First I am so sorry to read about your husband. That must have been a difficult time for you.
It's one thing to know information in the abstract. Yes they lie. We have plenty of examples. Yes they sacrificed people for the organization. Human nature finds it so easy to not attend to the cold hard facts of a situation until it bites them emotionally.
I've never forgotten being sent to foster care to supposedly "protect" me from one of by abusers. That meant I was sent to live with someone who was not a JW and who had no desire to let me go the the KH. And they left the abuse in the home where there were other children and in the congregation. I "knew" all this.
But I explained it away. I explained to myself (with a lot of "help" from my mother) that this was a protection for me. She needed him to stay in the home to help her take care of my 4 siblings and her 3 brothers who she had custody over. She was acting in my best interests and in the interests of the family. I bought it. I so totally believed she had my best interests at heart. She loved me and this was how she was showing it - to keep me safe. I was 12 years old.
It wasn't until I was in my 40s that the emotional impact of this finally hit me. All those years I suppressed the reality that my mother had sent me away to protect herself. She was in love with this man and was going to blame me to "seducing" him. She holds that belief to this day.
I went along with the story for all those years. I think it was just too painful to believe that my mother would choose a child abuser as her mate over her child. When it finally hit me I felt like someone ripped my heart out. I have never seen my mother in quite the same way as I did as a child.
I think this whole issue of the misrepresentation is the same kind of thing. Even while I was a witness I knew there were changes in the books. I thought nothing of it. It was so "minor", just a few things here and there. I, like others who saw it, shrugged it off. Typos. "New light" It was in our best interests.
I have been out for over 20 years now. For the first 10 of those years I was still a believer. It never would have occured to me that the WTS was wrong, that it deliberately lied to JWs.
We've gone through the UN membership and the sexual abuse exposes. For me the sexual abuse scandal hit me hard. I knew there were a couple of people who had been abused besides me. I really didn't give it a lot of thought regarding my association with the JWs - until I found out there were so many more victims.
Then I found out not only are there thousands of other victims, there are thousands of abusers and almost every one of them got off with no reporting to officials and no help given to victims.
The emotional impact hit me.
Two other issues have hit me in the same way - suicide and child kidnapping. I knew these things happened. But the emotional impact hit me hard. And again it came years after the events occurred.
Betrayal of trust is devastating to most people. As a child I trusted that my mother would always be there to protect me and always have my best interests at heart. As a teen and adult I trusted the WTS would do the same. Even though I've been here quite a while now and read so many stories and done so much research I was in a denial that the WTS could betray trust so devastatingly. The emotional impact has hit me.
Considering the reactions on the board to this "news" I think that some people have not been able to digest the emotional impact. For that matter we are still trying to understand the meaning and impact of it all.