Monday, February 20, 2012
I'm trying to catch up on responses to some of my recent blogs. I started writing an answer to this set of questions by ANGELWENDYMAMA and it's long enough I decided it would just be easier as its own blog.
== Just curious, are you still follow the Jehovah's Witness faith? I am not judging you in any case, I'm just wondering. It sounds like it may have been hard as a kid to feel like an outsider. Did you feel that way or if so, did it bother you or not? ==
No, I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness any more. I think by the time I was in my mid-teens, I knew I didn’t believe in the teachings at all. Even knowing that, I went through the process to get baptized because it got my father to ease up on restrictions and trust me. (Jehovah's Witnesses do not get baptized as infants / children. It is meant to be a conscious decision of dedicating one's life to Jehovah God - and the baptism the public demonstration of that.)
I was disfellowshipped (their form of excommunication) about a year after I’d left home for having pre-marital relations – aka I got pregnant out of wedlock – and having absolutely no desire (or feeling any need) to “repent”. (( NOTE: I've made my choices and actively. I will never try to tell anyone that their faith is wrong, because if they honestly believe in it, it is RIGHT. I simply don't share the same belief. ))
I suppose in some ways I felt like an outsider as a kid in school. I was an oddity with not standing to salute the flag or sing the national anthem. (Jehovah’s Witnesses are absolutely neutral. They follow the laws of the nation in which they live, but don’t show reverence to the government or patriotic symbols – reserving that for Jehovah God.) And certainly when the holidays came around and I didn’t do the class activities, it made them curious and made me "different". I didn't get my first vaccinations until I was around 10 or 11 because of the way they were made which involved blood - and Jehovah's Witnesses do not take in blood in any form.
But it was never really a negative situation that I recall. I was precocious (reading at three), so I could remember and quote scriptures and explanations of why we did or didn't do things. So any attention I got for not doing things was a way to tell someone about it. That same witnessing about it was highly thought of in the Congregation, which was its own reward of sorts.
I think being a cussedly independent personality was key to that. Recess would often find me off doing my own thing, playing some game in my imagination such as caring for my horses in the stable I made with fallen leaves. I bumped into one of the boys one recess, had him say "Jenny Germs!" and try to wipe his sleeve, and instead of being mortified that turned into a recess game for weeks - a variation on tag in which I chased a group of them around to smear germs on them and any I caught were also it and trying to smear the germs onto someone else. It was hilarious fun for me ... but easily something that could have had another kid in tears.
I'm also a loner by nature. Most loners who are such because of social difficulty are lonely. They want human connection and contact and miss it, feeling almost a pain for the lack of it. Me? I am often happiest somewhere that no one can reach me, alone in nature. I love the night sky and how it is just me and stars that are so many light years away. I love hiking alone. I've gone to movies alone and preferred the peace of my own thoughts and reactions to having a companion to discuss it with and mesh our opinions. I feel lonely only very rarely. (My version of lonely is a craving for someone to share my space with, like sitting next to each other on a bench, cuddling in bed, just someone I'd be 100% comfortable with.) Most of the time I'm more likely to feel the opposite - oversocialized.
So feeling like an outsider, different (weird was my usual term for me, still is), hasn't ever really been a bad thing. It's, for lack of a better world, natural and as it should be. I am different. I am unique. I am an outsider. I like the perspective that gives me.
Hope that made sense.