I was raised a Witness by my mother, and I have 3 older sisters, two half sisters and one full sister. My oldest sister is 32 and she is still a Witness. I don't think she's very active right now since her abusive husband is beating her down emotionally, and maybe physically--she won't tell--but I imagine she will believe in Jehovah her whole life. My second oldest sister is 31 and even though she got baptized four years ago, she's not really a witness. My closest sister is 27 and she left the "truth" less than a year after me. She hasn't been disfellowshipped nor did she disassociate herself, but I imagine she will be D/Fed without her knowledge soon...since she's caught elders sneaking around her house and looking in windows in the past month or two. She won't talk to them at all, and neither will her husband.
I'm 22, and I left the truth almost two years ago. I got married at 18, and just after 2 years of marriage, my life went to hell. My husband had been lying to me about stuff, and he got publicly reproved, and later disfellowshipped. I was pioneering at the time, and I was under so much stress I stepped down. That's when the pioneers stopped talking to me. I was afraid of the elders, and I couldn't bear to ask anyone for help, and I implored Jehovah to help me, and I believed that he would send me help. I didn't want to be married anymore, but I had no grounds for divorce. My mother told me it was my duty to Jehovah to remain married, even if I was miserable, to prove my integrity. My closest friend was moving away. (I realize now that I had a crush on her. I became a pioneer for her, not Jehovah, and she was the object of many dreams, but I disregarded them at the time.)
Right in the middle of all this, I became friends with a sister from a nearby congregation (we shared the same hall). I spent a lot of time with her, and when I finally was able to get "permission" to separate from my husband, I asked her to be my roommate so I could make ends meet. (I picked a fight with my husband and goaded him and goaded him until he ALMOST hit me. It was enough to claim I was afraid to live with him...I feel guilty about that now because he is the most nonagressive person on the planet. If the situation had been reversed, had he said those things to ME, I would have beat the crap out of him.) We didn't realize at the time why it was we were so close, but once we were living together it didn't take long before we realized we had feelings for each other. I'd never felt passion with a man...but I felt it with her and we were desperately trying to figure out a way to cope with our feelings and still remain "faithful" to Jehovah.
So I left the truth. I figured I would probably die, but at that point I didn't really care. I decided that all the questions I'd always secretly had were going to be answered. I was going to find out once and for all if the Witnesses had "the truth." It didn't feel wrong to be with another woman, and that confused me. It took me months before I had the courage to type "jehovah's witnesses" into a search engine and read all those forbidden things. I didn't just investigate JW's, I investigated the Bible, and religion's in general. I examined evolution with an objective eye. I've looked into basic biology and read about homosexuality and although I can't say I have any solid conclusions, I don't feel guilty about living my life anymore.
After I left the truth and realized I was a lesbian, my husband and I reconciled to a large degree. We became friends, and put our marriage behind us. When we got divorced, we settled everything without lawyers or any disputes, we went to the courthouse together, and he, my girlfriend and I went out to lunch after the papers were signed. Eventually, he moved in with me and my girlfriend and became our roommate. It sounds weird to everyone else, but it works well for us. (Straight men who hear of this always give him this "atta boy" look. Sorry, everybody, it's not like THAT.)
Last fall I wanted to have a baby, and I went out in search of a sperm donor. I didn't want to go to a sperm bank and I REALLY didn't want to be inseminated by a doctor. I wanted to know the man that was going to contributed half of my child's genes. (My ex-husband was first choice, but he's infertile.) This was a long arduous process, but eventually I found who (I thought) was the perfect man. He was extremely smart, already had a daughter, he was nerdy, and creative. He didn't mind contributing his sperm and even offered to pay for college when the child was old enough. My girlfriend and I didn't know at the time that he was looking for his own personal harem, but by the time we found that out and parted ways...I was pregnant. I now have a beautiful baby boy, 2 months old, and I'm going to college full time. My son has two mommies, and a very attentive daddy in my ex-husband, even if he's not biologically his parent. We're all recovering ex-witnesses, and we've formed our own little family.
Still, it's hard for me to completely move on with my life. I feel like I grew up in a box, and I don't feel normal in comparison with the people I meet. What I have been taught all my life, I find just isn't true, at least not completely. So here I am, wanting to talk to others like me. I don't mind talking one-on-one with email, and my address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.