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It’s been about one year since I made the decision to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.

The Bad

  • I’ve lost almost 100% of my former friends due to cult indoctrination and phobias.
  • Relationships with my JW family are tenuous.
  • I’ve lost a large part of my former professional network, since many of them were also Jehovah’s Witnesses and I am persona non grata in their eyes.
  • We left a place we loved because it would have been too painful to stay in our small community as we went through the events of the past year.
  • We left our cat behind.

The Good

  • I feel more mentally free than I have ever felt. And I’m feeling more free by the day.
  • My relationship with my wife is far better than it ever has been.
  • I feel alive. Possibly for the first time.
  • Letting go of negative feelings, guilt, and shame about sex has started to free me sexually.
  • I don’t have to feel bad about being depressed or about feeling ecstatic (or about feeling anything in between).
  • I can do things for people because I want to, without any ulterior motive.
  • My values are my own.
  • We’ve traveled through six countries, met some new wonderful people, and spent time in some amazing places. We are currently expats, living in Amsterdam.
  • I’ve reconnected with family I’d previously neglected or not gotten to know at all.
  • I feel far less fear on a daily basis.
  • I feel a deep connection with the world at large. The good and the bad.