So here it is. I was a 3rd generation JW on my mom’s side and both of my parents were JWs when I was born. Me and my 3 siblings were raised a bit on the strict side. No sports, outside association, college, mandatory meeting attendance & service routine, etc. I got baptized when I was 11. I did pioneer for a short while around 2003 with my mom, dad & grandmother. So JWs by the book pretty much. I started having doubts around 16, but like a good JW was taught, left it in Jehovah’s hands and continued on.
I married my husband, who is also a born-in, in 2005 and we re-located to his parents state. We were in a great congregation when I had our first child, fun people to be around, laid back, not too nosey, so it was easier to shut down the increasing doubts I had over the years. It wasn’t until 2014 that I seriously started to question things on a deeper level. It was 3 weeks after having our second child that we relocated to a different city to be closer to my husband’s work. We hadn’t been to the new congregation yet and didn’t know anyone. I was home alone a lot with my then toddler and new born. My family lives in another state and we moved away from the city my husband’s family lived in, which is about an hour away. My “friends” that I did have didn’t visit much.
Anyway, with all the free mental time I had since going to the meetings was challenging and I didn’t listen in due to being exhausted from adjusting to 2 children and my husband’s work schedule, the doubts could not be ignored anymore. I can’t pinpoint an exact thing that made me research the org., but my gut told me I had make sure if I’m going to raise my children like I was, it had to be true. Because that’s a lot to deal with growing up like that. So I opened my tablet with shaky hands lol...and just typed in Jehovah’s Witnesses, see what popped up. First site I clicked on was jwfacts.com and I started reading. was pretty shocked to learn of all the lies I had been told and was living. This was in March of 2015.
By June I had told my husband, who admitted he’d been having his own doubts over the years of it being true so we agreed to fade until he was ready to tell his family. After a couple of meetings, we realized we couldn’t do it. We didn’t want our children to be exposed to it anymore. So we each told our closest friends we didn’t believe anymore who, predictably, immediately shunned us. After that we just walked away. No disassociation letters, we just stopped going. The Elders tried to contact my husband to talk to us a few times. Each time he told them we didn’t need them to come see us and if we did, he would let them know. They pretty much left us alone after that.
We finally told his family early 2016. Initially his parents shunned us but not his siblings. One of his older siblings convinced his parents to talk to us, reminding them that we weren’t disfellowshipped or disassociated. Eventually they came around and we just don’t talk about the religion and everything else is cool.
As for my family, I only have 1 sibling still in and he shuns all of us. Life has been up and down since leaving. But we always say to each other our worst day out is 100 times better than our best day in the cult.
So that’s the gist of my story. Sorry so long lol!