Wishing you well and progress toward freedom.
Comments from elsewhere on the vignette below have spurred me to share how the JW experience affected me. Basically, the jumble of emotions and thoughts - good and bad - pours out of me in story form. I loved Bible stories as a little boy, but then the Witnesses came along with their version. I went to where the need was greater and later to Bethel, abandoning my family on a number of levels. Seeking escape from life and its attendant miseries - the Truth offered no genuine solace - I sought that escape through flights of fancy while being held fast by my new religion. Vincent, a family name, is one of my many personalities, at conflict - what else? - with the hidden core personality.
I posted this elsewhere and expect no comments given the bizarre nature of my stuff. My writing's an acquired taste, if at all. Nevertheless, the kindness of a fellow poster from another forum has encouraged me not to give up. Incidentally, I'm a tree hugger.
This is how I really feel:
I walked to the edge today and, as I peered downward ... downward, I wondered what might possibly await in the canyon below.
Of course, when not attending to my brother, Vincent, and his growing emotional need upon me due to the pervasiveness of depression that's settled into his being since Father's death, I take time for myself (when I can pull away from duty) and fly above the cares, the worries of the day.
That is why, when I come to the brink, such as I did today when walking along the ridge with Tahoe on the horizon, I take flight, soaring, soaring above the stately pines and interspersing copses of plump oaks that have, since childhood, been my constant companions.
They stood by me when Vincent was away - far away - at the bidding of the church who said it was God. I believe in trees because they are there - immovable and majestic - but I do not believe in a god that takes away my brother to an ivory tower in New York to do the bidding of old men who know neither life nor love. Vincent said one day I would understand, but what I really think is that he was running away, running away from responsibility and, perhaps - I cannot put my finger on it - a secret that is not so much a secret but something shameful.
Shame and guilt and fear are a product of what that lady at the door fed him and he believed and turned my world upside down. Why couldn't she have minded her own business? Vincent already believed in God - I know he did because he used to tell me stories from the Bible, and at that time I loved them, especially the story of Ruth and Boaz - Boaz the honorable and just. My Vincent was like Boaz. He was a man of honor and he cared for his mother and father and me. Then he left - not home at first, but his heart and mind abandoned me as I became smaller and smaller and felt as though I was nonexistent. To him, to his god.
I stand on the edge once again and I look out toward the horizon, knowing somewhere there is love and acceptance for me. I cannot carry Vincent forever, though I truly do care for him. As I ascend higher and higher, I will find my own place in the sun ... but being mindful that I do not burn my wings....