope and pray that heís as much like his mother as I think he is. Iíve skipped over the details of my story because I donít want to be too long-winded. There is so much more to this tale but this is the condensed version. Thanks for listening to it.

Belinda


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