MuadDIB, catchy name...
We faded, it was exceptionally difficult, but it turned out well. People leave us alone, and my family at least, still talks to us. I had to get counselling though, if I hadn't, disassociation would have probably been the better route.
Of course, then, if you disassociated, the announcement was different, so it made much more of a statement. Now, if you da, everyone thinks you were df'd, and it might not work out as well for you.
You're the only one who knows what you and your family can handle. Just don't do anything on a whim, follow it out to a couple of possible conclusions before you act.
BTW, the Dune series started my thinking also. So many similarities...
Looking for some advice
MuadDIB, catchy name...
Its funny that we both choose names from the same source.
Maybe there is something about Dune that subconsciously makes us question our beliefs, lol.
I can't seem to get this to post, so I will try again: MaudDib, Great choice of screen name! I am a big "Dune" fan myself. I read the JWD board everyday, but post unfrequently, however, your post brought me out of lurking mode. I was a JW for 27 years, having "come into the truth" at age 19. Woeful decision, but nevertheless, I made it. I raised two sons as JWs. One pioneered, went to Bethel, and is a ministerial servant. The other tried his best to satisfy my desire for them to be good JWs too, but he left "the truth" at the age of 21. I was heartbroken and devastated, thinking I had failed as a parent. I suppose this could have ended up with the two of us alienated and divided by his defection, but it did not. In fact, what happened was just the opposite. Almost to the point of despair, I had been laboring under the load of cognitive dissonance and guilt that the WTS inflicts on people, but I kept going because I thought I was ensuring the everlasting lives of my sons. When my younger son left, I began to question him intensely about why he could not continue as a JW. Every answer he gave was a thing I had pushed to the back of my own mind, telling myself that it would all be corrected in Jehovah's due time. Eventually all this led me to begin my own investigations of the WTS, and I started reading Randy Watters' site, freeminds.org. It didn't take more than one afternoon for me to realize that, as a JW, I had been systematically manipulated and controlled, without my consent or knowledge. I didn't want any more of that. I began my own fade (I still had to consider my contact with my devout JW son) out of the organization. The point I want to make from all this is that it was my son's courage to go first that freed me. So never think that you can predict, with certainty, someone else's reactions to events. Remember, "Fear is the mind killer, it is the little death that brings total obliteration." So don't let fear of other's reactions keep you from doing what you know you must do. Just do it with awareness and reasoned choices. Who knows what may happen.
It's a sticky situation. I slowly faded (or so I thought) my sis is the one that went to the elders and told them what she thought that I was doing (clubbing, got my tongue pierced, drinking and faling in love with the greatest guy, how she found out I'm not all that sure) and they came after me. Even though I hadn't been to a meeting in over a year and hadn't been out in service in 1.5 years. So I think that no matter what approach you take they will notice and they will wonder what's up. It's hard not to be close to your family. My older sister (the one that squealed) has a lil boy and I have never seen him and I most likley never will, unless I repent and admitt that I have sinned and have an apoligetic attitude and try to prove myself to MEN that I am sorry. It's crazy, the only people that I need to have approval from is me and who I think God is.
Good Luck, I hope that you are able to figure out what is going to work best for you and for your family. You may just want to think about what it would be like to be shunned by them all (I am) and how much it will hurt (just preparation). It's no use living your life to please someone else while you are miserable.
It's great to see so many encouraging replies - thanks again, everybody. Especially truman for reminding me of the litany against fear - "I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." A pretty helpful mantra, when you think about it. It's cool to see so many Dune fans here - definitely wasn't expecting that.
It's interesting to see so many recommending the fade-out. The thing is that I feel as though I've already been doing that for long enough, and I just want the whole affair over and done with. It's been two-plus years since I gave a talk, longer since I let my service dwindle to one Saturday a month; since getting my own place a few months ago I've all but completely stopped attending meetings. I've been concealing various "worldly" habits from my family for years. I'm tired of lying, and of seeing people hold out hope for my reconnection to the religion when I know it will never happen. I think what I will do is follow the suggestion a couple of people made and just cut it off for good, starting now, and hope to be left alone. If the elders want to make something of it, I have more than enough historical and scientific knowledge at my disposal to put a stop to that right quick. If my parents want to make something of it... well, I just hope I'll be able to get them to come around and see where I'm coming from, and maintain my relationship with them. Either way, I'll do my damnedest to make this as easy on them as possible.
Damn, I said I'd be at the circuit assembly tomorrow too. Looks like I'll have some more explaining to do over the weekend, LOL...
Sounds like you have got the right idea. Everyone must be almost expecting that you are gone anyway.
Just one thing you said has me worried. You mentioned that if the elders come around you are armed with enough historical info. I dont recommend doing that as it could get you d/f. If they come over it is safer to just make up some lame excuse about how you will try harder, or having a short break, blah blah blah, and hope they dont come around for another 12 months.
If you go down the history/science route you risk arguments, labels of apostates, breaking your mothers heart and the big D/F. Elders hate to be shown up, disrespected, and nothing you say will make a difference to their idolatry of the WTS. But they are used to slack JW boys and will just leave you alone if you kiss enough ...
Damn, I hadn't thought of that. What would be something for me to say to them then? I don't think they'd be satisfied if I told them I just wasn't feeling it anymore.
I'm thinking more and more about a DA letter, which was a totally unfamiliar concept to me until I read a few threads about it here. If I simply requested not to be known as a JW anymore, and explained my reasons in a letter, wouldn't that do the trick? I'd still get an announcement, but as long as it reflected on myself and not on my parents I think I'd be alright with it.
On another note - skipped both days of the circuit assembly. Score!
Just start streaking at the hall! In no time at all they will ask you to leave!
Wait, wait... FIRST get a doctor to give you a note saying you have a medical condition that causes you to take off your clothes and run around stark nekkid! (go to a southern babtist and tell them why they'll give you a note I promise!) then when they try to df ya give them the note! Then you can't go to the hall anymore (or service obviously) so fading is a cake walk!
Or seriously just say screw it and stop going, your mama is an adult she'll get over it! It worked for me!
Hey defd where in the bible does it say to not smoke weed?
Oh wait, all those commands of men I forgot... Isn't that in Luke or something where Jesus said "By this you shall know them, that they have hundreds and hundreds of rigidly enforced, nit-picking, constantly changing, man made rules" Guess I need to blow the dust off the old NWT! It's amazing how quickly you can forget those wonderful words of god given truth...
Now where did I put that puking smiley face...?