I was born and raised in “The Truth,” in Sao Paulo, Brasil. I was part of the 5th generation “in” on one family side and 4th generation on the other, all the way back to 1933.
As a child, mom and dad wouldn’t let me use pants. jewelry or make up, and they told me my outside best friends were just colleagues. They let me, though, listen to rock and use pants in high school. I guess I was lucky, dad does criticize everything and openly talks about what he disagrees, even with or about workers — once they described my dad as “complicated” — and my mom used to tell me to “scream with no shame” if someone was being awkward towards me, and she’d always brought me books and more books as I was growing up.
When I was 13, I had an emotional break up. I can’t explain why, I just was unhappy and cried a lot, shaking in my bed, I was really afraid of diseases and death. My parents were really touched. They told me it was God waking me up to think about eternity, and so I professed. Many years later I was diagnosed with OCD. I have to say that my younger sister never professed; we were told that it was serious business, and we needed to wait for a revelation (whatever a revelation was, it was not clear, maybe an OCD crisis?)
When I was 19, I moved out to another state, Minas Gerais, and I secretly bought my own pants, cropped T-shirts and make up, and I’d taken them off to go to the meetings. Three years later, I met my boyfriend—an outsider boy—in college, and so my mental/emotional life became a complete torture. Professing people treated him like he didn’t exist. My parents were lovely and kind, but not supportive. At one point, the workers in my field told me I knew I was upsetting God, and I should break up with my boyfriend. I am really proud to say I didn’t. I was trying so hard to be honest, so one horrible day I got so nervous I asked God if my relationship was OK, and I felt peace.
A few months later, my dad told me about the 2x2s info in Wikipedia. A Brazilian worker had told him about William Irvine. I read everything and felt betrayed, as if I was trying so hard to be sincere in an insincere place. I didn’t show up at the next Sunday meeting, and nobody asked anything. No emails, no messages, not a word from any worker.
Now I am 27, I have three tattoos, and I feel really happy. Still in touch with some professing friends and still listening to rock n roll! Occasionally, I go to any church I get invited to, because I am really curious. I’ve been in the Catholic church, Assembly of God, Umbanda, Buddhism, Baptists and Methodists, but I don’t trust religions anymore. For me, faith is not about a church. After the Dean Bruer scandal, I promised myself I’m not going to sit in a meeting anymore. It’s clear to me that “The Truth” is a Protestant fundamentalist cult I don’t need in my life.