My Shortened Story

>So here I am again and I figured I would provide at least a little background on who I am and where I came from, at least concerning my religious and philosophical journey. I will be posting a more thorough story of how I ended up here later, but I figured a condensed post is much better for now.  Who has time to read my boring long story anyway…

You can say I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness (JW), technically my parents did not fully convert until I was around four, if memory serves me right, but I do not ever recall truly celebrating any holidays, birthdays, or any holiday for that matter.  As you can imagine, being raised in a fundamental religious cult has its issues (I will post more information on what’s involved in being a JW on this blog for those who are unfamiliar). Needless to say, the beliefs that were instilled in me at a very young age rooted in my heart quite deeply.  I was a very passionate and  zealous christian, in fact a little too much on occasion (I once spat at a virgin Mary; you can imagine the sacrilege in a very Catholic country).  I was taught and trained to speak in public from a very young age, to preach door-to-door, and be effective in having biblical discussions.  I read, analyzed and instructed myself in the bible and all that goes along with it.  Sadly, all my information came from one source, the JWs, and although I grew quite a bit within those boundaries, I had not realized how much I needed to grow in other ways.

I have always been a sharp kid (yes I am bragging a bit), intelligent, quick-witted and always questioning and pushing the envelope.  I received good grades and read a substantial amount of books, starting in middle school. I have an insatiable appetite for information.  During my high school years, I started reading things that conflicted intellectually with my set of beliefs. Unfortunately, being a good member of the JWs, you do your best to shrug those off.  What I could not quite shrug off was the hormonal impulses of a 17 year old, and girls proved to cause me some issues with keeping my so called Christian integrity (if a god did exist, there’s no need for a hell when sexual frustration exists).  After being in trouble (unlike most other religions, fundamentalists take those sins very, very seriously) for the normal issues a teenager has, I eventually balanced out my Christian life and continued to be a good preacher, apologist, recruiter, and formidable speaker in the congregation; I tried to be a good Christian.

It was not until some personal issues affected me (the woes of the heart and the usual family problems) so much that I decided to take a break from the strenuous and rigorous routine of a JW.  It was that crucial break that allowed me the opportunity to breathe, for my brain to jump start completely, and for the haze and darkness of being a prisoner of a cult to finally clear.  I was finally, for the first time in my life, able to question my beliefs objectively, and answer questions I had not had time to answer.

It all started with an old friend who contacted me out of the blue with some questions he had regarding the bible.  He had been a JW and had stepped away years before, and uncannily, at that same time, he had started to finally inquire the same issues I had, had all along as well.  He brought up issues and contradictions, asked me to back up my beliefs and to prove my reasoning. I was certain he was wrong, that he was mistaken, and I took the challenge and started to research. I wanted to prove him wrong, I wanted to show him that my God, my Jehovah, was real and alive…

It took about one weeks worth of research to see problems and incongruities …that is all, one week to see flaws!  It did not take one week to disprove God, or believe in evolution, to see moral and ethical issues in a completely different light. It took a while, hundreds spent on books, nights reading until late at night.  I dug to find people, scientists, scholars, reason and proof to back up my side. I approached this honestly, initially with prayer, then  with honesty and objectivity, that’s what I strove for.  Unfortunately, my god never answered my questions or came to the rescue, all the proof I had been told was there really did not exist.  The reason was gone and the stupidity and hollowness of my beliefs came to light, a punch in my gut with a bucket of cold water on my head.  I cried, I felt ridiculed and mocked, and my god, my life and everything up to that point had been a lie…all I had known had melted away and at that point I wasn’t sure what I had been left with…

Eventually, with time, I was able to find myself again. I am still finding myself.  I have grown tremendously since then.  I am finally happy of who I am and I am rebuilding my life.  I am struggling like everyone else to make my way in this beautiful and brutal world, but I am finally in control of my own life for the first time…

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About George

George is a self-proclaimed philosopher, thinker and ex-Jehovah's Witness that has taken the opportunity to expose his views on religion, atheism, science, history and human interactions through this blog. View all posts by George

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