I slowed down starting around 1996, when they told me to just meet men at a$$emblies. Then, every time they saw me trying to draw near anyone, they would arrange to bust it up. Eventually, it got so all I was getting around was other men--and at that point, there was no further reason to continue going to boasting sessions or out in field circus. So I just stopped--and eventually realized that, regardless of whether it was the truth or not, I would be better off not affiliated with the witlesses.
Did you Exit the Witnesses Gradually - Or Exit Suddenly - Your Reasons ?
I resigned as a M.S in early 2006 due to an Elders casting doubt on my qualification due to the fact that my sons, by then adults, had left the Org. some years before,not that any real attempt had been made to "encourage" them. The fact that a number of the appointed men were in a similar position did not stop them from accepting my resignation without question, or a shepherding call, very loving.
I stopped going in F. Service in early 2007 due to feeling that the 1914 doctrine had absolutely no support in scripture.
I stopped going to the K.H meetings in early 2008 due to the conviction that the GB/fds was putting itself in the place of Jesus Christ as mediator and that this was a blasphemous lie.
Looking back it was a very gradual awakening for me, but the actions I took must have seemed sudden ,and unexpected, to the Congo.
I exited gradually. It started when I noticed that the congregation really had no interest in my parents when they got old and couldn't be useful to the congregation any more, despite their having been pillars in the congregation. When my mother broke her leg (she also had Alzheimers), after the initial show of interest, it tapered off almost to nothing. My father was house-bound for several years taking care of her. We noted that several times car groups of witnesses would drive by the house--even calling on the neighbors--but didn't bother to stop to see how they were doing. I would hear comments at the KH Hall that would go like this, "How is your mother doing?" I'd say, "She is in bad shape, but she really does enjoy visitors. It would be nice if you would stop to see her some time." All too often the response, "Well I would but I'm going to be auxilliary pioneering next month."
Then I got an elder's visit because my hours had dropped off to nothing. I told them that, between working and helping my father take care of my mother, I just didn't have any time. The response was, "Well that's well and good, but we really need to be out in service talking to people who have no HOPE." I wish I had spoken my thoughts right then. They were, "Well my parents sit at home HOPING that someone will stop by to see them."
I don't want to discount a couple of people who did show some interest--one couple came over and sat with her occasionally so my father could go to the meeting, and that took a burden off me. I loved that couple and still do. But one time they went on a 3-week vacation and told me they asked around to find someone to look in on my parents, and no one was interested. That got me thinking, Some people in the congregation will show love, but it's not because of the Organization, it's despite the Organization.
I was born in, raised in it and always did my very best to follow and do what i was taught, save for a couple of yrs during my late teens. That means about 40 yrs of slavery.
After a lifetime as jw, as my depression became worse and worse, like a huge gray leaden cloud, someone suggested for me to read a book by an exgb member, describing the way the gb meetings went. That sounded intriguing. Reading coc, within 3 days, i saw that the gb wasn't directed by god. That was it for me. I started serious antiwt researches, right away. Started going to churches, and tried to get my jw firends and family out. It took almost a yr for them to dff me. I was surprised it took that long. It must have been unbelievable to them, my about face, from super good, well connected jw to full flame on apostate.
Suddenly. I had been deliberating how to leave and planned a gradual fade. I was a reg pioneer to boot, so decided it was best to do it gradually, saying I was stressed and needed time out. However, I became ill in the summer and missed a couple of weeks of meetings. The relief of not going was immense and I felt so peaceful and happy. When I felt better I got ready to go to a meeting with hubby. I stood looking in the mirror at myself in my meeting clothes, looking all witnessy, and thought 'I cant face this anymore'. I got changed into my casual gear, went downstairs and told my husband I could do it anymore. I havent been back since. I never want to go back again.
I slowed down too. It was a planned process. being a JW from infancy, and having family in it, I decided not to shock or DF or disassociate especially for my mom's sake. So far, it's worked. So far....
I'm with White Dove on that one. I started out as a DF for committing a sin and wanted and needed help with my guilt and "going back" at the time. Now after doing my research wow lets back up here... It was interesting but freeing that wow I was being brain washed sota speak. I gathered enough evidance that now I don't want to go back... I'm still researching every detail in thinking and my way of belief.
It took me about 3 months to decided to stop going to meetings and when my wife announced she was going to turn me in for apostasy , I just jumped the gun and mailed a letter of membership annulment to Bethel.- maybe 2 months later they announced my name at the meeting. The Crisis of conscience book was the last straw for me.
I did a quick exit after 2 years of suicidal thinking
I spent 15 years in an abusive marriage to a man who eventually became an elder. After a childhood of abuse I couldn't handle the past and to have the spousal abuse thrown on top of it was too much for me.
Once I made the decision it all happened within a couple of weeks and the announcement was made that I was DFed. Didn't go to the announcement. I knew it would be a long time before I stepped into a KH again.
After I was pressured to disassociate in mid '07, I knew at that point that I probably wouldn't be in the org for much longer. But I wanted to keep the status quo, so I kept at the meetings. I could only keep up the charade until two years later. This summer, I couldn't take it anymore and I stopped going to meetings. I've not been to one in three months exactly (tomorrow)! And I never want to come back.