Sometimes it seems healing can be very hard. It has been close to 12 years since I made the decision to leave the Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs). Leaving has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It really has been such a huge change to live in the "real" world. I love the freedom I have on a daily basis. I can make choices and do things because I want to do them. I love that the things I decide to do or not to do are based on what I think, not on what I think will happen by an organization if I do something. That may be hard to understand for someone who has not been a part of a cult, but when you have spent your life trying essentially to please others it is odd to really make choices from your own perspective.
This is not to say that I only make selfish choices or that God is not involved in the decisions I make. God is certainly involved in all of the things I do or do not do. However, it is God I consider and what I know of Him not what an organization tells me he does or does not want.
I also love that I am free to worship God the way I want to not in this one way that is prescribed by the org. I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and on the third day he rose again. Inside of that I have much freedom to worship the way God calls me to. I love that. I can go to a great many churches and find something in it that leads me to God. The best part is that if I don't agree with it or if I think they may be teaching something false I can walk away. I do not have to stay! These freedoms are incredible and I love and cherish them.
However, it is not all easy. It is still hard when I run into people that are still in the JWs. Not if I just barely knew them but if they are people I grew up with and knew for so long it can be very hard. Most of them just pretend they don't know me some of them want to try to get me to come back. I used to have close to a panic attack when I would see someone. Now my heart beats a little faster and I make a choice as to how I will handle the situation.
Since if I were to voice my thoughts and opinions they would be view as if coming from the devil I usually just avoid speaking to them if at all possible. This works for the most part. However, if I am really confronted I will speak and I do speak about the personal relationship I have with God. I remember how surprised one gentleman was that I claimed that and said I would pray for his wife. It really befuddled him.
It is just hard because I do like it when people like me. I also like human approval. I know I have God's but it is nice to have peoples think well of you as well. Knowing that the people I run into do see me and that they think I have committed some type of terrible grievance is hard for me. This is getting easier to deal with and I am glad of it. The healing is coming but it is not the easiest thing in the world. Yet I know that with the healing comes growth and that growth is wonderful.