Some background: I am an only child, a born-in, my parents were considered superstars of the Watchtower having been missionaries and "exemplary" for their entire lives. Shortly after they died in 2002, I started a very slow fade and finally stopped all meeting attendance in 2005.
Both sides of the family are, with a very few exceptions, also hardcore Watchtowerites as in 'if the Watchtower says my green Bible is purple, then it must be purple.' I have lost touch with one side of the family almost completely but the other side has always been close to me and in particular, I miss two cousins who were like brothers to me.
In hindsight, I wish I had just played it cool and gone with the strategy of just appearing to be weak in 'the truth' and not wholesale against the cult. I'm a very open individual though, and it was hard for me to not speak my mind. I have tried to maintain some communication but even a huge event like getting married produced a very tepid response with no congratulations offered. This angered me even more and when I finally got one cousin on the phone, I let him have it for an hour. This was about 10 months ago.
I wish I could just cut the cord so to speak and let the culties be culties and move on with my life and only focus on people that will be supportive of me. I confess, though, that I miss at least having some interaction. My wife and I are due to have a baby in about six months and I wish to share that joy. I would like my child to also have some kind of contact with my blood relatives. My wife has yet to meet a single member of my family.
Particularly with this July 15, 2011 Watchtower pouring the koolaid stronger than ever about family relationships, I have to wonder if it's too late. I am not disfellowshiped and this is a fact I did make clear in my last conversation with one of my cousins. I would hope that would serve to my advantage but it seems the Watchtower is targeting faders will almost the same zeal.
I plan on sending an email to the family soon with the announcement that my wife is pregnant. I was thinking of trying to mend things by coming right out and saying that we NEVER have to talk about religion again. I'd even be willing to apologize for my remarks about the organization that I made to them. I would NOT recant what I said but rather just acknowledge that this isn't information they wanted to listen to. I'm just confused as to what the best strategy would be. Part of me thinks it might be better to just announce the coming birth and express my love for my family and nothing more. Would even mentioning that I won't talk about religion again raise their hackles? Or would it, in fact, put their minds somewhat more at ease knowing that I won't be trying to tell them things they don't want to hear? What about the apology part?
It's truly awful what this cult does and I admit to letting my anger get the best of me in my dealings with family. It's not like it's come up in all my communication with them but it's probably come up enough that they have talked among themselves and agreed to shun me.
I know many here have gone through similar circumstances and I'd appreciate some input.