He went into your car! I can't believe the audacity of these people. Well, I can. Good for you for having a good time anyway. Thoughtful of you to invite the other lepers.
Fading ain't goin' so well.
I did not attend the circuit assembly for my old congregation, but I found out that my neighbor who is a witness (new witness, thinks he the righteousness police) told several people that he is worried about my associations, because he has seen me hanging out with "long haired, bearded people". (Hmmmm....Jesus maybe????)
LOL, you've still got your sense of humor, that's good.
A few weeks ago, I went to the hall on Sunday because my father - in -law had the public talk. I went with a goatee; I'm sure I don't need to tell you what kind of stares I got. I made a point to wear my best suit; I didn't want to play into the "he's inactive so now he's a slob-loser" mentality I have heard a million times. I was going for more of a "I can wear a goatee and still look cleaner than half the brothers here" look. The few normal people at the hall were nice and acted genuinely glad to see me, but the rest seemed to look at me like: "What are you trying to pull?"
I went through that same thing. I showed up with a beard, neatly trimmed, but in one of my best suits, nicest dress watch and wedding ring. I don't wanna brag, but I looked gooooood. Well, my wife said I did anyway. But at the hall no one noticed how sharp I was dressed. Everybody's eyes went straight to the beard. Some people did double takes, some stared, some looked away quickly (like they just spotted the anti-christ). Only a couple of people who I had contact with outside of the hall didn't weird out.
Good luck on trying to fade. With nosy neighbors and elders, it might be hard. But I think in time, they'll get tired and give up. I got several elder visits. I even brought up some of the obvious 'apostate' thinking questions (607, birthdays, beards) but they eventually got tired of me and left me alone. On the rare occassion that I show up at the hall, one elder always comes up and tells me he wants to get together. He says he'll 'stop by' one day. The next two or three Saturdays I wait for him to show up, but he never does. It's all lip service now. They don't care.
I am in the same spot. I faded for four years then got caught by my parents eating with one of my best friends who is disfellowshipped. My parents have turned me in to the elders for it. This was 2 weeks ago and I haven't heard anything yet. I asked my parents what the elders said and they told me if I wanted to know I could contact the elders myself. So you are NOT in this alone. The entire thing is stupid. Any adult should be able to make their own decision as to who they can and can't hang with. As for your wife, I was similar when my hubby faded and now look at me. I am here all the time. She may end up leaving as well.
That brother should be smacked for going inside your car. I would make it a point to leave some Manson CD's or something similar on the passenger seat for the next visit.
They are trying to chase you up but if you carry on your own way they will soon give up trying to bring you back into the fold. Hating beards is one of those laws of men that burden unnecessarily the followers.
When I was fading it was kind of a natural thing that grew out of being dead tired of service and meetings, the depression I'd feel after the public talk on Sundays, and the general lack of happiness I felt as a dub. I still thought it was probably the "truth" but I was so sick of it all, I participated less and less until I wasn't there at all. LOL
I can't even imagine knowing the real deal about this stupid religion and trying to slowly fade out in order to maintain relationships. It would be so frustrating sitting there, knowing all their little mind-control methods, listening to the twisted reasoning from the platform, and watching the general pettiness and judgmentalism that is the real fruitage of this organization. I can see where it would get beyond old and soon become very hard to keep up the pretense.
Your Super Bowl story is classic. The dubs ostracize people and isolate those that they've judged "weak". If a person really is weak that's hardly a loving way to behave. Wouldn't it make a person weaker and more unhappy to push them away and treat them like a pariah? It's really annoying how they're always touting themselves for being loving and kind, but their actions are completely opposite of that.
In your case, because you aren't really weak at all, it just pissed you off and you came out sooner than you were planning to. Good for you!
Fading works best , I think, when the brothers are glad to see you go,ie, you have been a needy, expensive pain in the butt to them. As long as you are acting nice to them they will try to bring you back into line. I never faded- I just quit, so I can offer no advice on fading strategies.
Good luck and keep coming back to the J-W forum,
I understand what you're going through. I faded for several years, in fact I'm technically still in the fade. There are unique pressures, strong feelings and uncomfortable times during the fade process. If you would like to talk PM me.
Fading ain't goin' so well.
You're doing Great!!!
You will will know you are on top when the day comes (as it surely will) when the 'friends' drive by your house while out in 'Service' with a newly arrived publisher from another congregation and they point out your house and tell the 'moved-in' publisher that this is where a notorious 'postate lives.
he is worried about my associations, because he has seen me hanging out with "long haired, bearded people".
Ya gotta be careful around those long haired bearded bastards! I used to be one, and take it from me, they're BAD!!! Stick to associating with short haired clean shaven pedophiles and you'll do ok.
Hey it sounds like you're enjoying life, and that's all anybody can want. It's a tough call, truly is - but if you've reached a point where you're no longer concerned who you're seen with, it shows that you're pretty strong, and working it out.
Suggestions for when you get the call or the visit... smile, and tell them you're not able to talk about it yet. And don't be able to talk about it until you know exactly what you want to happen.