I found my way here through a friend of mine that posted a discussion from this site. I poked around a little and decided I wanted to join in.
As for a little history about me... I was born in South Mississippi (now living in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota), where almost everybody is Christian. I was raised Christian. In fact, I was brought up under the belief system of Jehovah's Witnesses. I don't have anything negative to say about what they BELIEVE, since it's the most intelligent take on the Bible that I ever found. But the behavior of many of the members of the congregation got to me after a while (not all of them are like that, but the ones that were that way were enough to make me question a lot of things). In some ways, that's part of what got me set down the path of rejection that I ended up on.
I dealt with a lot of really nasty personal struggles and some pretty intense stress for a better part of my life, and it seemed like I could beg and plead God for help until I was blue in the face and it never did any good.
That said, I can't discount that there could be a god of some sort. That's not something we can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, at least, not yet, but I don't believe he/she/it/they is/are anything like what I was taught to believe, if there is such a thing at all.
My husband knows of my decision to reject my beliefs, and I was somewhat surprised to find that he was right beside me in the same choice. I have said nothing to my mother about it, however. She wouldn't understand or accept it very well. I figure it would cause more problems than it's worth to confess my change of heart to her.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to some interesting information and conversation on this site. :)
Hello again! :)
I apologize that I can't see where you're coming from quite as closely as another ex-Witness could, but like I said in my own thread: I saw it happen to someone I'm extremely close to and I know how difficult it was. Having been raised as a Witness he had to restructure his own thinking as well. He was officially disfellowshiped and lost the vast majority of his family though. I would assume that since your mother isn't aware that you haven't been?
I was never baptized, so they couldn't officially disfellowship me. However, I haven't been to the Kingdom Hall in several years now. My heart really wasn't in it anymore a long time ago, but everything just got into the way and I decided that worship service was what I would cut out of my life to help try to keep my schedule less busy. All I ever really was to them was a "study", even though I had been raised in the Truth by my mother and my aunt (her sister), uncle, and my cousins were all Witnesses as well. I knew the Truth front and back, but that was never enough for them. They always saw me as a newbie to the religion, and never fully trusted me. I was always just an outsider. That really didn't help with much...
My mother likely wouldn't take my rejection of Jehovah very well. Stupidly enough, I think my aunt, uncle, and cousin would gloat over it. They always seemed to expect me to fail as a Witness anyway. My oldest cousin turned against the congregation years before I had, so he would understand, but they would have a real field day over it! It's just my mom I really worry about. I'm not sure if coming out to her is going to be a good idea. It's a secret, sure. But I've got other secrets kept from her, too. And every secret there is, it's best she doesn't know for her own mental well being.
In a lot of ways, it's been pretty easy to cut myself off from the congregation in general. I was never really accepted anyway. As far as the members were concerned, I was never a "real Witness" and was told as much several times because I never did anything right in their eyes. Recently, I purged my Facebook page of the last of them. After having been looked down on and mistreated so long, I finally got to a point where I just didn't want to take it anymore. It wasn't really easy. There's still that worry in the back of my mind that I'm going to invoke the wrath of Jehovah somehow, but the Truth claims he isn't going to hurt me for turning my back on him. Worst I really should expect to suffer, if he's real at all, is that I die and never get a resurrection (and I won't know anything about that, being dead and all), or Tribulation comes and he smites me off the face of the planet. Either way, I'll just be dead, and that's okay. That doesn't scare me at all. I don't like the idea, of course. But it's not scary.