Does anyone have experiences like this? What were you able to say to the
friends to get them to leave you alone without the potential of saying
something/acting like an apostate?
I was, sorta. I slowed down and stopped meeting attendance quickly--I don't think I did it gradually. I was a teenager and told my jw mother I refused to participate any longer.
Because she had confiscated all my $, and I was forced to pioneer/own a 4-door car that I couldn't afford/work part time, I couldn't leave the house right away. The elders told her I needed to meet with them, so because I was going to be homeless if I didn't, I did.
I just basically said I don't want to be a jw anymore. They tried to pin sins on me, including apostasy, but they had no evidence. They asked if I believed in the FDS anymore and I said I didn't know. I just kept repeating I won't be attending meetings or FS anymore, and didn't let them put other words into my mouth.
They tried to get me to DA and I said no, I just won't be attending FS and meetings anymore. They dragged on the meeting and I just kept repeating the same basic statement so we had nothing to discuss. They ended the meeting and said I wasn't DFd.
I heard from various dubs for a few months. When they visited my home and work, I said thanks for your concern but I am not interested in discussing this with you. I destroyed all mail without opening it. I moved to another territory to get away from them, which helped.
Since then, I have suspected they DFd me later on. I ask my toxic mother if I am and she has told me both yes and no at different times. Who knows, who cares...it doesn't affect me at all now.
Years later, sometimes I would run into a jw, and they didn't speak to me. That is perfect, because I shun them back. I don't want to be seen interacting with horrible people like that.