I’ve talked about the affect that being a Jehovah’s Witness had on my sexuality before. I experienced a lot of guilt for what I no longer consider wrong. Masturbation, any kind of sex — it was all wrong. It took a toll on me when I tried to deny myself what is a natural human function. I didn’t have the space to figure out right from wrong for myself and I think teenagers need to have the ability to learn these things by living.
But this isn’t about sex.
I joined Jehovah’s Witness because I was scared
I feared not having any friends, being by myself, and not being accepted by my peers.
I was painfully shy as a kid. I loved books and writing. Once I hit my pre-teen and early teen years, I didn’t feel like I fit in with everyone else. While they were having parties and drinking, I just wanted to hang out sober and have fun. It wasn’t fun to them unless there was beer or pairing up involved. So, I felt left out.
When I made friends with the girl across the street, a Jehovah’s Witness, she invited me to come with her family to the Kingdom Hall. There, I met other young people who immediately accepted me, awkward as I was. They invited me into their circle and I felt comfortable.
No one asked me to come to a party where there would be drinking. And no one was paired up into boy/girl situations.
When I started studying with an older sister and kept going to meetings at the Kingdom Hall, I got invited to more things. My friend brought me to “get togethers” where we would play cards and drink pop and eat. Sometimes there were bigger gatherings at locations outside people’s homes and there would be more food, lots of people, and dancing even!
Through these gatherings, I learned to be more social. It is something that helped me a lot with my shyness and I am grateful for that.
I felt limited
As I got older, in my late teens, I realized that I’d become limited in my friendships and my choices for activities. I still didn’t want to drink or pair up (ok, I wanted to pair up, but…