17 Jun

Jane "Goldie" Winn

Author, Speaker, and Life Coach

Goldie's testimony from her broadcast interview on VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies is almost completely transcribed. This is what has been transcribed so far.  

These are the questions that I asked Goldie during her interview on the VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies YouTube channel, and what she shared. Please consider, liking, sharing, and subscribing to the channel. Thank you! 

May you share your your testimony? It’s very miraculous. I know it will help many people–It has and will continue to do so because of what God has done in your life. 

Yes, thank you so much. It’s an honor to be here tonight. I never know exactly where to start sharing my story, but I trust the Lord will give me His prompting on exactly where to start. Maybe it’s a good idea to set the scene. I grew up in a Jewish family. Our parents raised us as conservative Jews, and I was born in Massachusetts. We lived in Florida for a little while when my father was a doctor. My father was the assistant superintendent of the VA Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, and in 1958, he received an offer to go to Independence, Iowa, a tiny town of 5,000, where he became the superintendent of a very large state mental hospital. This was when we had state hospitals, and I remember to this day when we pulled up to the hospital grounds and I looked up at this formidable structure and saw all these bars on the window. I was young, maybe in second or third grade, but I remember to this day when we pulled up to the hospital grounds and I looked up at this formidable structure and saw all these bars on the window. I remember my father getting out of the car and saying, “O’ve, what have I done? All these bars are on the windows. My first decision is that I’m going to remove all those bars from the windows and make them humane for these patients.” My father was an amazing visionary, and he believed in treating the mentally ill with dignity, as he used to say, but for the grace of God, there go I. 

My dad taught us from a young age to respect the mentally ill. There were 1,100 patients in the hospital and 500 employees. Growing up, our living quarters were sandwiched between patient wards in the main administration building of the hospital. The place I grew up in was intriguing, with a long, winding staircase that linked the superintendent’s apartment to the main administration area. I recall how every time my family went down that staircase, the staff would stand up to demonstrate their support and respect. The patients and staff held him in high regard as a patriarchal superintendent. It was interesting because he was very different behind closed doors. Behind closed doors, my father was emotionally and physically abusive, mostly to my older sister than me. My sister Esther is six years older than me, and Kathy, my younger sister, is five years younger. Despite this, it was mainly Esther who experienced the bulk of his anger, and we still don’t completely understand why. One of the theories is that in the Jewish religion, it’s always wonderful to have a son, and Esther was the firstborn, and she wasn’t a son, and she was a fighter, so when my father would approach her to beat her, she would fight back, but for me, I was the one who held the pain in the family, and I would become very depressed. I remember keeping all the pain inside, and I would escape into the bathroom and just take bubble baths for hours and read books like Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins, and just try to escape because I didn’t know how to deal with the pain, and I didn’t know what to do with the fact that the world was seeing my father so differently than he was behind closed doors. It was hard to bridge those two worlds together. The other interesting thing is that when we lived in this small town, because we were the only Jewish people, there was maybe one older Jewish family. It was very important to my parents to keep up our Jewish traditions, so we would drive 45 minutes every Friday night for Shabbat to Waterloo, Iowa, where there was a conservative synagogue, which is the middle road—it’s not strict Orthodox and it’s not reform—so there was Hebrew spoken in the services and English as well, but they would drive us there, so we would go to services so that we could keep up our Jewish traditions and keep them alive by having Shabbat dinner and celebrate all the Jewish holidays. I remember not feeling very happy in my childhood, I didn’t want to feel so different, and kids would make fun of me because I was Jewish and everyone in the town was Christian, and they had Christmas trees and Santa Claus, and I used to wonder why Jews don’t believe in Jesus.Eventually, I graduated from high school and decided to major in music at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. It was during the hippie movement that I graduated from high school and went to college, and I was drawn to them because I felt like they accepted me, and it didn’t matter that I was Jewish or that I grew up living at a state hospital—what people used to call the “funny farm.” I didn’t want to be different anymore, and the hippies accepted me just as I was, so I got very involved in the whole culture. The thing that I guess I loved was that you can be a free spirit and anything goes, and the next thing you know, it’s sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I embraced the lifestyle and ended up getting involved in a lot of crazy things. 

I was getting more depressed and I didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, so I made the decision to move to a different school in Kalamazoo, Michigan and changed my major from music education to music therapy. I was still very immersed in the hippie culture and my parents paid for me to live in the dorm, but I also lived in a hippie commune. Living a double life was tricky because whenever I went home to visit my parents, I'd have to pretend that I was nice little Janeie and everything was fine and put my regular clothes on, but as soon as I went back to school, I put on my bottoms and tie-dye shirts and back in the commune. I managed to live that double life for a while, but then things caught up with me and unfortunately, I found myself pregnant.

When I got pregnant, it was before Roe versus Wade and I didn't know what to do. I waited a long time before I even got the pregnancy test, so when I found out, I was pregnant I was shocked and remember yelling at the nurse and calling her every name in the book because I didn't want to believe it and my friends knew that I couldn't have the baby because my parents would freak out. After all, it was all about looking good and there's no way their daughter could be pregnant and not be married. So I was encouraged to have an abortion because they thought I would be better off. In those days, like it is right now, the states would decide whether or not abortion was legal or not and  California was one of the states where abortion was legal so my friends decided they would help me and raise some money to help send me to California to get the abortion. I remember when I went out there it was very different because back then, abortion was looked upon in rather a shameful way. They had a hotel set up where the girls came to stay who were having abortions, but I remember to this day, the hotel proprietor saying… “We’re going to help you now, but don't ever let this happen again!” I stayed in the hotel and roomed with another girl who was going to have an abortion. It turned out we were in San Jose, California and we had to drive to San Francisco to a hospital because unfortunately because I waited too long before I took the pregnancy test I was well into my second trimester. There were no ultrasounds in the pregnancy center like there are today, so I really didn't know what to do but I figured that I had no other choice.

When we got to the hospital in San Francisco the doctor explained what they were going to do. I had a saline abortion which sadly is where they burn the fetus within you and you deliver a dead baby. I remember being in a state of numbness and didn't want to believe even at that moment that I was pregnant. I went into the hospital room and I remember the nurse said to me… “When the baby stops kicking, click this button and I'll come into the room”. Years later, I found it interesting that the nurse used the term baby. I remember when the kicking stopped, I clicked the button and the nurse came in and told me that I would’ve had a perfect baby boy.  

After the abortion, I went into what you call denial, which is one of the most basic defenses and there's a little joke that denial is not just a river in Egypt. Denial protects us from facing trauma until we're ready to do so. I not only was in denial, but I became more numb started using more drugs, and became even more sexually promiscuous.

When I went back to my college, I needed to perform a music piece as part of my music education. It was a 12-page sonata. The saxophone was my major instrument, and I had to memorize the piece to pass. Well, because I was doing so many drugs and was so depressed, I lost my place and completely forgot where I was, so they ended up flunking me for the entire year. 

I then realized how depressed I was and also that I was feeling a lot of physical pain in my body that I thought may have to do with the abortion, but when I went to the nurse on campus, she told me they couldn’t examine me without my parents signing a release to permit them because I was under 21.

I wasn’t ready to tell my parents because a few years earlier, my sister married a Catholic and in those days, Jews and Gentiles didn't mix, and my parents disowned her and said the prayer of the dead over her. Thankfully, two and a half years later they accepted her back into the family, which was a wonderful reconciliation, but in my mind–I was thinking if my parents found out about me having sex, getting pregnant, having an abortion, and being a hippie–they would certainly disown me. In my mind, there was no way that I could tell my parents, but this pain in my body was getting worse and I didn't know what to do, so my older sister Esther, who lived in Connecticut encouraged me to fly there and she would make sure that her husband who was a social worker and her would call the hospital to get me admitted, but the hospital said they couldn’t admit me without my parents' permission. My sister told me that I was going to have to call our mom and dad and tell them the truth. I was scared, but at the same time, I was sort of prepared for their rejection. I picked up the phone and called my parents and proceeded to tell them that I was a hippie, I got pregnant and then had an abortion. My father's first response (remember he was a psychiatrist), but his first response was that I might as well kill myself, that I was no good to the family anymore, and how could ever do this to them. He then slammed the phone down and at that moment, I was like okay he's rejecting me–that's it, he's rejecting me, but then about 5 minutes later the phone rang again and it was my father. He called back and said… “No, Janie–I love you. You’re my daughter, and we’re going to take care of you–we're going to get you the help you need. I'm going to call the hospital. I'm going to give a release for them to examine you and we're going to help you.” As soon as my father said those words, I love you–all that pain that I've been holding in my body all those months after the abortion left. It was all in my mind because I was afraid of my father's rejection and so I was carrying all that pain and it left.

My father called the hospital, and they checked me out and said everything was fine, but he was concerned about me and thought I needed a lot of help, so he said I’m going to send your mother out to the East Coast, and we’re going to get you set up with the top physiatrist because, in his mind, he didn’t think there was any hope for me and that I would never get better. After all, how can I do these terrible things and bring so much shame to the family? I remember being ushered into this beautiful office, the psychiatrist’s office, and my mother started telling the psychiatrist all the terrible things that I did. I felt like I just wanted to crawl under the desk. I was so full of shame and guilt, and then at some point, the psychiatrist said to my mother, “Would you mind leaving the room? I would like to talk to your daughter alone.” And she said, "Okay." I’ll never forget this as long as I live, because I didn’t expect it. He looked at me and said, “I just want to talk to you. How are you feeling? His caring shocked me because I was just shamed and beaten up emotionally and thought the doctor was going to do the same thing, but he wanted to know how I was feeling. I told him, I was confused, scared, and overwhelmed, and his response was, Well, your father’s not going to like this, but from one psychiatrist to another, I’m going to recommend that you live as far away as possible from them and that you work with a psychiatrist and you get help, and I have a good psychiatrist that I can refer you to, so if there’s any family you can live with in Connecticut, do that, but don’t say a word to your mother until I’ve had a chance to talk to your father.” At that moment, I remember feeling relief wash over me, like wow, there’s hope—there’s hope. I was still very depressed, but at least I felt hope. My father sent my mother out to set me up with the psychiatrist, and I went to intensive therapy three times a week and could live with my favorite aunt and uncle for 2 and 1/2 years. It was a wonderful time because I loved them and their children so much. We were very close and would often take family vacations together. In many ways, I felt closer to that family than my own, so it was a safe place for me. After 2 and ½ years of therapy, I knew I was ready to begin to stop, and my therapist recommended that I start working in a place that wasn’t too stressful. So, I found a job at a factory where they made Corelle Ware and worked as a glorified receptionist. One day, while sitting in the building, a guy walked in, and I thought he was really cute. So, I learned that his name was Dave, and he was from the Hartford, Connecticut, area. I remember saying to him, “You know, why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”

The Lord called Jane “Goldie” Winn out of darkness and futility, bringing her into overflowing joy and deep purpose. Goldie’s RAINBOW IN THE NIGHT movie and book depict her journey of healing and how the Lord used every tear for His Kingdom plans. Rainbow in the Night is bringing hope to many and giving people courage to continue their own journeys. RENT THE MOVIE AND BUY THE BOOK!





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Contact Goldie at goldalah@icloud.com or call: 215-990-7752

Watch the video review of Pastor Todd Joyner of Church in the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, from the movie screening of Rainbow in the Night at his church.

Purchase Goldie's Book on Amazon

Goldie's Ministry Site

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