Hey guys I wanted to give everyone an update on my current status and share my experiences and observations. It has been just a little over two years since I faded and I have to admit that it’s been a great and interesting time in my life. In case you have not read my previous article you can find it here on this site it is titled “If we leave the organization, does Jehovah leave us?”. In summary I grew up as a JW my parents have been witnesses since their early twenties (they are sixty now) and I have had good and bad experiences as a JW. I was inactive for some time then came back and became a ministerial servant and decided to fade not only because I was already learning The Truth About The “Truth” but because I was tired of it all, the backstabbing the fakeness the politics the hypocrisy and the list goes on. I had to do it for my own sanity and sake it had gotten to the point where I was drinking almost every day even after the meetings I would go to the bar in my suit or the liquor store and I was taking antidepressants on top of that I got cancer and the elders asked me to step down as a MS because of my meeting attendance and a few run ins with some elders after that.
My current social life and running into old friends
Before I go on, I want to make it clear to everyone out there, I was not reproved nor disfellowshipped! I did not leave because I wanted to sin and etc. I did it for my health, physical mental and spiritual. Since leaving I am no longer drinking heavily, I am not on anti depressants and I am 130 lbs lighter. Spend a lot of time with family friends and my girlfriend whom I love very much and has been very understanding and decided to stick with me through all of this and I can never repay her for that. I am sure before she always dreamed of being a good jw wife with an elder for a husband and her as a regular pioneer and etc. ( you know the whole JW thing) but I think she feels less stress ( you know the JW life thing LOL) among other things I notice without mentioning it to her and I also want to point out that as of this moment I am writing this we are not “living in sin”, not that it’s any of your business but then again you don’t know me or my real name so why not share that especially for those curious active JW’s out there thinking all of us ex JW’s want to live a crazy immoral life and that is why we leave.
Spending time with family, my immediate family has become inactive except for my mother and I and my younger brother take turns at taking her to the meetings I have stayed with her 3 times and taken a nice nap, the good thing is that she now goes to an English congregation and everyone is very nice and don’t ask questions and leave me (and the rest of my family) alone pretty much so I like that. I do want to point out it has made her very sad that we do not go but she gets happy when I have gone with her, I also wonder if me finally telling everyone how I feel has something to do with it, I think most people who leave eventually do so because they are tired of it all as well and don’t want to waste any more of their time keeping up appearances, I also think they see the positive changes in my life and I am still here I am still the same old me just happier and less stressed. Even before I faded I had already started making friends and reconnecting with old friends from school and work and ex JW’s and family and pretty much those are the people I hang out with or talk to often and when I am not doing that I am with my family and girlfriend just doing what I think normal people do. I go to eat dinners and events and trips and all kinds of fun stuff in small or large groups without the fear of anyone telling on me or being judge mental about what I am doing ( I choose my company wisely) and knowing that they like me for the real me..for the first time in a long time I feel like I am being true to myself. I am not afraid of keeping up appearances nor looking over my shoulder hoping no one has seen what I am doing(not that I am up to no good but in with JW’s you just never knew what people would think or say or if they would tell). I see JW’s that I know from time to time and I would say about a third still come to me and say hi, I don’t know if they are aware I no longer go to the meetings or not but at least they don’t know I am an “evil apostate”. The others I am not sure why they don’t even bother giving me a glance but then again I really don’t care it just shows the kind of person they are. Like I said in my previous article there are some very sincere kind and loving people in the organization whom I have a lot of love for and care for dearly, and then there are those people whose love is conditional ( in other words fake ). But its totally fine with me as long as nobody is bothering me I don’t bother with them…or maybe I just look very different now that I lost weight…who knows?!
Remnants of my past life
And for the record im still not big on holidays it’s not only a remnant of my jw life but its all about money and etc. but don’t get me wrong I have celebrated my birthday and exchanged gifts for Christmas and I love NYE and Halloween.
Having spoken to others who have left most feel the same way not big on holidays but do celebrate them with their friends family and significant others who never had anything to do with the JW’s. I also find it funny how I and other ex jw’s do not say “bless you” when someone sneezes or wish someone “happy holidays”. Guess we are not used to it and may perhaps never be I think its quote common really among ex JW’s. Currently the times I have prayed I think have been more or less like my prayers when I was a JW.
What I went through when I decided to fade
When I decided I was just done with it all I kind of kept it a secret and little by little made my way out I went less and less and changed my look ( I think most guys grow facial hair when we first get out ) I stopped associating with JW’s and more and more with my non jw friends and family and since in latino families you have no privacy my family searched my room after having suspicions and found a few “apostate” and Christian (non JW) literature. I came home and was pretty angry but what could I do now? So I told them they threatened to tell the elders and told me I had to leave the house and my older brother (whom has been inactive for 10 years) came and cursed at me and scram at me..my girlfriend and mother were heartbroken as you can imagine..but I stood my ground and I showed them that I am still the same person and we are all doing just fine now as a matter of fact only my mom goes to the meetings now and I like spending time with my family and going on trips with them and doing fun things with them that do not revolve around meetings or service or assemblies or conventions etc. I have gone to the meetings a total of 5 times I would say, I have gone to the conventions and assemblies and the memorial but usually just to keep my mom and my future mother in law happy but I take naps or am on the phone or day dream or whatever though sometimes I do listen when an old friend is up there or a brother or sister I like or whose parts I like or if the topic or experience is interesting. I want to make things clear to everyone….we in the ex JW community do not hate the Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are some that we don’t particularly like for personal reasons but we don’t generalize anything. Some peoples experiences as JW’s are better than others, there are things I miss like the parties I use to throw for the young people ( with supervision) we sure had fun and a lot of them have told me they missed those days when I use to organize things like that.
I still have some young JW’s call or text me for advice or just to get something off their chest they know I have never judged them and that I would never tell and it means a lot to me when I get those texts or calls, I have noticed today’s youth is a lot more open minded about things (music, drinking, weed, dating without supervision etc.) I think things may change with this generation of JW’s I know that a lot of them don’t agree with everything but still think it’s the truth, they don’t go to the elders for “help”(confess) and keep their business to themselves, I see them I have talked to them I know what is going on, they are thinking for themselves and just keeping their parents happy. Maybe things will change I don’t know but I am happy where I am at right now.
I knew right off the bat though that because I had distanced myself most would just not bother calling or texting me, those that do I make an effort to stay in touch with from time to time. They don’t know what my beliefs are and sometimes I share the simple fact that I don’t agree with everything and do my own thing and hang out with non JW’s it’s as far as I will share now. When I first faded i was angry and just had a lot of hard feelings and it made me want to “expose the JW’s” in my mind that was my mission and shared things I had learned with ex JW’s (most wouldn’t have it) and other people. Those who used to be witnesses for the most part did not like what I had to say and eventually avoided me but I can see why. I eventually learned when to share and when to shut up as well as what things I can say and ask to see if the person would be willing to have an open conversation about a few topics and not exactly tell them the religion is wrong but just hint at them there is something funny going on within the organization and that we all have things we don’t agree with in regards to teachings or practices. Nowadays I mostly just stay quiet though I don’t say anything about the religion anymore because I don’t really care anymore though sometimes I laugh when I hang out with JW’s at the things they say now that I know what I know but I just keep my thoughts to myself ( if they only knew what I really thought LOL) if you are an activist and want to “expose” the religion don’t force it upon people and know who and when you can share a thing here and there if you do feel like doing so, not out of fear of getting caught but just out of respect to other people, if they want to talk about it fine but if not let them be… and that’s really how I feel about the JW’s today, that was a chapter in my life and in a way will be a part of me but I am living my life and enjoying it so much more and so far they have left me alone and I plan on doing the same and just let them be.
So what to believe in now? You Decide!
Personally all I want to share about my beliefs is that I believe there is a God and that is as far as I will go I read every day about different religions, science, writings etc. and still formulating my own personal beliefs and I think everyone should do the same. We should never stop learning or seeking truth. We all have the free will to believe or not believe in what we want to and do as we please and I think that as long as you are not hurting anybody you can do whatever your heart desires. We all are thinking sentient beings with minds of our own and are but a grain of sand in this universe that we still don’t understand, I don’t want to waste my short life on meaningless things I have moved on.
I am enjoying my life and feel really good, I am happy and I don’t have any more resent towards the religion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses I do wish they would actually do some research on their own and etc. but hey if they want to be JW’s that s okay with me if that is what they truly want to do and what makes them happy I on the other hand feel like I am doing what makes me happy, it’s not my job to “save” anyone especially if they don’t want it. We put the information out there and whoever wants to read it can and if they don’t I am not going to shove it down their throats. Nobody should force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do, it’s not right and unloving and any person or group that does that is wrong in my personal opinion.
I think those of us in the ex JW community who are working and taking their time to put good information that is factual and constructive and positive are doing a very good job and thanks to people like you people like me are now living our lives happily and to the fullest, so keep putting the information out there those who want to read it will including the JW apologist like I was at one time but like Jesus said “forgive them for they know not what they do” when they get angry and cuss and etc on the blogs or comment section. Just the fact that they are reading is enough to tell us they are curious. And those seeking answers and help I think we should make ourselves available to them when they seek and need our help but let’s also be loving and let them figure things out on their own lets simply guide them in the right direction in my personal experience it’s worked rather well to get them thinking in the end they will decide on what they want to do just like we did.
In closing I want to tell those who are reading this. If you are a current active Jehovah’s Witness and just curious that’s fine there is a lot of information out there that is not from ex JW’s that you can find valuable all ex JW’s do is put it all in one place but if you feel uncomfortable reading anything from apostate sites there is more out there. If you are recently disfellowshipped you are not alone and God loves you very much nobody is perfect think about how he forgave Paul even after he had murdered Christians and all the other examples in the bible I ask that you read passed articles on this site about disfellowshipping that I am sure you will find useful. His love is unconditional and limitless and you can decide if you want to go back or not and either is fine and you are more than welcome to contact any of us if you just want to vent or have questions. If you have doubts and just tired of it all, not every ones experience is the same but in my personal experience me fading from the organization was the best thing for me, those who want to talk to me still can and I feel very happy with my decision because it saved me and I don’t plan on going back but I also don’t judge those who do decide to, it’s only normal it’s what we know and are used to and some may still have loved ones inside or for whatever reason go back eventually. Life is too short to do things that don’t make us happy, we all deserve to be happy don’t you think?