Did you have a plan to leave the Organization? I did. It took a couple of years but we did leave and never had a desire to go back!
Planning Your Exit
I was not sure what I was going to do for a long time, but as I gave Jehovah a last chance to reveal himself to me, and that failed, I developed a plan.
I took too many years to figure out that it was not "the truth." I wasn't going to waste away in it for a few years to get out once I was sure. So first, in order to not "chicken out" of progressing my fade, I went to my closest relative that was not a JW and talked about how it was a cult and that I would have to get out. My dad said, "Just walk away." While that is excellent advice, and I highly still recommend just that to many, Dad didn't understand how I could not just do that. I had a wife, her family, and a mother in the JW's.
So I set goals each month. First, I had to get removed as an elder. Various ways to do that, but to save time, I simply said I had doubts and couldn't do it anymore. There are many other ways to shake off "privileges," primarily health and financial reasons. Whatever way you ultimately choose, it's huge to get rid of assignments. With "doubts," I was also able to resign from the Theocratic Ministry School. Hey, it's an all-volunteer organization. Do as little as you want.
Also, I went into fake service hours. I didn't do any at all, but I reduced the number I was turning in each and every month until I turned in "one hour" then "zero hours" the next month. I actually wrote that out, otherwise they would assume I forgot to turn it in and maybe write in "one" for me.
Another goal- I missed one, now miss two of those meetings next month, then three. You might not go at it as fast as I did, but don't ever go back up to attending more than the month before. At least stay at the same number of missed meetings until you can miss more than that.
Break away at some point. That's the hardest one for some reason. I got to be barely attending and wasn't going to just STOP. Damn, it's a cult- it holds me. That's a load of crap. Dad was right that I just should have walked away at the beginning. But now that I got my family used to my hardly being there, don't be there at all.
Last, and extremely important- All along the way, learn to say "I am fine. I will call if I need you." Say that especially to elders, but to any concerned ones outside of your family. As for family, well- you will have to figure out what to say. It's tough. I was pretty honest, but only offering so much to my family. They stopped asking, so I stopped saying. But definitely, do not agree to meetings with elders to help you back. Better to just say no thanks.
I didn't do much as have a plan. It was more that I was forced into it. After I got over the initial shock of what I had learnt on apostate sites, I honestly believe I could live in two worlds of knowing TTATT while also realizing it was God's imperfect organisation, and mistakes are made. In all it took about 18 months before I finally walked out of the Hall for good. Cold turkey.
I had a plan of an elaborate fade and moving my records around several times. But after moving my records once and attending a month, I just walked out and never came back. There was no point anymore.
OTWO: But definitely, do not agree to meetings with elders to help you back. Better to just say no thanks.
Rule #1: The elders are not your friends.
When the penny dropped and I realised I had been duped by a smooth talking realestate company, I left and could never go to a KH again. I’m usually not very gullible, but to be converted to jw cause is truly embarrassing looking back.
I knew for a few years I needed out. Didn't know what to do, just knew I needed out. Then a former jw I knew from childhood confided in me she was molested during teen years by someone still a jw, and had reported it to the elders and nothing happened. Combine that with my mutiple reports about a violent wife (now ex) and that was my last meeting. A couple months later a family member who never liked jws was going to be traveling for a month and offered to let me stay there while they were gone. I now had a safe exit from the wife and a month or more to breathe and plan the next steps.
When I knew for sure it was not the truth, I had to help my husband out. He was sick of the truth too by this time, but he is not the kind that would do the research that is needed to free yourself of the beast. So we were still going. After I showed my husband the facts and read Crisis of Conscience he knew it was not the truth. We left and never went back. We are now marked and totally shunned but after 43 years how could I give them another day of my life?
My planned exit was similar to OTWO-
Gradually reduced field service to one hour a month for a while , then stopped altogether at the beginning of the new service year. I knew the service overseer was changing to a brother who was new to my congregation and didn't know me. Apart from 6 months of requesting my report, and receiving a polite "no, brother, nothing for you this month" he never asked questions.
Same with meeting attendance. Whittled it down to one or two Sundays a month, then took my opportunity to leave completely when there were some serious issues in the congregation.
Except for one or two attempted visits from elders early on, they have left me alone.
And a total bullshit situation came up that made it much easier to get out and have elders not bother be because they felt they stumbled me and were cowards to try and fix it.