Sorry for the length of that intro post, but glad you guys made it through. I'm not even going to tell you that it is not normal, because it is. My other online board (parents of July 97 kids) gives me a bad time about my novels...
I found this board by doing a google for x-jw and variations of that. This one kept popping up, and I noticed that the posting was pretty lively compared to other places I checked out. I've been reading for hours today (going to make for a looonnng blurry night of work tonight!). It feels pretty darn good to find myself among kindreds. You guys aren't the demon-possessed, angry and hateful mob that JWs teach that you (and now "we" wooo hooo!) are. I think there is more love and support outside the org than in. At least, that's what I've found in the years I've been fighting with the elders for my dignity. My "worldly" friends and family were all there for me during the divorce BS moreso than my congregation 'friends'.
I do sort of miss a couple people in my old cong, but when I think of the friends I had there, I know that they aren't/weren't true friends. I could never be myself around any of them for fear of being thought of as 'spiritually weak' for any little dumb thing. I'm a very non-judgemental person; it was hard to be so judged... I never quite fit their 'mold' and I think they never quite understood that. I think it threatened them somewhat, too. The elders have problems with independent, non-submissive, fix-my-own-damn-washing machine before I settle in with a Coors Light and a football game females. I just read Scully's post about the Elder spotting -- fits to a T and I can't wait to have the opportunity to imitate it. It's true that when their power is taken away even in our own minds, they are nothing... they no longer have any hold on me. Just regular humans.
I think there's going to be a few more of these ramblings before I get this all out.