Hi there, I am pretty new to this forum, this absolutely wonderful forum and I just wanted to know what made you all leave? What were your positions, responsibilities and at what point did you know you had to leave? And are there any persons here from Ontario, Canada?
Here is my story:
I am now a resident in Toronto which I came to from Nova Scotia seven years ago, and in short I lost twenty-eight years of my life to a religion that owned me since I took my first step, and every step thereafter and I refuse to only see the light on the day of my last breath.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to know that there are others that understand where I am coming from. There is nothing worse than being alone. I knew the day that I asked myself honestly "Who am I?". I was in private honestly looking into myself and when I burst into tears because I did not know the answer or what the right answer was....I knew that I was lost. At twenty-five years old I knew then I had absolutely no sense of who I was, or what I had become. I only knew who I had to be......who I was expected to be....as my years of service, pioneering and being known as a "pillar in the congregation".
Now that I have chosen the course of "fading" as it is called by others, I am concerned that once I fade, will I be thrown back to square one in that I will no longer be able associate with my family/friends if I decide to disassociate myself? I plan on writing the Society a letter and letting them know that I actually want to annul my baptism (since I was 10 years old) and that I simply want to be viewed and treated as someone who has never taken the "truth" and that I simply want to be recognized as no different as one of those they find behind the doors in the field ministry. I will also beat them to the punch and let them know that their rebut of "you know the scriptures therefore you know the difference" is of absolutely no significance to me, because as far as I am concerned I have been manipulated, persuaded and coerced by the forces of mind control to unconsciously nod my head to the explanations the WTBS give with absolutely no room for self thought or any questions against it. You want to talk about machinations of the devil! Is that not in itself the very epitome of sinister machinations? It is because of THEM that I do not know the scriptures, I only know what THEY think they know, or profess to know. I am trying to know the scriptures, the holy scriptures, not that of the NWT, but of the holy bible as it resonates within my heart and within my individual intellect and reasoning. It is because of THEM I am haunted and tortured by fear of misreading or misinterpreting the scriptures and paying the penalty of such by an annihilation in Armageddon. It is because of THEM that I am desperate to find the knowledge of God, to find the truth, and find what is 'right' and I am pummeled to tears because I do not know where to begin because I am suffering emotional paralysis spiritually speaking.
Everything in my life everything that I have ever known it to be has been nothing but years of hypnosis to keep me from seeing reality to put it lightly. The minute, the very second that I raise my hand to ask a question I am spiritually handed my dose of medication to keep me 'sane', and the more that I have tried to fight it, the more they convince me I am crazy, that I know better and that I am weak and letting Satan into my heart. Every excuse and explanation they give is shoved in my mouth with my hands tied behind my back. And now I am dying within myself minute by minute in my solidary confinement praying that God knows my heart despite that they insist on telling me that I am unrighteous and treating me like a leper.
Here I am doing all that I can to do what is right, and please my parents as I have "disowned" them, and 'left my family'. As I am going to the meetings and my mother talks to me, I am guilt stricken because I see the hope in their eyes and hear the happiness in their voices. I had been in a car accident earlier this year and I have had to depend on my parents to help me as I am unable to work, and I cannot drive so I depend on my parents bringing me to my appointments and physio while my fiance is at work. Knowing that I am putting on a smile for them, I am being eating away inside because I know what my intentions are. I am forever grateful for my parents being here for me, and putting aside my disfellowshipping on the account of emergency circumstances. I am saddened beyond all words however because my mother constantly speaks of how wonderful everything will be once I am back, how we will go out in service, have tea and crumpets, and how we will all go together to the conventions and assemblies. It breaks my heart that I know I have no intention of going to any of those, and it breaks my heart that she is so entrenched in her dreams, and it kills me that I cannot fulfill them. Before my mother remarried, it was only she and I. And my mother has stuck by me all though my life, she has been by my side anytime I ever needed her. She absolutely has been an incredible mother who I honestly could have not asked for better. My mother and I have seen hell and we have been there together and back on many occasions, but we together with the whole world against us, bravely pressed on and became ferocious in strength and rebuilt our lives together under the watchful eye of the Watchtower Bible Tract Society. Honestly who knows where I would be without her. I guess in a way I feel indebted to her and somehow my remaining in the 'truth' is part of fulfilling her dream and repaying her for all she has done for me. Unfortunately, I do not how to separate her dreams from my life. I feel obligated......responsible for her happiness. Absolutely torn. Nothing killed me more than when she cut a lock of my hair "to remember" me by on the night I was being announced. I had never seen her fall into a million pieces as she then did before my very eyes. I saw her heart rip out from her and I stood there hopelessly helpless......knowing that I had caused it. Never in my life would I ever cause such devastation intentionally, and here I just crushed my innocent mother under my foot.
That night haunted me for months....truth be told, it still does, and the letters of pleading for my return under my apartment door were too much for me to bear. However, the days and weeks, months and years that I lead a perfunctory life only left me feeling hollow and barely in existence which too tortured me psychologically, emotionally, and affected me physically. I suffered for years from bulimia and clinical depression, I had absolutely no control over my life or anything in it, and the only thing constant was paranoia. After leaving the organization I took measures to better myself, to find myself, and to start over from scratch. The one and only time in my life that I had found inner peace was months after I left, mainly because for the first few months I suffered from increased paranoia and adjusting to the reality that I really was all alone. I had nothing and no one. My apartment and my job was all to my name. I adopted a little kitten and she became my family, my friend, and my confidant....and I eventually began to one by one pick myself up dust myself off and reintroduce me to myself and to life. No, not an easy task, but by far the smartest, and most essential move in order to remove the scales from my eyes. That is one of the many reasons that I feel so incredibly torn, because I know where my inner peace resides, however that is also the place that my heart breaks. How is it that an oasis can both be your haven and your hell? Much of my decision to return for my reinstatement is so that I can somehow merge the two and form a treaty of peace, and break the chains of spiritual confinement and be freed from the relentless torture of guilt and sorrow. But now that I have begun such, I fear that it may only be a matter of time before I will be faced with the crossroads of fulfillment of dream and repayment, or fulfillment of self and inner peace. So now while I stand here in my haven, I cry at night in my hell.
There really are no answers that can form a direction in which I am to take that will soften the blows to either my heart or to my family's heart....namely my mother's. I can only hope and pray that God will fortify me with the determination I need, with the witnesses against me, to again bravely press on, ferocious in strength, and rebuild my life......under the grace of his mercy, forgiveness, compassion and love.