In an earlier post I talked about the fact that my wife and I were moving far, far away from the city in which we grew up. Well, the move was successful we're loving our new city and new jobs. The congregation to which our publisher’s cards were sent doesn’t have our correct home address and as a result no one has knocked on our door (I highly recommend getting a P.O. Box). For a while my wife getting harassed by her mother on the phone, but that problem has subsided because my wife doesn’t talk to her mother very often anymore. This all makes me wonder how many faders pick up and leave town the way we did. While it has worked well for us, moving away is quite a drastic undertaking just to leave a religion. While the physical distance makes it easy to move on from the borg, it also has the effect of almost ending contact with family; it’s like shunning in reverse. There really is no point in trying to communicate with brainwashed family members because all they want to do is pester you about “coming back to Jehovah.” Has anyone else here has a similar experience?
How many have moved away?
Yes. I did the very same thing. I faded out from going to meetings, then I picked up and moved across the country. I'm finding it's much easier to be away from all the JW's and JW family I knew. I gave no forwarding address for my publisher cards, I gave no phone number to the elders (and asked that my family keep my number private...they have always respected this when I requested it, and will always call and ask if they can give so-and-so my number before taking it upon themselves to do so). I also live in a community where soliciting is not allowed. So I haven't heard from any JW's except my parents, and my ex and his wife for a good while now.
Like your wife, I don't really make an effort to call my parents often. What's the point? Usually it's a few words about how their health is, how my job is, then they start talking about the meetings and service, I talk about my new friends and my boyfriend, and they shut down and get all quiet. I can't even share the joyous parts of my life with them because they don't approve of it. So why am I going to keep a dying relationship alive? It sounds cruel, but for my own sanity, I need to keep them at a distance. I have other non-JW family that I keep in touch with and we've talked about arranging visits to see each other.
To me, the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. Yes, I'm in a new state, a place where I knew no one except one person. I had to get a new job. I had to learn my way around. I had to make new friends. But...I'm FREE. I don't have to worry that the knock on my door will be an elder trying to sit me down for a judicial committee. I'm not afraid to be myself and be strong and outspoken for fear that I'm being seen as unsubmissive. I have no fear of celebrating holidays with the man I love, putting up Christmas lights and a tree, playing any kind of music I want, watching and having whatever I want in my OWN HOME without fear that some JW will walk in and report me to the elders.
My life is beautiful. And every day I'm understanding more and more just how abused, sheltered, and controlled I was. Moving, hitting the reset button on my life...it was all worth it...for FREEDOM.
I tried to but couldn't due to barriers repeatedly arising (long story).
I live on the other side of town from where I attended the kh most of my jw life.
Other than that, morbidz 2nd to last paragraph mostly fits me. I had to get a new job, for several reasons but mainly because of the embarrassment of my de-dubbing transition and the subsequent dub stalking at work which my coworkers just thought was sooo crazy. (An MS came to my job crying b/c I wasn't coming to meetings. Literally crying & saying jehoopla was going to kill me and he was sad. Crying. In a public place. Nice man, but disproportionate response!)
I had to make new friends, but that goes with de-dubbing even if you don't move.
I have had elders from the local kh come to my home a few times but when I said I would put them under citizen's arrest for trespassing, that stopped.
I'm not fearful about being outspoken (never was LOL) and I have zero concern about celebrating holidays openly.
What I do have is occassional memories when I see places I went in fs or people I used to know. I get a little sick feeling. But that rarely happens so it's not a big deal.
At first we simply changed halls 2x. ( Scheduling problems)The cards fall between the cracks when the brothers don't know you. And put up a small picket fence with a luggage lock on the gate. We used the garage door mostly anyway. That discourages 90% of the Saturday AM coffee break calls..because no one IS THAT concerned about you to call at other times.
Caller ID/ Answering machine, or a new phone number.
Don't feel like moving? Change your phone # and put a operator referral on it to a Wallmart pre=paid phone with an out of Area Area Code for $30. A "For sale by owner" sign out front with the listed phone number going to your new Out of area Area Code phone# . An out of Area P.O. Box for $30. In two weeks most EVERYONE will think you moved !!
I didn't move. I just stopped attending meetings quite abruptly. I won't take calls. I have run into witnesses in my rather smallish city, but they treat me like nothing has happened. (the very fact that these people NEVER NEVER NEVER ask me why I am no longer coming to meetings, shows that they are aware of it) I have been both polite and warm, but have not invited questions. My whole family is in, so everyone knows I am apostate, but they just don't know why or in what manner.
This is how I faded. My parents don't pester me as much anymore. Right now I live in "sin". They anxiously wait for the day I marry and bring my worldly partner to the bOrg. Haaaaaaaa!
I was already inactive and hadn't attended meetings for about 2 years when I moved interstate.
Yes, it was a big move but so worth it - being able to walk around without worrying about bumping into a witness you knew, or getting phone calls from the elders, being able to celebrate birthdays or christmas without looking over your shoulder, or date, or even be with someone of the opposite sex without worrying of being accused of immorality - I could relax and just be me.
I recommend it if you can financially and emotionally do it.
Not really drastic, i moved out of the family home to a congo in the next territory. Dont know if the elders passed on my cards...they certainly knew where i was but not a single elder from the new one ever showed.
10 years there and not one visit!
now we are out country and noone knows, still no JWs ever turn up... dont think they do the rurals up here.
we didn't move but I did move our cards over to a KH in the inner city. Wrong contact info and I live in a security building. I'll never see them again
For those of us who have moved far away from home, I think we started out thinking that moving would be an effective way to fade but as I said earlier, once you move such a great distance from family, you might as well be df'd and shunned anyway. Once you get to your new home you wind up starting a whole new life that just doesn't include your family. In reality moving away is really about clearing your head and making a clean break. It’s easy to get past the guilt when you never see any other dubs. It’s only been a few months since we moved, but its already getting to the point that when I’m driving and I pass a KH or I see dubs out in filed service it all looks foreign too me. I already can’t imagine going back. I don’t think my wife is that far along yet but she’s getting there; she has agreed to get a Christmas tree!