Many on this site have describe their exiting this group as "fading". Which I believe allows one to maintain some civil contact and or association with friends and family. It probably helps when running into JW's in ones normal routine of life. I did not have than opportunity. On a few occassions I have run into JW's and I get this temporary paralysis. I hate it but it happens just the same. It's been 3 years for me since I've been df'd, so when I see them it almost seems like an out of body experience, I'm not sure I'm seeing what I think I see, their names don't come to me, my mind goes blank as to what to do eventhough I've rehearst in my mind what I would do in this situation. I've said to myself that I do not live by their rules and therefore will be cordial, polite and speak irregardless of how I perceive they will respond. On the other hand, I know speaking would likely cause most to be irritated, offended at my seemingly disrespecting their rules or boundaries in this area. Can any here relate to what I'm saying? If you did not have the chance to "fade" on your own terms, how do you handle these arkward situations? Just last night while shopping with my girlfriend I happened to make eye contact unexpectedly with a sister from the last khall I was with. (she apparently worked at this dept store) I recognized her, but couldn't place where I knew her from or what her name was, but within seconds I knew she was a JW by the way she looked at me ( a stare with out an ounce of feeling ). I did not acknowledge that I knew her either, but only because I could not recall her name. How would some of you responded? A few minutes later another employee overheard my girlfriend and I humming a song being played over the store speakers and she started a friendly exhange with us. I pointed out to my girlfriend how amazing it is that on one hand a person you have known for awhile, conversed with, visited in their home, shared a meal, etc looks at you with a cold stare, like a zombie and on the other hand a complete stranger strikes up a conversation with you just out of the good cheer in their hearts. What a difference! I just want to handle these encounters more on my terms, treating them as I would anyone else. Taking the JW background into account, is that wrong?
Do you speak to currant members of the JW's
Hi silversurfer, and welcome.
I'm da'd, so most jws look away when they see me, and I make no attempt to converse with them. However, it was a little strange at first, seeing people I've known for over 25 years and not speaking to them, nor them speaking to me. I am getting used to it now, but I don't pretend to like it, I never really agreed with the shunning practice when I was a jw.
I can fully understand why you get an uncomfortable feeling when you see a former sister or brother, but in time it will pass.
Hi SilverSufer. Although I am not yet DA'd or DF'd (but will be soon) I can completely understand how you feel. Back in the day when I was a believer I would sometimes run into DF'd people in the street or on the bus, I have to say I always "broke the rules" and said hello. I just couldn't walk by someone I knew without saying hello to him/her. A long time ago a brother in my hall was publically approved (came very close to being DF'd) but since he was humble and repented he got off - still he was considered "marked". After they made the announcement, I saw him in the back of the KH at the end of the meeting looking worn, sad, and afraid. I just went up to him and gave him a big hug in front of everybody (I was 15 at the time). I didn't care what the elders or anyone said! I told him he was really brave and to hang in there. Although he is long since reinstated he told me that down to this very day he feels like an outsider. Now he no longer attends meetings though he still believes.
Running into witnesses from time to time is going to be very ackward for you (as you know). The good JW's will smile and say a quick hello, the "self-righteous phonys" will ignore you or stare at you like you have the plague and then run and tell their JW friends "Guess who I saw at the mall today". There is nothing you can really do except be the better person and just smile and give them a brief nod. Show them that you are not the phony & if they choose to walk by you let them go. In the end you will come out on top and they won't! Be strong Silver & be the better person. I always say "kill them with kindness". Hope this helps.
We have been inactive for eight months and I still talk to some of the young ones that go to the hall . I am still the person they go to for support . I work with a JW and we only exchange a few words about work we never talk about family or such anymore . My jw brother calls me maybe once a year any ways so that really hasn't changed . My mom and sister need lots of medical attention so We talk alot . I had been talking with my niece ,but I think she is studying again and is avoiding me . Most of the Jw's in my neighborhood will wave ,but thats about it. My son told me yesterday his new job is close to the hall, and when the JW's pass him they just stare at him , it creeps him out . He says he doesn't care , but I know it hurts. Especially since he has done nothing wrong except stop attending the meetings.
Not as often anymore but I did get invited by the PO, who called on me last week, to attend the meeting because the CO is visiting. I was asked to put asside my differences and focus on the greater picture in store.
It's weird isn't it. I have 'faded' pretty much, but some JWs cut me dead when they see me, some pretend they haven't seen me. Either is fine with me, I understand WHY they do it and unlike some here would not disrespect them by trying to make them speak to me, why bother? They will only feel more right and more self righteous. When I was a JW I did not speak to disfellowshipped ones and I thought I was totally right.
Sometimes when I see JWs I try and avoid them, sometimes I still feel guilty if I have a tattoo on show or a short skirt.. isn't it mad? I think it would be easier to move to where you did not know anyone! But for me I have been brought up in this town so most days will bump into someone. Mostly I smile and say a cheery hello, and most of them are fine too. But you know what.. I dont really mind if they do or not. My REAL friends will always be there for me. If the day comes my family cut me off, then that will be hard, but most of us have been there, most of us know it's not the way they really feel, it's a false sense of loyalty
I DAed myself by letter almost seven years ago......not ONE active JW speaks to me, in fact I doubt if they could RUN any faster whenever they see me in public---if I was one gigantic oozing and infectious blister that was clamoring for a hug! It is truly an amazing thing to see......little just-under-five-foot me who walks with a cane.....and having grown men and women banging into walls and store displays to race away from me!
I SO OFTEN WISH that I could remember the clever sayings and smart remarks that I have seen different ones use on here......and casually toss one of these out as the JWs try and make their speedy escape....
But I, too, freeze up and get tongue-tied even after all this time. I get angry at ME! GRRRRRR
I have often told myself that I should just say a cheery "hello" or offer a smiling "how ya DOIN?" and watch them stumble away in righteous indignation.....and realize that THEY are making fools of themselves "in front of all onlookers" in the store or wherever we are standing.
IF I have the opportunity....I could THEN offer to the "staring-at-what-they-just-saw" people around me----that I USED to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses for years, but I chose to leave, and you have just seen how they treat ANYONE who leaves that religion.....
It will give a good witness.....ya think?
I still have contact with JWs. When I first came to the realization that the bOrg was not the true religion, I kinda withdrew into myself, away from anything JW connected, including family and friends.
Over time, as I was determined to no longer allow the WTS or JWs to have authority over me, I no longer "feared" them...or "disliked" them. There are still several JWs that I remain friends with. I have been able to keep the religion and the person seperate in most cases. As long as they don't try to "readjust my thinking" and accept me as I am, everything is fine. And in return, I don't try to convince them that they are wrong; I accept that they are JWs and I don't try to "free" them. If they open up the oppurtunity for me to drop a hint or question the WTS, I take it, but I never go on the offensive with it.
I've been lucky in my attempt at fading. Outside of a couple of early sheparding calls, no one has really pushed the issue. Some of the JWs who I thought were friends don't seek my companionship, but others do. I try hard to treat each person based on their individual personality and action, not whether they're still an active JW or not, just as I don't worry about other people's religious choices when associating with them.
Of course, if you're DFd that changes a lot. I've found that most JWs are scared silly of DFd and DAd people. It's like they're Satan personified or something. Knowing that they're afraid of you can help you to understand they're actions and give you courage to not fear them as well. I think you'll find some JWs willing to break the rules and at least speak to you while others will go out of their way to avoid you. Just be yourself, be nice to all and if they treat you like shit, well, it's their loss, not yours.
I have been DF for 3 years, but I work with 3 JW. One of them is an older lady and she is as nice as could be, and treats me no different, never has. The other two, however, are definite shunners. It used to bother me, but after I did alot of research and really confirmes it was not the truth, I didn't want to waste my time feeling blue about it. I say hello to them just like I do everyone else, it is their problem, not mine.