Did you Exit the Witnesses Gradually - Or Exit Suddenly - Your Reasons ?

by flipper 66 Replies latest jw friends

  • flipper

    Wow ! I really enjoyed all your responses ! Since they're so many I'll respond to pg. 1 first. Lots of good reasons for exiting !

    PAT 1060- I understand your slow fade. A lot of times many feel the need to do this to avoid extra heat from the elders, or in your case with your one child who still lives with you - don't want to freak him out too fast. Hang in there. It will come in time. You are being smart.

    DARNKID- I understand how it rips your heart out in your kids not seeing you. I have two daughters which have done the same. I'm trying to gradually work on them- but it still hurts. Hang in there.

    WHITE DOVE- I'm so sorry you and your children were abused like you were by people who you thought were your friends in the congregation. I think many of us have been there and experienced that. I'm glad you made the decision to start anew and cut your ties from the WT cult. Sounds like you and your children have made a happier life for yourselves.

    DISSED- I agree exactly with what you say. It was the lack of love and injustices initially that forced me to exit the witnesses. And yes, WE are NOT the apostates - the WT society and Jehovah's Witnesses are in reality, good point.

    JAMIEBOWERS- I am SO GLAD you escaped the cult and the horrible abuse you were suffering ! I'm glad you made a new life for yourself.

    ALL TIME JEFF- Wow. My wife and I have read your entire story. Our hearts go out to you bro with what you had to go through and put up with. I can't even imagine how frightening it was to be attacked in Africa like you were. I am glad you oved on and have a much better and happier marriage to a new partner as well ! Sometimes we go through some hell before we truly find happiness in life. I'm happy for you.

    LEFTBELOW- Wow, is all I can say. What a tragic event that family went through in the link you posted. Good gawd. And the fact that only you and your family attended the non-witness funeral- it's just another evidence of the true lack of human compassion and caring which Jehovah's Witnesses don't show . The other witnesses that didn't attend should have been ashamed. I'm proud of you that you and your wife had the courage to do the right, compassionate thing. And glad you are out of the cult.

    HEARTBREAKER- I'm like you- I miss no friends hardly ever that I knew as witnesses. And you are right- a person has to do what is right for them- no matter HOW MUCH our families try to make us feel guilty. I've had older JW siblings try to make me feel guilty about leaving the witnesses, as well as my older JW daughters. But like you said, you and your children are happy now, I understand that happiness, so am I.

    MAMOCHAN 13- A lot of times when we are treated unjustly it opens our eyes to the unfairness and we awaken to the scam being pulled on people by the WT society. That happened to me like it did to you. Sounds like your family also really tried playing the guilt card on you as well. And it is true we can go through periods of depression- but in time we feel a lot more free and in control of our lives, don't we ? And THAT is a good thing.

    CASPER- Hey, nice to hear from you sis ! I'm glad you got your freedom as well. It is true like you say that if the elders chase after us right after we exit - we may more likely go back. But good for you and me they didn't and we have enjoyed our freedom outside the cult.

    LANCLINK- So lack of human caring pushed you over the edge as well when seeing the lack of support shown on your mom's behalf. It seems to happen a lot to those of us who saw the injustices and then we acted on seeing those injustices by leaving. Glad you're out.

    HAPPY GUY- Welcome to the board friend. You are among nice people who have been through similar things as yourself. It sounds like you experienced a lot of changes over the years and a lack of love shown to you inside the witness organization. I'm glad you got out and have moved on.

    AUSSIE OZ- Welcome to the board ! I totally understand what you went through. My story and yours are somewhat similar. I too have an ex-wife ( fanatic witness ) who is STILL a major pain in the gluteous maximus, so I get it. I'm glad you are happy now and have a new wife and a new life. That's great ! I too used to find more encouragement from people who weren't in positions in the congregation. They weren't so full of themselves. Glad you moved on.

    YELLOW- That was interesting what the non-witness husband told you whose wife was a JW " these people are controlling your life, they are telling you what to say, think, and do, they are taking away your ability to think and reason for yourself. " That was AWESOME ! And coming from a guy who could just SEE it ! Never even read books on cult mind control. Interesting. I'm so glad you got out and have your freedom ! Good for you

  • cantleave

    So far my exit has been a lot quicker than I thought it would be. I'm still not "out" totally in terms of stopping meeting attendance and FS altogether. Saying that I haven't done any FS for over a month (although I reported) , and I have attended a handful of meetings since August. The last meeting I attended was on Tuesday and both my wife and I were "loved bombed" (")we've really missed you, Hope you are all well" etc., the only reason we went was to return a DVD to someone in the congregation, and thus be seen to prevent a "shepherding call".

    We have been invited to our friends house after the meeting tommorow, they have kids who are same age as ours and they often play together so we will be going tomorrow, but neither of us are looking forward to the meeting, even though we will enjoy an afternoon with our freinds. Both Mrs. CL and I have said if we could ,we never attend a meeting again. I am sure it won't be long before our extremely erractic attendance will result in our dear brothers and sisters seeing us as spirtually weak and bad association and that will make it much easier.

    We have decided that we will not attend the 2010 DC. We have spoken to our kids teachers saying they can get involved in a lot of the Xmas stuff, except prayers and carols. We won't be celebrating at home this year but I am hoping to next year.

    So in essence "So Far So Good".

  • flipper

    O.K. Now for you who responded on pg. 2 . I appreciate all the responses !

    WT WIZARD- It's good you stopped going WT. Sounds like the elders had it out for you. I understand, they wanted me out too.

    WOBBLE- Like you I too had a gradual awakening - but a sudden exit. I too couldn't buy into the 1914 doctrine anymore and the fact that the GB and FDS claimed absolute control over these peoples lives. Just turned a light on also ! Glad you got out bro.

    BONNIE_CLYDE- Wow. I'm so sorry that your parents were treated so unloving by people you once considered to be your friends. My gawd. Isn't it amazing how the publishers that told you HOW IMPORTANT pioneering was- couldn't take just a FEW minutes out of their schedule to visit your mom and dad ? It shows where their priorities lie. It's certainly NOT in being a loving human being. It's organization first- people second. Ick. Glad you got out.

    SATANUS- I was raised in it like yourself and I too tried really hard for 44 years. But I understand what you are saying- the pressure becomes unbelievable. I'm surprised MORE witnesses aren't depressed. The whole lot of them. I'm glad you got your freedom finally and read COC and other books which helped you. Good for you.

    CARPEDIEM- As Steve Hassan says sometimes all we need is a little time away from the meetings to see how happy we can be away from the " cult mind control " that is taught at meetings. Then we start using our authentic mind to reason instead of our " cult controlled " mind to think with. I'm so happy for you my friend that you found how happy you could be NOT going to meetings. Good for you, keep it up !

    MINIMUS- So a gradual fade has worked for you as well ? That is great. I understand that as most of my family are still witnesses also.

    BUTTERFLYLEIA- I'm glad you have been able to do research to help yourself out and reason on things. It is very important so a person really sees the REASONS on leaving. Makes it more firmed up in ones mind that way.

    MOSHE- I'm glad you saw the light from reading Crisis of Conscience. It is really great you got out. I know how you feel about having a JW wife turn on you- mine did as well all those years ago.

    LADY LEE- I'm glad you got out when you did as you suffered way too long like Jamiebowers did. To think that this WT organization is so dangerous it can make us suicidal in not supporting us when we are suffering abuse - it is insane the things the leaders of this cult put us through.

    SIR NOSE- I'm glad you stopped going to meetings. It's probably one big reason you are feeling less stress and are happier ! I'm like you - I never want to go back again. Good for you

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    left below

    I don't know how old your daughter is but she has a much better chance at a normal life now that you live honestly.

    If ehs is young school can be a great place to make friends. Get involved. The more involved you are with her activities in school the better chance she will have to make good frineds

    I wish I had had an elder like you supporting the child victim of abuse.

    Aussie OZ

    Two years went by and i knew i was never going back to my wife or the witnesses. I stayed faithfull to my wife for two years. When i let 'adultery' happen, it's main purpose was to free my wife to move on, to re-marry. She will never know the pain that caused me and the health problems the stress took.

    I know this story too well. You aren't alone in sacrificing yourself for the insanity of letting them be free

    So many of you saw the lack of love and the constant demand to do more more more. In a way it is a good thing. It helped you get out. How sad though that so many others are still trapped

  • ferret

    I started slowly when I stepped down as an elder very early in Jan. 1980. I stopped going to many meetings and gradually not attend at all.

    By late June of that year I was df'd, and the rest is history. They (the elders) did me a big favor and it changed my life forever(for the better).

    However I did lose my family to the borg at the time. I now have two sons and one daughter back. Three daughters still held hostage by the borg.

    Life is much better now.


  • flipper

    CANTLEAVE- It sounds like you and your wife are being careful in your fading so far. That's a good, careful thing to do - especially not to arouse suspicion. Hopefully by next year you will be able to eventually stop attending altogether. Then the mind control info won't creep into your head anymore.

    LADY LEE- Exactly - A lot of us saw and experienced a lack of love in the witnesses. And the demand to do more, more, more never ended. Nothing we did was good enough. It is true many are still trapped inside the cult . But many are starting to wake up and beginning to exit as well ! Just think : We are getting about 10 to 20 newbies joining this board each week. That is a very good thing.

    FERRET- I'm glad that you got 50 % of your children back. I hope your others exit the JW cult in time. I have 1 out of 3 children out- still holding out hope for the other 2 to exit. I'm glad that life is going much better for you now

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Interesting thread.

    Like many above, my doubts were wrapped in matters of eschatology/prophecy with a side dish of loveless awareness by my 'brothers'.

    The loveless nature of the organization had bothered us for decades. Like most of us here, we had a dozen stories that marked the lack of love toward us and toward others whom we had observed. Dozens of stories is more like it when one recounts the truly evil that is seen displayed toward those who 'err' 'sin' or 'fall short' resulting in 'discipline from Jehovah'. We never approved of such, though we mostly tolerated it silently.

    I suppose my doubts were submarine to my conscience thought for a long time. The whole 2520 years/607/1914/generation ideas were intuitively faulty to me on some level. I was 'internet illiterate' but my doubts were fed with short forrays into this new medium - things like a search for information on 607 that showed that no one supported the date were revealing, but added to my spiritual malaise initially. I did an amazing amount of 'calculation' over what became the '1935' date failure, long before the society stepped away from it. In the midst of what I now know was cognitive dissonance and internal conflict, we ordered Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom both by Raymond Franz. We devoured them as if slaking a desert derived thirst. From the day those books arrived and we began reading, we never sat foot inside the kingdom hall again. What we both had known intuitively to be flawed, was clearly proven to be corrupt and unsalvagable at that point. The endpoint was finally a natural progression of the journey - an end we had not truly anticipated, but one that we embraced for its' solution of our confusion.

    Suddenly - but not really I suppose.


  • DrJohnStMark

    I faded out, initiated by being some time physically ill and therefore away from meetings and other activity. I already had had doubts and disagreed on some specific teachings of the WT (such as most other people to be butchered by god or the details of how and when life on earth had emerged) and I already had lost some privileges, but getting out of the control was the turning point.

    After it, I was depressed for quite a while, because of some of the (possibly) best years of my life wasted in the organization and, more important, because of the situation in the family: Around me I saw too much unfulfilled life or life unlived and no way out (I had been a born-in JW). Then there was a period of trying to catch up, maybe to compensate for the lost years, studying and working very hard, getting absorbed with culture etc... and fading, trying not to loose contact with my family members hoping to help them.

    Some years later an elder of the local JW congregation contacted me asking if I could consider returning active again and saying that they might have use for me in the congregation (I had not been disfellowshipped). I said no and told him why. After that I have had no direct contact with the org.

  • Heaven

    I'm not sure I actually fit into either of these 2 classifications because I was never really 'in'. Luckily for me I was not born-in. But my Mom started us off young because her father decided to be a JW (he was a former Catholic). My father wasn't into religion when I was a kid (whew!) so he limited a lot of the JW stuff. Neither of my parents were baptized while we kids were growing up. Our 'studying' was off-again and on-again. By the time I hit my teens I knew it wasn't for me. I didn't agree with a lot of their interpretation of scripture, there was a major flip my Mom did regarding Evolution, and the fact that the JWs expected me to live in subjugation of my husband just turned me off. My parents finally got baptized well after all their children had grown up and moved out.

    It has been a difficult life living with JW and non-JW immediate family. The JW piece definitely contributed to the damaging of our family.

  • AllTimeJeff
    ALL TIME JEFF- Wow. My wife and I have read your entire story. Our hearts go out to you bro with what you had to go through and put up with. I can't even imagine how frightening it was to be attacked in Africa like you were. I am glad you oved on and have a much better and happier marriage to a new partner as well ! Sometimes we go through some hell before we truly find happiness in life. I'm happy for you.

    Flipper, Mr and Mrs.... :)

    Thanks. One big reason I come back here is that I am not totally over what happened to me. How I left, (I could have done it better) what I was thinking at the time ("thinking" is a rather strong word), and the decisions I made from 2005 till now just absolutely amaze me.

    When I left, I decided to do a complete amputation. I had seen the torture of "mixed" JW marriages where one was a JW and the other wasn't. Pure hell on all involved. I didn't want to be talked about all the time by the congregation. So I dynamited the bridge. I was afraid to some extent that I would want my friends back and would thus pretend to be a JW. I couldn't stomach that thought, no matter how much I missed my old friends.

    For my ex, she needs the cult now, and while I admire others for wanting to take their ex with them, mine hurt me too much after my attacks in Cameroon for me to consider that at the time. Perhaps if we didn't go through missionary life and my attacks, I would have tried to take her with me. But her callousness sent such a message to me about where I stood in relation to her faith in the Governing Body. To say nothing of how it shredded my heart.

    My biggest struggle, other then with anxiety and depression, is to just simply realize that I have to trust at least some people again. I can't isolate myself. And I am VERY fortunate to have a great wife. That wouldn't have happened if I didn't go through some processes and some pain.

    I exited quickly, amputation style, because I didn't want to deal with a double life anymore, like I had been living. (for me, a double life was having doubts and not expressing them for the sake of others. Screw that! I won't ever do that to myself again....)

    When I left, I thought faders were nuts! Since that time, I get it. It is a very necessary path for some. Having said that, there are consequences on you the person for having to "fake" it sometimes.... Just like blowing up the bridge has consequences, as I have learned.

    I think threads like this are helpful with the healing. Thanks Flipper for starting threads like this, where we can share our pasts and help each other in the process.

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