What's preventing YOU from stopping meeting attendance?
Simon has a spare pair he would probably give up for the good of the cause.
why carry on stuffing yourself into that stiff suit and tie or meeting dress years after you realised the truth about 'The Truth'?
They kept you a prisoner, what's stopping you from leaving now that you have the key to your own cell?
Loved ones? if you really love them lead by example surely. Why prop up the old regime by placing your bum on the Kingdom Hall seat?
I'm long gone, but my fade took me about three years, most of which I was still a fully active JW. What kept me going was that I needed to accomplish a few things:
- Build a support system (didn't know it as such back then) outside the congregation
- Not get disfellowshipped as it was important for me to leave in my terms
- Change jobs. I was working for a non-JW brother of a JW guy from my congregation. Back when I tried to be a good JW I also recommended two other JWs from my congregation to work there, so the place was infested with JW influence. Needed to leave the job too
- My boyfriend at the time's curiosity and education. At the time when we met his mother was taking bible studies to become a JW, so he wanted to learn some things by himself
- Fun. I was having fun with misleading people in the congregation to believe that I had interest in doing things, then not, then again, then I'd start some kind of rumor, then I'd talk to an elder asking for guidance, just to do the opposite of what he recommended (please understand that I was immature and angry at the congregation).
- Build confidence in my decision. At the end of the day, I was about to walk away from the first 23 years of my life. Life as I knew it was going to end, and that's no small thing.
When I was in the process of fading, "prisoner" was not how I looked at or felt about myself. I was planning my "escape". That gave me drive, hope and happiness. I was very happy during that time of my life.
I have strong opinions like everyone else about this subject. My thoughts drove me to quickly fade. Some would say I am still living a lie if I am not openly opposed to Watchtower.
I had strong opinions about homosexuals and revealing outfits on women, and abortion, and tobacco and all kinds of things when I was a JW. I have since learned that no matter what my opinion is, I have no right to impose my way of thinking on others.
It's fine to ask others why they still attend meetings. It's fine to have opinions about it. But I was so wrong about so many things before, and I have learned to just let people lead their lives. Even beyond this forum and a little bit on facebook, I don't even try to influence religious people to wake up to reality unless I am asked for my opinion.
I think you all meeting attenders should find a way to seek more personal peace through less meeting attendance, but who am I to decide that your peace comes ahead of a delicately achieved happy relationship with family?
It only took me a couple of months from first doubting to realising I'd been duped my whole life, I was 35 at that point.
Our kids were 10, 11 and 6 years old. Like Simon, they were my main motivation and once I'd made the decision to quit it only took a couple of weeks to stop and keep the children at home with me.
That period was hell. My wife was often in tears, and our JW families were on my case but it was the right thing to do.
Seeing our now adult, university educated, well balanced, tolerant children convinces me I made the right choice at the right time, they are a reminder that I got one thing right in my life.
It took her a little longer but my wife is fully awake, out and happy with how it all worked out.
I just could never contemplate that living lie of meeting attendance for me or my kids. What kind of half life misery is that?
They are still the only ones teaching the Truth - the Question
But are they teaching the truth about 'The Truth'?
It appears many of us have a different understanding of what truth is, than you do.
JW friend told me that I'm "bad association" - SBF
You're not if you're not associating.
Our household stopped attending some years back. While personal matters initially caused irregular attendance for a few months, once becoming educated on the real 'Truth', we each made the decision to stop attending fully.
Some JW family have cut us off completely while others have reduced contact and are more cautious when we are together.
We view any lost/reduced relationships as their losses. They made a decision to cut us off or reduce contact and they retain the power to change that decision.
nicolaou what was it that convinced you in a couple of months? What sparked it all?
I read a book called Awake to the Watchtower! in 1999 that made me doubt a lot of things. But because its opposition to JWs was framed in religious (evangelical Protestant) terms I tended to investigate scriptural objections rather than ethical problems with JW beliefs that I ultimately decided were more important. It was very gradual for me to reject JW teachings, and there are still some things I keep or am not sure about. I don't have kids and I took my time to stop going to meetings, but I I rarely go now. I am almost as old now as you were when you left. I should have gone about it quicker and I'd be in a better position now.
SBF - your friend must mean a lot to you and good ones are hard to find. If it's not a stress factor then so be it and always subject to change and that's called life. Like OTWO's attitude - kind of like just let people be who they are and not much we can do about it, regardless. Every one is at a different place in life - many passages.
It's been twenty-eight years with no change from my brother and sisters so if I'd sat through meetings that whole time waiting for them to realise it's all bs I'd have wasted my life.
Don't get me wrong the cut was damned painful at the time but I've lived a life full of interesting stuff and yes Nic seen my daughter grow up free and go to uni. I haven't given up hope, who knows they may leave one day, they know where to find me.
It's different if it's your partner that's still indoctrinated. That must be really hard to cope with.