I was raised a JW by very strict parents who, in my early teen years were physically and then later emotionally abusive all the while with my dad being and Elder (and he still is). I didn't want to be a JW then but my life was all about making my parents happy which started with me being baptized at 13. My parents constantly drilled into my head that most things were "bad" and I was "bad" I constantly did whatever I could to avoid being bad. I had no life but then met a nice JW boy when I was 17. Against my better judgement, I stayed with him and married him when I was 20. I didn't have a lot in common with him but he was really nice and was safe - he was a witness and even though I wanted to be in the world so bad I chose to be with him because he would keep me grounded, in the truth and away from where I really wanted to be because it was the right thing to do.
We were married for 7 years and have 3 sons.
For the past few years I've known that I did not want to be a JW even more and was sick of being fake. I was beyond frustrated by so many judgemental people. I felt like it was impossible to keep up with their standards. I had a husband who wouldn't listen to what I was really saying, was miserable and depressed and had a horrible sex life. My husband is a great guy and we were best friends but there was no physical connection there. Sex was always akward and weird and he always treated me like I was dirty.
2 months ago someone came back into my life. He's someone who I was in love with when I was a teenager. He used to be a JW but my parents forbid me from having anything to do with him because he was "bad". This friend has now been DF'd for 12 years. I was at the point that I knew I could no longer stay married to my husband because he was not what I needed, I knew for years I didn't want to be a witness but didn't know that I COULD leave because I was always told that I couldn't and there was no way my husband would ever leave or ever be supportive of me leaving. So I left and have been with this friend since.
Before I was officially DF'd I had my brother and his wife (JW's) trick me into coming to their house under the premise that they "cared" and just wanted to talk about what was going on with me. Well, they ended up taking my keys and purse away and took me to the hospital, lied to the Dr and told him I was suicidal. They wanted me checked into the hospital and put on meds because I was "crazy". When the Dr came in I explained myself to him and he told my brother that he needed to give me my stuff back or he could be charged with kidnapping. On the way home my brother yelled at me and told me I'd be better off dead. The next day my mom came over and told me that if I was DF'd then she'd kill herself.
I talked to the elders who gave me tons of time before officially DF'ing me even though my mind was made up. I stayed with my boyfriend while I got my stuff together and now have my own place so I can share custody of the kids. I'm DF'd and basically have no one at this point except the boyfriend, and a small group of X-JW's who I grew up with and am now reconnected with.
I find that now that I'm out, it's a huge blow to everything I am. I was raised in this innocent, naive and very manipulative world and now that I'm out in the real world I'm finding it a little daunting especially not really having a huge support network. I've been so manipulated my whole life and it's hard to see what's real and what is garbage that they have fed my mind. It's hard to have the self confidence when i realize just how sheltered I've been my whole life.
One thing that I'm dealing with is being told that no one will love me outside of the JW's. That anyone out in the world (as in the guy I'm with) is only going to use me and then hurt me. They have me believing that I'm going to end up alone and miserable because that's what happens to people in the "world". Even though I know this is what I want, it's still affecting me and making me crazy. This guy - I like him so much and have so much in common with him. I honestly didn't know that you could be with someone that was so right for you, someone who likes the same things and I genuinely enjoy being with and WANT to be with. We both liked each other back then and the same feelings re-emerged instantly. But I'm so scared to let myself go and trust people because I've been taught that I can't trust anyone who's not a JW. This guy - he's been with a lot of girls and has had a lot of failed relationships. When we met again after so long we re-connected right away. He has told me that I am not like any of the girls he's been with - I've always been very honest hearted and caring. He's shown me that he's serious and that this isn't a game, that we don't really know what will happen but he really wants be together and try to have something with me. But I'm scared of what people have told me though - that he's had relationships and is only using me, that he'll never really care or love me and that he's just feeding me lines. I want to trust him with myself but find myself believing the JW lies that they are saying to try and get me to come back- that because he's "worldly" that I couldn't possibly mean something to him. I feel like JW's use SO much manipulation to scare you into coming back. It's really confusing when you see that you could be really happy but then you have these old people in a life you had that was fake telling you that you will never be as happy as you were when you were JW.
I feel like I've been a fake person my whole life and am happy that I finally can be the person I want but at the same time it's something I know that will take time because I now need to shake all the lies that I've been taught.