When i exited, i didn't even know what a fade was. I thought there was either disfellowship or inactivity.
I just knew i didn't want to be a 'christian' anymore. I had no concept nor idea that the JWs were what they really are. There was a massive internal battle between the 'spiritual man and the fleshly man' and it nearly took my life. My battle led to extreme depression and self loathing as i realized i was become a servant of Satan. I almost disapeared into the australian outback never to see or know my children again. I was convinced if i had any part of their life that i would turn them to the devil and be in effect, murdering them.
I practically self destructed and over the course of a couple of months i relinquished all my activities starting with door to door and ending with public talks. During that time i had a couple of shepherding calls regarding some darstadly deeds to do with a double life but no friends came by to help or even ask how i was. My wife told me i was disgusting and that i was gutter trash, then would have the audacity to ask for reconcilliation.
I left my wife not long after and rarely went to another meeting. There was no adultery and we continued for two years seperated with occasional rumpy pumpy through it. In the whole two years i had one visit by elders just to 'see how i was' and not one single friend from 25 years bothered to call, including in laws and step family. The only person who regularly visited was a brother i hardly knew. When i inevitably did commit adultery, deliberatly, to free my wife from a man who no longer loved her, she used this lone visitor to serve divorce papers on me. I knew that i would be disfellowshipped quite soon after, in fact i think within a week. I didn't care. I told them to do it, I had no love for god and certainly was not sorry for offending a god that i did not know nor one who couldn't care less about me.
My imeadiate family was spread out all over Australia and we were not a particularly close family anyway, often many many month would go by with no contact anyway, so i just didnt worry about whether they would shun me or not.
The divorce gutted me none the less and i suffered a complete nervous colapse. Still today, stress wipes me out and i battled with chronic fatigue, thankfully not severe as some have suffered. Financially i was broke. I would only buy enough food each week for 5 days meals and would go without in order to pay my bills. I gave my wife 100% of all assets and even purchased addition furniture and a car after i left. I went into ill affordable debt for this to which no thanks was recieved. Still today it irks me that even though the divorce papers clearly show the 100% 'split', she lies consitantly to the child support agency claiming a 60/40 split... oh well, karma is a vengeful elephant lady! After our divorce she came back asking for another go. I told her there was no way it would work. Not only would she be 'dating' her ex. she would be dating a disfellowshipped person. I told her plainly that not only did she not know who i was anymore, she did not like me either. That launched a deeper round of bitterness from her. Rejected twice.
My authentic self was struggling to emerge after 25 odd years of repression. One of the first things i did after moving out was to do an oil painting of a beautiful female form, strictly taboo when i was 'in'. They were ok when i painted or drew motor cars of course. I needed to be free to paint and see what i wanted. I saw what i liked and i liked what i saw.
After divorce i pursued the only thing i felt worth pursuing besides cars, women. There was finaly no guilt attatched to seeing porn or going to a night club. I never tried drugs and never took up smoking. I tried getting drunk and pretty much poisoned myself in a night of bourbon and KFC. That was enough for me. I developed a whole new circle of friends and social life. I dated, i had one night stands, had some girlfriends and met my now wife.
After vowing to never ever get deep with a woman and live with one again i fell in love like i had never known , unconditional.
A year ago or so, i stumbled upon JWN when researching if the WT may be backing my ex in her bitter attempts to remove me from the childrens lives. I was stunned and shocked. Disbelief of what i was reading ruled. I was freaking out. I left the JWs with the attitude that i was going to party till the lights went out. I was going to die on my feet while giving god the finger. This site changed it all.
I have wished that i saw the truth about the 'truth' when i was still in, that i may have been able to save my family, maybe exit family unit in tact. I have wondered if perhaps i would have become a mole. That certainly would have suited me if my then wife were with me on that. Today i loath, even border on hate the WT. Hate is not an emotion a allow myself to indulge in, so that really surprises me.
In a nutshell, I just had to get the hell out to survive, i just knew i was going to kill myself if i didn't. I do not wallow in regrets but i do wish i had not hurt my wife, inevitable as it was. As a person, she did little wrong, it was me who changed.
There has been a high price for my freedom, both financial and as a father. I have been denied 12 years of proper parenthood. I do blame the Watchtower Society as they are the ones who moulded my wifes attitudes. This i will never forget nor forgive, I will never be as gracefull toward those corrupt men in charge as Ray Franz was to those who shafted him.
On the whole, perhaps i wouldn't do a thing differently, i would not have made the true friends i now have nor the lovely young lady i have been privledged to marry.