It was just about a year ago exactly that I really and truly decided in my mind where I stood and as Rutherford would say "Face the Facts". Before that, there was a period of about two years where I almost felt like I had a dual personality, vacillating between pro and anti JW, a very confusing, draining mental state to be in. And it all started over seven years ago in 2010, when I read "apostate" material on the internet. For about four years after that, I continued to do so, but with a critical view to 'prove them all wrong' like a child. It was only so long before I couldn't ignore the facts any longer. The starting point of my 'dual personality' phase, cognitive dissonance or whatever you want to call it, was in 2014 with the God's Kingdom Rules book featuring the "This Generation" chart. I finally gave myself permission to admit that I absolutely did not believe a particular teaching of the Governing Body, and in fact found it ridiculous and insulting. By the summer convention of 2016, I no longer had any glimmers of the 'gushy' feelings you're supposed to get at conventions. However I did feel a few twinges of urgency and even fear when the speaker was talking about loyalty, bunkering down and the end coming. The real turning point though, was that late summer/early autumn when I read the entire new testament in a relatively short period of time. Sure I'd read it before many times through the years, but this was the first time without wearing my dogma goggles. Following the example of the former Baptist preacher Jonas Wendall who the Governing Body claims to admire, I let "scripture interpret scripture", with no bias. I lost count of the times my mouth was literally open, the gasp audible and extended. How could all these things have been right in front of my face for decades and yet invisible?
All Christians go to heaven,
The earth will not last forever,
Disfellowshipping as we know it is not described in the Bible,
The last days were of Jerusalem, not now,
There is no such thing as a 'faithfull and discreet slave' class,
1914 is not a thing,
The early Christians didn't preach door to door,
Besides many scriptures that plainly condemn specific JW practices and traditions, the list goes on and on.
And now, here I am. A little ahead of some of us and way behind of others, but on the same road and journey nonetheless. Past a major hurdle in the path, for sure, but not expecting it to get any easier. There's no way around it in most situations. While we can be mentally free, and some even physically, this isn't something that just leaves you. Especially when there's family involved, it's a perpetually opened wound. It'll be this way til I'm done with this world, and that's yet another fact to face. That's my cross to bear.