I was born into a Jehovah's Witness family, 3rd generation on both sides. I can remember very early the fear of displeasing my parents and therefore Jehovah. I also remember feeling, when I was very young, that I was gay. I plodded along, doing what I was supposed to do, though I never felt my heart was really in it. Baptized at age 13 years, I struggled with the gay feelings all along. It felt as if I were only going through the motions, since I was going to be destroyed because of my secret sin. (I had been caught at the age of 8 years while fooling around with a cousin, so my parents were aware of my "problem".)
I married at 22 years of age, because that was the acceptable thing to do. I really loved her. I thought the gay feelings would go away once I got married. I was also petrified of displeasing my parents. I progressed, became a ministerial servant (MS) and was giving public talks. However, I was told I would never be an elder, because I worked a rotating shift. I asked how I qualified to be a MS, if I could not qualify to be an elder. Never did get a good clear answer on that one. Also, as a MS, I wasn't being visible to the congregation in field service, because I wasn't out on the weekends. I guess it didn't matter how many days I was out supporting the group during the week. After a while, it all began to be a drain on me. I struggled with severe depression for a number of years.
We decided to do the Christian thing and move in with my in-laws, who could no longer care for themselves. That was a nightmare right from the start. I could do no right, according to my mother-in-law. She complained enough in the congregation that others asked us why we treated her so poorly. The elders were concerned about my qualifications because of this, though no one bothered to even ask me about it. At that point I had a mental breakdown and went on several anti- depressants. Even with the medication, I still felt like I was trying to hit a moving target.
Fast forward 15 years.... my poor wife passed away from a heart attack, leaving me with a 9-year-old son. At this point, I decided I could no longer go on struggling to live a lie. So in July, 2014, I disassociated myself. My mother felt it was only because of being under so much pressure from my wife dying.
Today I start getting emails from my aunt asking if I am getting help with my PTSD. Obviously, they believe I can't be making these decisions on my own, it MUST be because I am suffering from something. Story of my life, if I decide something others don't agree with, there has to be an underlying reason for it.
Moral of the story: I am so much happier now living the life I want, the life that feels right to me.