jesuslovesme wrote:Ashlee, you don't need a therapist.
Please do not discourage anyone on the board from seeking therapy. It's fine to believe in God, but it's not okay to tell members, especially new members, to rely on that solely for help.
Ashlee, welcome to JWR. I'm glad you've found this place, especially when it's so clear that you're hurting and still being impacted after all these years. We have many members here, myself included, who were faded away for years before we realized how deeply impacted we still were/are.
It seems like you're struggling with two issues -- getting rid of the residual JW anxieties, and figuring out where to go from here.
As far as getting rid of the JW anxieties go (including the nightmares; I used to get them as well), cognitive-behavioral therapy is the suggested path to take. That is the most research-proven form of therapy for getting over deep anxieties and learning how to work through them in more effective ways. Those of us on the board who have done it can report great success. Best of all, it's so commonplace that it's usually covered by insurance and doesn't require you to find someone who specializes in treating ex-JWs. Pretty much any therapist who works with patients with anxiety issues will be able to help you with CBT. If you'd like to find a CBT therapist, there are handy search tools at http://www.nacbt.org/searchfortherapists.asp
and http://www.abct.org/Members/?m=FindTher ... orm&nolm=1
As far as figuring out what to believe now goes, that's a much trickier thing. For me, the best thing I did was not think too much about it. I know that's hard to do, but I found that sorting out my own feelings and beliefs went a lot more easily once I stopped worrying about it and instead let my beliefs develop and reveal themselves to me more naturally. It also helps to not worry so much about finding a label. It sounds like you already have a general sense of what you believe -- you believe in a higher power but not a particular religion -- so part of it is just being content with that. But the thing is, you'll never get to that point until you address that first issue of anxiety.
So I'd say that's your first step -- locate a good therapist, start working on those issues, and then watch as everything else falls into place. And keep using this board to help you along the way.