[LONG] Making a plan to leave... I have no friends :'(

by confliction 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • UnConfused

    I think it's the way to go, less pain for your folks too as they can still associate with you.

    Leave for another city / place.

    Get "depressed"

    See a doctor

    Make fewer and fewer meetings.

    Start college

    Feel a bit better

    Tell your folks you'll go to school and keep the faith, but you need their support.

  • joelingeorgia

    There are many ways to make new friends who are not witnesses. Just try meetup.com. It is filled with people looking for others with similar interests. I am on several board game meetup groups because that is what I enjoy doing. There is a meet up group for everything. Exploring other interests will nurture your mind. You may find you don't have to make the black and white decision of leaving, you can simply supplant your witness life with other things.

  • undercover

    There are pros and cons to options 1 and 2. Some here have opted for option 1...fade away, while others have opted for number 2, make a stand and DA, or at least walk away without apologizing or compromising, which can lead to DFing in some cases.

    I faded. The pros: I'm not DFd/DAd, I still have contact with JW family and some other JWs that I've known for years. I can associate with them without being totally shunned. Over time, I have been pretty much accepted as I am, though I know I'm whispered about behind my back. The cons: It takes a while to complete this process. During the early stages, there were sheparding calls and times of conflict with believing parents/spouse/extended family. Another con: even though I'm out, never to return, there is some amount of JWism in my life as my family are believers and I get the occasional "encouragement". I even got an elder's visit not too long ago. As long as you're living among JWs and you're not DFd/DAd, you will have some aspect of it in your life. You do learn to deal with it and learn when to speak or when to STFU.

    Fading is an art that requires patience and knowing that you're going to be ill spoken of from time to time. For me, knowing that my family are victims of the cult, I was willing to face that in order to try to keep family ties together. As long as there was a meeting of minds, somewhere in the middle, then I could bend enough to make it work. Of course over time, they slowly bended as well, though maybe not knowingly.

    For some however, fading may not work. Every case is different. If your JW family is so die-hard that they are unwilling to bend at all then option 2 may be the better bet. There is a point where you have to decide that, family or not, these people are a hindrance to your happiness and contentment. Yes, they are cult victims, but if they put the cult so far ahead of family that they are willing to treat you as dead, even when you haven't been DFd/DAd, then it may be time to accept the fate of losing those people to the cult, for the time being anyway, and concentrate on yourself.

    Some here can give great examples of how they faded and their lives are fine now. Others continue to struggle. Others can tell you how painful it was at first to DA, but in time, they got over it and now are completely free of it and glad to be while others are free of the religion but still have issues with family and their relentless pursuit of trying to "straighten" them out.

    I usually tell people it's their decision on which way to go, but if I had to give advice, I'd say at least try fading and if it creates too many dramas, too much struggle, then it may be best to walk away and let the chips fall where they may.

    The one option that I would not even consider and that is no good at all is number 3. Living the lie and pretending. Why let people who are deluded by this cult coerce you to live the same deluded life? Live your life, not theirs. If escaping by fading works, great. If you have to make a firm stand to gain that freedom, that is great as well. Either way, find that freedom. Do NOT allow others force you to live a lie.

    BTW, welcome to the forum and good luck on your journey to freedom

  • Jadeen

    You could use the generation definition as an excuse to go to school.

    "Gee Mom and Dad, according to the society this world could go on for another 60 years."

    Of course, you'll be so busy with studying for school that meeting attendance will slack off.

    "If I have to pay this much money for education, I want to make sure I do a good job!"

    Going to school is great way to meet new people- study groups, school activities, etc.

  • nancy drew
    nancy drew

    my experience is very different from yours, but what I do know is leaving is like removing a band aid whether you go slow or fast its still painful. once you realize how wrong it is your course is set and somewhere along the line you will have to leave because the pain of staying will increase like a dull ache to excruciating and some people will get hurt but thats their decision & their crisis.

    your not alone, many here have done it and survived and gone on to the "real life".

    you never know your decisions could be a cataysis to others for the good.

    interesting line in the prophet by gibran "ready am I to go & my eagerness with full sails awaits the wind only another breath will I breathe in this still air only another loving look cast backward"

  • Gayle

    One day at a time. You certainly see quite a full picture of reality of JW life and its consequences of leaving it. I sense you are quite intelligent and evaluating. I hope you utilize that to go to college. Do you have siblings you could live with temporarily? Try to find a social group, a sports type group? a hobby of sorts, something to socialize and develop that skill. check local colleges with classes of interest.

    Your depression is understandable under your circumstances. You are young and have been "couped" up with limited socialization with home-schooling and JWs limit to the extreme (all that suppression causes depression for sure). Most JW youth leave this depressing, extremely confining religion and are running for their lives. But I hope you can maintain a plan. Develop a structure for your needs,,it sounds like college plans would help a big part of that.

    You will be okay,, you have all reason to be hopeful and positive, you can make it. There is a very good life beyond JWs. Your parents love you but you will have to see them as "disabled" (caused by the WTS toxins) in effect.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Welcome Confliction!

    Rule out #3, you've been living in the lie long enough. Disassociation sounds too painful just yet. As already recommended, pursue your education and plan your fade.

    About friends, forget what Watchtower says, there are millions of nice "worldly" people out there that want to be your friend. Yeah, there are lots of creeps and losers around, but don't let that discourage you. And what about your siblings, can you reconnect with them? I've had some excellent conversations with my faded sister that have lifted my spirits and eased my depression when I needed to vent.

  • cantleave

    Good for you. I wish I woke up at your age. Do what's best for YOU. Only you know how important your family and social networks are. When you are ready you will do the right thing. Best of luck, enjoy your life.

  • BabaYaga

    Hello and welcome, Confliction!

    Yes, we understand all too well. There are very good people here, and many here have become great friends... there are even marriages that developed from this forum!

    You are on the right track. Be patient and loving with yourself. Don't go any faster or any slower than you need to go. We will be here for you.

    In the meantime, to meet people "in real life", volunteer for an organization that appeals to you, or take a class in something that sounds fun.


  • changeling


    I haven't read all the posts, but here is another alternative:

    Start fading while still in your parents home, slowly and carefully. A missed meeting here (i had a headache) less FS time there...

    Then, when you have your own place, fade quickly. Make a few meetings (or not) and no more FS. Yes, your parents will find out, you have to face this. It will hurt them at first, but I promise you this, they will get used to it. You may have some uncomfortable moments, discussions, even arguments, but if you stick to your guns, respectfully but firmly, the dust will eventually settle.

    Part of growing up is accepting that sometimes you have to face some unpleasantness and ride out the tough times. But you'll learn that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you've got to just rip of that bandaid and deal with the momentary ouch...

    I wish you all the best:

    changeling (quick fader/bandaid ripper) :)

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