If you are thinking of leaving, have left, or suffer from years of shunning, you are not alone. For me, this was one of the most important discoveries I made last year after 19 years of total alienation. No worldly person understood my story and I had no other exJW connection for so many years.
You don’t have to feel alone. Thanks to the internet, there are many support groups for you.
Are you unsure if this is the true religion? Please head to http://www.jwfacts.com. This website attracts hundreds and thousands of visitors each year. It was made by an ex Pioneer and Bethelite and son of a Circuit Overseer. He is from Sydney, and he began seeing issues within the organisation and its teachings. His website is a compendium of many hours of research and level-headed facts.
Are you considering leaving, but are not sure how? You can head to Reddit. Make an anonymous account if you need to protect your identity, and search exJW. There are thousands of people here (20,000+ as of April 2018), both still in or having left, who share their stories and strategies.
You can also make an anonymous Facebook account and search ExJW or Ex Jehovah’s Witnesses for many groups who provide advice and share their stories.
Do you need to hear more stories like yours? This helped me work through days of PTSD. Search “Shunned” under podcasts for real voices and humans who have suffered like you. Hearing David’s story helped me see the corruption and mayhem within the Witness organisation is widespread. He is a easy to listen to. Also many thanks to the creator of this podcast series.
Do you still have fears of dying at Armageddon? For me, watching the “Worst convention ever” series by John Cedars on YouTube helped me finally wake up.
Also, watching and reading about the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (case 29 and 54) helped me wake up. I read each transcript and heard the voices of the Australian Branch Committee Elders struggle to answer questions about basic human rights. The transcripts are online and there are also videos of each interview. This helped me a lot in my journey to finally let go of feeling like I was a dissident or unworthy.
Finally, I wrote all my thoughts down, and did this with a mentor who kept an eye on my emotional health. It took me over a year, but it was a journey well worth taking. It really helped me heal.
I have a long way to go. As we all do.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please seek help immediately. Ring Lifeline in Australia or your country’s suicide prevention support number.
I am not a trained therapist or counsellor, so these are my thoughts only. Please seek professional help if you need it.
Most importantly, you are heard, you are believed.