I congratulate you on a successful fade. You are off their radar screen!!!
When is a fade finished?
A generation should do it.
It takes about a time, times and a half a time.
W.Once (of the fading for some time class)
you will be seen as inactive, but you will still be regarded as a jw.
But you won't be treated as one.
LOL - You guys are hilarious!
So, basically, the only way to end it all is to end it all. My husband is of the F 'em and feed them beans mentality. Doesn't see the need to DA because who really cares anyway. No one (absolutely no one) of my congregational "friends" have sought me out in years. I can see the upside to DAing - just knowing that it's over - maybe it's a female thing - needing closure. But on the other hand, I don't want to invest the emotional energy into a letter that I know the society wont care about anyway.
About your decision on whether to keep fading or DA:
If you send 'em a letter, you tell them that you recognize they have authority over you. They will like that.
If you act like they don't exist and refuse to acknowledge their authority in any way, they will just hate that.
I think if you fade, you win. But everyone's case is different.
To answer your question: A fade is finished when you don't want to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses anymore. It's that simple. Just go about your life. If an elder comes to "encourage" you, then just tell him straight out "I don't want to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses anymore." Tell him that there is nothing to discuss. Say that if you should ever decide to come back, you will then be happy to discuss the issues with the elders. Until then, you would rather not argue with anyone about your decision. Basically, that is what I did back in August. Life is good.
If you send 'em a letter, you tell them that you recognize they have authority over you.
This is utter bullshit. How can you categorically say such a thing without even knowing the contents of a letter? You are basing your conclusion on something you know nothing about. Only an idiot does that.
Telling someone to get out of your life is not recognizing their authority. It is asserting yours.
I notice that phrases such as "they have authority over you", "playing their game", and "playing by their rules" have become cliches, most often used by people who talk big on the boards but in real life still cower before the watchtower. They live their lives looking over their shoulders for the watchtower boogeyman, lie, make excuses, avoid answering phones and doors, hide - anything but stand up like an adult for what they believe and live with the consequences.
I have met faders who, after more than ten years, are still hiding. I'm not. So who is playing by watchtower rules? (hint - it's not me.)
I don't take issue with fading or those who use that method to leave the cult. A person's manner of exit is none of my business, and I can understand the desire to maintain family relations. But I have to wonder at the motive of those who would criticize a more immediate method of leaving the cult.
A fade is finished when you have dissapeared..I have completly faded..No one can see me..I`m invisible..I get into movies free now...OUTLAW
I will respond to your inquiries as the voice of experience, having completed a successful fade.
If I don't DA myself and they don't DF me, am I doomed forever to this limbo called "fade?
In my opinion the fade is a temporary state. One in which the fader is allowed to sit back and reflect upon who they are. Once you discover your true identity and are able to realize that the WTBS cannot control you, your fade is officially over. It's all about breaking the chains and abandoning the fear.
When do I stop worrying about "what if they find out?
This is a difficult question to answer as I do not know you or your personality. Everyone is different and what takes years for some may take weeks for others. Support and understanding from others certainly helps. It's also more difficult when you have family still under the influence of the WTBS.
When will they (if they saw me) just think of me as someone they knew, rather than "one of their flock" - even when they know I'm inactive?
Never, as long as that particular individual that "sees you" is still a member.
It's been 2 years since we were at a meeting, that's 2 missed memorials, no conventions or assemblies, no CO visit attendances, etc. When will I stop being inactive and become GONE to them?
You will only be gone to an active JDub when they realize that there is no chance of you ever returning to the WTBS. In their eyes you have turned your back on Jehovah, therefore you are "gone" and not someone they would give the time of day to.