If you've been around here long enough, you will have seen people saying how they "gave up" or "sacrificed" certain things so that they could be good little JWs. What about those of us who were growing up in it and we didn't even have a choice in the matter? What about those of us from whom some things in life were forcibly ripped away, things that 'normal' people take for granted in their life?
Parties and celebrations were TAKEN from me because I was isolated from 'normal' children and I was excluded and ignored by other JW children and their parents because I was seen as "odd" and/or "different". I feel damaged because, even though I've left, I still see no joy in many things that others take for granted as normal: parties, dancing, celebrating holidays, birthdays, etc: I just don't feel it. Go ahead and call me "a stick in the mud" if you must but I just don't see much fun in what I feel are manic excesses surrounding many of holidays/celebrations. I don't dance because I don't enjoy it at all: I feel far too self-conscious. I'm a wallflower and a loner, still.
Because of my severe and diagnosed ADHD, post-secondary school wasn't even an option for me and I can't blame that on the JWs. I barely graduated high-school so uni wasn't ever in the cards. I've found diagnosis and treatment for my affliction only in the past year and it will be a long and drawn out fight. The JWs made my ADHD related social awkwardness much worse, however. I'd say that opportunities to develop socially were TAKEN from me.
I'd also say that opportunities to express and satisfy myself sexually were TAKEN from me. Of course fears of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and other emotional damage kept me scared straight BUT the WTS's opinions on "courtship with a view to marriage" ended up being overly confining. The very limited "selection" of eligible ladies makes for a very limited dating pool. I'm now middle aged and I've been alone all my life: no love life to speak of, ever.
But never mind me... What have the WTS and their minions taken away from YOU?