Just wanted to say hi and thanks to everyone that has posted their stories and comments. I was Df'ed a few months ago now and reading this forum has helped out heaps. Based on that I wanted to contribute in the hope that my experiences resonate with someone and help with the healing proccess the way it's helped me. Man I don't even know where to start, we've all got a book in us huh? I was born into the jw's and even though I always believed in Jehovah as he was taught to me I was ashamed of the religon itself, even as a kid. I was pretty out-going when young but when i hit about 9 I got really depressed and it never really left me. My life moved fairly normally despite this (from a jw point of view) got baptized at 20, married at 25 to a woman 11 years older with 3 kids (a story in itself) and ended up with 2 beautiful kids of my own. That's when the wheels started to come off my faith, not only in the WBTS but God too. I was working my arse off trying to support a family with 5 kids, getting to meetings, pre studying for meetings, pre studying for the family study to make it fun for the kids, witnessing and still feeling guilty because I'm not doing enough. Thinking why don't I have the holy spirit on me? Why am I still depressed after all these years? What sin am I missing about myself that Jehovah won't bless me with a moment of happiness? One day I sat on the bedroom floor and started to cry because I just couldn't do it anymore. I was going to die and that was that. Then I thought about my babies and started to think. At what point, as a loving father would I kill one of them? I couldn't think of one, certainly not for being the person I was being. But God was my father right? With love greater than mine. He won't kill me. And wouldn't that extend to people not jw's? And if he was prepared to then I don't want to serve him. That's when I really started to think rationally about the society and what it taught.
A few months later a couple of things happened within a few days of each other that had a huge impact. First was hearing from my dad about a friend from my late teens that had committed suicide. My dad studied with him when we were 16-17, a spirtual orphan that became part of the family, but he had been df'ed for a few years. I wanted to go to the funeral even though I hadn't seen him for a while because I was really fond of him and his family. I was told not to by my dad as he was disfellowshipped. I argued the wages sin pays is death so it's irrelevant. But no, either way it was being held in a church of christendom so forget it. The second was another phone call from dad saying that my cousin had accused my gradfather of sexually abusing him as a kid. My Grandfather is an abusive, manipulating alcoholic so no surprise Dad and my uncle didn't believe my cousin, thinking he just wanted attention. Plus the WT said repressed memories can't be trusted. I was home alone that night. I hung up, then drank a bottle of scotch to numb myself. I couldn't believe dad could be so black and white heartless in both cases. It stumbled me big time. After hearing about my cousin i became rapidily more depressed. My wife and I seperated but we had a unit out the back of our house so I moved in there to keep things as stable as possible for the kids. Fast forward again so this thing doesn't become a novel. By this stage I haven't been to meetings for 18 months. I was talking with a friend one day about family and what had happened to my cousin. At that moment I remembered being abused as well. The physical feeling was sickening, I broke out in a sweat and my skin crawled for ages afterwards. I felt physically sick and scared out of my wits. My poor friend, bless her, didn't know what to do. Let me tell you repressed memories are frightening. A few weeks later I get the balls to tell my wife, then mum, sister and brother. They told dad. He believed me and became super humble and threw his support behind my cousin. This pissed my uncle off no end. A few weeks after that I set up a meeting with the elders in my grandfathers cong. You all know the story, 2 or more witnesses blah blah, pray more, you're feeling depressed because you aren't going to meetings, he's old now so even if it's true he won't do anything and we will be keeping an eye on him. I felt like I was on trial and the validity of my claims were based on how much I was doing as a witness. They really focused in on the point that I shouldn't tell anyone, not even my wife or parents. They seemed quite concerned I had already told so many. My aunty told me a year later that they were so suspicious of my cousin and I because my uncle had been feeding these elders outright lies about us both. He has done everything in his power to protect his dad. He is an elder to this day. Dad wrote a letter to the society expressing his concerns about child abuse policy and how the case was handled and he got a reply that essentially said, in his words, to get over it. The whole experience rattled me quite a bit and if it hadn't been for my kids I would have stuffed every sort of drug into every orifice of my body to escape it. My love for them and my determination to be the best I can be for them has saved me.
As time went by my views on God and life had changed so much. But I just couldn't shake the indoctrination that I was thinking independantly, that Satan had used one of his crafty devices to weaken my faith. So I asked for a study with a pioneer/ m.s. that used to work for me. A guy I thought I could trust. I just wanted to believe the witnesses had the truth, I thought it would make my life so much easier despite everything that had happened. Needless to say none of the answers held any weight and thinking back I shouldn't have been so forthcoming with my own take on things. After not being able to get me to go to more than 1 meeting in this time the question arose about whether my wife had grounds for a scriptural divorce. I told him yes she did and she'd known that for some time and why ask. Curiosity he said. At that point I knew I was screwed. A commitee would be formed. And hey presto I got the call. It's strange how it's all smiles, laughter and small talk at first. I told them honestly what I had done and when asked if I was sorry said yes, to my ex and the kids I was and have expressed it. The P.O. asked me if I was sorry to Jehovah. I replied that Jehovah's sins towards me and mankind were far greater than anything I've done to him so no. As far as I see it if nothing came into existance except through Jehovah then that includes wickedness. If looks could kill the flesh would have melted off my bones. Even the other 2 elders soiled themselves at that point. So that was that. After that meeting I went home and devoured everything I could online about witnesses and I felt so much better about what had just happened. I felt an elated sense of freedom and my happiness and confidence has grown 100 fold since that day. Not that it's all plain sailing of course. I miss my family everyday, none of them have spoken to me since the night of the announcement. It hurt when I didn't get told my brother and his wife had a baby. But hey I'm free.
So that's me in a nutshell.
Thanks for reading. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better. Anyone in Melbourne, Aus that want's to catch up feel free to PM me.