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Ann's Story

Ann's Story


There are really no words to describe what it is like to be raised as a Jehovah's Witness, cut off from the rest of the world. To grow up in fear of everybody and everything is a frightening place for a child. I remember going into all those homes during door-to-door where people looked so happy, where children were allowed to run and play with their neighbors, and later to join sports and go to college.

I felt trapped in a nightmare that I couldn't see anyway out of. I saw most of my Jehovah's Witness friends in abusive homes. My best friend was molested by her father, our congregational Shepard, and when I spent the night, he would come and get her in the middle of the night. She always came back shaking and crying but wouldn't talk about it. She said it was Greek lessons. Another friends house that I spent a lot of time with the father beat the mother, and one time had a knife to her throat after he had beat her to a pulp in front of us children.

Everyone put a smile on their face and pretended that everything was okay. We never talked about those things. I eventually left the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, but I had no idea how to live outside the cult. My best friend died and I was not allowed to see her at the hospital before her death, as I was being shunned. I didn't know that if someone hurt you, you could call the police. I didn't know how to vote, how to salute the flag, or how to celebrate Christmas. I have no roots as everything I grew up with is gone. As far as my Jehovah's Witness family goes, I am dead.

I have written some poems that describe how it felt to be a Jehovah's Witness, and how the Lord kept me through it, and led me to Him. Although many of the events in the poems did not physically happen, they describe the pain and alienation that many ex-Jehovah's Witnesses try to put into words. They begin with a little girl having an encounter with Jesus, which I did at a Sunday School Easter service at the age of 4. We converted to JW's soon after, and it would be 30 years before I attended another Easter service. I have been through more 'disciplinary procedures' than I can count between the ages of 19 and 23 when I began to question the teaching.


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