Someone asked this and I posted it in a thread, but thought since I been posting here awhile now, for any interested a bit in my background, I'd put it here.
Hey Rosepetal -
For me the overall process was this...........I was raised as one, and 'advanced' quickly. I understood the bible and many things at 6 years old. I did want to serve God and I started giving talks at 7 or 8 years of age, got baptised at 9 years of age. I 'knew' I wanted to serve God, and I did not even think of the possibility I would be mislead or lied to about anything. During school years, I did undergo a lot of persecution for being moral, not cursing, etc.
Then I hit my early teen years, and family problems started and parents had split up. Had moved, and then I started to see a new angle and a side of the org had never seen. Was in some halls where elders were making accusations against us, and because of the rough split of my parents, how elders felt was also trickled or laid on us as well (sibling and I), I also actually 'asked' for help because making meetings and service were hard. Can't tell you how many times "I" initiated and had to ask, and they would make promises too and never did. Just my sibling and mother, and never even any shepherding call or anything. As a teen, even "I" KNEW this was not right. I thought, if I was an elder, I would make specifically sure that single parent family's, and especially the kids were getting all the help and support they would need. But felt no love or nothing. THIS did NOT make me stop though. I thought well always problems, I won't let these goats and imperfect men stumble me. So I endured. Then even endured some of them starting rumors and such, all the while I was still innocent of anything.
In my later teen years, I noticed how almost all of the 'association' didn't seem very christian like. How other then going in service, many of the friends seemed no different if not worse then worldly (minus the smoking).
In my mid teen years, I also got real deep into bible reading and understanding prophecy. At age 15, I was reading Revelation and Jesus prophecies, and for some reason, the "disgusting thing causing desolation (let the reader use discernment)" I could not ignore. I was drawn to it. I researched it and looked up everything in the bound volumes and I KNEW it was wrong! I talked to family, and said there is no way this is correct. I felt like I was getting more understanding and that everything we had was wrong. My family was confused, on how a 15 year old is so deep in the deep things of the bible and understanding them. They said I should be patient and didn't really ask or get into detail about what I was learning. I also, at age 15, started reading the book, "The Two Babylons". I started to trace 'false religion.' I went deeper then anything in the WT articles or any JW's I know went. I traced many modern day things all the way back to Nimrod. I started to see how corruption began in Christianity, the pattern. (The SAME pattern which has happened from the start of WT to today)
VERY shortly after all this started, only few months, I got SUPER sick. I was sleeping 20+ hours a day. ( I guess mono which kids get and usually happens in mid teens. It wasn't from kissing cause never kissed a girl at that point but just sharing a drink you can get it ) So anyway, I was too exhausted to keep studying and to concentrate. By the time it eased up, a watchtower was released, "Let the Reader Use Discernment". My mom came running and said, "you won't believe this, look what this watchtower says!". They acknowledged that that scripture had a future fulfillment, but they gave no details. This accomplished in me trusting well okay they are maybe going to correct stuff and catch up.
I had never fully recooperated, since then always been tired and hard to do much or reading. For years later, I noticed more things in the society. A lot of abuse on others and lack of love. I was puzzled on how so many were leaving, who didn't even have to go through what I did, (lies, judging, etc) yet I was still there. Due to my tiredness and such, always felt the 'judging' because of 'not every meeting'. On lack of love, a sister was moving w/ her young daughter, didn't know them at all, but volunteered to help. For a few years felt bad for many.
Then all association I could have, was either 'very' hypocritical.........most who didn't at all seem to be wanting to serve God, just major double lives, or super self righteous who cannot go out or have any fun, because they need to be well rested for the assembly coming up in 2 months.
So it was either be isolated or try to find something w/ human interaction. I got into some hobbies and recreational things, which my interaction was with 'worldly' people. A good portion of the 'worldly' people at these, happened to be "Christians" of various faiths and such. I started seeing quite a few, who seemed to act like very spiritual/pioneer like sisters and brothers. Some who were actually more reserved and moral I guess you'd say, then pretty much every witness around my age range I knew. In their 'recreation' or 'public' life, they were being true to themselves and what they believe. They had no threats or fear of 'disfellowshipping' to keep them in line, they just WANT to serve God. I started seeing in different faiths more and more like this. I thought to myself, okay........at the end, is God going to destroy these people, JUST because they were unable to find the truth, yet they are living their life and really trying to serve him? in their hearts? but those who are at meetings and service, but no where near as good are gonna be saved? Did not make sense at all.
Also with some studying and such I had, never fully brought one into the truth, I was so through that all my students would learn to really study and research, and 1914/disfellowshipping when those they researched came up, they couldn't find it as truth. I myself couldn't find a way to make it make sense either. I just went on that it shouldn't matter if 1914 was real or not, it doesn't change what we must do, it shouldn't matter if the end was another 1,000 years away. I even ran into 'apostate' stuff, and brushed it all off and looking for excuses. Because Israel was never perfect, they always went bad, but they were still God's people. His chosen.
So.......how did I finally break free? A little over a year ago, (bout 28 by then) after being so tired all the time. Got some treatment which gave me energy again. I then got right back to as I was at 15 years of age, into reading the bible again. I just didn't have the mental energy to do it was too tired or would sleep. So having energy again, right back at it. At 15 I was getting insight, as if trickling on me like water. NOW it was as if that trickle got clogged up and built up all those years, and removing the clog, a FLOOD pouring on me. I first started seeing how in the last days, how the shepherds have lead all his people astray. How they have been abusive and on witchhunts. (Everything I had been seeing, I saw foretold in the bible) THEN I saw what God planned to do about. Since then, I been learning so much. Things not taught anywhere, not understood, I understand what Jesus said where there are things he would like to say, but they wouldn't be able to contain them. Not too much I can say about what I've learned the past year...........having a flood for this long, trying to dump that on someone in one day, nobody can mentally take in the whole truth at once, it would be too overwhelming. (remember when a JW, would you try to teach on day one the 144,000? lol