It was a slow awakening for me. I took everything the WTS said very seriously and made many decisions based solely on their influence....decisions that did not turn out well. I began to question why every prayerful life choice I made resulted in problems. Shouldn't following all the directives from Jah's organization have positive results? I had always put the blame on myself, thinking that I needed a lot of improvement as a witness (never was 100% regular at meetings, didn't care for field service, didn't study as hard as I thought I should) but it finally dawned on me that even when I did better in these areas, it didn't matter.
I can remember sitting at the KH during a Watchtower study when it finally hit me how they'd suggest a lot of things (no higher education, no blood, pioneering) but would also put some disclaimer in the article so that, in effect, they'd be talking out of both sides of their mouth. I thought about how some witnesses seemed to pick and choose what they would adhere to and seemed to have no problem sending their kids to college, making a good living, taking fabulous vacations, building beautiful new homes, buying luxurious cars and generally living the good life, while others of us allowed ourselves to be beat down by the WTS until we were just crawling through life on bloodied hands and knees. I decided that I needed a break until I could figure out how to be one of those more self-confident, self-loving JWs. I needed to be someone who wasn't blown this way and that by whatever wind broke from Bethel that particular week, year or month.
I had finally, finally recognized how often those supposedly God-inspired men changed their minds and how much damage they did to those of us who believed they were what they said they were and were so ready to follow their every suggestion.