This is my story in a nut-shell. I hope some of you can relate. If you can..I would love to hear from you.
I have been crushed and heartbroken more times than I can recount by a religion that claims to be based totally on love and mercy and most of that harm has come from the so called "shepherds" who or are supposed to lovingly take the stray lambs in their arms and lead them gently back to safety.
I took "the Truth" on my own as a teenager despite family opposition, and refused a work offer in my dream career as an artist in order to serve Jehovah more fully. I thereafter served Jehovah faithfully for many years. I dated a few JWs and got married to a JW 10 years older than myself when I was just turning 19 (and on the rebound after a breakup with someone I was deeply in love with because the elders told him we were to young to get married). I cried profusely on my honeymoon because I realized I felt no attraction for my husband and he didn't know a thing about women romantically or sexually. I thereafter cried for 20 years for those reasons and also because of my husband's inability to show empathy or understanding toward me. (For years I also dreamt of the young man I loved but didn't marry). I was basically my husband's slave...cleaned the car, shined his shoes, entertained his friends even when he would invite them home at the last minute, and literally waited on him hand and foot...trying to be the perfect Christian wife. My husband eventually became an elder which further increased my sense of responsibility toward the congregation and I often became a shoulder to cry on for many sisters who were having marital or other problems. After I had my son--16 years into the marriage, I found everything harder to keep up with, especially because I had serious health problems and so did my child. Finally I had a total emotional, mental and physical collapse and disassociated myself from the WT org. I ame back a couple of years later, and was sexually assaulted by a JW boyfriend and subsequently disfellowshipped, since my boyfriend had pressured me to say that the incident was 50-50. But even if I had told the elders the truth of how things really happened they likely would not have believed me. One elder on the committee told me that he probably should not serve on my committee because he already knew what his decision was going to be. So I actually asked that that particular brother not serve on my judicial committee and they said okay. But when I showed up for my hearing there he was. And sure enough...despite my very sincere repentance they disfellowshipped me anyway. I went home completely shaken and distraught wondering how it was possible that Jehovah would allow a repentant person who was crushed and broken over her error to be disfellowshipped. I felt suicidal. Fortunately, my sister was at my apartment when I arrived because she had been babysitting my son. If it were not for her support that night I likely would no longer be on this earth.
I subsequently married the boyfriend who had assaulted me because I thought that it was the right thing to do scripturally. And who else would want a divorced and disfellowshipped JW? (Even though I was intelligent, talented, attractive and caring...I had just had all my self-esteem dashed to pieces).
I stayed married to my abuser for 10 years (got reinstated after a year) and put up with unimaginable emotional, psychological, sexual and financial abuse-- all for Jehovah...wanting to prove myself a good christian and always hoping my husband would take the Truth seriously and become a better man.
Eventually I had grounds for divorce and was free to remarry. I met someone online and ended up marrying them. We have been married for nearly 3 years now and have grown very close. But my new husband has a mental disability and had been very misunderstood and mistreated by the elders. In my attempts to defend him I have been told to keep quite and to speak to him about it and let him correct me if I have any questions about how they have handled things with him. They also said they didn't trust me because I am no angel...maybe not a really bad person but not a very good one either. And they insisted to me that all their actions and counsel (as horribly harmful, cruel and unjustifiable as it has been) is straight from Jehovah and I shouldn't question it...I should just obey. Well..that broke me. Up until that moment my faith had been sterling strong despite everything. But here I had endured so much for Jehovah and had recently undergone severe trials, healthwise, economically and with my current husband's disability and I was being told I was a second rate Christian and that this was what Jehovah was saying. I know Jehovah thought no such thing of me. He knows my heart and how difficult my life has been and how very many sacrifices I have made for him. It would have been easy just to throw my current husband under the bus and not stand up for him, but because I cultivate Christ like compassion I would not do such a cruel thing. Yet if I continue to push the issue I know I will be disfellowshipped as a Jezebel influence or an apostate for not obeying the elders. So I started doing research over the past couple of weeks and realized just how woefully inadequate the JW elders are to deal with the delicate issues before them. From there I also came to realize that the lack of insight is coming from the top down and the faithful and discreet slave is not who or what I have been told it is. It has shaken me to my core to realize that and to see and hear all the injustices others have had inflicted on them in this "loving" organization. I have so much more to say and I am so broken up. I need someone to talk to but have no where to turn. My husband still believes this is the Truth despite how he has been treated and doesn't want to hear what I have learned.
If you are someone who has had experiences similar to mine I would love to connect with you and exchange experiences and discuss feelings and give and receive support and feedback. Please accept my love and prayers to all those who have suffered and may still be suffering in this mind controlling cult that has so little respect for people's self-esteem and dignity and virtually no understanding as to what extent they are destroying families and destroying lives.