A Wasp in Bees Clothing
There are three types of women in the world. There are Bumble Bees, Honey Bees, and Wasps. The first two types of women, though slightly different are loving, kind, forgiving, and full of sweetness. They will help you, because they work to benefit the community and people around them. Even though they have stingers, they will only sting a creature if they feel threatened. The third type of woman, though appearing to be like the first two, is a vicious wasp. Wasps are aggressive, they can sting a person multiple times, and it is only the female wasp that does the stinging. Therefore, women with wasp personalities are controlling, manipulative, and full of venom. They will sting you multiple times, and they will sting for no apparent reason. Women with wasp personalities often play the blame game, and will have a victims’ mentality. I have known a few wasps in my lifetime starting with my paternal grandmother. However, I didn’t know it then, but I would encounter the worst wasp in July of 2011.
Since the age of five, I had been raised as one of Jehovah’s Witness. Sadie, was the first Jehovah’s Witness I had ever met. She was my paternal grandmother and let me tell you, she was no princess. I had so many horrifying experiences in this organization. From the people, to the embarrassing, awkward, and humiliating judicial committees performed by elders in the congregations, and finally the dysfunctional Jehovah’s Witness family I was raised in. There was a lot of violence, incest, and mental abuses going on in the household. My Uncle Tony, was a pervert, my siblings and I were molesting each other, and so many other issues were going on in that “God forsaken” home. However, like a good little girl, I would stay in this cult for the next 25 years. Now that I’m older, I understand why the elders of the congregations never did anything about the things going on in my home. They themselves were probably covering up their own “sins”. That organization is now coming under the microscope, and it won’t be long before the whole religion commits a Jim Jones Suicide. Over the years, I grew up, got baptized, and moved to Phoenix, AZ. I came to Arizona from Ohio, in March of 2010. I came here with a woman named Annie. She paid for my plane ticket, and I paid her back when I got my income taxes that spring. I was running away to make a fresh start for myself. I was also running away from my dysfunctional family. However, little did I know that dysfunction was going to make a head on collision with me. Yes, I would end right back in the arms of dysfunction, like a baby landing its mouth on a mother’s tit. The first Witness family I lived with was, The Wilbur Family. Rae, and her husband Jay, were nice people. I loved Rae. She was an educated woman and an artist. To this day, I don’t understand why she belongs to this cult, as she is intelligent and open minded. Maybe it was to soothe the guilt of her being a prostitute at one point in her life. I lived with the Wilbur’s for about 6 months to a year. However, I felt she was getting tired of my presence. I got the indication she felt that way, because she said, “I was always there”. Mind you, I was never taught how to make it in the world on my own, and I was also genuinely doing my best to stay in the organization, because I devotedly thought it was the truth. In the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they refer to their religion as “the truth”. Their way of life is the only way, and therefore, because their way of life is the only way, it is essentially the only “true” religion. Therefore, I never thought about looking for a place of my own, because it wasn’t needed; so I thought.
It was mid-summer in 2011. I was needing a place to stay and fast. I felt I was in a pickle and not the good kind. I met Sister Linnie, that same year. I saw her a few times in passing when at the Kingdom Hall. However, I never went up to talk to her. I remember one brief encounter with Sister Linnie, after a Sunday meeting. Most of the time, I am in my own little world, as all humans are. Nevertheless, she asked: “Do you not like me?” It’s not that I didn’t like her, I just knew she was bad news. I had one of those gut feelings that said, ‘stay away from her’. Never ignore your gut feeling. It will save you from a lot of situations, you don’t want to end up in. However, did I listen to that gut feeling and stay away from her? No! I ignored my gut feeling, and accepted her offer of becoming her roommate “rent free”. In the beginning months of living with her, things went well. I had a job, and I started paying her rent. I paid her rent, because it was her house. I had a room with my own bathroom, I had food to eat, I had clothes on my back, and I had a mother figure for the first time. I would clean her house, wash her dishes, feed her dog, and mop her floors, when I wasn’t too exhausted from the activities that come with being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Once, I was cleaning the laundry room, and she said her friend Katya (and previous roommate before me), “could learn a few things from me.” She also encouraged me to go to college, something that never falls out of a Witnesses mouth. Jehovah’s Witnesses are discouraged from getting a higher education. They are discouraged because, the Governing Body members feel the end of the world (Armageddon) is so close at hand and therefore, consider it pointless to get an education. Therefore, I really thought I had found a home; a safe home. Being the over achiever and people pleaser that I was, I was honestly grateful and thankful though if you asked her, she would have you thinking otherwise. As the months passed into years, (6 to be exact) living with her became burdensome to me. I wasn’t allowed to do my own laundry. I couldn’t cook when I wanted too, I couldn’t really have friends over, and I had to be in my room at a certain time. She was an older woman who didn’t have a job when I first moved in with her. It was only last year that she finally found a job with the City of Mesa. Up until that point, my movement around her house was limited. She would sleep late and get up late in the beginning stages of living with her. I really could not live a full and happy free life with her. However, it was her behavior more than anything, that had me unsettled and uneasy around her. There were some good days with her. We shared laughs and tears. We shared personal stories about ourselves and our upbringings. And there were days I thought I could breath, but those days were rare and only for a moment. Looking back, I realize I might have been suffering from Stockholm’s Syndrome, and the whole relationship seems to have been one of those “Sugar Mama” type relationships. Her nickname after all is, Mama Crumpets. That’s what I was supposed to call her, because I wasn’t allowed to address her by her first name, Callie. Like I said, dysfunction was determined to head right into me, and for a moment it did. Mama Crumpets, was very hard to live with. She had a violent temper, and let me tell you, she expressed that violent temper fully on her dogs Bootsy and Chance. She once beat Bootsy so bad, she started crying tears. I’ve never heard of a dog shedding tears. If an animal is shedding tears, then it must be in severe pain. Fucking insane people. It always starts with small animals. They start with smaller defenseless animals, and work their way up to humans. My Uncle Tony would pester animals too, so I’ve seen it first-hand. If I hadn’t come home from the Kingdom Hall when I did one Sunday afternoon, she said, “I would have killed him.” She was talking about, Chance. I wouldn’t put it past her either. To this day, I am certain she killed my next-door neighbor’s dog.
I remember the first time I made Callie angry. She burst through the door to my room, like a bull heading towards a red flag. She was a bull fight waiting to happen, and I was the red flag that night. I remember the fear running through my blood as I crouched down screaming “please don’t hurt me!” It’s not like I’d never been hit before. I’d been hit many times by my paternal grandmother, Sadie. Uncle Tony, would also fly into fits of rage and just wail on the person near him. I remember how he held his father Kent down, and nearly choked him to death. He truly is a piece of shit; still is. So, I had suffered many types of blows in the past. Mamma Crumpets never laid a hand on me that night, though if it were legal, I think she would have. Now I see it wasn’t her neighbor Ernie, scaring her roommates off, it was Callie, herself scaring the roommates away. Even after taking care of her when she fell ill, Mama Crumpets remained bitter, mean, and greedy. She admitted she was a greedy person. I guess we all are at some point in our lives. Always complaining and correcting, because nothing was ever done right, and nothing was ever enough for her. Callie, didn’t like anything I did. She didn’t like the way I dressed. She didn’t like the way I cooked. She didn’t like the way I cleaned. As if her house was clean before I moved in. A hoarder and always moving dust around is what that woman was. If your money wasn’t going into her pocket, she didn’t want you spending it. I can’t count the number of times she’d ask, “can you afford that”? ‘Yes, bitch I can, I’m buying it, aren’t I?’ I’d be thinking to myself. Putting whatever items I was looking at back, I would continue to let myself be financially raped. Although I never met him, I’ve come to understand why her eldest son Mac, stays away from her. The final straw that woke me up to her madness and insanity was her threat to shoot me. This was not too long after she got out of the hospital, maybe a year. By that time she was walking, talking, and almost fully recovered. She said it was in passing, that it was a joke. I was trying to reason with her. Explain to her my side. However, she kept yelling at me to shut up. I had gotten tired of hearing “shut up”. I was tired of her, I was tired of her complaining, and I was tired of the whole organization. Most of all, I was tired of her abusive, manipulative, and gas lighting behavior. I was not going to shut up anymore, not for her or anyone else. And she wasn’t having it. When she figured I wasn’t going shut up, she made the comment, “do I need to get my shot gun to shut you up”? And there she was standing in front of me, a wasp in bees clothing. The gut feeling I ignored had also returned, and it would not go away until I decided to do something about my situation. My gut told me to get away from her, but how? I found myself pondering over one question. What was I going to do about my situation?
In 2014, one of the Governing Body members gave a talk at the annual meeting. His name is, Tony Morris. I went to that meeting looking for some uplifting talks on spirituality and comfort. However, I received just the opposite. The subjects he talked about, and how he talked about those subjects, only awakened the fear I had stuffed down into my soul. After that annual meeting, I had started questioning everything I had ever been raised to believe. I had always questioned, but I never let the questioning overtake me completely. However, this time the questioning overtook me, and had me running out the door. It took three months playing with the thought of disassociating myself from the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was very suicidal during that time, I was struggling with grounding myself, and I wasn’t sure what the consequences of disassociating myself would bring. Would I be shunned? Would I be kicked out of Callie’s house, as she was still a Jehovah’s Witness? Would my life fall to pieces like it did the first time I tried to flee this organization? What would happen to, Inanna Roxanna? Would Inanna Roxanna be safe? Those were my pondering questions. I told no one I was thinking about leaving. Not even Callie Linnie. I didn’t want anyone asking me why I was leaving, or talking me out of leaving the organization. Therefore, when the time came to make the decision, I made it quickly and sent my letter of disassociation in October of 2015 to the Mountain View English Congregation, located off Broadway St., and 12th St., in Phoenix, AZ, and I left that entire religion behind. For the first time ever, I could finally breath and I was free to do as I pleased. And I did feel free. Free from the feeling that I was responsible to save humans from their “sins” and “wickedness”. Free from knocking on doors. I hated knocking on peoples doors. Who wants to knock on strangers doors and shove the Bible down people’s throats? How is that sane? I for one, know now it isn’t sane at all. Leaving the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was both the easiest and the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make so far in my life. It was easy, because I didn’t want Jehovah’s Witnesses talking to me anyways, so the shunning policy they have worked to my advantage. This policy is still working to my advantage. However, it was hard, because I was raised only to make friends with people, who were also Jehovah’s Witnesses. Therefore, I never developed the skill of forming a support group. It was also hard because, they teach their members their lives will fall apart should they leave the truth. Therefore, being raised in this organization has left me feeling challenged in more areas than I can count. Thankfully, I listened to Callie about going to college. I attended South Mountain Community College, and received my Associates in Arts Degree back in December of 2016. I am currently attending, Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. I am the first in my family to graduate from High School, to graduate from a Community College, and I would love very much to be the first in my family, to graduate from an outstanding and reputable college.
In April of 2017, I received my financial aid so I could attend ASU for Summer semester. In May of 2017, I used some of my financial aid to move out of my current situation, and I now live in Tempe, Az. I love Tempe, Az. It’s such a cute little town and city. In August of 2017, I received my financial aid so I could attend ASU for Fall Semester. I am currently attending ASU as I am typing this blog now turned into a scholarship letter. However, I am concerned for my education, as I have worked really hard to get where I am at today. I am asking for any scholarship that could be given to me. I am asking for a scholarship, because I am desperate (yes, I am vulnerable and brave enough to admit it) to succeed. I am asking for a scholarship, because I deserve to finish what I have started with my education. I am asking for a scholarship, because I don’t want to abandon myself like most of my family members have done in the past, starting with my birth parents. I am asking for a scholarship, because if everyone deserves an education, then I do too. I’ve already come this far. I am asking for a scholarship, because I feel I will not be able to finish with just financial aid alone. I don’t know the first thing about writing a scholarship letter. However, I am writing a letter, this one. Therefore, if you could kindly and graciously grant me a scholarship, I would be forever grateful.
Thank you for your time. Thank you for listening. And thank you for considering me as a scholarship candidate.
Warm wishes and best regards,
Inanna Roxanna Arnett
Photograph taken by me, Inanna Roxanna Arnett
Names in the story have been changed to protect their identity.
Copyright October, 13 2017