Hi, I am a friend of dedpoet, I think he may have posted about me occasionally, and he has kindly allowed me to join the forum from his pc as I do not have internet access at home.
I have known Trev (dedpoet) since he first joined the same congregation as me 14 years ago, and we have always been friends. I was very sad when he left us some years ago, but have maintained contact with him, something that has got me in trouble with the elders just lately now he is disassociated. I have personally never been comfortable with the idea of shunning, although I have joined in with it in the past, but with Trev I just can't do that, he has been and still is just too good a friend.
I have been a witness over half my life, and until recently never had any real doubt that I had the truth, but now I am very unsure and am currently not attending meetings or taking part in the ministry. I have looked at several sites on the net, and have read some of the posts on this forum (you seem remarkably well informed about us!), and I must confess that some of the stuff I have read has shaken my faith severely, to the extent that I am no longer sure that I have the truth at all. I am seriously beginning to wonder if the last 23 years has been a waste of time.
I haven't completely abandoned the congregation yet, but haven't been to a meeting for a couple of weeks, and I have to say that I haven't missed going as much as I thought I would, and at the moment I don't feel any real inclination to return. My family are not witnesses, so no problem there, but most of my friends, apart from Trev, are. I suppose everyone who drifts away encounters the same problem, I know Trev did, but he seems to have overcome it and is happier now than he ever was in the truth.
I really don't know yet what I am going to do in the future. I have spent so long as a witness it's very hard to imagine not being one, but I have so many doubts now about what I have been doing all these years that if I do return I just know that I may never feel the same about the truth again. Right now, if I do leave I wonder how I would put up with the inevitable shunning, although Trev says he got used to it after a while, and it doesn't worry him at all now.
Whatever I do, I am glad to have been able to post on this forum, and to have read so many of the posts on here. Sorry about the length of this, but I just needed to write down some of the feelings I am having now.