No, few people leave and go back and never leave again. My family started out with Russell and are still in. Frankly, I have no clue how many generations that is. I know about Witness doctrine and behavior over many, many years. There are people, like my beloved aunt, who never, ever will do anything. Others, however, including many hard-core Bethelites, are confronted with their doubts. First, they are shocked. Next, they realize it is too scary outside. They go back but, usually, they end up being disfellowshiped no matter how hard they try to conform.
I know myself well b/c I've lived so long. My first forays into NYC from NJ were absolutely terrifying and wonderful at the same time. It is not a conscious process. Temerpament wins over your rationa brain. You can engage in superhuman discipline to conform but the demons pop out. My life would have been so easier if I denounced the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Fashion was another demon. Oops, it just pops out.
College was so scary. I wanted to drop out of an elite school where all my expenses and tuitioin were paid to attend a local, friendlier, less competitve place. Inside my brain, I would ask myself what is so special about this college? What is the worth of an education if you are unable to function at all with the knowledge. I did not have a normal path bc I left before the Internet. Also, I still am deeply embarassed that I was ever in a KH or ever read a WT. I had no choice but inside I believe I should known better. I was an infant when I started attending meetings.
Also, b/c of the Witnesses, I monitor my behavior so my background does not pop out. This takes much energy. The stakes of blurting out get higher and higher. There was n o one to turn to and ask if something was appropriate. Well, loads of potential mentors were around. I love helping young people. How was I supposed to know such people are plentiful? I never experienced it so how could my brain coneive of the idea. No Internet forums such as this was. When I most want to be corporate and proper, my inner Newark Witness pops out. I can't stop myself. Part of my brain realizes what I just said. I want to pass out. My life is over. The reality is people love it.
Older people told me that things I worried about it when not bother when I was older. It did help me. My parents never gave me any indication that they were not Masters of the Universe. Visting worldly friends, I discovered that many parents admit they are clueless but impose order for order's sake. Not mine. Do it or die. Jehovah will strike us dead.
I could write entertaining and funny books about my experiences when I first came out. When local kids find out that I lived in NY, they are shocked. I am a local celebrity for high school students. Small scale Fab Four. They wan to know what NY is like. I tell them. It always shocks me but I throw in legendary rock concerts and political stuff. I just become more and more awesome in their eyes. My strong advise is to do New York and Paris or wherever NOW. Fnish school and do it! Contrary to your parents' belief, it is safe, affordable when done a certain way. They act as though I am a sage. I did not plan to be at most of my music concerts or political history times. If I lived anyplace but NJ, I would have missed it all.
They are stunned that they are meeting someone who chased the Beatles when young. Heck, I attended Woodstock. They know about Kent State. It shocks me. Unlike my parents, I admit that it was very scary to cross the Hudson b/c it was so unfamiliar. I could never have done college or NY in one step. I kept making incursions and retreating. Finally, one day I stayed. I am so proud of myself for staying with utter agony for a while. Every good thing in my life started with anxiety. Mostly, I trace it to the Witnesses. Yet momentary terror is nothing compared to the rich rewards. My life would be unbearable if I had not risked crossing the Hudson River.
Older people tend to look back and think everything was so easy compared to now. No, my adolescene was prolonged and unbearable at times. Many times I thought the better course would be to give up.
Some weird, odd event will happen at some time and she very well make a clean break. Different people have different last straws. No one in my people would ever marry lower than a pioneer. I am not married to a pioneer. Indeed, I have never dated a pioneer. Some experiences I would rather not have.