I agree with everyone, don't speak to the Elders. We faded 4 plus years ago and have not met with one Elder. They try but we don't bite. If they come to the door, we don't answer, if they call, we don't call back. If we bump into them we act happier than we ever have been (we are) and if they ask intrusive questions don't be afraid to tell them politely that you don't feel the need to discuss that with them. If they offer to call or come by just respond, "I am doing fine and if I feel the need to have you call or visit, I have your contact info." Like someone said above, they only have the power over you that you give them. The less you speak, the better. Yes, they will shun you, no matter what. That is their issue, not yours. Yes, it hurts but unfortunately, there is no really easy way to leave a cult. You seem to know the consequences. We did too. Has it been worth it? HELL YES! FREEDOM IS SO WORTH IT!
Update: My current situation
Issa.....good advice so far.
Here's something I read on this forum the other day. A JW elder arrives at a hospital to make sure a JW doesn't accept a life saving blood transfusion. That same Elder is back a week later to wash the windows. That people with no training and often with little education....... are put in a position and encouraged to offer critical advice.
2nd thought..........When you step away you will be treated as a second class person. Keep in mind that to remain a JW you have to maintain a posture of rational ignorance. As a JW you don't read up on subjects that the WTBTS ignores........ The Universe, Evolution, the medical use of blood etc. being Gay etc. The WTBT$ is not only on your back but also between your legs.
These are all inconvenient truths to speak about....... In short...... no explanation you can come up with will serve to change a believers belief. They have to experience the injustices aimed at the JW's by other JW's to begin to understand how wrong the JW construct is.
All of us have probably gone through this adjustment....... one week your an honorable JW the next a vile apostate.
I favor an immediate fade. Your done, or your taking a break, what ever you prefer to call it...........the best thing is you simply don't care if it's the truth or not. Your silence will strengthen your position......... your reasoning and explanations will only lead to being DFed. Remember the Society wants everyone to march in one direction even if it means you are marching off a cliff.
Keep in mind that being a JW is more about being in a social club that has strong religious beliefs.....much like the Mormons, the Amish, Scientology, Christian Scientists and so many other worthless belief systems.
Actually by fading and becoming inactive, you irritate them more as technically you're still a JW albeit inactive. They cannot label you as an apostate. You can have your cake and eat it too. You can appear once every blue moon for political/family reasons and they will feel the pressure to at least acknowledge you when you say hi to them.
By DA yourself, you are no longer a concern to them and they now can label you as a mentally diseased apostate that refuses to worship the Governing Body due to pride.
If anyone asks why no more service or meetings for you....tell them you had an epiphany when the Watchtower magazine stated the GB are not inspired. Tell them you realized that you should be reading the bible as its inspired instead of publications that are not. Tell them you feel guilty for placing the Watchtower organization above the bible and Jesus and you have asked for forgiveness. You are using their own words against them and shouldn't get in trouble.
How should I react when I meet any sister or brother? I try to avoid meeting them, but at any point I will meet them again.
Smile. Be polite. Keep it short. Don't explain yourself. Don't tell them that you left. As someone else said on another thread, look at your watch and tell them you are late for an appointment. Or, don't look at your watch and just tell them you have somewhere you have to be.
My problem is my father insisting me that I should talk to the elders. So far, only one elder texted me to know how I am doing. From what I've been researching and hearing, Judicial Committees are the worst. I'm not planning or even considered meeting with the elders.
As others have said, don't meet with the elders. Their only reason for meeting with you is to see if you are repentant, which you aren't. Also, you are a woman and you will be distrusted more than any man facing the same consequences. Tell your dad that you appreciate his concern, but you have prayed about it and feel that you know the right thing to do now. Don't explain further. Keep it short. Stop trying to convince him that his religion is wrong. No one convinced you of that. You came to that conclusion on your own. Your family and friends deserve to have their own truths. They may find the same one that you did or they may not. But you cannot change their minds. Only they can do that. So stop trying. Also, trying to change their minds about their religion is not fading. So, take a step back. Let them have time to see that you are the same person you always were. Let them know that you aren't trying to get them to leave the organization. Tell them you are having a hard time but you are praying about it.
Then, as others have said, build yourself a new support network outside of the cult. Get involved in some activities that you enjoy and start meeting people. It will get better when you have your own community and social support. That isn't to say that it will ever get any easier to deal with family who are still in. I haven't found that to be true. But, it gets easier to have times when you don't think about it because you will begin to build a new chosen family.
Another problem is that my siblings (one left the org for personal reasons, the other was studying with a witness) are treating me harshly than before. This is one of the consequences that I accepted, even so, it pains me that my siblings are reacting this way. I can't talk about why the org is not the truth without getting backlash from my sisters.
Then stop talking about it. Wasn't it painful for you when you realized that the Truth wasn't the truth? Do you really want to put them through that? You are not responsible for their beliefs. It isn't your place to put them through hell because you see it differently now. It would be nice and easier if they believed like you do. But you aren't a JW anymore. So stop trying to make them believe what you believe. It will only hurt everyone. If they find that truth for themselves... great. If they left the cult for their own reasons, then why do you feel it necessary to force your new beliefs on them?
You have been taught that it is your personal responsibility to bring the truth to people. But that isn't true. Your responsibility is to live your life in a way that is responsible to you. You have rights but you also have responsibilities. Your families souls or beliefs are not your responsibility. Stop taking that on.
To be honest... trying to make our families see our truths is a great way to deflect our pain. You have lived for a long time seeing only a future that is bright and now that is gone you may not see the future at all. Then start living in the present. Deal with your pain. Get some professional help. Meet people at every opportunity and you will find out that the 'world' is a really nice and caring place. You will find that people are, in general, very good and want to help.
Last but not least... it is time for you to recognize that there is no such thing as The Truth. There is your truth, my truth, his truth, a collective truth, a social truth, an organizational truth, a sytemic truth, a national truth, etc. etc. etc. Truth is subjective. People coming out of the cult talk about 'The TRUTH about THE TRUTH'. And that isn't a bad thing. It helps a lot of people.
But truth is subjective. There is no One Truth about The Truth. There are many truths about the truth. For some, their truth is that THE TRUTH is the truth. And you don't have any ability to alter their truth. Only they can do that.
My truth about the JWs is not the same as your truth about the JWs. I have been out for 20 years now and I still don't care about all those items that you mentioned. You aren't wrong, but those are not my truths. I don't care about those things because they never had much of an impact on me. I can't even say that the rampant child abuse is a big factor for me. I saw too much of it among my friends. I grew up watching and experiencing the knowledge that women and children have no rights among the JWs and we were never good for anything but being the property of, the objects, of the playthings of, and the punching bags of men. That was my truth. But that didn't make me leave the cult because that was my reality. I didn't know there was another reality. I didn't know there were many other realities.
You have found the things that made you think twice. That doesn't mean that they will make anyone else think twice as well. Each person has their own truth and only they will find things that will make them take a closer look or change their minds. Sometimes they won't find those things. So stop trying to do something that is outside your ability to do.
Edit: To be clear, when I said I don't care about the things the OP mentioned, I don't mean that I don't care about them at all. I meant that for the purposes of this conversation, those items were not things that I considered when making my choice to leave. Those things are important and play an overall part in my life, but they weren't things that made me think the cult was a cult, or made me think that I should leave the JWs.
Personally, I just left and never came back after transferring to another hall after just a few months, hoping I would feel differently and meet more open minded and friendly people and find some spiritual re-awakening. From my time being in the halls and hearing stories, the elders will basically gang up on you. Surprisingly, there are videos of ex JW's that have recorded their conversations at an elder comity or discussion with one or more people. The reasons vary, but you'l get the same overtone. "We're right & you're wrong. (...)Read this scripture." I'd say, don't waste your time. Personally, I respect any decision you make. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nFlfCHtScA
Talking to the elders about your concerns will accomplish as much as sitting in front of a mirror talking and expecting a concerned response to your questions/misgivings and out right lies of the Borg.