Every now and then, one of them suggests that I should "go back" and pretend.
When people say such things, it is clear to me that they either don't know or don't understand their own parents and siblings belong to a real, live cult, where you can't just "pretend" to belong.
That is frustrating, isn't it, MQ? I know how that feels. Other than on this board and an ex-JW chatroom, I've had almost no contact with people who really know what I'm going through. And there've been a few friends who clearly don't get it. But how could they?
When I try to explain the depth of JW indoctrination, one friend will just suggest that all religions basically do the same thing. While that may be true to a degree, you and I know it is a considerably different scenario for JWs.
When I tried to explain to a non-JW friend about my disfellowshipping (previously--I was reinstated just before I started to fade), he wouild say...
"So what did your mom say about all this?"
"Nothing, James, my mom doesn't talk to me."
"What?! That's nuts!"
"Yes, that's what I'm trying to explain to you, James."
"Well what does your brother think you should do?"
"I don't know, James. My brother doesn't talk to me either. What about this concept don't you get?"
Sigh... One friend was always saying, with a condescending chuckle, "You're so dramatic! It's not going to be as bad as that. It'll last for awhile, but they'll get over it. You're just so funny. Ha ha ha."
So believe me, I understand how frustrating it is when trying to explain it to people who just don't get it. I have only very recently explained my position to my mother. (This was an extraordinary event.) And, yes, it appears she is as impossibly closed to using her own mind as any JW you've ever met.
My only hope? That (as someone else brought out) a seed is planted. And that they know, if they ever begin to actually use their mind, I'll be here for them. The invitation to call me will be extended. It's something I surely didn't have when I was going through this process.
You have my sympathy and my love,