first off..... welcome to jwd. secondly many here can relate to your story, seems it keeps happening over and over to those of us in one fashion or another. good thing about it is were all out of that disgusting org, even tho the after shocks still affect us for years and years.
as for the religion question, i now go to a non denominational church and love it completely. i always hated going to meetings, and fieldservice. felt i was pushing something that no one else wanted and otherwise ruining their weekends. i went to the meetings to see my friends and because they would be up my ass if i didnt.
now on the other hand i absolutely love my church and wouldnt miss a service unless i truely had to. but the first time i walked in those doors.... OMG and the fact that it was soooo huge. my wife told me how wonderful this church was so i agreed to attend at least once. of course i was scared to death to even walk inside the doors, and the first service was ending so literally thousands of people were walking out of the sanctuary doors.
right then and there i wanted to haul ass back to the car and get the hell outta there, but i had promised i would go ONCE then never again as i could claim i tried it.
THEY SING CHRISTIAN SONGS OF WORSHIP THERE....... i was soooooooo freaked out, but then the pastor started preaching and my world changed.
he wasnt the charismatic, money hungry, oral roberts wannabe that as witlessness i was taught he would be. instead he was a former drug addict, strip club operator, music exec who found jesus and literally turned his life around. his message was right for me and through that church i was able to move on and learn more about what the bible actually says.
still took alot of time, and one day walking out to the car we saw a display in the hallway manned by one single brother for GASP.......... a JW outreach.
grabbed my wifes arm and kept her a marching right out the door. next week tho after much thought we stopped to talk to him and signed up. helped alot of christians to know what to say to witnesses. we have unfortunately moved away from the church but are going to a branch of it here in ATL and planning on starting up the same minestry here.
yes there is life after the org and its damned fine if i do say so myself