Follow-up on the JW wedding I photographed this ........... Pretty much how I expected it would go .....the actual wedding party were very cool. I had done half of their weddings or Senior pictures myself , and they treated me with respect . I ended up having my husbands cousin assist until he could get there at the ceremony. Most everyone introduced themselves and treated her well too. Except when we arrived at the hall one sister extended her hand to her , and when I introduced her as my hubbies cousin and she realized she was not a witness, she took her hand back without shaking . Left cuz hanging in the air ..we just looked at each other and laughed .She is use to crazy witnesses she has a lot of JW relatives on both sides of her family. I was among many "friends " that have known me most my life . The fake smiles and daggers in the back were all there as expected. At the reception we sat with our equipment in a far back corner away from most of the crowd. During a break a brother approached our table and I thought oh boy here we go . This guy is really out spoken, in his early 60's, and just recently baptized last year . The first thing he said was funny , " I have to ask did you guys stop coming to meetings because I got baptized ?" Then he turned serious and started saying how much he really missed seeing us at meetings and don't we realize how everyone misses us . I said thanks I really appreciate the sentiment ....BUT if people REALLY missed us they would have called or stopped by our house seven months ago ! I told him my phone number has been the same for 27 years ... I told him no one has bothered so excuse me if I find it hard to believe the sincerity of being missed . He said well surely you've had a sheparding call ? ( I patted his arm and thought oh you naive little man ) I told him nope, and that NOW I DO NOT WANT ONE EITHER ! He said he could understand if we have become discouraged because we have had trouble with our son . THAT REALLY SET me off . I told him we don't have any trouble with our son , I said you know what I'm very proud of my son and proud of the fact he does not smoke , does not do drugs , dosesn't drink, is not immoral . Something I can't say about the kids he use to associate with at the hall . I said people were opinionated about his worldly friends and judged him badly for it , but I said I trust those friends much more than I did his witness friends . Then he replied well that was a rumor going around .I smiled at him and said I don't doubt that. The hall is known to gossip about things they know nothing about .He had to agree . He still couldn't understand why we would give it all up . I said I didn't give up belief in God . I had to quit attending to preserve my mental health I could no longer deal with the feelings of not being good enough , of fear , of guilt . He asked "Are you really happier now ? " And I said YES ,I now have peace of mind something I never felt while attending meetings . He said well you shouldn't feel guilty if you didn't get more time in than others we all answer to Jehovah not anyone else .I started Laughing and told him that is not how it really is and you know it , if you don't live up to standard you are looked down on . And said now I am trying to build a relationship with GOD , I don't need a bunch of men telling me if I'm doing it right . Who knows what will happen now . His wife is a well known spreader of bad news and he will no doubt be busting chops to find out why the Elders have not called on us . But I don't know maybe it will get him to thinking too . Most people at least said HI when I was passing them taking pictures . A few said we really miss you at the meetings , I just smiled at them .
Follow up from job this weekend
Hi troubled mind,
I hope that your conversation with that brother doesn't get back to the elders. Does this make you wonder if you want anymore business from JWs?
Weddings usually get booked a year ahead as in this case , before I started to fade . I only have one more booked , but at least it is in a congregation I'm not personally familiar . I will no longer take JW jobs not that any would book with me now anyways . Some people at the Church down the street from me have been giving me work so hopefully I can rebuild my client base . I only do this PT so my living doesn't count on it . I am pretty sure the guy i talked to went right away to an Elder and said his peace .He is very outspoken . Most likely he went to my Brother in Law Elder whom we haven't spoken to since May . I am sticking to my story that I can no longer attend for the sake of my mental health . May even throw in under Dr's orders . ( Dr Phil that is the book I am reading of his states we need to get out of toxic relationships and be true to our authentic selves )
You need to change your handle!I think you are "no longer troubled", but thats just my take on it. I am glad you had a calm and frank discussion with that JW and glad that he had the balls to talk to you. You never know the seeds you may sow by your graciousness and overall decency. You obviously have not grown horns or anything and they all saw that. Good on you! Shelly