I have been asked how I knew I was a witch by Emma J. from New Mexico. So I will take a few moments to answer this.
When I was a child my family was a very devout Southern Baptist family. I was taught that a woman's place is in the home cooking, cleaning, and taking care of babies. Women are supposed to be subservient to their husbands. The man rules the house and a wife is supposed to bow down to his every need. I don't want to call my self a black sheep but for me this just didn't sit right. Especially after watching my own mother bounce from man to man, abusive relationship to abusive relationship. I also didn't like the fact that I was told that ambition and thinking was a tool of the Devil. How could we learn and grow spiritually if we never asked questions? My mom pretends to do Witchcraft for attention. Claims to curse people for personal gain. (yes my very own mother is a fluffy) But her antics got me wondering about other religions. I visited many of the various Christian denominations in my area. Many of them were willing to pass me off to some other person to answer my questions. Several told me not to question the word of God and that I should just accept it because it is. I also visited a few of the other religions around too, including the Jewish, Buddhist, and Catholic churches.
Nothing really seemed to fit what I felt was right in my heart. When I was 16 I found a friend who's mother was a Witch. Being the good little Christian girl that I was I proceeded to tell her how she was going to hell. Instead of getting offended she sat me down and we talked. She asked me three very important questions. 1) Did I feel like she was a good person? 2) Had I ever heard or seen her do anything I considered evil? 3) Did I think she loved me? After answering these questions I realized this woman was a good soul and having been taught that she was going to hell for her beliefs made no sense to me. Can someone do everything right and still be punished for it? Can a person who loves everyone and everything and who would do anything for anyone deserve to go to hell? I told her that the Bible said she would go to hell for being a witch, she asked me what I felt. Then she asked me what I really believed, something no one had ever done. I didn't know! I knew what I had been taught to believe at Sunday school, but I had never questioned if it was what I really believed. I told her about all the issues I had. Then she explained what she believed to me and told me about the Goddess and the God. That made more sense to me since I had always been told a woman and a man make children, I wondered how a male god made everyone alone!
A lot of the things she told me about what she believed made sense to me. Hearing about men and women being equals and how life was about love really fit into what I felt was right. She told me how not everyone is destined to follow the same path and that harmony is achieved through accepting this. I had always been taught that if someone didn't believe the same as you they needed to be shown the right way. I had lost so many friends because of this! I started asking her more and more and the more I learned the more I felt it was what was right for me. I was attacked by many of the Christians in the area even having adults encourage others to make fun of me and bully me.
When I was 18 I got pregnant with my son. My family freaked out. What would the church think? We never even went to church that often. They told me I had to make his father marry me. I didn't want to marry him! They told me that if I didn't get married I would go to hell. When my son was born my grandmother told me both myself and my son were going to hell because he was a bastard. I was MAD! How could a god allow a child to be born to be sent straight to hell, just for being born?! That was it I was done trying to be Christian! After that I didn't feel like dealing with ridicule and bullies so I tried to "fake" being a Christian. I just couldn't keep it up.
I was sick of having to smile and nod while others who called themselves Christians did things that I felt were wrong. My first marriage was a horrible mistake. I found a guy just like the abusive men my mother had loved. When things got to the worst I turned to a church to try to get help so I could protect my children. I was told that I needed to try to make the marriage work and that I needed to figure out what I was doing to make him so mad and try not to do it! I turned my back on the church and got myself and my children out of it! Alone. My second marriage was to a man with very deep Southern Baptist roots. His mother dominated our lives and a lot of what he believed was actual Bible verses his mother took and twisted to keep him under her thumb. I started to realize that a lot of other Christians did the same thing. That marriage didn't work out either. My current husband is an Atheist. He asked me a while back why I hid what I believed from others. I told him that I was afraid of losing friends and respect. He told me that if my children and he accept me for what I believed then no one else mattered. He said that real friends wouldn't care, that if they loved me then this would be something I could be open about and that if they changed after I became open then they weren't real friends and didn't love ME.
I decided to stop hiding when a friend sat in my house and told me that a small group of open Witches in our area needed to be "burned out and forced to accept Christ before they turned our children over to the evils of Witchcraft". I snapped and told them that I was a witch and that I thought that kind of thinking was the only evil I knew. I was then told that Satan was talking through me and that I was bound for hell. I'm no longer friends with that person but I feel so much peace not hiding who I am.
I hope that answers your question.