Welcome. I’m Rebekah.
I’ve written since I was kid. Sadly, I didn’t keep anything I wrote back then. I wish I did, but I never dared show anyone the thoughts racing around the track in my mind, spinning endlessly. It was too risky. For a long time, I was too scared, too insecure, to say what I really thought. Out loud and in writing. Still am, sometimes.
Why? Well, I was scared of being misunderstood. Being raised in a doomsday cult—knowing almost anything not aligned with Jehovah’s plan, wasn’t worth the strength needed to bring it to life—didn’t help. So, why bother writing? I let fifty-cent words—with exceptional definitions, and ideas I painstakingly strung together, in near-flawless sentences—just die inside me.
Rainbow colored floppy disks, snuggly zipped up with poetry, short stories, and jagged pieces of a memoir, now sadly float atop a garbage heap somewhere in earth’s filthy beyond. And the words were still coursing through my veins.
Silent all those years
When I left the Kingdom Hall at sixteen I was just a rebellious teen, wading in the waters of defiance because they were shallow and fun. What I desperately needed was a universal push, forcing me to stand at the edge of sanity and bravely stare down my own reflection, which didn’t happen in my younger years.
Upon reaching my mid-twenties, I chose to go back to the JW fold, silencing myself again. I dove headfirst into deep, spiritual waters, confronting the faith I thought I’d recklessly abandoned years prior. I was sure I’d made the right choice.
Boy was I wrong.
It was there, in pseudo deep waters, I found myself buoy-less and unable to swim. I could see that I was surrounded by falsities, by puppeteers leading mindless marionettes down dark hallways, overcrowded with cheap props, depicting paradisiac conditions. Floundering in the sea, of their verisimilitude, I knew the Witness life just wasn’t for me. I knew I was meant to wade in a bottomless ocean, finding balance on the boogie board of my own personal truth.
I left (again) and began healing with words. Beautiful, enigmatic, meaningful words. Years later, I learned I’m an INFJ—part of the one-percent naturally drawn to all things deep and mysterious—always on a never-ending quest of idealistic introspection, falling in love with my own private revelations. Falling for things that would no doubt cause a prescriptive, religious denomination to tremble.
Born again with words
The stories my mind and body gave birth to, all those years ago, have been stitched back together. And now, they candidly decorate pages in journals and blank Word documents. They’ve been resurrected. It took leaving the Witness community a second time for me to find my voice.
I’m no longer waiting for the perfect moment to share what’s been surging through my bloodstream over the years. Being raised a Jehovah’s Witnesses, it was all too easy to hush any excitement I felt for things outside the Kingdom Hall. But not anymore. Fuck it, right?
It’s my mission to express and publish all the things I’ve been too scared to say for decades. And after eleven years, I finally did. My book, TRAIN GONE: A CODA EX-JW MEMOIR is now available for purchase. Whether you’re in or out, I hope what I write rattles your core and inspires you to bust free of any chains that bind you.