The Life and Times of Blowfish (and no it’s not a natural history course)
Hello, my real name is Anthea. I am 31 years old, married and we have one child – a darling 5 year old boy. Originally I am from South Africa, and relocated to the USA about 2 years ago to marry my husband, a US citizen who I met through a mutual humanitarian interest group based in Switzerland.
Confused yet? Just wait...it gets better.
I was born and raised on the East Coast of Southern Africa. Both my Mom and Dad were Jehovah’s Witnesses, except that my Dad was a bit of a fence sitter because after my two eldest brothers were born (I’m 5th in line) he developed a very bad drinking habit. My mother, the dear woman, was as devout as ever though. Her faith kept us all together and alive through some very trying times with my Dad’s ever worsening alcoholism. For this I cannot blame her, she did her best under the circumstances, according to her understanding, personality, consciousness and evolution. Eventually they got divorced. He got disfellowshipped for adultery (not for half beating my Mom to death or scaring the sh*t out of us kids), and he left our lives for good. I was about 12 years old at the time.
But to cut to the chase, yes I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, but never really took to the religion. For as far back is I could remember the whole thing puzzled me as a child, and bored me to tears as a teenager. So it’s no wonder that I broke my poor mother’s heart and became a bit of a wild child. At 15 I was sneaking out of the house to go partying with my equally wild friends or skipping school to go to the beach. Naturally I had to lie through my teeth to live the life I wanted to live and be a very good actress when it came to satisfying my mother by attending meetings and assemblies I really couldn’t give two hoots about. (My mom was a wonderful emotional manipulator – using the same ‘fear’ tactics the religion taught her to keep me in line – of course it did not work).
By the time I was 16 I couldn’t wait to leave the house. I left school before graduating, and went to work in the delicatessen section of the local food store. I would’ve cleaned toilets to get out of the house and be independent. I was more than ready to strike out on my own in the big wide world. I moved as far away as possible from the congregation my mother was in, and started my new life of unfettered freedom. Freedom to be with the friends I chose to be with. Freedom to smoke pot when I wanted to. Freedom to drink alcohol when I damn well pleased. Freedom to have boyfriends, freedom to go the clubs, freedom to wear the clothes I wanted to wear and to have the hairstyles and make-up I fancied. I was 16 at the time, so give me some slack, ok?
But more important than all these teenage dreams, I had the freedom to decide that I did not want to attend boring long-winded JW meetings or be in the company of even more boring, closed-minded and fake-o religious zealots, when I could be out partying, having a good time and living life the way it was meant to be lived. I was not disassociated or disfellowshipped at this time, and still lied through my teeth to my mother about attending meetings, blah-de-blah. However, I could not lie forever, nor did I want to. I got sick of having to lie to my mother just so that I could live my life. I decided it was all a load of bull. For the first time I moved into the same apartment with my then boyfriend – we were living together – and not only that we were having SEX! Heaven forbid!! Sex before marriage – tut-tut.
My dear mother, in her ignorance, thought that she was doing me an immense favor by going straight to the elders and telling them that I was committing the sin of sins and that I needed saving. Naturally, it was not long after this that there was a knocking on our door and two fat, pasty-faced, balding middle-aged, self-important elders were glaring at me through their bulging pig eyes and sweaty brows (it was a HOT summer evening, and very humid – those ties and suits must’ve been very tight *heehee*). I gave them the iciest unwelcoming glare I could muster, exhaled from the joint I was smoking in their faces (just to make them really sweat), and being the polite person that I am, invited them in. (I kind of knew what was up and just wanted the whole thing over with once and for all.)
They thought of course, that my inviting them into my apartment was their ‘in’ for trying to convert me from my wicked ways (or maybe they got a contact high – hard to remember now...?) Anyway, I have to mention here that the two privileged elders were actually two of the shallowest hypocrites of the lot. After going on and on and on for about an hour – enjoying the sound of their own self-righteous voices and flicking and paging through their Bibles in a never ending stream of "though shalt not’s, and you have sinned against, and you will be destroyed in Armageddon, blah blah blah" ad nauseaum, I had had quite enough and stopped them dead in mid-sentence. I told them I wanted them out of my home and that I was not interested in their dumb religion, and to please leave me alone to live my life the way I wanted to. My boyfriend was in the background and was ready to commit a heinous crime by that stage too, being
forced to listen to their unending vomit.
They looked at me all shocked and spluttering, and left red-faced. Need Isay, that at the very next Sunday talk, I think it was, the announcement was made to all the wonderful congregation that I was now disfellowshipped and that no one shall have any contact with me, or else! What a joke. Of course, I was very upset at my mother (not upset about being disfellowshipped – I went and celebrated my freedom that same evening), who if she had just left well enough alone I would have disassociated myself and not have had to sacrifice contact with my family by being disfellowshipped. It took me a long time to forgive my mother her stupidity, but like I said, in time I could rationalize it, and now I have the better end of the stick. Three of my five siblings have no contact with me whatsoever, because of this cult. It is sad, and I feel sorry for them, but I am not sorry for myself, and never will I regret closing the door on the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their unreasonable, ill-founded, illogical, consciousness enslaving, and sadistic teachings.
And so the Blowfish ends her story.