So, I got home from my tryst and sure enough, everyone knew all the details. So a Judicial Comittee was set up. I was accused of coercing a happily married woman to drive 8 hours to spend 4 days with me in various hotel rooms all at her husband's expense. I was told by our Presiding Overseer that what I had done was reprehensible and that I was doing "what a dog would do." I was brought before the comittee and was asked very specific details. Where? When? How many times? You know the drill. The whole time I am sitting there it's popping into my head "Do they realize that I was in love with this woman? Do they realize that I was in love with my wife? Do they know what my marriage has been like? Do they know about my wife threatening divorce? Beating on me? Refusing to work? Wishing me dead? Did they forget that only a year or so before SHE left ME? Do they care about my side of things or are they only concerned about me telling them what I did so they could punish me?" I felt betrayed, in a way, but I sat there and answered all of their questions and listened to them telling me that this was all for my benefit. That this was a loving arrangement. And then it came down to the question that illicited my first honest words. At the end of the whole hearing, one of the brothers whom I admired a great deal asked me, "Aaron. What do you want to do?" I sat there for a long time and so he asked me again. "Aaron, what do you want to do?" Head down and shaking it softly from side to side, lost in a hole of thoughts that would not stop spinning, I said "I don't know." He asked me again, "Aaron.....what....do....you....want...to...do?" and I repeated "I don't know." Because I was unable or unwilling to tell them that I was truly sorry, that I had sinned in a moment of weakness and would do my best to prove I wanted the "truth" it was decided that I would be disfellowshipped.
Even at the time, I did not realize what was happening. I felt like I deserved it. In the back of my mind I remember feeling that I could handle being DF'd. After all, the only way to go from there was up, right. But those words, "I don't know." They sealed my fate and set up years of questions and doubts and family estrangement that exist today. I have not been to a Kingdom Hall in 6 or 7 years. I have forgotten the day I got baptized. My wife and I are now in the process of divorce (have been for a few years now.). I have 2 brothers and a sister who refuse to talk to me until I "do what I know is right and come back." But I know one thing now, I will never go back. As goofy as it sounds, I have come to liken my df'ing and subsequent seperation from the organization as "Waking up from The Matrix." Yes, my life is harder in many ways, but at least I am not enslaved to the "Truth." In my case doubt, not truth, set me free. Doubt made me utter those words "I don't know." Because I DIDN'T know. And now I see that even in my confusion I knew enough to know that beggin forgiveness and seeking re-enstatement would have been a lie. Now, I am content with my uncertainty. Because that means I have an open mind and now, I would not trade that for all the fellowship the Witnesses could offer me.
I know this was scattered and incoherent, probably. But I hope that I can keep sharing and putting these thoughts down. I've begun to see that I am in a process of coping with , and eventually closing that part of my life. I hope I can do that here.