Hello there everyone.

by Yr Wyddgrug 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Yr Wyddgrug
    Yr Wyddgrug

    Hello everyone. I'm a long time lurker here.

    I'm not and never have been a JW, but I am trying to get an understanding of what it means to be disfellowshipped for the sake of someone I know.

    My husband and I pastor a small church, we're nothing special, just a group of people who get together to seek God. We're open to everyone and people pop in as they want to. Recently a woman in her early twenties has started turning up. She's very pleasant, reserved, obviously a private person and i respect that.

    A couple of weeks ago we were having a cup of tea after the meeting and she stayed behind this time and started to chat to me. She told me she was an ex-Jehovahs witness and that none of her family, mum, dad, granddad, sister and niece, will talk to her or have anything to do with her any more. She was obviously really emotional. She said it feels like being dead only without the oblivion. She's a really lovely person. As far as I know (and I'm not pushing for information) she's been feeling the WT's doctrines are wrong for a few years, and she got to the point where she couldn't believe they were God's only church any more, so she's basically been looking for a new place to come.

    I want to help her, but the pain of being cut off from her family needs more help than i can give. I'm happy to chat to her and listen to her story at her pace. As a Christian I do believe God is already at work in her life, but I feel trite, spiritual answers are nowhere near enough when someone has lost their family.

    So how can I best help? I've read here a while and I chose this site because there is such an eclectic mix of personalities and beliefs. She is positive in her own mind that God called her away from being a Jehovah's Witness, and I have seen amazing glimpses of joy of being "free" to worship as she wants to, but that joy is matched by grief, like a berevement only she says there isn't the chance to move on because her family are all still alive.

    I feel out of my depth. I'm a mum and a primary school teacher and a pastor - I'm not a psychiatrist or any sort of therapist. I can't just pat her shoulder and tell her I understand because patently I can't understand what it must feel like to have the people you love and trust suddenly treat you as if you're dead. I have kids myself and I would love them if they became full-blown satanists. (I wouldn't be madly happy about it mind you) I don't have all the answers she needs, I wish I did. Sometimes a hug seems to help, and we're becoming friends too, she doesn't seem to have many of those.

    Any advice would be really appreciated. Thank you.

  • Low-Key Lysmith
    Low-Key Lysmith

    Generally, the largest casualty of one's exodus from this vile cult is their sense of worth. Hoplessness and lonliness are large factors too. Just being there to listen and offer encouragement are likely the best things you could do for her at this point.

    Sadly, detoxing from the brainwashing and feelings of guilt is a long process. This person needs to be shown that "worldly" (non-JW) persons are not all self-pleasing, wicked sociopaths that the WTBTS would make them out to be. You are brainwashed to believe that there is no quality of life outside of the organization. She needs to be shown otherwise. Again, these things take time. Invitations to social functions will really help. She may not accept at first, but she will begin to realize that there are people out there who might sincerely enjoy her company. Most JWs have terrible social skills when it comes to interacting with the real world and as a result, can tend to be very shy and introverted.

    It would seem that you are handling this situation the right way. Just be kind, supportive, and let her move at her own pace. She will come around. Likely, the thing she needs most right now are friends. REAL friends. Not the conditional friendships that she has grown up with.

    Hope this helps.



  • cptkirk

    you need to tell her to come here. ex-jw's are probably the only people that can help individuals such as your friend. it's just like veterans of wars, they need to be around other vets. she just needs to work up the gumption to speak here, which can be harder for women because they get more shit dumped on them then brothers do. guilt trips and such.

  • punkofnice

    She needs to heal from the scars the vile JW cult has burned into her.

    I agree with CaptKirk, joining a forum like this or the YUKU one will put her in touch with other ex-JWs who are invaried stages of healing and can all help together.

    Nice of you to pop along Yr...and welcome.

  • AnnOMaly

    WELCOME, Yr Wyddgrug! You sound like just the patient, insightful type of person she needs (my heart goes out to her). I agree with the others, however - she also needs some fellow exes to relate to who have been through similar experiences. I know there are some ex-JWs or nearly exes who post here who are not too far from where you are (if your name's anything to go by).

  • mummatron

    Welcome. I was touched by your consideration for this young lady.

    I have sent you a Private Message.

  • Yr Wyddgrug
    Yr Wyddgrug

    Thank you, you're all making a lot of sense. I definately agree she needs to be in contact with other ex-JW's, because I admit its beyond my comprehension that a family could ever just treat someone like they're dead. I've read enough threads here to know it happens all too regularly within the JW world. It seems like a "world within a world" to me. An alternate dimension where people look normal but their minds work differently.

    How can someone just turn off their feelings like a tap? Or do they just surpress them in the hope their loved one will come back to the JW's?

  • sizemik

    Many JW's genuinely believe the disfellowshipping arrangement is a "loving" provision . . . designed to keep the congregation clean of unwholesome influence, and to shame the errant one in to returning. Of course, they don't see that it is in fact a control mechanism employed by the religions leaders. Very often, one who has left makes a personal inquiry into what they once believed and see it for what it is. Of course . . . such a person can't "unlearn" this . . . but such is the depth of loss, some even return under these circumstances.

    The advice above to connect with other XJW's is good . . . probably essential, as is the need to make new and trusted friends. Care is also needed with regards to mental health and depression which is common. Vigilance would be recommended for signs of this, and a recommendation for medical help should not come too late. In time, steps can be taken to resume some family contact when the person feels strong enough to cope with the rejection . . . and results may vary.

    An alternate dimension where people look normal but their minds work differently.

    Exactly . . . they are under the influence of powerful mind-control mechanisms

    Thank you for taking the time to be a positive influence for this dear woman . . . our hearts go out to her.

  • cantleave

    Welcome to the forum.

    Disfellowshipping is a form of bullying, sadly those who practice it do not percieve it that way. Unfortunately they believe they are undertaking god's will, because that is what the Watchtower society convinces them they are doing.

    The idea as has already been stated, is 1. to keep the congregation clean and 2. shock the disfellowshipped one into turning around, repenting and coming back to the congregation. There is of course the real reason too, to stop the wholly indoctrinated speaking to those who have woken up and see the lies behind the cult.

    Your friend should come on here and get the support that has helped so many of us.


  • Quandry

    Welcome.Thank you for posting.

    You are a wonderful source of help already for this young woman. She needed someone to talk to and you were there to listen to her heartbreaking story. Speaking about her ordeal is the first step...I can't say to healing, because how can one heal when your family turns their backs to you, and literally treat you as if you are dead? Especially one so young, who needs the love of family. But at least a step toward going forward, making some goals, and looking to a better future.

    The Watchtower Society is willing to cruelly make people feel as though they are worthless, even to God. You can see how much sway they hold over people, keeping them captive to their version of Godliness.

    You stated that this person is "lovely," yet they would have her feel that unless she returns to the JWs she is doomed to destruction and has "turned to Satan." This young woman needs to be told that she is valuable...especially to God and Jesus, who died for all.

    Hopefully, the family may soften its position as a bit of time goes by. At any rate, this young woman needs support, and you can provide it by doing what you are...listening. Perhaps in the future, she may want to open up to others. If only more people knew the risks they take when they get involved with this organization and become baptised....the posssible loss of their family and sense of worth.

Share this