Do you still feel guilty going into a church for a wedding or a funeral .
I work in a church now. I provide childcare during services. It isn't 'my' church. Why would I feel guilty going into a church? When I was a JW, I didn't feel guilty if I tried. I felt scared. I don't feel scared anymore either. It's just another building, like any other.
Can you bring yourself to celebrate birthdays or Christmas .
I don't celebrate Christmas because I'm not a Christian. I celebrate whatever I want to in the ways that I want to. There is no 'bringing myself to it'. But I do things with intention now, and not just to fit social norms. I'm forming my own traditions. I haven't decided what that is for birthdays. I celebrate Winter solstice when I can by drumming in the sun. I celebrate Halloween in my own way. I add something when I want to add it and it is all about me and what I want to do with my life. My ex-life as a JW isn't a part of it.
Would you hesitate to accept a blood transfusion if you needed one ?
Yes. Because that is a big decision. I don't take any big decisions lightly. I don't take any medical procedures lightly. It's my life on the line. I give blood when I can and I don't feel that there is a moral implication in the mix.
Does the indoctrination that you received still work to put a barrier between you and the rest of society in the way it was intended to when you were "in " ?
The indoctrination wasn't the only thing that put a barrier between myself and the rest of society. There were a number of other things operating at the same time that are still in play. The indoctrination told me to hold myself apart for my own safety and so that I would be saved. I don't believe either of those things to be true anymore, so no. It isn't the teachings from my childhood that set me apart from any society.
I've been out about 25 years. It took me at least half of that to overcome the indoctrination. If I wanted to conform to society the way that I conformed to the religion then I could be well into a new 'emotional in' than I am now. I don't want to conform to a society. I want to be me and find my way.
Black pudding... ew. To each their own. But I don't like rare steak either. It's a geographical thing. People from east coast USA recognize that a steak can be juicy and tasty and have no pink to it. I don't do rare steak, I don't do sushi (more of a texture thing), and I have no desire to ever try black pudding... or haggis.. or oysters... or a lot of other foods that are gross to me. It has nothing to do with an aversion to blood stemming from my childhood indoctrination.