I want to come out as well but due to family can't yet. My childhood was nonexistent due to this cult, and I am angry.
Why does it affect us so deeply?
I was in from 12-13 years old to 22-23 so a decade .......but what a decade! To go from a child to an adult swallowed up in the JW culture.......oh my god what an effort it took to unroll all of that junk belief we thought was the truth.
It was time for my wife and I to get out, to find our genuine self'. I knew being a JW was the wrong thing.......... that it lacked any realistic beliefs. It was a 19th century religion bereft of modern day science and psychology. That demanded we walk around with a suicide note in our pocket......NO BLOOD!
We were out in the mid nineteen sixties in time for the first Woodstock...... lol. But it wasn't until 10 years plus that Jonestown happened and I then understood how deep the rot was in a religion like the JWs ........especially guided by the WTBTS which gets off on their control over the lives of their followers.
The proof is in the pudding. The JW's can needlessly kill off as many people as Jonestown did but they can do it in every freaking year. EVERY YEAR.
And isn't it amazing how they can count time and attendance around the world but never reveal how many pedophiles they caught and DF and how many followers died for want of a blood transfusion.
From my dear wife (who has also awakened and is "out"): It has affected us so deeply because of all the compromises we gave for the WT [false] promise that we could do it all later. "Soon", we would all be perfect (meaning ME vs the derelict guy that I am imperfect). We (JWs) have put off getting braces, taking piano lessons, getting an education to secure a better job to achieve a better place in life for ourselves and our family, or getting out of a bad marriage and just wait for it to get better in the New World (ME again, I think). We've waited for Jehovah to make all things better in the New World instead of doing what we could have done in making our lives better on our own. Now we find out, all those years of waiting on Jehovah were for nothing. This is it! This is all we get!
If we had it all to do over again, knowing what we know now, we'd live our lives differently. We wouldn't put everything off for a "better time".
We'd make every minute count.
i was very lucky. my mum got religion when i was about 10 years old. sure--i went along with it mainly because it had to be the right thing because we were in it ! after a few years i realised i wasnt interested in it--just going through the motions to make others happy.
that all changed in my early 20's and i wasnt going to live the lie anymore. sure--others got hurt--but that was their problem--not mine.
Being a Jehovah's Witness is part of our very DNA. It was like our arm or leg - integral to who we were as a very person! Not something that could easily be removed from us!
That which we believe to be true and knowledge we have gained (even if inaccurate) when held in place with emotion, is very deeply seated and hard to get rid of even when we know otherwise.
That is precisely why fear tactics (subtle or blatant) and heartfelt singing are often part of the tactics JW use when indoctrinating it's new converts and to keep existing in place.
Years of deep mental indoctrination can and does have long standing effects onto people's consciousness and the WTS knows its doing just that.
Fear and ignorance is used by the WTS as a control mechanism.
At times you tend to consciously draw out those thoughts which were once placed but eventually you realize those thought suggestions were ill placed, placed more by a group of men trying to sustain their overall power and control of a organization.
I've been out 17 years, my parents are dead, and I have not spoken to my brothers and sisters for all that time. They all live out of state or out of the circuit or district. We meet some jws in town (we are not df'd or da'd) but have not been to meetings for 17 years (no memorial, talks by family members, circuit or regional conventions, funerals, weddings). Over this time my energies are less and less devoted to WT policies and doctrines. It has been healing for me to use my remaining time to do positive things.