I WAS BORN IN 1969 and raised in the Jehovah's Witnesses cult. Over a period of 33 years (1986-2019) I served as a regular pioneer (full-time preacher), a ministerial servant (helper to the congregation elders), and eventually as an elder myself. From 2004 I identified as an "anointed" (born-again) Christian.
During my time as a Jehovah's Witness, I experienced acute symptoms of c-PTSD and bipolar disorder. This was due to "situational stressors" caused by sexual, mental, and spiritual abuse within my personal life and religion. Despite my deteriorating mental health, I was disfellowshipped (excommunicated) twice by Jehovah's Witnesses, first in 2006-2009 and then 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 being divorced by my JW wife in 2021, I have—with the support of an excellent abuse counsellor—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 as a direct result of Jehovah's Witnesses' 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. I am a PHP/MySQL web developer, a qualified life coach and first aid trainer, and a PTLLS qualified teacher. I am also highly creative and enjoy street photography, abstract painting, writing poetry, and composing music.
I now identify as "spiritual but not religious" with a leaning towards Pandeism and Eastern Spirituality. Although I am no longer a member of any religious denomination, I continue to explore my innate spirituality through prayer, meditation, dreams, and the creative arts—seeking truth, peace and purpose apart from religion.
OnionUnlimited is a place for me to share my life in the hope that doing so will help others who are facing similar challenges to mine.