Monday, May 25, 2009

Witness

It's not everyday that you read a book that changes your life, but I just did. Could it change your life, too? Well, maybe. If you're one of the few, the proud, the former Jehovah's Witnesses children, you will definitely want to read 'I'm Perfect, You're Doomed' by Kyria Abrahams.

This book jumped into my hand at the library before I even knew what it was about. The title and cover art were a beacon for me, because I'm a sucker for those crazy-people memoirs. The wife that ran away from a polygamist sect, the drunken gay schizophrenic writer, the professional athlete with multiple personalities, the transsexual dwarf that does pet psychotherapy; I've read them all. Imagine my delight when I saw that this nutball memoir was one I could actually relate to!

You are probably familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses- they're the very earnest folks trying constantly to save you with the Truth that only they know. Interestingly, there is a very active group right here in Songtan. Not too long ago, I had a very fascinating conversation with a lovely young Korean girl named Monica. She had a perma-smile and was utterly unconvinced that I could possibly have heard about the upcoming Armageddon before I so fortuitously met her on the main drag downtown. I wonder if she's met Songtan Sally yet? Now, there's a girl who could benefit from some good old-fashioned Jehovah talk. Me, not so much.

Now, I know what you're thinking: This is all very interesting (or not), but how, exactly, did this oh-so-fascinating book change your life, hmmmm?

Well, I'll tell you, you lucky dog! First, the book is a pretty funny look back at my childhood. Did you know the Smurfs were nothing but cute little blue tools of the devil? I did. Reading a book about your own experience makes you realize you're not quite as crazy and alone as you might have thought.

More importantly, in Kyria's experience, I saw reasonable explanations for some things I have long disliked about myself, things I just assumed were character flaws: my bizarre fascination with centipedes and popsicle sticks, my previously inexplicable phobic aversion to dusty cardboard. Right, right. I'm kidding. Sort of. It's for your own good, though- you definitely don't want to read about what a freak I REALLY am. But as it turns out, I'm not the only freak. Besides the book, there is a whole movement for former JW's. Check out this and this, for example. Why, Kyria even has a Facebook group!

Seriously, I had no idea.

3 comments:

C Mike said...

I'm definitely going to look at that book, but doubt it will have much therapeutic value for me. My several and diverse character flaws were already fully developed and finely honed before I came to know the JW.

Kyria Abrahams said...

From one nutball to another, thank you! :)

- Kyria

Janelle said...

I will forever remember the childhood day I learned Smurfs were evil. Sniff.