I can only say I'm new here in the sense I've just been able to join. I have actually followed this forum for over a year now. I've tried joing several times but must have been doing something wrong, so I thought I'd try one more time and it finally worked.
I was a born-in JW. I was born on the Godl Coast, Australia in 1975. Both my parents and their families have been and some still are in the "truth". My parents divorced when I was 4. My father remarried when I was 6. I lived with my mother until I was 7 then went to live with my father and his wife. I stayed with them for a year before going back to mum, who had by then moved to Sydney with my sister who is 18 months younger than I. Mum remarried when I was 8. She had by then been disfellowshipped without any warning, reason, or meeting with the elders. An elder came to her door and told her she was disfellowhipped and gave her no reason for it. This was right before my father got remarried.
The man mum married ended up being a violent drunk and we all endured him for a further 4 years, before she finally had the courage to leave him. We had moved to Melbourne with him after they married and my sister and I would visit my father and other family every year. Of course while there we would go to meetings and be on our best behaviour. Because of our upbringing, by the time we moved to Melbourne we were indoctrinated enough in childhood to continuously reaffirming our beliefs without even having to go to meetings or study except when we saw our dad. Hence, when I was I was 14 years old, a witness came to our door (the first one I'd come across since moving to Melbourne), and I started a study. We moved around a lot and my sister and I studied with many different people.
I never progressed to baptism, I came close several times but something just always held me back. Whenever I'd had questions, like any good JW, I learned to ignore or and give the party line "wait on Jehovah". Saying that, I studied for about 20 years. I'd studied with your run of mill brothers, Ministerial servants and 2 elders. I went through the Live Forever book twice, Mankind's Search for God, The Truth the Leads to Everlasting Life, Greatest Man book, Draw Close to Jehovah and the James book. And still all that wasn't enough to get my heart moving enough to get baptised.
Long story short, I'm out (in more ways than one), I'm free to think for myself and research things I would like to find answers to. I'm not at all religious anymore, I don't take assertions at face value anymore, especially after realising my entire view of a god and world view is based on nothing but interpretation on an ancient book that is based on hearsay.
I've rambled on enough for now. I'll probably tell more as time goes on and answer questions you might have. I'm not exactly sure of there are post limits when you first join or not. So I will leave it at that for now.