What surprised us most was the lack of fuss made over our leaving. All that time and energy put into this cult and not a peep out of one of those we had served "shoulder to shoulder" with.
Caring what the folks at the Kingdom Hall think of you
Great post as usual Terry, spot on.
I think that when many of us first leave the WT we worry about what they think of us, and hence we agonize over whether we should DA or go all out and get DF'd for Apostasy.
You are right, they do not matter, they have drifted off in to the past, like old school friends did in the main.
The active JW who remains a true friend to an XJW must be as rare as rocking horse s**t.
This was a lesson I had to learn when I left. I'd been a JW all my life yet once I started to stop attending meetings regularly no one wanted to know me any more. The only instance I received contact was when the elders decided to get interested in why I wasn't attending anymore.
Besides the title of your post, this says it all:
:You can't lose WHAT YOU NEVER HAD.
Terse and complete.
The above sentence is profound and complete, my friend.
The rest of your post is unnecessary and verbose IMNSHO.
I had an icy personality when I was a JW, I certainly have it now too. I don't give a damn about any JW's opinion about me. I'm sure they gossiped a lot about my leaving, but I don't know the content of the gossip since I'm no longer in touch with any of them. I was never part of their world. It was a marriage that was doomed to end with a divorce.
This is the main reason why we left.
You have no friends at all in the organisation, that's the bottom line.
Witnesses for the most part don't even care about each other. Before I left totally, just about every person I spoke to was unhappy because of the lack of love. Even some people who have left will say they still love 'Jehovah', but hate the organisation. It's just pure favourtism, back stabbing, jealousy, pettiness - all the traits they accuse 'the world' of is in the "happy' organisation ten fold.
All those lovely pictures you see in the magazines are simply false advertisement - much like those pictures of Mcdonalds burgers looking all plump and juicy and when you order one its all flat and messy. That's what the Borg is like.
If our friendship has to be conditional and you can switch it off in the blink of an eye, then we better part ways and keep it moving. Life is way too short.
As far as actually "caring" what they say once you've left - they didn't give a damn about you when you were there serving faithfully, so what's the difference now?
First, they empty you of identity.
Next, they narrow your world.
Then, you're kept busier than than any human could possibly handle.
Finally, your made to feel guilty for what you can't do.
Fear follows failure. Failure follows fear.
When you crack and you break the pieces are swept up and dumped in the trash.
Those who claimed to love you remark on your demise with sarcasm.
But, there comes the good part...the really really good part....
Once you wake up YOU'RE FREE!
The task is to get your identity, your curiousity and your life back.
Now that is truly being born again!