Just wanted to introduce myself...
I am a secret fader but since reading this forum I feel I am alot more confident about telling my family/friends that I don´t go to the meetings and inactive.
My hubby is also a fader with me...we kind of drifted after my first baby was born. She is now 11.
It all started with my mom who started studying with my cousin when I was about 15. While she was studying I also started studying (I was about 16). I whizzed quite fast studying and got baptized the same time as my mom. I pioneered for a while . My mom had a terrible time with her monthlies and the doctors advised her to have a hysterectomy. While she was recovering with bedrest..she had a few cigerettes...she used to smoke 20 a day before she was baptized. The elders found out and treated her terribly. She was so upset to be treated so harsly especially getting over her operation, that she wanted to disassociate herself. They made her feel so bad and guilty. I was about 18 now.
She gave me the letter for the elders and I remember the elder said to me something like "she´s not going to disassociate herself..we are going to disfellowship her"!! They were awful..she deserve it. After this I was fed up with the whole thing and wanted out, to live my life. I had planned to move to London to work before I studied and thought that´s what I was going to.
Meanwhile, I treated my mom the same. I didn´t shun her. In fact, I never shunned any of my disfellowship family. My cousin never spoke to her which is very sad, but that´s what most are like I suppose.
So when I was 21, I the chance to move to London (which was a shock to everyone..back in those days, it wasn´t the done thing in my town). I lived with an aunt who was working/living in North London and I stayed with her for a while. While I was there, I went to the Kingdom Hall and I foolishly continued to go despite feeling half hearted about it.
I wasn´t zealous and was always late and never commented. Even so, I had a few "good" friends, one especially and we became best friends. But then she moved away and got married when I was 25 or so. Soon afterwards, I met my would be husband and we became friends0. I could see that he was put under a lot of pressure to do talks etc. He openly stated he wasn´t comfortable and had doubts.
He liked me and I liked him. We got on really well. The elders didn´t really bother us, probably because they knew us only as adults and not able to "boss us around". We both were working professionals. We missed loads of meeting and no-one really bothered us, thank goodness. We got married when we were 27. Then we moved a few miles out of London where property was cheaper. We went to a new Kingdom Hall and still went to the meetings when we could.
I got pregnant and had a demanding job while my husband worked long hours in London. It was hard work without having the pressure of the meetings. I remember my last meeting. I was sitting at the back with my daughter who was a noisy handful and afterwards one of the elders who I didn´t really know well, started lecturing me and my husband about our attendance. Well he got a piece of back chat that he didn´t expect. I get so mad with some of the brother who haven´t a clue about you or your life and think they have the right to lecture.
After that we just drifted...going to less and less meetings. An elder and his wife used to come and see us quite regularly to encourage us but it didn´t spark us up enough.
Fast forward to recent times..we moved abroad and avoided the witnesses totally..and want to keep avoiding them.
However some of my family are witnesses and my favourite cousin thinks that we are still going to the meetings etc..but I am planning from now on to be completely honest.
My cousin continues to try and get other family members into the organisation and I hope to next time I see any of them, to tell them to steer clear.
I regret spending so many years hiding the fact that I am no longer going to the meetings. I recently came across this forum and found that there are so many of us who are out of that awful organisation where the Governing Body and the elders try and control people to the miniscule detail.
So glad we are out and my children will never experience such extreme control in their lives. My children are happy and will grow up feeling good about living their lives how they want to.