Hello, Jeremy 430!!
Welcome to the board!
Hello, Jeremy 430!!
Welcome to the board!
Welcome to the forum Jeremy and Cooks!
In addition to all the printed books you've been pointed to, be sure to look through the many articles online at freeminds. They also sell many of the printed books that have been recommended to you.
"You to be a speedy reader because there's so, so much to read!" -- Dr. Suess, "I can Read With My Eyes Shut"
It's good to meet you!
Welcome Jeremy and Cook! You will find lots of help and support here.
My husband and I are from the UK too. We're both faders.
Welcome to 2 new brits!
An old poster, Hillary Step, also a UK, bethel elder at one point, gave some good advice, long ago, to those who had been in many years and were contemplating leaving. After years out, and watching some slowly fade and some go out with an apostate bang, I have come to believe that it is very sound advice, indeed.
He said to do one's research, read, read, read, but keep your own counsel. Don't make any moves or changes without first knowing where you are going. Put a life in place for yourself and your family (if you have any) first.
I know many will disagree and call you a hypocrite if you stay and fade slowly, but we don't owe anyone else on this forum and especially in the JW organization any loyalty or any integrity. We only owe it to ourselves and to our families and that means leaving at a pace that is comfortable and the least distressing for ourselves and for them.
And yes, leaving can be very distressing! Some go off the deep end, panic attacks, depression, losing their entire family and social network all at once. The longer we have been in, especially if born in, the more stressful that scenario is and who needs more stress in their life?
My advice, regurgitated from Hillary Step, is to start slow. If giving public talks makes you feel sick, then call in sick and cancel. They don't have to know why you feel sick, just that you do. That could segue nicely into health problems that, after a while, cause you to step down as an elder. After a time, those health problems can also cause you to miss meetings and your service hours to drop dramatically. Transfer those "sick" feelings into physical ailments. (In my case this was easy to do as I do feel physically ill when I'm around toxic, abusive, judgemental people). If you are not one to actually somatize your emotions, don't worry. You don't own any of the elders and explanation for your truth. They certainly haven't given you the real truth over the years, have they?
Shepherding visit? No worries. Tell them you are struggling with various health and family issues, and looking after your family must come before the congregation. Word it in a theocratic way, throw in a few scriptures and they will not be able to do or say much.
In the meantime, if you have a family study, continue it, but change the format somewhat, encourage additional research, ask questions out loud about stuff that makes no sense, encourage wife and kids to do the same, but do not provide the answers to the questions, especially apostate answers. Here you must be subtle if you don't want to lose your family. Let those questions and doubts just hang in the air until they arrive at their own conclusions. They must see them as coming from themselves, not you or apostates. I did this with my son, and was very successful, he left the org with me even though ALL our relatives on both sides are devout JW's. After a while, start missing the family study for more fun events that come up. After all, you can always make it up later. (Hint: later never comes).
Make a few worldly friends. Dont' go crazy or anything, but have a nice neighbour or work family over for dinner. Let your family see that worldly people are normal, not depraved and debauched. Take up a worldly hobby or sport or two and allow the kids to join some of those school activities. From that point, you can start letting them miss a few meetings to take part in other activities when schedules conflict. Don't come right out and celebrate the holidays overtly, but do subtle holidayish type things, like planning a special time or day with your kids on their birthdays. Or buy them a gift but don't wrap it. (oh, was it your birthday, I forgot, what a coinicidence!) Break them in gently with gradualism (even the society acknowledges the success of this one of Satan's ploys).
It is a case, not of severing ties with the organization, cold turkey, and then being left in no man's land, but a case of gradually filling up all your time with non-JW activities and friends so that eventually the JW religion becomes totally crowded out of the picture. The end result is that you will have another (better) life in place by the time you are ready to cut ties with the org. You will find that JW's will slowly begin to spend less time with you anyway, since you are weak and not around as much. You will not even miss it, or them, by that point, but it will spare you and your family the trauma of being suddenly df'd and shunned.
ps: OK, blast away all you rabid, anti-JW activists!
@ socks, hello, i'm in UK ( isle of wight), happy to be out of the rubbish 30+ years, member of a UK exjw site you might want to find PM me for chat/info.
i'm new here & still trying to find my way around.
Welcome Jeremy and Cook,
Really sad thing is, as I sit here preparing a talk for next week, it's actually making me feel il, my gut feels wrenched and my heart heavy. Obviously I am being two faced in doing this(which I hate, it's not me). I have thought about letting go of all privileges, staying on the fringes and hopefull keeping my friends. Without them I will have none! After all, I have been doing this for 30 or so years.
Many of us have felt the "gut wrench" and "heavy heart." My husband and I left after 30+ years...he was an elder for twenty. It was very hard going from being included in everything, congregation and social, to having no friends. It does get better, though, with time. Please take things slowly, and do research for a time. Plan your exit.
As a poster on here said, "Better to have questions you can't answer, than answers you can't question."
JEREMY 430- Welcome to the board ! Look forward to hearing more from you. You are among friends
Hello Jeremy & Cook,welcome from yet another UK apostate.
Is there anyone left in the Kingdom Halls?!
Welcome Bigmac, and thanks to you and can't leave and all of the others from the UK for reaching out to Cook. Cook, you have to hit the back key when you get the error message and click on the pm a second time to be able to read it. Anyway, I wrote you to offer introductions to some exjws from the UK (with their permission, of course), but it looks like plenty have already introduced themselves to you.
I'm really hoping we can soon arrange a real UK meetup now that we seem to have more Brits here?