Often, I find myself doing Google searches for people who I went to KH with years and years ago. I try to find clues of what they're up to, search out the ones who were "weak in their faith", and try to see if they are still hanging on, or have "fallen away from the truth". I look for people my own age to find out what they're doing. I even look through the phone book find out where people are living nowadays.
In my line of work, I come across a certain woman who is the same age as me. We both grew up as JWs. I try to wear sunglasses when I have to come in contact with her, and if I'm not wearing sunglasses, I don't make direct eye contact, and I make our meetings very brief. I recognize her, so it's entirely possible that she would recognize me too.
I searched out myspace for profiles of JWs, and was surprised that myspace hadn't been banned. Maybe it's "frowned upon", but definitely not banned. None of the people (ages 16-35) that proclaimed their religion as JW seemed like the people that the WTS uses to illustrate young JWs. A lot of them liked good music (as most of the young JWs did when I was there), were into outside activities, were articulate, talented, stylish, relaxed, seemed free and open-minded, however each one included a paragraph explaining the wonderful and fulfilling life they lead, under the WTS. It might all be a tactic to Witness, without having to actually do anything.
In the past 20 years, I hardly ever see anyone from the congregation. If I do, I just try to keep my head down, and not look at any of them. I do NOT want a run-in that would reveal where I am in my life right now. I don't want to deal with family members who don't know my married name, that I still live here, how I look, and who I have become.
I listen to Dr. Laura on the radio, I'm will not to respond to comments regarding whether this is or isn't a good idea.
(I'm paraphrasing, but you'll get the idea)
One day, a woman in her early 20s called in and asked Dr. Laura if she should break ties, and stop speaking to her family. Dr. Laura asked her why she would consider doing that, what had her family done to make her want to break ties with them?
Her response "Well, I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses now, and I don't celebrate birthdays or holidays, and they are upset because the holidays were always very important to them, and as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I refuse to come to these events. I'm wondering if I should quit talking to them all together".
Dr. Laura was SHOCKED to say the least. She said "I know nothing about Jehovah's Witnesses not being able to speak to their families because they celebrate holidays. I celebrate birthdays, and you're talking to me... so you might as well hang up". The called said "uh huh". Dr. Laura told her that what she was doing was wrong, that she was the one who decided to convert to JW, and she was disrespecting her family's beliefs by turning away from them. She said that it wasn't fair for her to think that her way of thinking was more valid or important than their, and that it was insulting to her family that she would even think of cutting ties with them because of something that she was choosing to do (not her family). Wow. Then Dr. Laura said something I found very poignant, before ending the call. She said something like "for one to not know the love of family, is like not truly knowing the love of God". I wrote it down, it's around here somewhere. I wish I had the exact quote, but you get the gist of it.
( I went upstairs to look for it, but couldn't find it ).
Gotta love Dr. Laura.