Story of Recovery: Ollie

jw from birth..

i left home at 17, to get away from the smothering - i'd wanted to leave for some time, after being frequently told - 'my house, my rules'

at age 11, my best friend since forever told his 'rents he no longer wished to attend the meetings. they listened, he stopped going & i wasn't allowed to associate with him after that. i prayed to jehovah to let me have my friend back

around that time, i was offered a scholarship to a private secondary school. my mother & father, however, did not see the value of education & denied me the opportunity. later, they took me out of school at age 14. in the days following, i ran away from home & was returned several days later. to this day, i enjoy long walks/runs

i became very good at lying. bluffing to non-jw's that i knew their worldly ways, faking to anyone else that i didn't. most of all i lied to myself that i could just leave home & be ok. i spent the next year a drug-addled mess, ending up in rehab & moving in with my grandma. aged 19, i convinced myself to really give "the truth" a good go & spent a year studying hard

in the end, i sent my family a letter breaking down why i couldn't bring myself to believe in it all. too many unexplainable doctrines etc. i moved in with a friend i'd made whilst "in the world". my family would get in touch only to say they were praying for me. i tried to commit suicide & spent several days in hospital as a result of my confusion

i was the only one in my immediate family (mother, father, 2 boys, 2 girls) not to get baptised. my brother, younger sister & father have all since fallen away, becoming "apostate". it must be even harder for them in many ways

anyway, enough of the moan-fest! i have tried to keep this brief but there are countless incidences i could mention that defy belief (no pun intended). i don't want to be one of those that go around for the rest of their lives crying 'i had a bad childhood!'

i'm 27 & only coming to terms with dealing with my life-view very recently. my mind has been heavily tainted & the beliefs that were forced on me still linger in the shadows. upon deep reflection, i can see that i have adopted some very self-destructive habits as coping mechanisms. trust issues, perfectionism, dissociation, power-plays, anti-authoritarianism to name a few

the comparable reflections i have found on this website are comforting to a small degree. i hope my experiences expound further the jw stories that already exist here. it can be hard for others to understand what it is like - a few times, when recounting my upbringing i have heard things like: 'at least you had a dad' or 'it could've been worse' - doesn't help!

being told explicitly what to do, what not to do, what to wear, how to speak, how to think.. in your formative years! the words can't describe how damaging this is to the psyche. not to mention the missed opportunities, ruined education & mental anguish

staying positive is a struggle. i have a tendency towards feeling quite useless because of the brainwashing received. in my opinion, the inculcating of any form of fundamentalism in children is dangerous