Memorial.. To go or not to go
So, as some of you will know myself and my husband are in the process of fading. Haven't been to a meeting since beginning of 2017.
We weren't planning on going to the memorial, but last week my mother broke down and said that we have to go to the memorial even if it's the only meeting I go to this year.
I love my mum dearly and I hate that my decisions have resulted in so much heartache for her. She has had a very stressful couple of years and knowing that I have added to that makes me feel awful. That is why I am facing this dilemma as to whether we should go to the memorial and keep my mum happy, or not go and probably break her heart.
What would be the repercussions if we went? Is it likely that by showing our faces at the memorial, we would be back a square one, with the elders chasing after us, asking us if we want a study? Or even discipling us for attending a couple of birthday parties and christmas market (a sister snitched on us when she found out we went to these).
On the other hand, if we decided not to go, would this cause us any hassle? Will the elders be in touch because we missed the most sacred meeting of the year? Is this a reason to disfellowship us?
Anyway, as you can probably tell, causing my mother grief is one of the hardest things about this fade. Apart from my husband and children, my mum is one of the most important people in my life and hurting her or even losing her to this religion is awful.
Are you able to have an out of town commitment that day?
That way you can tell your Mom you attended, just somewhere else.
Might be too late to plan that.
Only you know what you are able to do for your Mom. You would need to have strong deflecting answers at the ready for any of those asking questions. Many posters here have suggested good ones.
<<hugs>> to you as your Mom has a wonderful daughter to be so very concerned for her well being.
As hard as it might be I wouldn't go. Arrange to do something and say you have plans already. You'll be back to square 1 in your fade otherwise and people from the hall will plague you for a while. Remember your mother is brainwashed and nothing is going to happen to you if you're no longer a jw. She'll get used to the idea that you've left if you stand your ground and it'll get easier for her with time. If you give in to her she'll play the emotional card to get you back to the meetings, assemblies or other things coz she'll know it works. That's just my view though, its your decision at the end of the day.
I think I'd be tempted to go. As you know , there are usually quite a few "interested" ones or marginal / occasional JWs who turn up , never to be seen again till the next year.
I attended the Memorial for a couple of years after I faded , for similar family reasons. If you turn up a few minutes before and leave quite sharp after the meeting , it will reduce the time available for anybody to buttonhole you. It also makes it less likely you would be regarded as an apostate - it kind of muddies the waters a bit. And ( on a certain level ) it's nice to see old friends again , even though the friendship is somewhat strained.
In my experience , the elders tend to be busy running around like headless chickens making sure all the arrangements are OK than actually taking time to converse with anyone. If any should ask , just say you are there to keep an eye on your mother , with a smile. They'll get the point.
Hard to say. Were it me and if Mom is expecting me to go WITH her, I would be straight up and say "I don't want to cause the elders to start harassing me. If you want me to go, we need to go to a completely different Hall."
Short of that, I would not go. If it's that Mom wants me to be seen by people that know me, I would say no. If my answer is no, I would remind her that JW's say that only the anointed are commanded to participate.
If she just expects me to go ANYWHERE, then I would go to a completely different Hall on my own, arrive last minute and leave immediately, having parked down the street so I could get outta there.
I wouldn't go unless I was paid a handsome amount of money. Instead, I'd use 'theocratic warfare strategy™' and get an imaginary contagious virus involving explosive diarrhoea.
I understand WT has recently been teaching active JWs that everyone who attends the memorial, are showing they recognize JWs to be the only true religion. By attending, you are supporting their belief that you continue to consider that religion as 'The Truth', even as you do not participate in any other JW activities throughout the year.
JWs commonly attempt to control any relatives who will submit to their methods, crying being one such method. If you give-in, expect similar behaviour whenever there are other JW events labelled as 'Special'.
While my SO and I had attended the memorial for a few years after fading from being active JWs, we finally asked ourselves why we were doing that and creating unneeded anxiety and stress for ourselves by again potentially placing ourselves under influence and accountability to the local elders.
Although many people consider a KH as a church and therefore open to the public, it is in actuality, private property and only accessible by those the elders allow to attend and who will adhere to dress code, behaviour and other 'rules' the WT and local elders designate and decide to enforce. The elders could ask to meet with you as you are attending their facility by your own choice.
Similar to your mother, our JW relatives make an issue of ensuring we know the memorial date and 'demand' that we attend. Early on, they would argue, induce guilt and put on an emotional display both in their pleas to attend and afterwards, when we admitted to not going. Although they now continue to 'request' we attend, it is no longer so emotional. They also do not always inquire afterwards but if they do, usually nothing further is said when we say we didn't attend.
I expect your mother will also soon learn to accept your choices, once you stop giving in to her emotional attempts to control you.
You are in a difficult situation. First of all, no it isn't a dfing offense. There's a good chance a couple of the elders will say hi and nice to see you but they'll likely be too busy to want to talk about anything wrong you've done.
Regarding your mom, you're in a similar situation that I was in last year but with my wife. I hadn't gone to a meeting since beginning of January '17 and she was hoping I would go to memorial. My thought was that I'd love to go for her but what consequences would come of it. She would get her hopes up that I was coming back or at the very least that I'd be attending every memorial and the congregation would love bomb me. Yes, she was very upset and heartbroken that I didn't go but in the end I was very happy to have taken a stand. After that she realized that I was truly done with the cult.
This year she hasn't mentioned anything about it and she's ok with it. If I had attended last year, I would feel pressured to go again. When a person attends memorial it's like telling everyone "I still believe" and that is definitely not the case with me. Those are my two cents. I hope it all works out for you.
"When a person attends memorial it's like telling everyone "I still believe" and that is definitely not the case with me. "
I agree. We told our family that we are not going. It does give the family hope that you will return when you attend. We know that it upset them but we are NOT going back. They need to know that.
I hope it works out for you, Emily.
Last year was my first skip by personal choice (ill once before).
Some were happy to see me, others not so much. Although properly attired, I had (and still have) a beard and very long hair. While their not saying so, my family seemed embarrassed when I used to attend regularly, and I don't want to cause them stress. My grooming is an outward mark of defiance, in their point of view. Mine? I'm just a delayed hippie.
Besides the above, I may be invited to the Hall but never into the home of a JW, including family.