Lack of true friends as a Witness

by stuckinamovement 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • BluesBrother

    Nowhere else will you find friendships such as are found in God’s organization”.

    Baloney! [in the context as they say it]

    Like Stuckinamovement I served as an elder. The other elders, with whom I spent most of my time and dealings were always men with whom I had just one thing in common - the job...They were family men who only liked (or admitted to) bland entertainment and bland music, shunned sports and in their few spare times hung out with their families. I treated them as I treated the people at my workplace - colleagues with whom I did a job of work, nothing more.

    As the post says, the r & f are cautious of elders . Even my then young nephews were chided by their parents for saying things in front of me , because I was an elder !...There is a divide between the elders and the rest . You are not really one of them, no matter how I tried. I would have loved to have a buddy with whom I could hang out, enthuse about rock music exchange banter about football .....but these things were considered "untheocratic".

    When I moved away to a new area I never heard from anyone or wanted to keep in touch. Maybe it was me? Am I a sad antisocial soul?

    Certainly the Borg does not help you develop lasting friendships, that is for sure.

  • thetrueone

    Much like other religious cults of this particular high control variety, you are instructed to not make friendships out of the organization.

    As an example I was told to only associate with fellow JWS, the one kid I was basically forced to make friends with was the PO's son,

    who lived just 4 doors away. Unfortunately he was the worst behaved kid in the neighborhood, his biggest target of course was the non-JWS kids

    who he would occasionally fight and spit on if he was in the mood, well they were all soon to be destroyed for being evil, so why respect them.

  • redsoxfan1393

    I know I dread graduation next month because it will prevent me from being with my friends, but hopfully I will be able to move out very soon afterwards and start living my life!!!!!

  • stuckinamovement

    Thanks for the comments. In my opinion the Society's beliefs cripples a person socially. Here is a test for anyone who feels that they do have true freinds in the organization. Tell your friend openly and honestly what you think about the Watchtower organization. See what happens.

    That is why these message boards are so valuable. There are many here on this board who are still in the organization but are totally alone with no true friends on the outside and only acquaintances on the inside. This is the only place I have found where I could openly question my beliefs without fear of retribution. Pretty sad isn't it, that the best support a Witness with doubts could find is an anonymous message board on the internet?

    Watchtower and Governing Body you have failed as an organization. The "sheep" can't go to you for help without fear of being beaten and thrown out of the pen. You are losing members right and left, you are losing lawsuits in every nation and you are throwing millions of dollars away publishing material that is read by few. Your predictions and teachings are subject to change at a whim. Your credibility is gone. Stop pretending to be something you are not.

    Whew that felt good.


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Ia cried my heart out as a child and teenager. Praying for one friend. Friendships at school were easy. If I were worthy of friends at school, I thought I was no good and would perish at Armageddon. My problem was compounded b/c we were the only whites in a black congregation. People were friendly but not friends. I would look at any my age at assemblies with keen interest. Maybe they would move. My mom told me she had no friends, too. She was raised a Witness and had loads of friends growing up. Most of the men went to federal prison. There was tight knit group. Everyone knew everyone else.

    My parents could have acted more to help. It would have been nice to invite someone over to my house to play, listen to music. I don't think they did it on purpose. They did not have social skills. My stalwart JW aunt, so faithful and meek, visited my semi=apostate mom one day to cry so hard about her lack of social education. She made my promise I would be allowed to go to dances, party, and have friends. They were such active, devout Witnesses with many contacts in Brooklyn. They both cried about their loneliness and let us know they were crying.

    My mother's bro was a special overseer. In fact, he was offered money to take on a particularly bad NJ congregation. He angrily refused. HIs children acted out at having to be perfect. My uncle was fed up with having to be perfect. He went from absolutely faithful, true believer to abandoning his family and being selfish in two months.

    I found this thread very moving.

  • aquagirl

    Yep.I couldnt have said it better! My mom is 82,been a dub since she was in her 20's.My dad died in 09.Aside from me,she is ALONE.Like totally ALONE.Apparently there is no room in the hearts of dubs for older folks.My mum is really cool and fun too,but the only visits that she gets are from me and my friends,who stop in to say hi,or bring her some veggies from their gardens or such.Im df'd,so my sister,a "devout dub" uses that as an excuse to not have to deal w/my mom at all."I never know when SHE will be there.Im just trying to keep myself clean in the eyes of Jehovah" quote,really...Sad all the way around..

  • jgnat

    Great post. My (non-JW) friend had noticed, and I confirmed, that the Witness mothers we met seemed strangely detached from their children. Kind, sure, but detached. They are similarly hooped. If they get too close to their children, they may have to shun them some day. Or, if they ever hope to exit the society, their children may shun them.

  • Morbidzbaby

    Yes yes yes! Absolutely! This post struck a chord with me because this was my experience. I had a couple of friends in my early teens, and that was it. Before that, none...I was considered bad association because my dad was not a JW, so the good little dubbies weren't allowed to hang around with me. Add to that the fact that the girls in my congregations were the snobbiest, most superficial, backstabbing group of twats I'd ever had the misfortune to meet. I hated them with a passion. I grew up hiding in the kingdom hall bathroom at the end of the meeting just to get away from them because they would make fun of anything they clothes, my hair, ANYTHING.

    When I was in my early teens, I made 2 who had an unbelieving father like me, and the other whose parents had divorced and her mom remarried a she was still kind of an outcast. The first girl...well, her dad cheated on her mom, they got divorced, and she left the "Truth" at about 15. The second girl got married young (I despise her husband, always have...I've known him since I was a kid. Elder's son, total bastard...beat the shit out of her for the first 6 or so years of their marriage). She's one of those who would rat you out to the elders, when I started my fade, she was the first to go. I found the other girl on Facebook and sent her a message...she thought I was still a JW and was rather curt in her reply, stating that if she were DF'ed, I wouldn't even be bothering with I explained I wasn't a JW anymore and she apologized and agreed it's all bullshit. So we message each other once in awhile.

    In all the months since I've stopped going to meetings, I've had ONLY elders call or come by to see how I am. Not one person from the congregation. I did have one person send me a card telling me she cared and whatever it is that I'm going through, she hopes I'll come back to Jehovah...thing is, she was a study at the time and used to be my aunt by marriage a LOOOOONG time ago. So, "family" who wasn't baptized yet. That's the only other person who reached out besides the elders...after having known these people for over 30 years. Superficial, indeed!

  • SouthCentral

    Great Post. Yes, I srealized this early on. I was a pioneer in high school, on assemblies parts and kinda set the standard for youths in my area. At 21 I had a job that was demanding of my time. It was funny how MY FRIENDS who had fornicated and did vile things would not talk to me because I was not going to assemblies and meetings. I HAD NOT FORNICATED, but my friends had and they ostracized me. I learned that my friends at work were real friends. We literally put our lives on the line for each other.

  • doubtful

    Yes yes yes indeed! I have lived in three very different areas of the country, been in 5 different congregations, and in both English and Spanish. I was born in the cancer, to a single mother - very devout, but she always had to work and never pio-sneered. Regardless of the area or the congregation, the one common denominator between all the KHs was the ubiquitousness of cliques. Single people hung out with single people, families and extended families stuck together and for them blood was always thicker than water. Married people hung out with married people. Teenagers hung out with with kids...old spinsters with old spinsters and widows..and most important of all...PIONEERS WITH PIONEERS.

    JW congs function like any other human community..There exists social stratification...your popularity and ability to garner friends is contigent upon your status. Only the social currency in the JW world is not fortune or fame..but your perceived "spirituality" and your position in the Watchtower's highly developed hiearchy.

    Pioneers love to pride themselves on their "unique privilege". They look down their noses at everybody else who isn't a good enough Watchtower slave to be a pioneer. As a youth, I particularly couldn't stand all the dim-witted, unquestioning, just-out-of-high school, born-in JW youths who drooled all over themselves in self adoration, simply because they pioneered...driving around in the cars that their parents bought them..using their parents' money for gas and going out expenses, or shopping or vacations...while working part-time or not at all...and then posting on Facebook about how "true it is that Jehovah provides for us".

    Pioneers form an elite class, and they tend to exclude others from their impenetrable circle of friends. Also, those with a lot of family members in the org have a good number of social connections through their relatives, which makes it easier for them to get into one of the many cliques. It also helps of course if you have money and tend to throw a lot of parties at your house.

    It also helps if you are exceptionally good looking, as all the sex-deprived JW youth are the horniest and most fanatically eager to get married ASAP group of teens and young adults you'll ever come across...and despite all the lip-service paid to seeking out marriage mates based on their spiritual qualities and the person they are within..the reality is that both sexes are on the prowl for someone sexually attractive.

    Loneliness and feeling like an "other" is what drove me to seriously start researching the WT's teachings and history..If I had been perfectly content, and if the JW community had truly been so welcoming and embracing and inclusive, then I would never have had an incentive to investigate the validity of my beliefs. I would wager that most people who end up on this board do so because they feel alienated..and they ARE NOT so content with the wonderful supercalifragilisticexpialidocious loving "brotherhood" of the JW world.

    I went through one period in my life as a young teen (14-16) when I had two great friends. The three of us were absolutely inseperable. We loved each other and had the greatest of times together..Yet we were always ourselves amongst one another..In other words, away from the prying eyes of all the crazy judgemental JWs, we were different people. We watched Dave Chappelle, South Park, rated-R comedies, etc. We chased girls around like normal teenage boys. We talked about what interested us, and developed our own dictionary of inside-jokes and special words and cues. We weren't afraid to express how we truly felt about things or people.

    Yet, my friends' parents were more uber-JWs than my mom was, and they would often try to curtail or sabotage our tight-knit friendship. Eventually, my friends got publically reproved for some nonsense, and the elders came to my house and basically told my mom that I shouldn't have any contact with my friends. That was the last of those friendships.

    Subsequently, I was back to where I had been for the first 14 years of my life - completely and utterly alone..aside from all the "wonderful" friendships to be had with the "older" (read: geriatric) friends in the congregation.

    When I moved yet again, I managed to wiggle my way into one of the cliques at my new hall..but when certain teenage romances blew up, and the dynamics of the group changed..I was again left on the outside looking in.

    I then moved to the Spanish to try my luck in a different cultural environment..but never really made my way into any of the cliques, even though I was beloved by the older ones because of my comments and talks.

    I didn't fit in this time because instead of being too poor, this time I was too rich for the Mexicans. I was also "white" even though I'm a Mexican-American, I was simply a guero or gringo because I am European looking and didn't grow up speaking Spanish. I was too smart for all the other mindless JW youth, and instead of going the usual JW post-high school course of pioneering and looking to get married as soon as possible..I decided I wanted to pursue an academic education and a satisifying secular career with options.

    Needless to goals, outlook, personality, and schedule did not coincide with most other JW the robotic youth of Watchtower world never allowed me into their inner circle of friends.

    I had a lot of acquaintances and a lot of older ones who genuninely seemed to care about me, but I never had any true friends who I knew beyond a superficial level who ever really took the time to get to know me, or dedicate quality time to associating with me for anything other than Watchtower pursuits.

    Toward the very end, there were some older ones who sensed how increasinlgy detached and lonely I must have been..and they tried inviting me over their house for youth "game nights", which consisted of watching one of the cheesy WT produced indoctrination videos, eating pizza with no alcohol, a lame G or PG rated movie, and possibly playing board games.

    It just wasn't my idea of fun.

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