I have come to the conclusion that there is no way for me to ever leave. Although I have some friends at work, my whole social structure are witnesses. Even if I move congregations, my parents have contacts everywhere who will tell them if I’m not active. They flip out if I miss one Saturday of service. I doubt I will ever find another PIMO fader to have a relationship with. My family would probably not even attend a wedding I would have one day with someone who is not a witness. I love my family when they are not being crazy religious lunatics, and I can’t imagine living a life without family. I don’t know what to do. I can’t imagine teaching my future children things I do not believe in. I don’t know if I can fake it and attended 2 meetings a week every week, and even worse, go in service and feel embarrassed and awkward the whole time. What am I even going to say anymore? Any advice anyone?
There is No Way Out For Me
You sound like you are going on a down swing. But if you take a breath and realize you have time to sort things out, it will be ok. I didn't have to spend a long time in the "truth" when I found it wasn't so I can see it would be difficult.
There are many here in your situation and they can give you some good advice.
Just by posting here, you can relieve a lot of stress. Hang in there
Questions for Addison:
How old are you?
Do you live on your own?
Do you want to pay for your family relationships by being a slave to a cult?
Are you pursuing an education?
Answers to these questions will help people to offer viable options.
You are appreciated here, many have been through similar woes.
Welcome to the forum
I was born in and trapped for 30 years. And I felt the same way you did.
Then one day, I got fed up and said no more and I never went back.
I was once a pioneer and a ministerial servant.
I gave up a lot of phony friends and a full social calendar.
I don't regret leaving. I have had a good life out of the cult.
One bit of advice, I can give you from my experience is, I have always been an avid reader.
I have my own library a room of books.
If you want to leave or understand if and how to leave, start out reading "your erroneous zones" by Wayne Dyer.
And see where that leaves/ leads you.
I can relate to what you're saying, as im sure many on here can too. A few things to remember:
- You don't have to rush it. I was planning to fade out over a matter of years. You don't have to inform everyone that you're leaving and suddenly drop all attendance and ministry. Unless of course you want to. Different situations call for different tactics.
- There are many, MANY PIMO's in the JWs. You just don't know of them because they're keeping it private like you are. And you know how scary it is to speak out. I know of at least one apostate in my old congregation who, like yourself, feels he can never leave because his wife, kids and entire social structure is JW. And i can name about 6 in that hall who don't believe it but just go along because they have to.
- It's likely that, in years to come, friends and family you have will be DF'd or leave themselves. When that happens they'll be looking for someone on the outside that they can come to for support. That could be you!
If I were you i'd slowly reduce your ministry and miss the odd meeting. If people ask say you're going through depression or anxiety. Refuse elders visits and where possible talk about the bible and how wonderful the bible is - bible, bible, bible.
Keep us posted, we'll support you on here where we can.
It's hard to give an advice, but if I were you, I would 100% avoid marrying a jw (at least not a PIMO/POMO). As far as I can understand, the family is super important to you (and it's really normal, as to me). Maybe, fake just a 'spiritually weak' jdub - not telling you don't buy all this crap, meanwhile trying to make a family with non-jw, have kids, real family - then you'll have a stronger positions for negotiations with your parents and other jw members of the family - and you won't be left devastated/alone in case your 'fading' efforts fail and they even decide to shun you.
Thank you all so much for your advice. I’m planning on living on my own soon so I’m trying to come to a decision and trying to see my life play out with either decision. It’s very scary stepping into the unknown... of a normal life...lol
You are going to get all kinds of answers here. Many will say your mind is still in cult think. Many will say you must seek your own happiness and let go or take chances with family relationships.
No matter what advice, rest assured that many of us do understand where you are. But we all have to make our own choices.
If I had children in my situation, I would not hesitate to cease being a "fader" and I would simply sacrifice my relationships with any JW's to allow my kids to have the freedoms I would want them to have. But I do not have such children, so I don't choose that path. Some pull the plug on a marriage in order to get away from the cult. Others, like myself, do not. Some choose life-long family relationships over enjoying their freedom in other ways.
You must make those choices. I can say that I was not going to miss out on the enjoyment of ending the regular mind-numbing meetings. I found a way that worked out for me, for the most part, where I can keep family relations, but I lost all JW friends. Well, I have better non-JW friends, so that part is good.
You could consider at least becoming a very "WEAK" JW and let your family "flip out" a bit over that. They could eventually get used to your inactive lifestyle. You can gauge how far to take it by their reactions and your desires.
I can say with confidence that I would rather attempt such than just be resolved to be a JW and never even pursue a life partner. And if my family could eventually cope with my inactive status, but would not attend a wedding, I would miss them at my wedding.
Consider this- Recruiting (what they call field service) is not mandatory. They say it is, but being inactive is not a DF offense. I turned in a tiny bit of "fake time" but kept it extremely low, and then stopped turning in time. Consider some choices there. If you can't bring yourself to an inactive status, how about a barely active status with minimal (faked) 1 hour reports?
Addison, just read your heartfelt dilemma, but It's not all as bad as it appears to be.
You have 2 choices by which you can keep your family - either carry on faking it as an active JW, (intolerable!) or, start to fake it as a JW who is having serious spiritual/psychological problems.
Miss field service and meetings at your own pace and become inactive as soon as you can. The latter option - if you perform well - may get you the sympathy vote from family members and friends.
Hi Addison, I was born in too. I left at 18, and at the time, was a regular pioneer daughter of the congregation's Coordinator. I hadn't really planned to go until it dawned on me that I needed to and I was out of my parents house within 48 hours of that realization, moving into the apartment of a couple "worldly" friends who I'd met in school (and who are my loyal friends to this day). My entire family - parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc - are dubs. My entire social structure was built on me being a dub, too. It wasn't easy leaving but it's possible. You just have to be patient with yourself and trust your intuition. When it's time to go you will.