Not DA'd, Not DF'd - but pretty much Disowned...

by Ingenuous 44 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Ingenuous

    I just came from what will probably be the last conversation I'll ever have with my father.

    Earlier in the day, I'd talked to my Mom and she asked what I was up to - translated "What are you doing with yourself since you aren't going to meetings or out in service?" I told her I'd been discussing the Bible with an informal group of people and reading older WTS literature.

    I immediately got an email at work demanding I call my Dad ASAP. My father insisted we meet, face-to-face. At first he wanted to meet at my place, but I cut that off real quick; my apartment is my sanctuary, and he just wanted to nose around in the material I've been reading anyway. (I wouldn't have minded sharing my research, but his underhanded way of going about it made me angry.)

    It absolutely astounds me how you can talk to someone and they not hear a word you say, even though they are apparently in the same room and their hearing appears to be working.

    My Dad, an elder, will be reporting me for apostasy because I've met a couple times with people to discuss the Bible in a non-denominational manner.

    He made it clear that he and Mom won't have any contact with me unless I come back. Whereas a month ago, before I came forward with my questions, I was the "golden child", they have re-written history in their own minds to demonize me as an ungrateful freeloader who takes advantage of their good will and does nothing to show my appreciation. This, after years of talking to my folks at least half a dozen times a day, always being available for them, putting myself out when they needed or wanted my help, and just generally being the good, compliant daughter - the one who never caused any trouble. This is the reason I had to tell them when I decided not to go to meetings, etc. - we've been too enmeshed and codependent for too long for me to be able to just quietly fade. I wanted to be honest and open and get the confrontation out of the way.

    My Dad accused me of allowing doubts to turn me against God. I sat there and told him - twice - that I wasn't rejecting God or Christ, that I had problems with the way the Governing Body dictated what people are to believe and must obey, that I also had problems with the GB being JWs' mediator and saying Christ did not mediate between "God and man" when it came to the Great Crowd. And I didn't have doubts on the issue that started all of this (the blood issue) - I quite plainly believe the GB is teaching what isn't in the Bible and are bloodguilty for making arbitrary changes in stuff that means life or death.

    He accused me of throwing away everything I had learned, though I told him - more than twice - that I didn't reject everything I had been taught, that I cherished those things I still believed because I could confirm it in my own mind using the Bible. He said it was wrong to leave an organization I was convinced at one time was the truth because I had "doubts". He kept calling them "doubts" when I have no doubt at all in my mind what I think of the hierarchical-arrangement of JWs and how they are taught.

    He accused me of being ungrateful because I've learned good and true things via the Org and I'm leaving. He didn't use the Bible to substantiate their claim to be the F&DS, just that I had learned so many truths from them first and so I had no good reason to leave.

    He accused me of being ungrateful for all that he and my Mom have done for me because I'm taking a course of action that will require them (at least as they see it) to shun me. He brought up an article I'd emailed him over a year ago that explained to him how it felt when I was young and they emotionally abandoned me as part of my punishment for doing something wrong. He refused to discuss the article with me at the time (took offense at it) and got angry when I told him I wouldn't be opening up with him about stuff like that anymore because he brushed it aside and didn't seek to understand what I was saying. Instead of telling me how it affected him at the time and keeping the dialogue open, he saves it for our "meeting" today to throw in my face as "proof" of my ingratitude.

    He said I was a member of a different religion now because I discussed the Bible with people outside the Org. He said I was consorting with people who taught falsehoods even though I told him - more than once - that they didn't believe any of the things he was accusing them of, and if some did have unfounded ideas, it was taken as their personal opinion, not a matter of doctrine.

    He said I was disrespectful and cutting myself off from them (my folks) because I had constant objections to their assertions of what was "truth". (Actually, this wasn't "constant" as it happened during one 20-minute discussion on the blood issue.) I was "rebellious" because I was "enjoying" being "independent". Thinking for myself and daring to disagree is new for me and seen as proof that I'm hard-headed and hard-hearted. Oh, and that I'm being mislead by Satan. I asked how Satan was misleading me while I was reading WTS publications and comparing them to the Bible. He said Satan was influencing the conclusions I'm coming to.

    He said, 'You knew we wouldn't have contact with you if you continued doing this, so it's your fault we're going to shun you. You've rejected us."

    Then he plays the "toying with your heart" game: 'I've had doubts, I still have doubts. I used to look for loopholes.' 'I know what it's like.' 'This is the bottom line, but I love you.'

    That hurt so much more than being ignored, lied about, and demonized.

    I couldn't help but think how many people, leaving their religion of origin to become JWs, have had this same conversation in their families. God forgive me for any who went through this because of something I preached to them.

    I prayed to God for a compromise, for a way to please Him and still remain with this organization.

    I asked myself: Why do I want to stay in the Org? To keep contact with my family.

    I asked myself: Do I feel I'll be spiritually benefited by staying "in"? The few truths they've taught me I know by heart; they haven't taught anything new and scriptural in decades. Nothing they teach that I accept is unique to them (though my Father is convinced no one else teaches what JWs do about the Trinity, Hell, etc.). And I'll have to constantly be on guard for the unscriptural and unfounded if I attend meetings. There's no way I could go door-to-door and encourage people to join this Org in good conscience.

    I asked myself: What would it take for me to stay "in"? Scheming, hiding, and lying - not exactly the fruitage Jesus told us to seek or that's produced by God's spirit.

    So, the decision now is to wait to be DF'd or to DA myself. I'm pretty sure I'll be writing a letter.I don't think I'm going to hang around. I'm not playing their games. I will not meet with the elders in any way, shape, or form. They have no authority over me.

    I know this isn't new to any of your here. It's just very, very new to me.

  • Purza

    Wow -- that was some heavy duty stuff. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I am in a similar situation with my parents and it really SUCKS!

    So, the decision now is to wait to be DF'd or to DA myself. I'm pretty sure I'll be writing a letter.I don't think I'm going to hang around. I'm not playing their games. I will not meet with the elders in any way, shape, or form. They have no authority over me.

    That is why I never DA'd. I don't want to play by their rules. I didn't want to give them any power over me.



  • Ingenuous
    That is why I never DA'd. I don't want to play by their rules. I didn't want to give them any power over me.

    That's definitely something to think about, Purza. Part of me doesn't want it announced in front of the congregation as if I'm an "unrepentent wrongdoer". I haven't done anything wrong. And most people would assume it was over something "moral", like fornication. (Though that assumption wouldn't last long, as the PO and his wife aren't exactly known for their discretion.) DA'ing wouldn't look any better, as I think about it, considering I'd be seen as an amoral, ungrateful, easily-deceived apostate.

    I hate the fact that I care.

  • GetBusyLiving

    With the new announcement, it won't matter either way if you DA or are DF'ed, the announcement's still the same. "Blah Blah is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses" *yawn*. If your dad is going to the elders to tell them you are studying the Bible with an independent group they'll either want to meet with you or call you to let you know you're going to be disfellowshipped. If I were you I'd beat them to the punch and write the letter. Get them the hell out of your life. Sorry for what you're going through, I've been there.


  • Ingenuous

    GBL - Thanks for the input. I'm tempted to let them kick me out, as I think about it. When they shun me, I want to know I've done nothing to earn it, didn't request it - that I wasn't the one who turned my back on others, I wasn't the one who closed my heart and mind - even though they see the exact opposite.

  • Purza
    I hate the fact that I care.

    I know -- I hate when I feel that way too.

    Your situation is different than mine because it appears your dad is going to "tell on you". My parents think they know of my activities, but they just keep their mouth shut. Are you 100% sure your dad will run to the elders? Will the elders start calling you? At least that will give you some warning in the event you want to beat them to the punch. If your dad doesn't go to the elders, then maybe you can fade quietly?

    Just some random thoughts.


  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Ingeneous -

    The story is typical - unfortunately - but the pain and agony are specific, aren't they?

    In our case [wifey and I], early on the gossip by elders began, you know 'looks like he is borderline apostate', ect. When I heard it, I fired a letter off to the elders and let them know that there are powerful laws to pretect me against slander and gossip of a damaging sort. I assumed that would bring the typical choice of 'DA' or 'DF', etc. Not being able to know what happened behind the scenes, I can only assume. I think maybe the threat I made put them on the fast track to the CO, who prob called HQ. Whatever happened, they never bothered me [yet]. Only one elder ever came by, and that was to invite me to the memorial.

    Of course, they have put out the word and I am shunned as if DF'd. But at least they did not actually attack my character from the platform. I think they knew I would follow up.

    Don't know if any of that helps.

    BTW - welcome to the forum. We will help where we can.


  • dedpoet

    Ingenous, I am so sorry you had to go through all that, you have done nothing wrong. I must agree with GBL though, write the letter. I did this a short time ago, and though I'd been inactive for some time prior to that, it felt good to make the decision to leave myself and not let them make it for me. It really doesn't matter what people think after the announcement has been made, you know in your heart that you have done nothing wrong, and so does God, who is after all the ultimate judge of us all. Whatever you decide, I wish you well. Take care dedpoet

  • daystar

    You rock!

    I hate the fact that I care.

    That will pass with time.

  • Bryan


    Sory to hear it. I heard the same hing from my 20 year old daugter. "It's your choice." Blaming her shunning me, on me. Crazy this brainwashing!

    Take care,


    Have You Seen My Mother

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