I was a 5th generation JW. I had a childhood focused on regular meeting attendance, service, and volunteering for things (quick builds, talks, hall maintenance...). I got baptized at 12. I started pioneering during summers and hoped to be bethelite. In my later teenage years I started getting interested in boys. Some of my friends were allowed closely watched dates but I was not. Even at 18 they told me I could not date a particular young man in the hall who was a newly baptized convert. So I eloped with him! He became an abuser. I left him after 5 horrible years. This is where my story really changes. The elders decided not to even reprove him for it. There were even witnesses to the abuse. They told me that I would have to remain single for the rest of my life. I just knew I couldn't do it. I wanted a family and I felt that God would not expect me to suffer for the rest of my life for a mistake I made when I was 18 and if he did, I didn't want to serve Him. I decided to leave the religion and God. I did everything and anything I wanted. I felt like I was going to sleep forever in the grave anyway. Thankfully God had different plans than did I. He sent a lady named Mary to me. She told me about the real Jesus and found a local man who was a Christian ex-JW for me to talk with. He helped me in so many ways and finally on 1-14-06 I became a Christian and told the JWs that I wanted to DA. I had to DA because I wanted the freedom to go to church and to stand up for what I believed in. I met a new man who became my husband 6-30-07. He is the man of my dreams and will be the father of a wonderful family we have planned. Adding to my wonderful story of happiness is my mom. She left the JWs last year and joined our family once again.