OK Let's go through this one step at a time.
When I finally left the RC church after a long fade and joined another denomination, I got overwhelming feelings of guilt/doubt about what I had done. I guess it wasn't helped by my sister's reaction to what I had done either - that just hurt even more.
This is a normal reaction whenever anyone leaves their original faith. It seems that people take the choice to leave a religion as very personal. The guilt and doubts are perfectly normal whenever anyone makes a life altering decision like changing religion. Hey You are normal!
Now, 10 years on, I don't get the doubt and guilt as often, but when I do, the feelings seem even worse than they did when I first left almost to the point that I'd consider going back just to make them go away (but then I'd probably feel guilty about going back).
This too is normal. I went through it around 5 year period after I left. When we see things dont turn out the way we thought then we need time to reassess. And for those who have left any religion there is bound to be a spiritual reassessment.
Also, I seem to think that more 'bad' stuff has happened to me since leaving and when bad things are happening, I can't get away from the idea that God might be punishing me because I left the 'true' church and am therefore a really evil, sinful person who is only fit for hell and deserves everything I get. I have this lingering sense of negativity all the time.
OK Let's look at this realistically. Look at the news - wars, hurricanes, poverty, children starving to death... My perspective here is that if God is not going to sdtop all those people from suffering why on earth would we think he has time to sit up there and punish us for some changes of thought and beliefs. When you get right doewn to it I think it is rather egotistical to think God is watching just me while I make mistakes, I wouldrather want to believe he (or she) is busier helping a lot of other people rather than follow me around
I just don't think I am important enough for all his attention
I just wondered if anyone experienced anything similar leaving the witnesses and how did you deal with it?
Well the WTS has a tactic to keep people in line. It is called GUILT. I'm sure you know it well. The problem is that this kind of guilt is imposed from the outside (the WTS) and it isn't interanl - like feeling bad that you hurt someone you care about or something that you did and now regret. You said
Also, I seem to think that more 'bad' stuff has happened to me since leaving and when bad things are happening
Sit down and on a sheet af paper make two columns. On one side list the good things that have happened since you left/ On the other side write down the negatives. Then look at the balance Then look on each side and evaluate whether those things would have happened even if you were still a JW. Also take a look at whether some of those things happened because you were in a state of post-traumatic stress due to leaving a cult. Would you have made some of those choices regardless of what choices you have made regarding religion. Make sure that on your list of positives you list intangible things like freedom of thought and speech, not being afraid of being caught doing or saying something that might be taken the wrong way... Hope it helps Lee