Fading or Disassociating
I'm still in for the social aspect of being able to talk to my JW co-workers. There are too many for me to just disassociate and it not affect my work or personal life. Co-workers are much different than family, but I understand your thoughts of wanting to get reinstated so you can talk to your family and keep it on better terms. From what I've read here form others, it seems like the route to take so that things can be on good terms. It makes sense to me as well, but it's really what you feel. You said it yourself, that the least amount of pain for you would be to act as if you're coming around. If that's truly less pain for you, I'd say that's the way to go.
Just a side thought regarding your Associates degree and you debating if you should get your Bachelors: I would highly recommend getting your Bachelors if you're at a young age and you're able to do it financially. It will come in handy later in life if you ever want to work for the government, or even many other opportunities.
I was in mostly the same situation now almost 30 years ago, except I was not disfellowshipped and had not done anything that would warrant that.
However it was extremely unusual for anyone in our congregation to go to college and I was actually pursuing a BA. Even though I was raised JW by my mom, my dad was not JW. My mom had graduated from college prior to converting.
So she really understood the importance of an education. But alas, I didn't make it through my first year of college before I realized I needed out of the religion, for at least a dozen reasons. But I lived at home with my mom and dad and couldn't not participate in the religion without taking a stand.
If could have done anything differently, I would have stuck it out as a pretender until I had graduated, was self-supporting, and I could have moved away and faded. But I couldn't live that lie for longer than a few months.
Life probably would have been a little easier for me if I had been able to wait and fade, but "those people" were really horrid to me solely because I was going to the university.
If I had faded rather than DA, I think I would still have my mom in my life. But now that my dad has passed away, she doesn't have to have anything to do with me or her grandchildren. I don't think the kids are missing out on much, but it is one factor I hadn't considered at all when I was 19 and publicly walked away. I miss the emotional intimacy that was once shared between a mother and daughter, and there is nothing that can replace that. But knowing it was all conditional in the first place, softens the blow. Now I just focus on providing that for my own children, knowing it is really and truly unconditional.
As far as advice-it's not too complicated: Just sock away as much money as you can, don't waste it on eating out, Starbucks, or vacations; and try to pay as you go for college rather than taking loans. You'll be happier later on not being in debt and hopefully not needing to live month to month. It won't be long before you are living the life you want and in the blink of an eye, you'll be a but a few years from the retirement they told you you'd never see in "this system."
I choose not to dwell too much on whether the corporation is corrupt, greedy, negligent, or evil. I'm not sure it accomplishes a thing. However, all I have come to know about its workings over the last 30 years has only given me the peace of mind that if God does exist in their definition of God, that God would have shut down that racket 100 years ago.
Here's to your comfortable retirement in 30 years' time🍾.
Welcome to the board Saethydd I wish you well in whatever you choose to do.I dont envy you getting reinstated having to jump through hoops the way they make you do ,all meeting attendance ,field service if applicable ,studying WT crap
But hey thats just me ,you do seem to have it all worked out and you have got good advice from folk on here.
I wish you well in whatever you decide to do .
Hello Saethydd, first of all welcome. I can relate to the example you mentioned about getting reinstated then fading. I personally was never DF so I can't relate to the reinstatement part, but I can relate to fading. I chose to fade and never look back. Hell, I'm sure by now half of my old congregation has forgot about me and I like it that way. There are a few though, mainly family members that are constantly telling me to come back to the "truth". So yes, if you pursue that route, expect that type of begging from your JW relatives. I noticed in your post that you still live at home with your parents. My only suggestion to you is be wise about your decision and don't do anything that would cause them to put you out of the house and cause financial strain. Play the game for as long as you can while you share the same roof, unless you are able to live on your own, then you will have more control over your life and fading will be much easier. Hope this helps.
I'd be minded to get reinstated then basically play the part of a "weak JW" ( you will be under restrictions anyway) and just fade. If you are DFd for the rest of your life you will have to deal with shunning & all the associated crap - logistically it can be a bit of a nightmare having to deal with proxies especially if you family are pretty heavy on the shunning. Look at the recent Society videos where even phone calls from DFd children are ignored to see the way they expect people to treat DFd family members. Do you really want to live the rest of your life knowing your mother wouldn't even pick up the phone?
Timewise will depend on the elders - some have control issues & want their pound of flesh & expect you to jump through hoops to get back - others are more conciliatory & want to help you. My nephew was just out for 6 months & the elders re-instated him so that he could go to the convention without being DFd.
My observation is that faded none DFd ex-JWs are treated far better than in the past , especially if they are young , despite the Societies best efforts at judging them as "bad association.". Yes - the "elephant in the room" will always be an addition to any family contact or gatherings but generally JWs are increasingly tolerant of former JWs. I have a niece who is a pioneer but went away abroad on a skiing trip with a group of 10 or so - 4 of whom were former JWs who no longer attend meetings - just young ones she grew up with who have drifted away from the meetings. Nobody seemed to bat an eyelid and her father is an elder - this would absolutely have been a NO-No a few years ago.
Bore da a croeso Saethydd!
I was not in your place trying to please family but faded and became disassociated. However I was treated as if I was disfellowshipped in any case but hey we do our best according to our needs. Although at the end of my JW career I didn’t go out in service and was attending the KH as an atheist but still playing the role of a member albeit a quiet one. In the end I just could not remain there any longer and stopped going to the meetings as well.
It was a glorious sensation having no obligations to the Watchtower org and being a free agent.
You though might do best to outwardly please your parents and get reinstated so; if you can cope with the charade, since they play games you might want to play along as well? (and don't ever think for one moment longer about marrying a JW!)
I’m certain the most important thing for you, whatever decision you choose, is to make the best of your life, now that you have been able to see through the murky JW veil--- a good education goes along with being able to earn a decent living.
We only get one life!
Saethydd; aim for this.
Fading or DAing it is your choice. You know the lay of the field regarding family and jw friends better than we would.
At least consider fading first. Get your financial situation in order so being dropped by jws won't throw you out of a job, a rental home, etc. Start finding new friends at work, non-jw family, neighbors, shared hobbies.
Even if you fade, many jws treat you as bad association, spiritual danger; or only talk about jw stuff even though they did not before. But if your family are prone to do things if not seen by jws doing it, they may associate with you.
As to grandchildren, be aware that in my experience, jw grandparents will witness to your children in ways that are abusive trying to turn them against you and use them as spies. So association with jw family should be supervised by you.
Discuss with your spouse if you can.
Up to you man. Personally, there's no way I'd be made to go to meetings where people treat me as if I'm a sub-human being, or non-existent. That is emotional abuse, used as emotional blackmail to control you. Are you a robot? No? **BEEP!** **BEEP!** Human Alert! Cult Alert! Stop letting others control you.
If you can, try just "playing the game" until you can:
1. Finish your BA degree...
2. Afford to be on your own
3. Have friends/ support network of your own
4. Investigate this organization and find out what it really is... As in "The Wizard of Oz".... look behind the curtain, and the 'power' this org has just fades away...
Do not marry a JW girl, problems will just multiply. (Like so many people, they marry a 'fader' or a DF'd person, they are both "out of the truth" and then, because of peer pressure, family, or whatever else.... they decide to go back...)
PS, when going in FS, just go 15 minutes, volunteer to be 'the odd one out when there are not enough for "partners" ... pretend you are 'talking to someone' (maybe talk about their landscaping? the neighborhood? their dog?) and then? write whatever hours you like on your field service report!!! Yay! Let them think you are doing just fine!
Throughout this stage of life, just remember to keep your dignity and self respect in tact.
Don't allow the processes and definitions that the society uses to affect your self worth.
Our lives are NOT defined by how the society or those still "in" sees us.