I want to thank each and everyone of you for the warm welcome. You are all really making me feel at home. Why oh why did I wait so long to join in? Lol
Since this was just an introduction, there are many things I did not talk about. I'll certainly have the chance to go deeper into some topics, but for the meantime here are a few clarifications to some issues raised by some of the posters:
"Why don't you establish friendships with 'worldly' people?
I do have non jw friends. I have had several best friends in my life. Out of 5 very best friends I've had, 4 are non jws. Because of problems inherent to close friendships with jws (broadcasting 'secrets' when the friendship stops for example) I always have felt safer with non jws and I still have strong ties with some of my non jw lifetime friends. But really, since I grew up in this religion, many people who gravitate around me are jws. In other words I take the best of both worlds. It's just that jws outnumber non jws in my life.
Injustice in the congregations:
To say that I have been a victim of this is an understatement. Due to my family situation, I have always belonged to the 'unprotected! Hit them as you wish' class in the congos. So I'm not still in because I've not been a victim of this, or because I carry jws in my heart.
In fact I started taking my (emotional) distance from the congs 10 years ago the day I, with tranquility and huge smiles, locked horns with a C.O over a deliberate and well planned character assassination talk he gave about me. Moved by the boldness that adversity creates in witnesses , I asked to see him in private. I explained to him the series of coincidences and misunderstandings which made a simple issue to eventually get out of hand. He couldn't hide his shock and shame and resorted to throwing 3 solid lies at my face to prove that the talk wasn't about me.
Before then, I was the whole-hearted jw who thought such things only happen to the 'rebellious' ones, and never in a million years thought I'd ever find myself in such a situation. Something was destroyed in me that day that I never recovered. It also marked the beginning of a long string of injustice, bullying, unfairness followed by horn-lockings between me and the 'elite': elders, elders' kids, elders' entire family, and ministerial servants. Because I had had enough of the sneaky bullying.
I've been okay for some time now because I have established my reputation as the 'unprotected! But you better stay off'. I would say that I took, and still take this cool because I know that I represent some sort of scar defacing the overall picture perfect congs of obedient lambs. My mere existence in the congs itches them and this is a pleasure I have become addicted to. So I've got no problem with that either.
About me not leaving the jws:
I'm aware of the fact that many here will find it difficult to understand this. If you have not experienced life where I live, take my word for it: try as you would, there's absolutely no way you can figure out what it is to live without pertaining to any religious group here.People's religion here is part of their identity. I find it difficult to explain because it's something that has to be lived. Your religion is part of your credentials, basically. People with no religion are looked down upon and are seen as outcasts. To say the least.
Mind you, I will not even enjoy any social life if I don't provide that 'ID'. Here for example, the slightest professional meeting or social gathering will open and close with a prayer (yes, we live on this planet).
You see, for me, missing meetings means automatically suscribing to worship places around my house blasting their music and sermons in my ears throughout the day. I've even been blessed with several visits of well meaning christians who, in order to save the lost souls who stay at home on sundays, go house to house, laying hands on 'non church going sinners' asking you to just 'accept the Christ as your lord and personal saviour'. Those days, I know that I get more than I bargained for by staying at home. Lol.
I have thought of settling elsewhere before, but quickly changed my mind. I will never ever go to such an extent because of religion. I have no problem with God; religion is the weird one and I've grown in this context so I have become like a turtle: I am my own home, and I've grown a carapace which separates me from anything which doesn't add to my happiness, jw or not. I don't think I'm an exceptional case in my world.
As for the jws, remaining in their midst doesn't seem so much of a bother for me. Ever since I started thinking, I have had my own 'religion within the religion' and this has become a second nature for me. I have developped an infinite tolerance for some otherwise annoying things and jw religion is one of them.
Do I think that jws have the truth?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Honestly, I think deep down, the mental representation that I have always had of jws is that of a 'truth seeking' religion, rather than a 'truth possessing' one. They use the latter as label, but because of the doctrinal changes and certain utterances they make, I have never seen them as anything more than sweating and panting truth chasers. What percentage of the chasing and pursuing is really sincere I may never know. Nor am I interested in ever knowing. I've got nothing to gain knowing that. You can't kill a dead body.
Am I happy with my life?
I am, honestly. As I said in my OP, this forum has helped me a great deal to reach this state. I don't think I can ever be grateful enough to all of you who, even unknowingly, have contributed to this.
T in a T