Fading or Disassociating

by Saethydd 28 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Saethydd

    Hello, I'm new here.

    I'm a college student who has been raised in the "truth" for my entire life. I was baptized at 10 years old, and looking back now I know I didn't fully grasp everything involved, for one thing I don't even recall ever going to Jehovah in a special prayer to dedicate myself to him, but anyway that's the past and my focus is really on the present. I'm currently pursuing an Associates Degree, but I find myself desiring to pursue a Bachelors in my chosen field so that I may have a somewhat more secure future. (I of course realize even that comes with no guarantee, but it is statistically better.) Anyway that is not the purpose behind this topic but it does factor in.

    At this moment in time I am disfellowshipped and have been for some months. The reasons for that are of a personal nature and not ones that I necessarily object to, however, it has resulted in my being less afraid to question my beliefs and question the Watchtower Society, and even the Bible itself as in unimpeachable moral code, or that was certainly inspired by an all-powerful creator. (I don't claim that I know it wasn't, simply that I can't be sure.) Since being disfellowshipped I was also less dissuaded from avoiding "apostate" sites such as this one, JW Facts, and JW Survey. While I have reservations that the Society itself is evil and money-hungry, (the reason for this being that they do urge their followers to focus on the preaching work instead of wealth, and have yet to see a rationalization for this from their detractors), I do think it is possible that they are simply deluded.

    The economy being what it is I still live at home with my parents and will probably continue to do so as long as I am in college. My parents and my only sibling who still lives at home with me are all still active members of the local congregation and I am still attending with them. Partly because I don't want to argue with them about it, and partly because I'm hoping that somehow by doing this I will eventually be able to rationalize the type of faith I know they want me to have. After having taken college classes in World History, and doing real research (not simply looking stuff up in the Watchtower Library) I have discovered how tentative much of their "evidence" is, and have begun to notice the many logical fallacies in their arguments.

    That basically sums up how I have found myself in my current position. I feel as if I have to choose between ignoring my rational integrity (which I don't know how to do, even if I were so inclined, because it would always be nagging me in the back of my mind), being dishonest with my family and my closest friends for the rest of my life, or leaving behind everyone who I have ever truly known and loved. I have done what I fear may have been a mistake and brought up my doubts with my parents, they wasted no time in pushing a mountain of literature I have yet to read in it's entirety, partly because I have other things I want to do, and partly because when I do get started on one of the publications I try to take the time to research the claims it makes and oftentimes find that it's arguments are severely flawed in one way or another.

    At the moment I think I would like to get reinstated and then move away and fade out after I graduate from college so that I will be treated better than if I simply walked away now and remained disfellowshipped. I would still be treated differently I know, but perhaps it wouldn't be quite so bad, though on the other hand if I fade then every time I do interact with my friends and family they would probably be trying to bring me back into the "truth." Has anyone else face a situation similar to this one?

    (Sorry I know this is really long, especially for a first post, but thank you for reading it.)

  • Themdoubts

    I'm still in for family reasons. I've found from afew years of lurking on here (before i got brave enough to make an account), that perhaps fading is the lesser of 2 evils.

    I do believe it needs to be planned out and I'm in a similar situation to you where I'm planning to move away and start my fade. My entire family is in 'the truth' also, but I'm hoping the distance will create less issues once I'm in a different city.

    Probably not much help but i wanted to comment anyway and say I'm thinking of you. I resonate with your story and you will find lots of help from folks here.

  • Saethydd

    Thanks, it does feel good to know that I'm not alone, especially when at the moment I'm feeling very isolated because of the disfellowshipping.

  • LisaRose

    I think we have all had to face this problem at one time or another. Every one's circumstances are different and there are downsides to whatever choice you make either way, so only you can decide what would be best but I have to say in your situation I would probably lean towards getting reinstated and then fading, if only because it would get your parents off your back while you finish school and get established in a career. When you are older they will probably be a bit more tolerant of you making your own decisions,vespecially of you are just fading.

  • Hoffnung

    Getting reinstated and fading worked out fine for me. it takes a lot of self control though, not fall in loyalty trap questions though. If you choose this road, prepare for ways to deflect awkward questions. Keeping contact with your family makes it worthwhile. Something you should remember.

  • AnonVet
    I can tell from your post that you're of higher intellect than the average JW. I think you've already figured out the path you need to take. I'm at that point too (although many years past you) where I really want to just leave, but too many family members are in and it's not fair to them or myself to just leave. I don't think I'm fooling anybody, really, but as long as the "official" status is not DF, then life is easier for friends, family, and myself. It's just about acting the role now and keeping my mouth shut.
  • steve2

    Very clear OP and evidence of an ability to think and reason, if you don't mind my saying so. I'm therefore not surprised you have found it difficult to reconcile JW organization's teachings with what you observe and have some questions about the Bible as a divinely inspired collection of books.

    I like your ability to plan ahead and think of a way through this that is least damaging to your relationships with the people you obviously care about (your parents and other family members).

    I almost always say to newbies such as you, there is absolutely no urgency in "solving" your dilemma. Time is on your side. Besides, treating the need for a solution as a matter of urgency seldom, if ever, helps individuals clarify their plans - it sets them into a panic which conveniently leaves them more likely to suspend reason and go for the course of least resistance.

    You are young. You will have time to think through what you actually believe (and conversely what you do not believe) and, hopefully you'll be able to identify when well-meaning people in the organization use FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt) to compel you to follow them.


  • Finkelstein

    Welcome to the forum Saethydd you sound like an intelligent honest person that may have been put into situation outside of own your control and influence .

    You also sound like your on the right path or at least the path that would complacently neutralize your relationship with family and friends.

    With the JW cult and how they are instructed to treat people who leave the organization this might be the best approach, its the way I myself handled the situation when I left.

    Take care and chart your course wisely.

  • DesirousOfChange

    I think you have the perfect plan. It seems well thought out considering your circumstances. Personally, I know of almost no circumstances where leaving while DF or by DAing appears to be an advantage, unless a person just needs "closure".

    Be forewarned, that the Elders have been cautioned by "Mother" to be slow and cautious in reinstatement, esp if your parents have shared your doubts with the Elders. It is much easier to be reinstated after minor things such as fornication than it is after "apostasy".

    Be prepared for at least 1 year before reinstatement will even be considered. But submit a request for reinstatement every 90-180 days. Be the squeaky wheel. Tell them it is sooo clear that we are at THE END in this system. Surely Trump being elected (esp if you're in the US) is a sign that mankind is not able to rule themselves (unless you live in a "red state"). It will also help if your parents are people of influence in the Cong or even in the area where they live. It's all politics. Or, at least much of it is.

    Good luck! . . . Doc . . . . The greatest revenge is living a happy & successful life!

  • Saethydd

    Thank you all for your kind words. Even though I know in my head what I should do, my heart still feels torn. I still feel as if I'm betraying all of my family and friends by doubting the organization they regard so highly. But it's refreshing to finally not have people treat me as if I'm crazy for having doubts without verifiable evidence.

    Fortunately, I was not disfellowshipped for apostasy nor did I give any indication that I doubted the official doctrines, and honestly at the time they weren't a major issue for me. Oh I had them of course, they've been there for years but like good (or moe accurately a "gullible") Witness, I just shoved them aside and did my best to ignore them. After all I didn't want Satan to mislead me, which is basically thr warning I've been given my whole life about any evidence that might shed any negative light on the Society, or stand to disprove their teachings.

    I suppose the course of action that has the least amount of pain for me and my family is to act as if I'm coming around for the time being so that I can fade out at a time and place of my choosing. Though I fear that my life will still be complicated by this whole situation. One of my great desires for the last several years has been to someday find a woman that I can share my life with, however, I'm not so sure I could marry a Witness girl, especially after I fade. And even if I've distanced myself from the Society I doubt my marrying a "wordly" girl would ever sit well with my family. But perhaps that is simply a bridge I will have to cross when I come to it.

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