sizemik: When those boundaries, which for most people form naturally, are constantly disregarded, they eventually disappear altogether.
Agreed. And in the case of the WTBTS this constant trespassing in other people's lives and moving of personal "property" lines is very calculated, deliberate and be design. It is all part of their efforts to control and manipulate.
The WT "theology" gets the individual to accept violations of their appropriate boundaries without protest. The elders will often insinuate themselves into areas they should not be, or just outright overstep family and other relationship boundaries as if it were their divine right (which of course they believe it is!)
The elders will also "redraw" boundary lines in ways that are not appropriate and that are very damaging to relationships. When someone is disfellowshipped they are excluded from their family, friends and others that in any normal functional social setting would be the support system that could help them. The property line is redrawn with the "sinner" on the outside. They are not completely isolated and alone.
sizemik: I'm sure this is why Ex-JW's (especially those born in) can have such difficulty forming wholesome relationships after getting out. The roadmap for forming appropriate relationships is non-existent, and navigating the problem is often extremely difficult.
Exactly. When we try and form relationships or even to re-examine those that we might still have after leaving the organization it can be extremely difficult. We do NOT know how to respect the personal boundaries of others or even our own. It takes a careful, thoughtful process. I've been working on it for several years and have made much progress but I'm not done yet.
Also, when we try to re-assert appropriate boundaries concerning our self, we will often find that individuals that are controlling and manipulative and that are used to routinely trespassing on our turf will often become very upset. It's funny that NOW what I see as a childish temper-tantrum I USED TO interpret as "righteous anger" or disappointment in some mistake I'd made or short-coming in myself. Not that I'm perfect, because obviously I'm not, but manipulative, controlling personalities love to exploit weaknesses in others for their own selfish gain.
Sometimes just telling someone like that "No" or even disagreeing with them will set them off on one of their tirades. And pointing out a mistake they make will generally result in them going ballistic. Forget about an apology.
I am learning who to let in to my life and who to keep on the other side of the fence. I've got a new, hi-tech, ultra-sensitive alarm system installed to identify would-be trespassers. I like to keep it warm, cozy and safe here on the inside for myself and the trusted few that I let in.