It's very difficult to describe how you cope, in purely empirical terms, although I grok what you're trying to say.
To me it was more about being free than anything else - I'm definitely a free spirit, and if there's one thing I cannot stand it's restriction of any sort, and especially the broad, damaging restrictions imposed by the Watchtower upon every conceivable part of daily life.
The elder decided for me that I needed an excuse to leave the truth, well, his conduc/behavior towards me was the reason I haven't returned. The lights bulbs went on then and there and it has stayed on! No regrets.