It's been over two years now since I left the jehovah's witnesses. During that time I have been part of an online forum, the largest of its kind, for ex-jws. It has been incredibly useful for my healing process. I still visit this forum but for different reasons now. I go back for the newbies, for the ones just leaving the group. I go back to welcome them and give them moral support. I feel it my duty to show them the love that was shown to me when I was a newb.
As I peruse the forum now, the topics no longer hold the same charge they once did. I can read about the latest pedophile scandal in the ranks of the jw world and not feel triggered up. I can read about interrogation processes and not enter a panic attack. I can read personal accounts of family losses and irrational jw behavior and not get stuck in a downward spiral of self-pity and grief. It all seems so irrelevant to me now. It's such a small group in a large world. They think they're important, but they're not. Nothing really is.
The forum creator is oft apt to remark that the goal of all ex-jws is to become ex-ex-jws. I didn't get it when I first arrived. Now I do. I'm no longer just an ex-jw. I'm a human being. For one of the first times in my life, I feel like I'm part of this world. Like it's mine just like anyone else's. And it feels good. Normal even. Hmm....normal. Never thought I'd ever feel "normal".