To keep you warm at night, consider that these brothers are now having to reassign and pick up the many duties you were handling, as well as booking extra visits to your home to try and hound you to return. Oh, the paperwork! There's no going back now. They gotta shoulder the ridiculous load, pretending it is "light".
worn out ministerial servant!
With family still in you need a good reason to just have stopped going. I would claim you read about how the WTS had to pay millions in damages because of judgements against them for protecting pedophiles. There's not much they can say against that. All you have to do is keep saying that was wrong of them to do that against the children, and they will soon just leave you alone. You will just be considered a spiritually weak person, because talking about it will make them uncomfortable.
If you just stop going, that's not a fade. No wonder all the alarm bells are ringing and the elders have you in their sights.
I'm never going to understand this.
You don't owe them anything. Tell them you're 'down' and that you need some time alone.
A couple of weeks later......and they will all have forgotten you....sure, you might get a call or text in a month or better....just don't answer.
YOU'RE IN CONTROL!!
Yeah part of the harrasment is having to explain themselves to the CO. Don't shy away from texts or calls. Take them, respond posatively, and say there is no need for them to come by and thank you. Treat them with respect, and don't go into it.
Ann gave you great advise a couple pages ago. TAKE CONTROL of your situation. Your wife is agreeable now, but honestly make sure to keep her in the loop. They will definitly come after her to find out whats up. I know this from experience.
The CO coming over is just too tempting. He won't make it out of there without you saying too much. So don't do it. Tell them you aren't available but hope they enjoy the visit. THATS IT.
This is the tipping point on your fade. If you indulge them too much, it will not go well. Right now they don't have anything, and you will be removed as a servant by the CO wether you like it or not. So let it happen, don't go to the CO visit, and just be respectfull, and let them know you are great, focusing on your health and never felt better. If they ask when you plan to go back to meetings, just say you don't know. if they ask why, say I don't feel comfortable discussing that with you.
This is how you do it. Eventually you will just be impossible, and they will give up. Especially AFTER the CO leaves. Even better, take the wife somewhere this weekend for a little outing. That way you guys aren't even home when they inevitable try to "pop in".
Hiding from grown men isn't good for the soul. Don't do it.
El_Guapo, I agree with others. Avoid the CO. That shouldn't be hard to do if you are working.
I have noticed something though. A fade implies a gradual slowing down of all the typical JW activities. Stepping aside due to medical or mental reasons will pass the sniff test if you are doing your best (in their eyes) to maintain your other spiritual activities. Each step of the fade takes time. If you rush the fade it makes the elders suspicious and turns them into bloodhounds.
I can't begin to tell you what to do in your situation. For me, I spoke with two elders a few times about stepping aside and had to say all the typical JW stuff to get through it. I still went to meetings and service but I slowly made myself scarcer and scarcer. Eventually I was able to disappear completely and not even warrant a shepherding call.
Of course, each body of elders is different and some just never let something like this go.
I'm glad your wife is at least being understanding. Keep your spirits high because JW spouses tend to go hot and cold about stuff like this.
Tell them your having anxiety attacks of the 'social phobia' kind... and are having difficulties at the meetings... can't face people etc... there's not a lot they can say to that... otherwise make all the right noises, thank them for their concern etc.. don't let them pin you in a corner.
Let me just pipe in one more time. You evidently already have the attention of the elders, and soon probably the CO. Definately avoid the CO. That is in your power to do, if you play it smart.
Do not tell them you have personal reasons for not coming to meetings. This is a group that thinks they have a perfect organization. If you don't talk to the elders, they will think you have some "secret sins" that you are hiding, and that is causing you to feel this way. You will probably get more attention from them as they try to figure out what your secret sins are.
You have to come up with something that puts the blame on the organization. Either use somebody stumbled you badly, or use the reading about how the WTS got caught by the judicial system protecting pedophiles, and that is what has stumbled you. The elders cannot defend that, and will soon leave you alone.
Thanks guys (and gals) for the help!
I just decided to quit cold-turkey. I felt like I couldn't stand another meeting with all the crap that was being spewed as "bible-based" but several of you guys made a good point, now it looks like a secret sin because I avoid them. I need to come up with a good excuse of why I've stop going looks like it will be either health or WTS protecting predetors. I'm going to text an elder to see if we can meet (when the CO isn't here)
You may be doing this already, but if you don't answer your phone when they call and slowly stop answering their text messages (or take at least two or three days to reply, gradually more) they will calm down.
And if you want to keep them off your back - and your wife's, just keep playing the health card. If you bring up anything else as you suggest, they will never leave off hounding your wife. They'll forget about you once you've missed enough meetings because of ill health and stopped answering all their messages.
Writing this made me think of a wonderful line Gojira_101 used when she was being hounded:
This was the only time I got in anyones face. I slamed my fists on my hips and I got right in his face and said "Since when has service become something other than voluntary. Is it still not voluntary? Than the amount of time I get in service shouldn't matter."
Maybe you could use something like that to turn the tables on them...