I left in 1989. My husband and I found CoC in the local library. We disassociated and all of our friends and my family shunned us. My husband's parents didn't shun us because his father was starting to realise it was all false and had got hold of a copy of CoC too.
It was very hard and very lonely. We got degrees and jobs eventually. After eight years we had saved enough to put a deposit on a small house where I still live with my daughter who has just graduated and is about to do her masters. She has many friends, I have two good friends and I get on well with my work colleagues.
My family still shun me but I'm used to it. Until four years ago when I came on this forum I hadn't spoken to exJWs or discussed the beliefs of the cult since leaving. We needed to move on.
Life is good, we travel around Europe, go to the theatre and enjoy life. There are birthday parties at home and at work, we can join in whatever we like. Christmastime, we have a big tree and meet up with friends in restaurants for meals. We never give the JWs a thought or their opinion of us.
Those that have exJW friends and have this forum when they leave are very lucky.