No sympathy...but maybe a little support!

by joeshmoe 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • joeshmoe

    I'm heading down a path I think alot of you have gone down... and I'm certainly not looking for any sympathy here. I've read some experiences here and at other sites that shows me that ALOT of folks have gone through ALOT worse than I am...

    Basically, a year ago I left Brooklyn Bethel after a five year stint. Already sick of structured man-worship, I struggled for while to pretend, but my heart wasn't in it. Reading Ray Franz books recently has been such a refreshing breath of freedom!

    Knowing how horrible it would (will) be when I leave (I've already stopped going to meetings, but I've just moved so no one knows it yet), I had to make some pre-emptive moves (hey, if they're going to cut off everyone in my life, the least I can do is prepare for it!).

    I was working for my parents (I'm 27 and single). Obviously, that was going to disappear when I left, so I made up a reason to quit and take a lower-paying job.

    I was sharing an apartment with a witness friend. Doh! I once again made up a dumb reason that I wanted to part ways. I now have my own apartment (along with that lower-paying job...just great!).

    And to start this new job (which I really like!) and get my own place, I just moved last week. I haven't bothered even finding out where the nearest kingdom hall is since I'm never going back.

    But here's the tough part. Now I gotta suck it up and tell everyone that I'm out.

    As far as the org is concerned, I don't know if they'll decide to DF me or not and I really don't care or even plan on finding out.

    Right now though, I'm just avoiding everyone and everything, but that can't last forever. Eventually, I've gotta just come right out with it...and with my parents, at least, I can gaurantee it'll be ugly!

    I know I sound pretty chicken to someone who's never been here, but I'm betting some of you can relate.

    Sorry I haven't posted before. I just found the site a few weeks ago, and I've just been lurking. I'm gonna try and not be such a stranger since I think I'm gonna need the support right now (not to mention the friends :-)

  • Soledad

    Oh I can relate I can relate!! It's a tough decision to make, knowing what consequences it will bring, having all that pressure on you about your parents, life-long acquaintances, etc. All I know is you gotta do what your gut tells you. I tried the slow drift away approach, but I eventually opted for DA because I didn't want to be pestered by the elders and I wanted closure. I knew that I couldn't move on unless I took that step. Anyhow you most definitely will find plenty of support here, so I welcome you!!

  • WildHorses

    Hi Joe,

    You can just fade out and not lose your family if you wish. I think that might be the best way. There are many here who can tell you how to go about it.

    I didn't have any family in the Org, so when I moved, that was the end of it.



    I don't want someone in my life I can live with. I want someone in my life I can't live without.
  • joeshmoe

    "drifting" sounds great...on paper. But I'm sick of going through the motions of something I simply don't believe in anymore. I really don't think I can ever go back to a Kingdom Hall again. Period. I'd love to not alienate my friends and family...but it seems to me many have tried and most have failed. It's like I was reading in an earlier post about the Malawi witnesses who threw a child off a bridge to not be caught. If it's between the Org and Family, the org wins every time.

  • belbab


    I'm glad to see you here.

    When I was young and going to high school, I never did my homework. and most days was apprehensive as to what would happen that day when the teachers called me on it. After a while, I realized that every night I came home and had survived the day.

    You seem to have made many good decisions so far, job, appartment etc.

    Just take one day at a time. Your parents may rant and rave but at the end of the day they will have to recognize and accept the facts.

    Who knows, you may be instrumental in them waking up also.

    Take care, keep us all posted, many of us have our e-mails open. I would be glad to hear from you any time and I know many others here of are of the same mind.

    belbab, pushing seventy years plus, I must be doing something right.

    Medical check up results, just got today, everything A ok.

  • Pro

    I'd do as much research as you can and really practice your arugments in your head before you have to engage your family or JW friends in debate to adequately defend yourself.

    You can never really win a debate with a JW, but you can certainly make some good points and a stand firm which will make it seem as though you've actually thought this through thoroughly and didn't just get "ensnared into the world" or be "influenced by Satan."

    After that, its only a matter of how tolerant they are towards you. Religious intolerance has repeatedly been the cause of most of the wars that have taken place in the earth's history. And although JW's don't participate in physical war, they certainly can devestate on the battlefields of psychological war, which can be just as bad, if not worse.

    Those are the things I did, and I felt sure and confident in myself and it showed.

    Also, I'd suggest submitting a letter of disassociation. That way at least you make it your decision and not theirs.

    Good luck man.

  • joeshmoe

    Anybody have a copy of a letter of disassociation? Did you send it to the local elders or to Brooklyn?

  • Flip
    ...but I'm betting some of you can relate.

    Next stop Vegas, Joe' because you've just won...big time.

    As I eluded to Leander, in an earlier post who's going through a similar event, he has at least the benefit of instant communication that the Internet can provide.

    That's a terrific advantage for you that I never had, but unprecedented competition for the American business of 'religion' so used to having free reign.


  • Pro
  • NameWithheld

    I'd keep it on the down-low Just don't go to meetings, leave that part of your life behind. If called on it by non-family just smile appretiativly and say "thanks for your concren, I'm doing just fine right now".

    You are right with the parents it will be tougher, but just play the doubting JW with them. They probably won't 'turn you in' - they want to keep a relationship with you too (at least I would hope). So just be prepared to answer them, but not too much detail. Everyone else (elders, etc) just side-step the questions. They don't have any right/need to know what you are thinking.

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