Today I took the kids to volunteer at the Food Bank of South Jersey. We worked non-stop for about three hours and must have sorted a thousand pounds of food! They all actually enjoyed it and my 20 year-old, who has previously done a lot of volunteer work commented “I like volunteering with my family”.  Pretty cool! The Food Bank was pretty busy with a lot of volunteers and donations coming in. I think we’ll definitely be going back. Check out their site here.


More on the Witnesses

After my post yesterday it occurred to me that there may be some readers who are not familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses and their teachings. So, if you’re interested in learning more about the craziness I can recommend a book by Kyria Abrahams. I read it about 2 years ago and found that it was pretty on point in describing the experience of growing up in that organization. The author too ended up trapped in a bad marriage needing to find a way out (I was proud of her for getting out sooner than I did) and I found many parts of her story so familiar I had to laugh out loud: “Yeah! I remember that!”.  Here’s the link to the book on Amazon: I’m Perfect,You’re Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing. The story is at once both humorous and heartbreaking. If you were raised as a JW, or in any other similar restrictive setting,the story will resound with you and even if not, it’s still a pretty good read. It will help you realize why so many of us out here are so jacked up! Hats off to Kyria! She also has a website and a blog at Check it out.

So what had happened was…

My childhood was spent among Jehovah’s Witnesses and while, in retrospect, it was a safe environment for the most part, it in no way prepared me for ANYTHING. At the age of 19 I knew so little about life that I thought a salary of $18,000 a year was good money. I had no real life skills beyond the basics (i.e. cooking, cleaning and laundry), no marketable skills and nothing to draw on in order to make solid life decisions. There was cultivated in us such a fear of “the world” that everything outside the organization was viewed as “wordly” and “demonized”. We couldn’t watch TV shows or “indulge” in anything that featured any undesirable topics including magic and wizardry. Therefore I had to throw away my Smurf toy and was discouraged from watching The Wizard of Oz….Yeah I know, right? These folks were hardcore.

Fear of “worldly” men was especially ingrained in the young women because, of course, they were all satanic and immoral and only wanted one thing. As and adult and a parent I have found that the best way to prepare our children for life is not to keep them away from everything, but to teach them to recognize and deal with things that can cause them harm. This didn’t happen for many of the Witness girls, nor were they taught about birth control, so they sometimes fell prey to men who knew of their naivete and took advantage of it. If you wanted a “clean” girl they could be found at the Kingdom Hall.

Then of course the girls were held up as examples of the dire consequences that befell those that strayed and shame was heaped upon their heads. (I always had visions of some of the older women fashioning big red “A”s in the back rooms of the building).They were ostracized or “disfellowshipped” for a time and then they, and occasionally an illegitimate child, were welcomed back into the fold and pitied. That is unless of course the boy could be convinced to marry her, never mind that they were only 16 and had no visible means of support. Parents of disfellowshipped kids struggled between taking caring of them and not talking to them. It was bizarre.

When I got older I realized that many of the methods and views espoused and disseminated by the leadership in “The Truth” were equivalent to brainwashing techniques. This realization, which came to me after taking a college psychology class in my thirties, also made it clear to me why education was viewed so negatively by the organization. We were taught not to pursue the knowledge of the world. Promoting and glorifying a lamb-like mindset among uneducated people is the easiest and best way to lead and control them. It’s actually as brilliant as it is calculating.

So it was in this environment that I came of age. They made sure I was baptized at 16. I believe they felt they were keeping me safe from the evils of the world. We really couldn’t go to proms or school events and careers were not encouraged. I really had no goals other than to graduate high-school, maybe get a job, go door-to-door and avoid immorality. Kids all around me were getting married because if you weren’t going to devote your life to the ministry what else was there to do? Between that and my home life, it was only a matter of time until I would do the same.

Hello Cruel World

To date I have resisted blogging because I thought no one would want to hear or read what I had to say. But recently I realized how foolish and selfish that was. Although I still consider myself a very incomplete person, I have been through a few fires and gained wisdom that could benefit others or at the very least let them know they’re not alone. So starting today I shall bare my scars so that you may know me and therein possibly yourself. 

I aspire to and know that I am destined for far greater things those in which I currently partake. I also realize that in order to grasp hold of that for which I am destined I must explore then share, my soul, the depths of which I myself do not yet know. I invite you to accompany me on my journey because I’m pretty sure there are going to be scary parts and I might need a hand to hold. I apologize in advance for my attitude, my irreverence and my sarcasm but I came by all of them honestly and they have served me well. I hope that we become friends. I could really use a few good ones.

Along the way I may digress on current events, pet peeves or other topics so I ask in advance that you indulge me in my folly, listen to my rants and talk back to me. The older I get the more my mind wanders but I promise to make an effort to share, inform and entertain.

In my next post I’ll begin to talk about how my jacked up childhood prepared me to, at a young age, marry a man with multiple issues and spend the next 22 years wondering what the hell happened. Later I’ll tell you how I fought my way out, took my kids with me causing minimal damage to their collective psyche, how today I know for sure that I am a butterfly, in my chrysalis, ready and waiting to fly.