I'm a 4th generation JW. I started to realize it wasn't the truth over 2 years ago in late October/early November 2014. I don't know how exactly it happened. I remember I had just heard about confirmation bias, and it hit me: I realized that I would be guilty of confirmation bias if I didn't look at the other side. So I googled something along the lines of "Do Jehovah's Witnesses have the truth?" I looked at several apostate sites (including this one) and it wasn't long before I no longer believed in the religion. All of this happened about 7 months after I was baptized.
Anyway, I've been faking since then, and several times I've tried to decide how to leave. Several months back I decided that I couldn't hurt my family like that and that I would fake it for the rest of my life until I (hopefully) believed it again, I would take up pioneering and maybe even serve where the need was greater. After a couple months of that mindset I realized that I couldn't force myself to believe it. I am overly empathetic when it comes to not upsetting my family, I really can't stand the thought of bringing my mom to tears.
But what is right is to be myself, and to stop preaching a message that I don't agree with. I also want to go to college, so I plan to take the ACT. I'm going to my aunt's house in early March and I'm going to talk to her about my situation. (she's inactive and I'm almost certain she doesn't believe it anymore.) I still really don't want to hurt my family, and I wish they would understand. It's also hard because I still live with my parents and my mom really doesn't want me to move out.
Also I think I'm gay (or maybe bi), but that is more of a recent thing. (Probably because I had refused to seriously consider it until last month.) I'll stop there for now.
Welcome. We understand what it's like to realize it's not the truth. At least you realized while you are still young. I wasted the prime of my life - about 40 years.
You mentioned several times that you don't want to hurt your family. I understand. However, I hope you will consider something. Would you really be hurting them? Or are they actually hurting themselves by being in a deceptive religion? Also, if you chose to simply admit the truth, wouldn't they be the ones hurting you, and not vice-versa?
My family members don't treat me the same now that I've left JWdom, and we were really close. However, I know that the fault is theirs. I could not go along with the lies and deception of the religion and even give the appearance of promoting it or approving of it.
Having said the above, I also admit that you know your circumstances better than I do, so do what you think is best. However, I do urge you to at least not waste your life on the religion as I did. When you get to be my age, you'll be glad you didn't. I have no prospects of ever retiring because of having given my life to JWdom.
Wish you the best.
it seems that you've got quite a bit going on in your life at the moment. And while everyone's story is unique, most of us here will encourage to you to take things slowly and not to act rashly. Dealing with family is hard, I'm still "in" because of them too. However, you've arrived at a place where you ask whatever questions you like, no matter it's size, complexity or subject ... and we'll do our best to help answer them if we can. Best wishes.
It's good to not rush to any decisions and of course to think of your relationship with your family.
But ultimately you owe it to yourself to live your own life, not the one they may wish you to.
It comes into sharper focus if / when you have children and you realize that you end up just passing the problem down the line to the next generation ... each one staying to please their parents and at the same time cursing their children to then do the same.
Whatever you chose to do should be your choice of what's best for you.
Wise advice from all of the above , however .
Live the life YOU want to live and not the life others want you to live.,you cant take back a wasted life to start again , you only live once.
Bye the way Welcome WeatherLover
All of this happened about 7 months after I was baptized.
Wow! Horrible timing! But as another poster said, it's much easier to leave when you are young and not so invested in the cult. Avoid getting DFd if at all possible. I don't think the elders can actually do anything until they've established your guilt through a judicial committee, so under no circumstances should you consent to speak with them.
I know you didn't ask for advice, but if I were you I would play a good little JW boy until I'm accepted into college; then I would leave and begin my life as a worldly person in a new town where nobody knows me yet.
Congratulations on being gay!
I am overly empathetic when it comes to not upsetting my family, I really can't stand the thought of bringing my mom to tears.
That's a nice quality. If possible try to avoid any confrontations with her. I think you'll find that once you start college the fade will happen naturally.
Also be careful talking to your aunt. She's not going to tell you anything you don't already know and she may feel that she has to approach your mother about it. Keep your cards close to your chest, don't get caught in what they term 'gross sin', and live your life. The rest will happen naturally.
Weather lover, your family is hurting you, by your not being yourself because of them and how they will react. IOW, you are self censoring yourself because of them, and is no more than tyranny. Don't put up with it, you have a right to be yourself, not some watch tower puppet.
Thanks for your story WeatherLover, I suggest you wait for the right moment to start your fade. Do it well and strategic in order to avoid as much pain in your family as possibly, but it will always hurt in one way or another. Your win (freedom) will be their loss, but it's YOUR life, especially when one day you will live on your own. Play the I-feel-weak/discouraged-card, avoid elders or at least keep your real thoughts to yourself and try to minimize your activity for the Borg. They'd rather have a weak, difficult-to-reach brother around than having to deal with an apostate. My first steps on the way to TTATT were triggered by looking for information regarding the Candace Conti's abuse case in 2012. Before that there have been accusations of sexual abuse in my congregation. The accusations luckily turned out to be false but it had put me on the same path to find truth instead of confirmation bias as you've pointed out and experienced yourself. My point...it took me 3 years to fully realise the impact of what I've investigated and to start my fade without fear or doubts. I wish that period would've been shorter, but hey, it explains if you know I'm 50 now! You however are in a different situation...good luck and very good you've looked for support here...it's an awesome forum!
Hi Weather Lover, welcome to the forum. As others have said, take your time and consider your plan of action.
You have a P.M.