Hanging out with JWs after you no longer believe

by B_Deserter 21 Replies latest jw experiences

  • B_Deserter

    It's starting to become harder and harder to hang out with witnesses. All their talk about how evil the world is, etc. I was at a gathering last night, and this older couple was their talking about how their granddaughter came back because she got a taste of how the world was, her so-called friends were freeloading off her and stealing her stuff. All the while I'm thinking, "ummmm, she decided to hang out with a bunch of drug addicts....DUH, but the ENTIRE world isn't like that." Then of course all the homosexual hate that spews around. "They got mad because I called one of them a 'fag' and tried to act like they had morals, HA!" I can't believe I used to just go along (and even join in) with all of this, but I can feel a fundamental shift in my personality. I'm a more tolerant and kind person now. It's kind of nice not to have the "us vs. them" mentality anymore. No more thinking in absolutes, no more paranoia, and no more homophobia.

    Going to meetings is harder too. I can't count how many logical fallacies and manipulative words come from the podium. It angers me almost. It's gotten to the point where I can barely stand to be in a Kingdom Hall at all, which is why I hardly ever go. I'm supposed to be fading but I find myself just wanting to make a clean break. The only problem is that I'm afraid of losing my family, and currently I'm living with my brother. I know that as soon as he moves out (or I move somewhere else), I'm writing my disassociation letter.

  • oompa

    B-D I am in the about the same phase of fade and mindset. I just did a post on do we really even need our old JW friends. Since that is the main thing we had in common, it does make for some boring and uncomfortable time with them, even those we used to be close to. I just dont fit in anymore.

    I am having trouble understanding why you or most others would feel the need to DA? Why face ANY consequences when you dont have to? If you just totally SLACK OUT, almost no consequences, esp. family contact. If you DA...JW INDUCED/ENFORCED consequences. They have altered/screwed/interfered with my life enough, so I don't think I want more if I can avoid it.

    any thoughts?.....oompa

  • B_Deserter

    I'd like to do a sign-off from the podium like that one brother did. Of course, I don't know if I can bring myself to attend enough meetings and field service sessions in order to curry enough favor to get up there. Although, doing something like that from, say, an ASSEMBLY stage would be epic. JWs would talk about it in hushed tones for YEARS. It would literally become a legend. Elders would tell the story to youngsters decades later to prove just how sneaky and evil apostates are.

    About the whole DAing thing. Slacking off an walking away I don't think will work for me. My family likes to call and make unannounced visits quite a bit, so if say I wanted to celebrate Christmas one year or something like that, I couldn't without worrying about a family member stopping by and confronting me. The only way I think it 'could' work is if I moved to a different area by myself, and just didn't get on the local radar with the new hall. Although an ideal situation, moving that far isn't for a few more years. DAing puts the ball squarely in my court as far as the witnesses are concerned. Sure they won't talk to me, but I really don't think I want them to anymore. No more phone calls from the 'concerned.' No visits from elders. It's really a clean break.

  • nvrgnbk

    I don't know how anyone can go to the meetings after knowing the truth about the "truth".

    Not judging, in fact I admire the ability to compartmentalize the bullshit.

    Oompa, I was undecided about DA. Many here helped me with their opinions. I even wrote, dated and signed my DA letter.

    But then I considered what many were saying about not having to play by "their" rules.

    They only have the authority one chooses to give them.

    I am open with all my previous acquaintances and all of my family about my criticisms of JWism.

    No need to DA, in my opinion.

    Each one of us has a unique set of circumstances and personality.

    What's right for one, may not be right for another.

    Good luck to you.

  • Cicatrix


    The reason why I DA'd is because I had a rabid elder after me who was trying to gather evidence to disfellowship me (he believed some lying rumors my in-laws had spread about me). I was NOT going out on their terms, so I beat him to the punch and DA'd myself. I gave them NO REASON why I was leaving, which totally infuriated him, LOLOL!!!! I didn't have a lot to lose, though. My kids were ready to leave, and weren't baptised (they were never allowed to get baptised when they asked, thankfully). My mother and step dad were also not allowed to get baptised (even after studying for YEARS). Basically, we were all targets of a control freak elder, which in the end worked to MY advantage.

    If it wouldn't have been for that fact, I probably would've just faded.Well, maybe not-I DO like celebrating holidays,lol

  • Bumble Bee
    Bumble Bee

    Can't do it!

    I don't really have any JW friends left, just some family, that I don't see that much (well, most very rarely).

    Other than the religion, we really don't have much in common anymore.


  • BrentR

    After my fade I avoided them far more then they avoided me. I "DF'd" my friends and family because I did not want to deal with the guilt trips and arm twisting that I knew they would try. Most people do not have to deal with JW friends after they leave because they quickly find out they were never friends in the first place.

    A healthier tactic is to make many non-JW friends. Develop and have in place a good safe support network before you leave. That worked very well for me and I have never had any desire to be with my so called "JW friends". The ones that I see in my clinic are friendly but so completely plastic and disingenuous that I do not even want to be around them. They still make my skin crawl after 24 years away from them. That is a sure biological sign that I made the right choice to get out.

    To continue to associate with them is unhealthy at best.

  • Lloyd Braun
    Lloyd Braun

    Nothing is True. All is Permissible.

  • emy the infidel
    emy the infidel

    I'm with you Brent, "Most people do not have to deal with JW friends after they leave because they quickly find out they were never friends in the first place." It's good advice too to develop an independent support system before leaving. I was raised "in the world", and knew that what was said about worldly people was not true of them all, and not true of my family. It was easy for me to fade, and gradually my old family and friends saw that I was no longer 'under the spell' of the wts.

    It's hard to believe that only 6 wks. ago or so, a witness spotted me and snagged me before I could get away. We talked for about a 1/2 hr. He gave me a stack of new literature and told me about the "exciting changes" coming from the org., but other than the "koolaid watchtower"s he wasn't specific. I was considering going back, and asking my husband to go with me. But I came to the internet first, bought CoC-- which is a whole separate thread, and came here and found out that it wasn't just me. The circumstances, personalities and locations differ, but the stories are surprisingly similar otherwise. It's outta control from the top on down.

    Turns out my husband had been reading Watch the Tower and Freeminds for about the past 5 yrs. I had NO IDEA. He says he mentioned it to me once and I pointedly told him to never mention THAT again, and so nice guy that he is, he never brought it up to me again. That cult-like thinking still had it's hold. My husband was keeping up all along and wanted to tell me about the news of the org. We've talked A LOT in the past weeks. He's so glad I'm untangling.

    As for the witness fellow that snagged me into a conversation. He's a victim just like we all were. I don't think I could ever say anything about the truth of the truth. Knowing how frightening they are conditioned to be of such talk.

  • Shawn10538

    One of the things that makes JWs a cult is the fact that you can't be half in or half out. They will require you to make a stand at some point, if you keep hanging out with them. Hanging out with cult members is like, well, hanging out with cult members. It is not possible to have a normal healthy relationship with a cult member. No more than you can have a relationship with a crack addict. Try as you may, you'll either walk away yourself eventually or they will start to shun you.

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