(for the purposes of this post, I want to say that being angry, though a real emotion, is not healthy if it continues to fester inside you. I think anger is reasonable if it helps you to move on from point A to point B. In addition, because of the real issues anger can bring, if you feel that after many years you are still angry over your JW experience, I strongly encourage therapy. Long term anger is destructive to the individual)
The secular definition of epiphany is " a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something,
usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience."
In 1999, I visited an apostate website for the first time. Sometime after 2001, I stumbled upon this forum. In both cases, I was racked with anxiety. In both instances, I wasn't looking for something in particular. I was more interested in how "apostates" interacted, what they had to say. In both cases, I saw as I was trained to see, "apostates" were angry, mocking.....
Little did I know they had good reason to be, as I experienced personally.
Flash forward to 2006. I had already admitted to myself the previous year that Jehovah's Witnesses were not only NOT "the truth", they were "a LIE." So I came here and other sites to basically hang out, and I found out I had a lot to say.... (I digress on that point.)
What I have learned through all of this, and continue to observe, is that the substantive facts on any matter never changes.
You and I are as we are right now, but we can change.
What happened? Did reading what "apostates" have to say turn me into the Nazi in Indiana Jones who saw the Ark? No. I admit, in 1999, my head spun around twice and I engaged in projectile vomiting. But other then that, I was fine. ;) (kidding of course)
In all honesty, I changed.
JW's are conditioned to look for certain behaviors from the GB when it comes to apostates. So when they see the anger, they assume all the other things that are said about apostates are correct.
The GB counts on apostate anger to scare away curious JW's. "How can you listen to bitter angry apostates? Look at them. They aren't happy..."
So I got scared, because apostates are angy, but with damn good reason.
How can you not be angry when you have been lied to and mistreated?
Whatever the reason for our epihpanies, the fact remains that it is an awakening, and it almost always engenders anger. The GB cynically count on this and use it as a buffer in warning their sheeples about former JW's.
Ultimately, it is when a JW is ready that they will consider the evidence. Our awesome posts, emotional pleas, and clever wittiness only serve as a place to land when a JW is ready to leap.
What is more interesting though is reality.
JW's always taught a lie. That never changed. I just needed to confront the evidence and make a decision based on that evidence.
What changed was me. It is true then, and it is true now?
How will I view what I currently think and believe in 5 years? I am sure I will change. It always happens, whether we want to admit it or not.
I think it healthy to admit that the older we get, depending on how honest we are with our experiences and the things we learn, we will change.
But the underlying facts, and the nature of the world around us hasn't changed. Some of us need to wake up, or are waking up.
Let's be open to that. It has definitely helped us all out so far. Be open minded and honest, and your life will be the richer for it.