I think I made up my mind

by paradiseseeker 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • paradiseseeker

    A month ago I travelled alone to Italy for three days and I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Florence and re-visit many parts of Rome.

    But most importantly, I had the opportunity to stay alone and think about my situation and to make up my mind.

    I've had very clear for almost 5 years that I will eventually leave the religion, but I couldn't decide when.

    But now I know : I will leave on April 20th, the day after the Memorial.

    That day I will talk to my parents (this is by far the hardest thing to do) and soon afterwards I will talk to my closest friends, then I will send my disassociation letter. I know that I will let them down, I will hurt them, most probably some of them will cry... but I need to live coherently for the first time in my life. I'm sure that living in this contradiction is affecting and will affect my mental health and it's time for me to help myself instead of others.

    I sincerely can't see myself in that situation on that day, it sounds like a fictional story to me... and I am afraid that that fear may eventually hold me back and make me do nothing and stay the same. In fact, I'm afraid of posting this in case I end up doing nothing and getting discredited.

    If I could get your support or read how you dealt with those situations I would appreciate it so much.

    Thank you in advance.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    Your life is yours to live. Backing out won't discredit you. It would be understandable. You are going against everything you've ever known. Like jumping out of an airplane for the first time. A great many people back out, many times over, for understandable reasons. You've got to do it when you're ready. Sounds like you've been contemplating this for quite some time, and given it a lot of thought. So you should. But it sounds like you've made the right decision for you. How you execute that decision, and how quickly you do it, is also up to you. It's not a race. For some, quick and clean, like tearing off a bandaid. For others a slow and steady fade is best. Do what is best for you (though once you start the process, by divulging your intention to leave, and your apostasy, you are committed and you need to have the resolve to see it through, immediately. Like parachuting, once you've jumped, you cant change your mind and crawl back in the plane!) But if you back down, and it takes a few times to build up the courage and finally go through with it, then that's ok..no one here is gonna judge you for that. I will say that the faster you start living your life, the happier you'll be, and the easier it will be. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  • Sail Away
    Sail Away

    Paradiseseeker, I'm glad you took some time away to find some clarity. It often takes time away from the indoctrination at meetings to see your way out. That's a big step!

    I'm wondering if you need to take such a big leap though. When I first walked away, I told my COBE that I was taking as break. I didn't send a letter of resignation (I specifically did not dissociate) until years later.

    Do you think you might have a better chance at maintaining family relationships if you fade? There's no need to rush-- Armageddon isn't coming tomorrow!

  • thetruelie

    I am new here, well with an account, I’ve been reading this forum for some months now. I think you are very brave and I understand completely the pain you are going through. However I will give you this advice, I am an elder and maybe you are surprised that there are elders here, well don’t be. Even elders, COs and bethelites have doubts, in my personal case the only reason why I have decided to keep serving is because now I have a different purpose, my goal is to help the young ones awake by using different techniques, I’m not saying you have to do the same, I have followed this path because I think I can do a greater good by staying, and using my position to help more. For you is different, you need to preserve your mental health, something that some of us sadly have very damaged already. When you have this conversation with your friends and your parents invite then to think first, present proof of why you believe is wrong, and then explain that you are leaving. Do this with the elders as well on your letter. You know this is interesting but many people think that the elders are deaf and mute, but we listen to well thoughts ideas, and even though many won’t say that they agree with you, your words will resonate within their souls. Take care please of your health after you take that decision, also my advice would be don’t do it the 20th, if your parents are good witnesses this could be way more heart breaking, I’m not saying don’t do it, just be loving with them, remember this is not also hard for you but as well for them. And remember you are worth a lot, never forget that.

  • Crazyguy2

    I would not DA instead just stop going , if you DA your parents and your friends will probably never talk to you again.

  • Giordano

    There are three things you should consider. The first is.......why play by the rules the WTBTS has established? You have a choice......... you can just leave and no pun intended, just leave it at that. Explaining your reasons for leaving will turn on the shunning.

    The second is you will be shunned or even DF because you will have talked to your friends so the Elders will have two witnesses against you from the get go should they want to make an example of you.

    The third reason to consider is that you will be punishing your parents. By making them shun you for the rest of their lives. You will be free and clear but for the rest of their lives this will hang over them.

    We would not do that to our parents when my wife and I decided to leave. And we did not discuss any of our doubts with the people we served with. We moved out of the area we were pioneering in and started a new fulfilling life.

    At some point in time people realized that we were no longer affiliated. Life goes on.

    The day after the memorial? The memorial then becomes a reminder.

  • BourneIdentity

    I know you've thought about this for 5 years, but sending in a disassociation letter has extreme consequences, which I'm sure you already know.

    How many friends and relatives do you have outside of the religion? If you have next to no one, your world will be flipped upside down.

    I would suggest a fade, just stop going. If anyone asks, you are discouraged, depressed, have doubts, whatever you think. There are benefits of staying in. You can maintain contact with loved ones and hope to wake them up as well. It's a slow, drawn out process, but can work after time. It's easy to leave the religion by yourself, but most want to take their families with them. Watchtower holds a gun to your head, leave the faith and lose your family. Stay and be miserable to keep your family.

    Before you make any haste decision, just picture all the JWs being spiritually strong and loyal to the Organization and having zero contact with you. Could you deal with that and move on? If not, it might be better to wait a little longer, there is no harm in waiting.
  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    I agree with others who recommend that you say nothing....just fade away. It may feel good to get things off your chest but the good feeling will only be momentary.

    Most of your friends and family at this point, still want to be lied to. They want their "ears tickled" and they don't want to hear anyone say out loud what they already know. People at this stage are frightened and scared people will act irrationally in order to relieve their fears. This will likely include punishing you for being the one who made them think about things that scare them.

    If you slowly fade away, you won't have to face this huge confrontation that you are dreading and if you do it right, you'll still be able to speak to your family and friends and possibly help them.

    Trying to use normal logical thinking to handle people who are themselves trapped in a religious cult, won't work. You need to help yourself first before you can help anyone else. Fading isn't being cowardly...you are simply making the best of a crazy situation.

    Again...think twice about putting anything in writing or sharing your plans with any JW. You already know what they think and what they'll do, why put yourself through that?

  • BourneIdentity
    I also agree with Giordano, you will be punishing your parents and your loved ones. There are dozens of victims when someone is disfellowshipped or disassociated, not just that person. The Organization acts like the family members that shun should just keep happily serving Jehovah while they can have no contact with their loved ones, and act is if having no natural affection is what Jehovah wants.

    You have to realize your parents don't deserve to be punished. Sure, it's easy to say they can make a conscious choice to talk to you. But realize how strong their beliefs are. Think of how strong a suicide bombers belief is that they are doing the right thing for God. It's no different with your parents and loved ones, it is really sad when you think about it. Take the time to get away from all the BS at the Kingdom Hall, decompress, destress and get your sanity back. You will be amazed at how much happier you become when you distance yourself from that toxic environment.
  • BourneIdentity
    I've had to talk one of my parents “off the ledge” on several occasions when they wanted to disassociate. We would meet up for lunch or dinner and I would explain the consequences as clearly as I could to them. I'm glad they always listened and haven't done it yet! It's paid off, because more and more in my family are waking up, there aren't many left before we are all of the same mindset. I understand though, you get emotional and upset and want to stick it to the Org. Once the dust settles though, the reality of it all sets in and it’s tough times.

    I'm willing to guess that out of the 8.6 million active publishers, millions of those are checked out and simply just turning in time for family worship. Once you stop believing, it makes it almost impossible to go door to door. You stop giving talks, commenting, preaching and just show up at a meeting now and then. I went to a meeting last week and really enjoyed the conversation with others. There are some very genuine, great friends there. I think I can really enjoy myself there because I don't believe in all the doom and gloom crap they constantly speak of. By going with a fade, you sort of get the best of both worlds.

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