I WAS BORN IN 1969 and raised as a Jehovah's Witness. Over a period of 33 years (1986-2019) I served as a regular pioneer,1A baptised Jehovah's Witness who spends at least 70 hours each month preaching door-to-door and on the streets with the aim of converting people to join their religion. Pioneers are unpaid and usually support themselves financially by only working part-time. a ministerial servant,2A baptised male who serves as a helper to the congregation elders. A ministerial servant's duties are usually more secular than spiritual, although some more experienced ministerial servants may share with the elders in teaching the congregation. and eventually as an elder.3Elders are responsible for the spiritual teaching and shepherding of the congregation. They are similar to pastors or vicars in other religions. Only men can be elders or ministerial servants. In 2004 I identified as an anointed Christian.4Someone who has been born again of the Holy Spirit. Unlike other Christian denominations, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that only 144,000 Christians are anointed and go to heaven. They teach that all other Jehovah's Witnesses will live forever on a paradise earth after Jesus has killed all non-JWs at Armageddon.

During my time as a Jehovah's Witness, I experienced acute symptoms of c-PTSD and bipolar disorder due to situational stressors caused by sexual, mental, and spiritual abuse within my personal life and religion. Despite my deteriorating mental health, I was disfellowshipped5Disfellowshipping is an extreme form of excommunication, which involves being completely shunned by all Jehovah's Witnesses including family and friends. A person is disfellowshipped if they commit a sin considered to be "serious" and if they are not deemed repentant. Three elders in a closed-door meeting called a "judicial hearing" decide whether the person should be disfellowshipped or not. twice by Jehovah's Witnesses, first in 2006-2009 and then, after being reinstated for 10 years for the sake of my children, again in 2019. I am now viewed as an "apostate" and shunned by my JW family and former friends.

Since exiting Jehovah's Witnesses in 2019, and getting divorced in 2021, I have—with the support of an excellent abuse therapist—been navigating the difficult and painful process of healing and rebuilding a new life. I continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and periods of major depression with suicidal ideation. I have attempted suicide on several occasions due to Watchtower's cruel shunning policy and parental alienation. However, there is more to me than just a life of abuse and trauma.

I have many layers—just like an onion! In addition to presenting my podcast, I also enjoy designing websites, street photography, abstract painting, writing poetry, and songwriting.

I now identify as "spiritual but not religious" with a leaning towards Pandeism and Advaitism. Although I am no longer a member of any religious denomination, I continue to explore my innate spirituality through meditation, dreams, and the creative arts—seeking truth, peace, and purpose apart from religion.

OnionUnlimited is a place for me to share my journey of recovery after leaving Jehovah's Witnesses in the hope that doing so will help others who are facing similar challenges.

Daniel Torridon

I have many layers

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