I sent the fol­low­ing mes­sage to some of my moth­er’s fam­i­ly and select old friends:

Howdy y’all. Just want­ed to let you know from the horse’s mouth that I’ve decid­ed to [no] longer be a Jeho­vah’s Wit­ness. I encour­age you to do some objec­tive research into your beliefs. I was cer­tain­ly sur­prised by what I found. Send­ing love and hugs. If you ever need me, you know how to reach me. May the force be with you ❤️

It feels incred­i­bly free­ing to final­ly send this mes­sage. I haven’t had con­tact with much fam­i­ly in the past two-ish years. When I first debat­ed leav­ing the cult, it was incred­i­bly scary to think about how my fam­i­ly would react or how they’d treat me.

In case you did­n’t know, leav­ing the Jeho­vah’s Wit­ness orga­ni­za­tion means essen­tial­ly say­ing good­bye to every­one you’ve ever known. Mem­bers are instruct­ed to shun peo­ple who leave the reli­gion, even fam­i­ly. It’s quite nuts. My research led me to con­clude with­out hes­i­ta­tion that this reli­gion is false and for some rea­son that means I don’t get to have a fam­i­ly any­more. The only rea­son I got to do this on my own time­line is because the pan­dem­ic turned out to be a fan­tas­tic cov­er to leave this cult under the radar. Which I guess is some­thing to be grate­ful for?

But what used to be scary, I’ve now come to accept. I mean, my fam­i­ly has shunned me before, so what does it real­ly mat­ter if they do it again? Like, ulti­mate­ly, peo­ple that actu­al­ly care about you don’t emo­tion­al­ly black­mail you into being part of their religion 😘

So this feels like clo­sure. I hope to have left things open for any of them to reach out if they ever wake up from their indoc­tri­na­tion. Till then, it feels good for peo­ple to know where I stand, and I think it’ll help me start writ­ing the next chap­ter of my life.