Feeling the Guilt
I'm currently disfellowshipped and living at home with my parents, but because they are both still devout JWs I have to keep going to the meetings and crap because I don't want to risk getting thrown out until I finish college or find a job that will let me support myself and go to college.
Yesterday, my mother rode with me to the meeting and told me how much my best friend and my oldest sister are missing me, and it just tears me apart because during the meeting I was practically counting the minutes till it was over. It didn't help matters that I had to sit with my family because the library was closed off, thus forcing me to follow along with the meeting on my tablet instead of reading something useful or interesting like I normally do.
When I got home I just cried out in frustration because it feels like no matter what I do, I am making the wrong choice. Either I have to keep pretending to support an organization that has caused so much pain to so many people, or I have to abandon my family and friends to it so I can save myself. I can't even just wait till I get reinstated and approach each of them to try and convince them either because it is highly probable that whoever I approach will tell the elders and I'll be back out of the congregation before I can sneeze.
Every path seems to end with someone's misery.
I would suggest you look hard for a job and get away. Also it seems that the jw way is so strong and powerful that things will never be right in your world but just know that the only power they have over you is the power you give them. In this great big world nobody cares what jws think or do but jws themselves. I was like you years ago and escaped by working almost any job I could get till I could find direction and get a career. You will get shunned but it is their loss and it will be hard to make friends because we are not allowed to learn how as a jw. But it can be done and you can do it. Just don't feel guilty and get angry and make things happen for yourself. Break the chains,dump the bull and move on. Just as you are the only one who can make yourself truly happy you can make yourself unhappy. A truly happy hard working upwardly mobile person will soon have all the friends they want. But you have to be determined and maybe angry to get over the low spots. It is what it is and no amount of wishful thinking will change that. So....start loving yourself and be determined to get the life you want. Let them all stay in bondage to their angry desert god and the publishing and real estate empire.
Your two best choices are:
1. Do what Wilie suggests and make a clean break as soon as you have the opportunity and never look back. There is a whole wide world out there and you are young enough to completely start over and build a rich life of new friends, family and experiences. If your so-called friends would narc on you to the elders then they are worse than mine and probably aren't worth saving. Ditto on your family.
2. If you can't do the latter, then arrange a meeting with the elders and feign repentance. Do all you can regain everyone's trust by appearing to be an überJW while secretly devoting your life to destroying the organization from within. Once you become an elder or, even better, get a position at Bethel, you can use your position and influence to spy on the organization, sabotage their operation and corrupt weaker JWs away from their faith. Throw in a secret nightly satanic ritual (like reciting Lord's prayer backwards while burning a black candle) to stoke your passion for evil!
I don't know how many months you have left in school, but you seem to have a good goal to find a job that can support you while you go to school.
1) non-jw friends, teachers, neighbors, parents of friends, sources through school, that can find good roommates or a room you can rent where it is safe and you have some measure of privacy.
2) save what money you do earn for 2 months deposit and a budget for things like phone, utilities, transportation, food. A good thing to learn to do even if a young jw. What monthly payments on debts do you have, can you get rid of any by downsizing.
3) make smaller reachable goals
4) make new friends at school, someone to talk to about things more than jw; and if you can find a therapist/counselor through school to help with your emotions
Hang in there just get yourself back in to make your family happy then fade away there's too much information out there proving the Bible to be complete crap !
Understand that the whole disfellowshipping thing is designed that way to make you feel the way you are. It's not normal, its not loving or nice and they GB know it. It's a control mechanism that's underwent modifications since it's first inception in the 1950s.
My advice would be to go along with the charade for now. Sure, sit in the main hall on your tablet. Pretend to follow along. Maybe even get reinstated if it comes up to make things easier for you then get a job and move. While you're going through this make sure you make non witness friends. Remember, this only works because they expect you to have no one else. That's why people go back. If shunning didn't exist nobody would return.
The guilt you're feeling is absolutely normal. You're going through a situation that most people in the real world are never faced with and totally unprepared for. Remember though, that YOU'RE the one that's normal. You're smart, you've figured this out young.
Love your parents but do not accept to be brainwashed like them !!!
What the emperor sez: You're smart, you've figured this out young.
Might I add that it is a false dichotomy that you only have two choices: Either I have to keep pretending to support an organization that has caused so much pain to so many people, or I have to abandon my family and friends to it so I can save myself. There are many gradients in between those two polar opposites. You're smart. You're young, you can figure the rest of this out. Your situation is like no one else's and yet, it's like all of our own experiences. Take the advice here that helps you. Leave the rest. We're all supportive. Think of your many alternate paths out...and yes, get that education. You're smart. You've figured this out young.