Everyone wants to be happy and free in life. That is our fundamental right as a human being. Yet many people are not. I personally felt my freedom to choose to live my life the way I wanted was taken from me at a young age. I want to share some personal things about my past in hopes to help others see the value of personal freedom and to help others heal from their past as well.
As a child, I was not encouraged to follow my dreams, go to college, or to pursue my interests in life. I was only encouraged to go to church and study the Bible. I was baptized as an infant Catholic. My mother and father divorced when I was 8 years old. I was raised by my mother who remarried. My mother one day opened our door to Jehovah’s Witnesses and listened to what they were preaching. She then began a Bible study with a husband and wife from the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It was the summer before I started my senior year at high school that she insisted I start my own personal Bible study with a young girl who also was a Jehovah’s Witness.
I vividly remember an incident that happened when I was in my bedroom with my neighbor friend. I told my mom I didn’t want to have my Bible study that night. She got so enraged she took this model ship which was sitting on a shelf on my bedroom wall which my grandfather made by hand and threw it across the room with such force that it shattered against the wall in a million pieces.
After that, I never refused to have my Bible study and went to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses with my mother every Sunday. It was not long after that I too started believing what Jehovah’s Witnesses taught. Looking back, I realize that their religion is a form of a cult. It is very controlling.
It wasn’t long before I sunk into a deep depression when I woke up one day and realized; I was married to a man I was not in love with who was also a Jehovah’s Witness, all I had to look forward to was going to church 3 times a week and going door to door to preach their message; I had a little baby to take care of, and I was not allowed to speak to my mother because she was disfellowshipped from the organization for committing adultery with an elder in the church. Disfellowshipping is like being ex-communicated. I was not suppose to have any contact with my own mother during this time.
I was lost in this world that was not what I wanted for myself. Their beliefs were ingrained in my head. I suffered deep depression and nightmares for years after I left the organization. I was trapped in my own mind. It took me 20 years to completely deprogram myself.
During this time, I never stopped praying for help. I began to search and read all different kinds of spiritual philosophy in hopes to heal. As I look back, I thank God for letting me see the light. Religion can be very dangerous. Man’s interpretation is just that, man’s interpretation. I understand this very clearly now.
I want to shed light on the dangers or control that religion can have over people’s lives. My search for truth was not easy to say the least. I feel as though I suffered a dark night of the soul coming out of what I did.
I battled mind control and depression for years. I have come a long way but as a result, I lost years of my life. The best I can do with what I have learned from my experiences in life is to share my story a little at a time in hopes to help someone else.
I was angry for many years with my mother for forcing that religion on me. I have worked hard to forgive her. I realize now that she was brainwashed too and was only trying to do what she thought was best for me and my siblings.
I have learned that forgiveness is so important in life. Sometimes we can try to forgive, but we keep bringing up the past. I was guilty of this. I wanted to forgive and move on but it wasn’t always so easy. I was not only hurting my mother by continuing to be angry with her but I was hurting myself as well by not letting go of the past. You cannot heal from your pain unless you forgive 100%.
I have come along way from where I was. The butterfly which is my logo, represents freedom and happiness. I truly believe that we as humans have the ability to heal from anything. Not only physical pain, but emotional and mental pain as well. We can be imprisoned in our own minds. This is the worst kind of pain. My story is a story of hope and healing. I am still learning everyday about life. I can finally say that I have a sense of freedom and happiness now. I thank God for this.