Going from thinking I knew the truth and having a hope to realizing I don't know anything and have no hope is terrifying for me.
Hope is a powerful thing. I don't want to be too profound, or comment too much as if I knew the answers you seek. All I have to offer, as most people when it comes to "conclusions", are opinions.
Paul, it seems you respect my opinion and others here. But remember something about our conclusions, we all did a certain amount of mining for them. We weren't always where we were. In short, I was, like many here, where you are now.
There is a certain amount of "respecting the process" that you must have faith in. Mouthy mentioned some therapy. Did you know I have had therapy too, and it has helped immensely.
You mention that you no longer have hope. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians where Paul said that three things remain, faith, hope and love, and the greatest is love.
I agree with that. Before you can have faith and hope, you must love others. To be self absorbed too much means you aren't thinking of others enough, and if you isloate yourself, there can be no hope.
I realize I am telling on myself by saying that. I feel I am too self absorbed. I use this board to work some things out in my head. (still) I am learning to refocus some of my contemplation and introspection on others. I am trying to get involved with my community. I couldn't have done that when I first left JW's. It took time. It's been over 3 years for me. I can't promise any less time for you. But it does get easier.
Anyway, realize that hope comes from love. Love others. Forgive yourself first. I know you don't think you are ok the way you are, but you really are. I promise you with all my heart that you are. And as I continue to learn, have faith in the goodness of others, in yourself, and that if you are patient, peace will come your way.
I promise you this to, though I am no prophet at all, (insert laugh track here) but God loves you too. Like a good parent, he wants you to accept who you are. If you can't believe that now, then can you at least stay open to that possibility? :)
And hey, from someone who still needs more of it myself, get some therapy. Get some help. Be humble the right way and help yourself by letting others help you.
Sorry if that wasn't profound, but thats what I have tonight. Hang in there! :-)