Forgive me for being curious, you are 44, you are in the U.S., you have a degree, not married, just woke up, never heard of C of C. Your story is rather puzzling. Is it possible to provide the missing pieces of information to complement the known information and create a coherent narrative.
Thank you for the greeting! I would be honored to try to clarify some of my history! Since your name is "never a jw" you are probably not aware, or at least intimately aware of the control that is exerted by the organization. Everything you do from sun up to sun down is 'supposed' to be for Jehovah (actually for the org, but that is a long story.) When I was at school, I was under the constant pressure to not conform with the 'worldly people.' I stayed at home the whole time and commuted to and from school. My mother, who was a zealous pioneer, was very disappointed in me for going. She constantly hounded me to drop out but I was determined to get my education (civil engineering.) Since I was raised from a child in the "truth", I tried to associate only with the friends. Believe me it was hard. Most people at my school probably thought I was crazy, weird, or just plain nuts. I would carry the WT with me to prove to my mom that I was still a good JW. That pretty much kept most from talking to me. I also put extra effort to be in service and do as much as I could in the congregation to, for a lack of a better word, atone for seeking secular education. I even put in auxiliary pioneer hours for many months to prove my spirituality to my own distress. That's when I started to have anxiety issues and panic attacks. Believe me, I had no time to even think or look for counter JW thoughts or writings. I must confess in the last few months I have heard of some, and please excuse me for using this term (I do not mean it in a pejorative) apostate writings. Who wrote what, when, and why is just coming together for me. It is actually quite overwhelming.