'BELIEVE IT OR LEAVE IT' - a long time faders dilemma.

by nicolaou 47 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Quendi

    I admire any and all who choose to "fade" although I don't pretend to understand the emotional distress you are having. I was disfellowshipped. But like many disfellowshipped people, I attempted to come back. Initially, I wanted to come back because I believed the WTS was really God's organization. However, as time went by I abandoned that belief. My desire to return was based solely on the fact that I had Witness friends and family whose love and association were very important to me. So I wanted reinstatement to allow a resumption of those relationships. But I had also decided that once I was reinstated, I would also do a gradual "fade".

    Well, it didn't work out for me that way. For more than four years I tried to return, only to be constantly frustrated by my judicial committee. Finally, in my fifth year, I broke off all contact with the elders and the congregation. It was painful, but I have never regretted it. But it has meant the loss of friendships, some of which I had for more than thirty years. I am single and have no children, so at least I was spared that pain. When I read about nicolaou losing all contact with his grandchildren, I felt like I had been stabbed in the back. I can only imagine what nicolaou must feel.

    But remaining won't do you any good. The organization has made its terms clear. They are unacceptable to any reasoning person. So it is time to move forward. Once I made up my mind, I was surprised at how wide open the world really is and the wonderful life I could have if I only reached out to it.


  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/gpolsu MP3 download rather than zip. Move forward to 40 minutes.

  • nicolaou

    Whoa! Grandchildren? I don't have grandchildren. Also, as lovely as it is to receive such sympathetic posts, I'd hate for anyone to misunderstand my situation. I'd say I've 'faded' quite successfully in that I managed to extricate myself, my wife and our children from the cult over a period of a few years in the early 00s'.

    We haven't been to any meetings/conventions/field service etc for years! The problem relationships are with my JW brother and two sisters, their respective JW spouses and my JW mother. All are committed dubs, no 'fringe' JW's here.

    Three years ago, despite eight years of absence from the Kingdom Hall, I received a 'phone call. My local elders had found a short article I'd written and decided to disfellowship me - no Judicial Committee was required as the article was considered proof that I had disassociated myself.

    I know the procedures the elders have to follow and, to cut a very long story short, after sending two letters and insisting on a Judicial hearing I managed to avoid being disfellowshipped. The thing is, I had to tell a few lies to those elders to get the result I wanted. I HATED doing that, but I did not want to lose my Mum, sisters and kid brother.

    So I managed to wangle a private reproof - great!

    Except that my sisters, who I love dearly, KNEW that I'd lied to the elders. My youngest sister in particular was having a real crisis of conscience over this. She phoned me in tears, distraught and stressed, asking that I go back to the elders and "come clean". I told her I wouldn't do that and asked her to think very carefully before she decided to do anything. After giving me a few days, my sisters met up with the elders and told them that I'd been lying in my Judicial Committee hearing.

    Can you imagine the unbelievable strain this was putting on my wife, my Mum, sisters, brothers, in-laws, cousins and everyone else in our large family!! It was a horrible nightmare I never wish to revisit. My wife lost weight, even my daughter - 14 years old at the time - was excused from school in tears on one particularly bad day.

    So I'm called in front of two elders again. They are nice guys, we used to have a good rapport when I was an active JW and despite everything there is still some 'fellow feeling' between us. After eight weeks of dealing with this they have lost the stomach for any further action (they know I won't go down easily). They decide that as it's my fleshly sisters accusing me of lying (but not bringing specific enough charges against me) that if we can settle things between ourselves they would be content to draw a line under the whole story.

    So I meet up with my sisters, their husbands, my brother and my Mum. My wife came with me. It was awful, I was on trial by my own family. There were tears, raised voices, phone calls to elders, the whole lot.

    That was three years ago. Relationships are slowly healing. I only went through all that because I love my family and don't want to lose them but I WILL NEVER PUT MY WIFE, MYSELF OR MY CHILDREN THROUGH ANYTHING LIKE THAT AGAIN!

    So that's where I am - not disfellowshipped.

    Now, I've forgiven my sisters for what they did - I love them. But I wonder if it's all really worth it. Association with my family happens but it's 'prickly'. Everyone is walking on eggshells around me, prayers NEVER happen in my presence, I sense that anything I say is being analysed with suspicion. I'm tolerated, I'm an 'issue'.

    There's a huge f**king elephant always standing 2ft behind my left shoulder. Everyone knows he's there but no-one dares to mention him. I'm the bad association who'll spoil their useful habits. I'm weak. I'm not of their sort.

    Well. Sorry for the long rant . . . .

  • leavingwt

    nicolaou: You'll KNOW when it's time to pull the chute. I'm sorry that your family has had to go through such a horrible ordeal. The only urgency that exists is whatever importance you place upon the matter. It's not a race.

  • LongHairGal


    I agree pretty much with what you say if you are a "fader" with family still in the religion. You will always face uncomfortable moments from time to time. I am a ten-year "fader" who luckily has no family in the religion, just two friends who I would miss somewhat but I would get over it. After all this time I don't care anymore and I would say good riddance if need be. As far as "not being of their sort" so be it, but I do not consider myself to be "weak". Quite the contrary. I strongly reject the religion and there is nothing "weak" about that. People can believe what they want.

    But you can't really compare yourself to the newbies who can just "leave" or DA themselves. Some kid who feels they have little to lose might just say "hey I'm gone" and suffer the short lived consequences - whereas somebody older and with business contacts and children and so-on cannot do the same thing.

    However, I am very happy for these newbies who can tell the religion to shove it. I am glad for anybody who does it the LOUD way.

  • sweet pea
    sweet pea

    Nic, it sounds like you know in your heart what you want to do. You sound tired and worn down by the constant pressure not to be your real self. Maybe it is time to let go - you successfully managed to get your most precious ones out - your wife and your children - the time has passed for you to influence the rest of your family. They must come to their own realisations in their own time.

    If you do what you need to do to be completely free, there will be sadness but it will be healthier for all of you and who knows what will happen in time - you know Besty and I's story - now my mother-in-law who wanted absolutely no contact and made us feel in no uncertain times that we were worthless as people without our 'label', has come crawling back wanting contact (because of the grandchildren) and from her gestures toward reconciliation you would think nothing had ever happened between us all. We don't talk about the religion - so yes we have our elephant too, and Besty can't bring himself to have anything to do with her but I have a cordial relationship with her and our boys have a grandmother again. It's not perfect but it's working. And we all know where we stand.

    You would probably earn more respect from your JW family for being completely honest with them too, even though it could be stirring up all those old painful emotions again. I suspect though you've already been through the worst of it.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • Quendi

    Sorry about misreading and misunderstanding your circumstances nicolaou. I must have confused your post with some other thread I had read. Thanks for clarifying your situation. I still wish you the best in the future.


  • DesirousOfChange

    "One of the talks at the convention mentioned a 'culling work' to come in the organization. It was said that this may involve rooting out some who have been 'in the truth' a long time and aren't doing enough and children of witnesses who have failed to make the truth their own."Are you serious?! They actually used the phrase 'culling work'?

    Yes, I picked up on this statement at the DC.

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