Were you and your family well received in the congregation or were you treated like crap?
Were You Treated Like Crap By The "Brothers" and "Sisters"?
My family joined a congregation where most people were related to each other, so we were pretty much the outsiders. People would plan get-togethers, pointedly talk about it in front of us, then say, "Oh, but you're not invited." Usually that was the kids, not the adults. Then those morons would talk about how it seemed like we didn't really want to be at meetings. Yeah, ya think?!
When a person or family is viewed as "unspiritual", they're screwed.
In answer to your question.....YES!!!!!
Read my story "All About Palmtree".
I think I was invisible for a good bit of it...which in retrospect turned out to be a good thing. It made disappearing that much easier.
I guess there were times when I was recieved well. There was a time when the elders were trying to groom me to join their ranks. I was respected as an MS.
But even then, outside of a few friends, no one really seemed to know me or know anything about me, or at least care. Part of that was my own doing. I kept to myself and didn't let people get too close. I think that was because I saw what happened to people when they opened up too much. Counsel, JC meetings, reprovals, DFings.
Looking back, I can see clearly that "friendships" in the JWs were not real. It's just a bunch of people thrown together working for the same corporation. They were forced to coexist together for the good of the company. They feigned friendships but they were few and far between.
Sadly but truthfully, "worldly" people treat me better.
Personally never had a problem. My family is so well known, that I seem to have inherited a degree of respect by their works. I was seen as a spiritual lad and I married a spiritual sister. We have both pioneered and have also been right in the middle of the congregation.
What do I mean by spiritual - I can answer up well, I can think on my feet, so I'm quite good at keeping people engaged in FS, and I can delievr a good Public Talk. These abilities have given me the "privilege" of serving on the BOE.
As I have said on this forum before, I don't have many friends in the congregation, but the few I do have I am close to. I am under no illusion of how deep that friendship is, I am sure as soon as they detect I am fading their loyalty will be with the bOrg and won't want to know me or the reasons why I am leaving. I have done this myself with friends I grew up with who left the truth.
So at the moment I am treated well, I expect in the near future I too will be treated like crap, unless I can undermine the faith of my friends before then.
I have found that how you are treated generally speaking, is in direct relation to your status. Alpha families (the father is an elder or MS) are treated the best. Beta families (relatives of alphas or two-parent family that generally does what they're supposed to) are second-class. The Omegas (singles or persons with unbelieving mates with no ties to alpha families) are all but ignored.
There are, of course, always a few wonderful people in any area that would give you their last dime, no matter how low on the pole you are. But the majority will treat you according to the caste system.
When I married and moved to my husbands hall I thought it would be great because his family was all witnesses (I grew up in a divided household ). We were treated okay because of family connections ,but as the years past and it became evident that my husband did not want to advance frends started having less and less to do with us . It really hurt because we both cared deeply for the brotherhood and we were very active just not enough for everyone else I guess . We had the bookstudy in our home for eight yrs. never missed meetings or assemblies ,husband volunteered for quick builds ,but we never aux. pioneered or had a regular family study.
One time my husbands step brother (Elder and aux.pioneer) told me the resaon they didn't associate with us socially was because we didn't have the same goals as they did . That really hurt ......we shared family ,worshipped the same God, but because we didn't desire to pioneer we couldn't find resaon to enjoy friendship ! I guess we became to be viewed as spiritually weak and that is a very dark cloud to live under.
We were treated like nobodys, me and my family.
In my last congregation, I was treated like crap the last few years I was in.