Things started going sideways in my family when my mom was ‘disfellowshipped’ for having an affair with my sister’s fiancé. My mom was the first one to get involved with the Jehovah’s Witness faith. A Jehovah’s Witness came around to our house and suggested she come to a Sunday meeting. So she started going and then she got my dad going too.
When I was seven or eight my dad was working at Square D Transformers. He was working fifty or sixty hours a week. My mom had an affair with my sister’s fiancé John, which is how my half-sister Jen came about. My dad walked in on them. I don't know details but he threw her out of the house. Most of my other siblings blamed my mom for having the affair, but I blamed my dad too. He was working so much that he wasn’t satisfying my mom’s physical, emotional and sexual desires, so she looked elsewhere. My mom tried to get back together but my dad didn't want anything to do with it.
The Jehovah’s Witness faith is all about judging. If you commit a sin you can be ‘disfellowshipped’ which basically means that the entire community shuns you. You could get disfellowshipped for having premarital sex or smoking cigarettes or being gay. If you are disfellowshipped you can still come to the Kingdom Hall but you are shunned and no-one can speak to you. Only the elders could engage you in real conversation.
My mom was disfellowshipped for having an affair and becoming impregnated with my sister’s fiancé’s child. Even though she was disfellowshipped and shunned by the community, she still wanted to come to the same Kingdom Hall as me and my father and other siblings. Everyone was cruel to her. Eventually she went to another Kingdom Hall.
The elders saw my dad was hurting so they acted as a matchmaker. They set him up with another woman from the congregation. My dad was perceived as weak in the Jehovah’s Witness faith so they set him up with someone strong, someone that would make his faith stronger.
I was still too young but my older siblings went to the divorce proceedings. Everyone except for my brother Ed said they wanted to live with my mother, but we somehow all ended up living with my father. I was supposed to see my mom every week but my dad wouldn't let me go except for one weekend a month or every other month.
My step-mom was a very ardent member of the congregation and she always made me go door to door with her. She was very strict. If I did anything not according to her liking I would get my ass whooped by my dad. My dad was 6'4’’ and 550 pounds – Andre the giant size. When I did something wrong he’d use the belt on me, and not the leather side – the metal side. Sometimes he’d smack or punch me in the head for not following the rules.
My dad and step-mom would go out every Friday night to eat because they said they needed alone time. All the kids were left to fend for themselves. One time I was hungry and I found my dad’s stash of Oreos and ate five or six and put them back. When my dad got home he noticed some Oreos were missing.
“I want the truth.” He yelled at me with a red face. “Did you eat these Oreos?”
I knew if I said yes I’d get my ass whooped, so I shook my head.
“You’re digging a deeper hole boy!” He yelled.
Eventually I admitted I had eaten the Oreos. I can’t remember if he hit me that time, but I was grounded for weeks. When I was grounded there was no TV or toys or music or books or anything. I could only sit in my room and think about what I had done.
When I was at my lowest point my dad would say, “Maybe you should read the bible more.” He beat me down to my lowest point and then filled my brain with biblical thoughts. It was all brainwashing stuff.
But the abuse wasn’t only at home. I was physically, sexually and emotionally abused as a member of the Jehovah’s Witness church…
Goose Chronicles Outtakes:
“What would you tell a Jehovah’s Witness if they came to your door today?”
“I'd just talk with them. I'd try to reason with them. I would say, ‘take this information so you can figure out for yourself.” I wouldn’t tell them what to do because that's just more brainwashing and they wouldn’t need any more of that.”
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