Even though I am still a Newbie, I have been lurking here a couple of years. I have been DF'd more than 20 years, happily living my "worldly" life, when my grandmother died. When attending her funeral, I had to face all the relatives that had shunned me for all those years. It opened the floodgates, if you will, and I started looking for some answers. I have found a lot of them here.
It's funny, but I was afraid to post for the longest time. Why, you ask? Because I was afraid that the board was being "watched" and someone would recognize me and tell my mother that I was an APOSTATE! Over the years, she has never totally shunned me. She has always been able to justify talking to me (or occasionally visiting) because of her two grandsons. I have always wondered what was going to happen when they grew up. It will be interesting to see, as one of my boys is over 21 and the other one is graduating high school next year. However, I now have a grand-daughter so she will probably be able to justify (to herself at least) that she's "associating" with me to keep up with the news of the GREAT grand-daughter.
If she had any CLUE I was on this board, she WOULD shun me in a heart-beat and I would lose any remaining scraps we have of a "relationship".
I also wonder who is going to take care of my mom when her health starts to fail? I am an only child and I currently live 5 hours away from her. I think she thinks her JW buddies are going to take care of her when she gets on in age, but we all know better, don't we? Maybe she thinks that one of these days, I will come back into the "fold" and we'll be one big happy family again.
She (and the rest of my family) think that my "worldly" husband is keeping me from coming back. AS IF!!!! I can think by myself, thank you very much! I always hated going to the KH, going out in service and not being able to pursue any friends besides the boring, lifeless kids at the KH. I became rebellious as a teenager and refused to go to the meetings. My rebelliousness back-fired and I became pregnant at the age of 17. I hid the pregnancy from my mom for 5 months, until I started to show. In order to be able to keep my baby and to remain in her house, my mother forced me to come back to the KH and start a study with one of the younger pioneers in the congregation. I did as I was told, had my baby, went to the KH and studied with the pioneer. I was surprised to find that I actually liked this young woman and we became friends. Her and her family were nice people, not the usual variety of dubs. I decided to become baptized to make my new-found friend happy. I knew in my heart I really didn't want to spend the rest of my life as a JW, but, being 18 with a small baby and no where else to go, I felt I was making the right decision. I was happy as a baptized dub for a total of 2.5 seconds. I don't think the glow lasted the entire assembly.
I got DF'd at the age of 20. One of the most horrible experiences in my life. (One of the elders on the committee recently died and I'm ashamed to admit I smiled at his obituary.) Married the father of my child and that marriage lasted for 5 miserable years. Had another child, got divorced and my mom pressured me to come back into the 'truth'. I went to one meeting and just about had a panic attack. Just the SMELL of the KH made me almost physically ill. You all know that smell I'm talking about. The smell of publications and magazines. I went to that one meeting and knew, no matter how bad my life might be as a single mom of now two children, it couldn't be as bad as going back to the JW's.
To make a long story short, I remarried a few years later to a decent man. We are still married and very happy. He has helped me raise my boys and we are both neutral when it comes to any organized religion. He was raised a conservative Christian (if you live in West Michigan, you probably know which REFORMED church I am speaking) and we both believe in God and Jesus Christ. Neither one of us believe in (or trust) organized religion and have never felt the need to go to church anywhere. But, that's another story.
I'll continue to lurk and post when I feel strongly about something. Just to let you all know, because I lurked too much at work, this website got BANNED from our network server! Good thing I have friends in the IS department! They didn't tell my boss. Whew!