I found when I went and told my family. (Father an elder and my 4 brothers all elder deep in the organisation) that I no longer wanted to be a witness , they were surprised but not shocked as I had voiced doubts over the preceding few years.
One brother as I got into my car to leave came out and said I wish I was as brave as you.
it takes courage to think you might be shunned by them and all you have known but I have found by not wavering , being normal and slowly making a new life , they start to respect you.
I sent them all texts on their birthdays "just thinking of you today" They even reply sometimes now. So after all these years they now respect me and view me as their
equal and they no longer shun me.
No one says it's easy but it is possible in time.
It's being consistent and not being outlandish in behaviour but still a very decent human being, generous and well thought of in the community you live, that I found has won them all round.
Yes it has been lonely at times being on the outside of all their family get togethers but they did tell me when my parents were ill, and my mother would speak to me on the phone and before she died even came on holiday with me
i said to my mother. Mum I will never say anything to you that will pull the rug away from you and your faith. I could , but I love you and want you to be happy and I never did.
i truly believe it's by being loving and non confrontational that has won them round, in time maybe my siblings will leave JW too
This site helped me beyond measure 14 years ago and now I feel I need to pay something back with the odd word of encouragement