I feel a bit guilty. People on this forum were very friendly and helpful to me when I was in the in-between phase between brainwashing and freedom.
I also got a lot of help and advice and sympathy when I was trying to get my wife out.
But when she did leave, I forgot all about you guys, and we got on with our lives, and have NEVER been HAPPIER. Honestly, life is soooo damn good now, I worry I might have reached the peak and things will only get worse from here.
We are amazed at how much our children enjoy birthdays and christmas - how healthy, normal and FUN these things are. I finally watched the Harry Potter movies and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Whether I enjoyed them or not is irrelevant.
We have fantastic sex lives now. I'm studying for a bachelors degree online. Our children play with "wordly" kids. I don't think I will ever be materialistic, but I feel totally comfortable pursuing more wealth so that we can live a more comfortable life and can provide a higher education for our kids.
I have my own opinions on a vast array of subjects, from global warming to "terrorism" to local politics and conspiracies. I can think for myself and it feels wonderful. By becoming more dependant on my own mind, I've been able to essentially cure my asthma, and greatly improve my wife's chronic health problems. Once we had rejected dependance on a "faithful slave" we also became far less dependant on medical professionals (sometimes I give them a harder time than they deserve, but then again, sometimes they treat us 'plebs' the way the governing body treats the 'other sheep')
I believe in Darwin's theory of the origin of the species ... gradual adaptation as the reason for the variety of species we have today - but I'm agnostic about abiogenesis etc. I just cant decide either way if there is an intelligent designer(s) or not - which at least means that if there is one, he/she/them doesn't want to be found. I certainly don't believe in the anthropomorphic, bearded, male gods that many believe in. I try to stay respectful to those who do believe in that sort of thing, but honestly, its hard not to become argumentative.
All-in-all, leaving "the truth" was the best (and most difficult) thing I ever did. It nearly broke our marriage, but in the end, it brought us far closer than I ever realised a couple could get. We have two amazing children who are the "light at the end of the tunnel" for me - my reason for living. I don't need a paradise hope - I'm very happy with the life I have, thanks to the god(s) - I won't ask for more, because I feel blessed to have had what I've had so far. Its not all roses, we've had death's, divorces and poor health, sexual abuse and violence affect us to varying degrees. But still, I wouldn't ask to have never been born, even if this is as good as it gets. I could never have said that, nor felt such appreciation for the life and body I have now back when I was a JW. I was always scared of this world, of this life, of my 'imperfect flesh'. Now I truly feel that "in a fear inspiring way, we are wonderfully made" (evolution or not, we are still amazing machines)
I am fitter, healthier (I hope, those damn sneaky diseases like cancer and heart disease can be hiding in any one of us) and respect my body MORE now than when I was a JW. Sure, they don't smoke. But they are more sedentary than the average "worldly" because they frown on sports and other "bodily training". I would love to see a statistic for the level of obesity amongst JWs compared to the wider population.
I could go on, but what I really came here to do was say:
Thanks to everyone here who helped me at a difficult time. All the best ... I hope your lives have improved after leaving as much as mine has!