I finally registered on here after reading on the forum for almost two years on and off (more often the last year). To give you some background on who I am I can say that I'm a girl in my late teens and live in western Europe. My mom is a JW and my dad is not. Growing up I have always followed my mom to the meetings and tried really hard to believe in it. Sometimes I have been really into it but I have always been skeptical, especially about the counsel against higher education and looking at apostate information. I mean, if the truth is true then it would only make my faith stronger to look up what arguments opposers have.
That's the reason I started reading on websites like this one about two years ago. I was really scared at first and kept on promising myself not go on these kind of sites anymore. I found information about thing that there's always been a hush-hush on in my congregation and that made me want to read even more. Last summer I had stopped trying to make myself not read on these sites and I soon felt that I couldn't believe this anymore. Even though I was only an unbaptized publisher I saw no way of me leaving. I had most of my friends in the congregation and I am my mom's youngest child. None of my siblings are JWs so I was her last hope. Therefore I tried really hard to have "good" spiritual routines and I felt pretty good about the religion for a while.
About a year ago I started a new school and for the first time I gained some good friends (I have always been an outsider before, partly because of the religion). I realized more and more that there are good people outside of the religion and I started thinking more about leaving again. On morning in October of last year I woke up and had had enough. Ever since that day I have believed in it the slightest bit. I no longer saw a reason for me not to do certain things I hadn't done before so I started leading a double-life.
At first I felt relieved, especially when I had been away from meetings for a couple of weeks. After a while I found it harder to come up with excuses not go to the meetings (didn't dare to tell my mom the truth) so I continued to go and pretended like nothing but did as little service as I could. I felt really bad about it all and was depressed from sometime around December of last year until May. I spoke to my school counselor about it all and she gave me the advice to leave the religion when I have finished school and moved out.
Even though I hated going to the meetings and pretending I was someone I am not, I tried to stick to plan. It all went well until last weekend. I was seen with a boy by some JWs at the litterature cart downtown and it didn't take long until my mom found out. Within half an hour many of my "friends " in the congregation were texting me and wondered what I had done and wanted me to call. I was so panicked and didn't dare to go home so I turned my phone off and ran away to my boyfriend's house.
The day after I had to go home and face my parents' fury. Of course they were very angry because I had ran away but my dad soon got over it and said everything will get better. I told my mom about how I don't believe in the religion and where I had been. Ever since that she has taken every chance to subtly insult me about boys and how bad the world is. She is also trying to force me to go to the meetings (by saying that's it's her house and I have to follow her rules) but this far I have gotten away with it. I can't tell her about why I stopped believing because I know she would tell me apostates lie and so on. Because of that she thinks I want to leave because of the boy and peer pressure in school. That's not the case, I have tried to believe it because I had quite a good life with many friends in the congregation so it would have been quite a easy and safe life for me.
Even though it's like hell at home right now I am still happy that I can finally be myself and not lie to myself and others. I don't really know where I wanted to go with this text. I just wanted to present myself and get my thoughts in order by writing it down.