So, I joined just yesterday after coming across this forum looking at Beth Sarim, and I though that I would share my story with you. It will no doubt be very similar to a lot of others, but it's a way of getting to know me at least.
I was brought up as Witness from the age of 4 years old, My Dad picked up the 'Truth' from one of his friends in the pub and it seemed to go from there, he would quickly get baptised and progress to becoming a Ministerial Servant and then an Elder. From a young age I wanted to be like my Dad and become a pioneer, a Ministerial Servant and then an Elder... Perhaps even becoming a CO. The world, spiritually speaking, was my oyster.
When I hit my mid teens, around 14-15 years old perhaps, I realised that the 'Truth' wasn't all it seemed to be. The talk of the 'End of this System of Things' never seemed to be anything other than 'just around the corner', and I recall thinking that it's a bloody long corner if it's been like that for 80 years or so, as it was at the time. I started to question things, like how did they know this was the one true religion? What made them so special? Still, it didn't stop me from getting baptised at the age of 16 (for the wrong reasons it has to be said) and trying to make a go of it. I auxiliary pioneered in the Summer months, and I would be an attendant at Circuit/District Conventions, if only to scout for a girls, which was the thing to do when you were 18 years old or so.
In the end I landed up getting married for the wrong reasons (typical reasons for young Witness couples), and the marriage, not surprisingly, failed, and I landed up getting divorced (and Df'd) when I met another Witness girl and one thing leading to another. We tried to sort things out and get married, even having two kids together, but, alas, this also failed. I think the fact that she wanted to continue as a Witness and me not having any interest in being one (though I had a few abortive attempts at trying) led to a strain on the relationship. She has since remarried to a nice Witness lad, and I am now very happy (have been for 3 years+ now) in a relationship with a Wiccan of all people! We have a young child together and look forward to a time when we can get married ourselves.
All told, I have been out the 'Truth' for 12 years. I have no contact with my Dad, or former friends, due to being shunned. Do I miss it? No. I don't think I could go back at all now, not even for the sake of having a relationship with my Dad. He does have some form of contact as he speaks to my girlfriend, but I put that down to him wanted to see his grandchildren and find out how I am doing. Maybe one day he too will see the light? Stranger things have happened.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to get it all out there for you guys to look at! Thanks for reading!