I guess it's about time to post on what happened over the weekend. I was telling my old pal jamiebowers about it and she thought it was hilarious. Thought I might retell the tale on a thread of its own.
So, I dropped my wife off at the KH for her cult recruitment activities. Hmm...guess that makes me a party to this, in a way, doesn't it? I just thought of that. Anyway, so I go back home and I'm just hanging out, babysitting her 9-year-old cousin, watching TV, when the phone rings. Not recognizing the number, I pick up, figuring, it can't be anyone from the Borg--wife's at the group and surely she's made arrangements already. To my surprise, it's the elder who was chairman on my judicial committee. He was notorious for manipulating the situation, trying to use my family as a means of intimidating me about my beliefs.
He asks for my wife, who is supposed to be working with his wife, and I inform him that she's at the KH. He then proceeds to confront me, "So let me ask you something: why are you dropping off your wife and the baby at the Kingdom Hall, and then just going back home? Huh? Are you just giving up on Jehovah, your wife and the baby?" [See the manipulation there? Leaving the religion = abandoning my family.] "The discipline you received was from Jehovah. See, we can't just do whatever we want, and then try to hide things." During the committee, I didn't withhold anything except the name of a non-JW I committed fornication with once. That one omission led to them threatening to DF on the spot!
I informed him that I didn't believe Jehovah had anything to do with what was going at the KH. He finally asks me if I'm going to make an effort to return to the meetings and get reinstated, "yes or no, just to cut this conversation short," he said. I finally lost all civility and said the first thing that came to mind. "I can think of a way to cut this conversation short." [Beep!] [Dial tone!] Hung up on him.
I didn't want to be rude to him, but he basically ambushed me when there was no reason to do so. He was calling for my wife, not me, and our business concluded at the end of the JC. Not a one of the bastards had a word to say to me after it was over, they just sat there like I'd invisibly walked in on a poker game they were playing. So why come at me now with this b.s.? Especially galling was the fact that he knows, and I know, because I heard them talking behind the closed doors, that they didn't DF me for fornication, they did it for apostasy. They barely cared at all about the fornication, the vast majority of the committee's time--nearly 5 hours--was spent on the apostasy issue. I'm married now, and the fornication has by definition stopped--had stopped months before this committee. I heard this man practically yelling, "I don't want to deal with no apostates in the congregation!" So either he's that out of touch with reality that he doesn't remember his own words, or he's just an idiot. I'll go with both.
On Sunday, I again dropped my wife off at the group, and another elder from my JC was there. He walked up to my car window and gestured for me to roll it down. I was tempted to act like he was some random, crazed beggar and not even look at him, but being generous and civil as I try to be even with people who disgust me, I rolled down the window, honestly expecting him to swing at me, which would prompt me to bash his head open with The Club. (Thankfully, this did not happen. I'd never have done that anyway, it's a stupid joke.) He just says, "We'd really like to see you at the meetings again. We really would." Well, at least he didn't greet me, right? I said nothing, and rolled the window back up after a moment.
I admit that at least his approach was one of actual respect, rather than lingering on irrelevant past details of the committee. As odd as it might seem, this was the same elder who asked me the same question 4 times during the JC and expected me to mimic his answer. The same one who said "I could care less about 1914!" The same one who routinely pontificates from the platform about how this is the 'one true organization'. I do recall him saying he lived through the 1975 era, and the apostates left, but the rest of 'us' kept on going. Strangely, he and his wife have been exceptionally nice to my wife--his wife studies with my wife, who is living out the remainder of her 'private reproof' term. She was allowed to comment about one month after the reproof was handed down, which in my mind is as near to impunity as one can get for fornicating 3 months and keeping it a secret from the elders for 6 months.
I almost felt, to quote Wolverine, that I could "give these geeks one more try." But of course, I did just hang up on the chairman of my JC. Even if I wanted to go back, it'd be two years of perfect attendance before I'd even have a chance. But then, why the h*** would I go back? I'm out. My wife is still gonna treat me like crap if I go back--she might like me more temporarily, but I've been through that already, no point in getting my hopes up about it.
I'm feeling a lot of guilt about the choices I made last year, losing my virginity to someone I knew wasn't right for me, then...cheating on her with the woman I really loved, then marrying said woman, my JW wife. I hurt a lot of people. Granted, that other woman was abusive and kept asking for hundreds and hundreds of dollars for her own bills when she was more qualified to do my job than I am. But still...I wasn't honest with her. Didn't fully come clean about my doubts with my wife, either, so I wronged her, too. She deserves better. I dishonored her with all of this. I wasn't fair to anyone and was entirely selfish. I should've taken more time to get my life together on my own instead of letting the wrong people in.
I'm wondering...if I'd just obeyed the Bible, maybe I'd have been spared all of this. I wanted to leave the Borg on principles, not be hauled before committee for sexual sins. I'm disappointed in myself and where my life has gone. My wife is angry with me for watching Avatar or for not living by JW rules. Or for whatever she can come up. Guess I can't blame her. She thought she was getting the man she dumped 5 years ago, you know, the man who didn't just want to sleep with her, the man who didn't ask her to have an abortion when he found out she was pregnant, the man who DID volunteer to be a husband and father when the real father turned tail. The JW man who became the heretic, but who loved her no matter what her belief system.
Well, I've gotten too personal again. Paint bullseye on head. Anyway, though the Borg is leaning on me and I'm feeling emotional about that, at least it hasn't intruded on my logic centers, so...I'm okay. I am thinking of at least accompanying wife to meetings again--except that that means the Thought Police will want to see if I want reinstatement. They need men, especially intelligent men they can put to work for them, so...they might be slightly more reasonable if I look like I've finally been 'humbled' beneath the slave class' hand.
On the other hand, there are some R-rated movies I would like to see that I've never seen before. 'The Matrix', for instance. (I did actually watch 'The Matrix Reloaded' on cable once, as a JW. Guess that was a sign I was on my way out--then again, my MS/pioneer brother saw it, too, though that was before he got uber-spiritual. Meh.) Well, I guess I'll figure it out.
Oh, I got a Bob Dylan album--my wife was nervous about that. She thought I was searching for 'the truth' through music, was worried we might lose God's approval depending on what we bring into the house. I guess I better move out, then, being a satanic apostate and all--oh, that's right. I'm the only one paying rent....somehow, I've managed to do that despite being the embodiment of Evil! E-vil! Okay, enough typing. See you around.