p.s. Your first sentence reminds me of the first sentence in "The Stranger" by Albert Camus.
Somehow this is fitting, as I've been The Stranger for the past 25 plus years, since I told them I wasn't interested in returning to the KH.
Also fitting because I just started laying out my first novel... and support has come out of the woodwork for it from some surprising quarters!
Someone else here said that my parents missed out on knowing me. That is sooo true, something that has really bugged me because they have no idea who I am as an adult, and they've withheld the privledge of me knowing them. Sad.
I doubt my mom would ever leave the witlesses. I will not even consider talking with her about it unless she brings it up. She's spent all of her adult life as a witness (where I've spent all of my adult life out), and I don't think she could stand the strain of loosing her religion and "faith", for what that "faith" is worth today. Last fall, the last time I saw her (I was sick all winter myself), she told me she couldn't understand how "this old system can keep going. It wasn't supposed to be this way!". I really feel for the lies she/they have surrounded themselves with.
Heck. Maybe I'll buy a dress.