*Warning!!! Lengthy read ahead!!!!*
There's a story I have wanted to share with the Ex-JW community. I have always been too lazy to write it in detail before. But today I have a lot of time and patience to write it. It's a story of the gradual change of friendship. How a friend slowly transforms into a complete stranger over time. Leaving the Jehovah's Witness community, I saw that change among a few "friends".
I was always very shy in the Kingdom Hall and had no friends whatsoever. My dad was very concerned about me because of my shy anti-social ways. I was ok really. I was very happy alone just sitting in my room drawing or playing video games. I wanted/needed no friends whatsoever. No depression from being alone. I preferred loneliness. I was a loner. I developed that personality from years of not fitting into society...neither worldly nor spiritual JW society. I had nothing in common with 99% of the population on this planet and felt like an alien. But I adapted to that and lived in my own world where I was always happy. But even though I was happy, my parents were concerned about me. Society says we have to be social and have friends, otherwise there is something wrong with you. No room or excuses for loners.
Every time we had social gatherings among the congregation, I always wanted to stay home. But since I was a child, I had no choice but to tag along most of the time. I was a bit of an oddball to the other kids at the party. All the kids went to the attic to play Mortal Kombat (a video game kids, especially JW kids shouldn't play). I tried to join them but when they saw me, they told me to leave. They said I wasn't invited and a boy literally pushed me out of the room. A woman saw that and forced the kid to invite me in and let me join them. As awkward as it was, I joined them for the night. This whole experience was a reminder of why I rather be alone in my own world of art and entertainment.
Anyway, one day when my parents threw another get-together (this time at our own house), I stayed in my room while the party was going on in the basement. My dad invited this one kid and his brother I have always seen at the hall but never talked to. His name is Victor and his older brother was Juan. My dad, being as concerned as he was over my anti-social behavior, told them to go pay me a visit in my room upstairs. I was in my room playing the first Playstation which was the thing back in the mid 90s. They burst in and I was already pissed at the fact these strangers were in my room, but I kept my annoyed emotions to myself and invited them to play. Turns out Victor and Juan were huge gamers and as geeky and anti-social as I was.
Not only were they like me and loved video games, but they weren't prudes. They said bad words and had a sick sense of humor. It came as a shock to me since I didn't expect that from two JW kids that looked like the Flanders kids from the Simpson. I immediately developed a strong friendship with both of them. Over the course of 12 years or so we became best friends and made some good memories. As we grew, him and his brother and I became more mature. We went from childhood sleep overs to video gaming to attempting to start our own rock band. We bought guitars and another friend bought drums and we practiced in a basement. He was changing rapidly and slowly growing out of video games and getting into music and weight lifting. I liked playing music but I didn't develop the passion he did for it.
It's ok though...it didn't affect the friendship. I stuck to my drawings and games and he stuck to his music. His brother eventually started his career and moved out and got married and did the grown-up responsible adult thing. Victor did so much as a friend. He always gave me and my family things we never asked for, bought us things, helped us financially when things were looking bad, and he always volunteered to help in any way he could. Then the time eventually came for us to depart. I had to move with my parents from Chicago to Florida. He volunteered to help us move. He traveled by car with us and helped us load and unload our stuff. We still remained long-distance friends.
Then I fell in love with a woman in our congregation. I started spending so much time with my girlfriend. Since this was the first girlfriend I have ever had, I was very excited and spend hours and days dedicated to her. Inevitably, our friendship grew apart. It's understandable, I mean come on....a girlfriend is a girlfriend! He congratulated me. We were cool.
In one of our conversations, I brought up the topic of video games and he told me he had stopped playing games and decided to focus on different hobbies. Ok, so now that is something we can't talk about. Video games...which was the first connection I made with him and his brother, are no longer a factor. It's ok we talked about music. I like music but I'm not much of a musician. He was more of a musician than an admirer of music itself. Our conversations about music was also growing apart. Twelve years of friendship had changed a lot. It seemed he kept going through phases and I was stuck in the original phase I was in when we met. Maybe I'm the problem? Maybe I didn't grow up like he did and didn't mature like I should have.
When I got married, I decided to make Victor my best man. But since he wasn't baptized, he wasn't allowed by the elders. He still came to my wedding. I asked him to be a bouncer type of figure for the wedding at least. He agreed, but as soon as the wedding was over, he wasn't very happy with the way he was treated at the wedding. He said he felt like he was used and felt like a pawn at the wedding. What a fucking chick!! He is totally breaking the man-code! He felt like not enough attention was dedicated to him. It was my day, not his. He wasn't baptized...there's not much spot light I can shine on him. He couldn't be the best man, so what more can I do for him? I gave him the privilege of being the one in charge of making sure the invited ones were let in through the door. He sent me a couple of concert tickets as a wedding gift through the mail...along with a guilt trip letter letting me know what a lousy friend I was at my wedding and how I didn't really deserve the concert tickets. Thanks a lot...I really enjoyed the concert knowing he was on the verge of ripping the tickets apart before he send them.
After I got married, my wife and I decided to leave the Jehovah's Witnesses because of our skeptic views on the organization as well as the Bible itself. We were atheists at heart. I revealed to Victor the fact I had left and told him I found out some things about the Watchtower organization I never knew about before. I asked him to promise he wouldn't run away from me and immediately label me as an apostate after I revealed some of the things I had found out. He told me he wouldn't shun me. I sent him some facts of the Watchtower via email....He never responded. He had just fallen in love with some girl in his congregation. She was baptized and he was not. I told him not to get baptized just so he can have the approval of the congregation to marry her. I warned him of the life commitment he would be making to the Watchtower and how baptism meant a point of no return...how there is no way to get out unscathed. Don't do it for a girl. It's not worth it.....
....well, he did it. He got baptized and sold his soul to the WT for her. He invited me to his wedding and then went silent and unreachable for months. I wasn't sure the wedding was still on. About four months went by and I couldn't contact him. I assumed the wedding was either off, or I wasn't invited anymore. I wasn't ready to travel to Chicago because of financial reasons, but I promised them both an awesome wedding gift via mail. Then about a month prior to his wedding he contacted me and said he's been busy. He asked me if I was still going to his wedding. I said "sorry, but since I couldn't get in touch with you, I didn't know what was going on. I can't afford a trip up there on such short notice." He said it's ok and even took the blame for going off the radar for months. He still sent me an official mail invite. I was supposed to answer "yes or no" and mail it back to let him know whether or not I was going to his wedding.
I lost his invitation, but I figured it's ok cause he already knows I won't be able to make it. Then the same week he is about to get married he texts me "So, I guess you're not coming to the wedding". I said "Sorry, I lost your invite letter, I already told you I won't be able to make it. But I want to send you both a gift though. What address should I mail it to? If I find the letter I will officially respond" Then he wrote "Don't bother sending it back. Bye."
That is the last I have heard of him in about 8 months. He hasn't responded to any texts, calls or emails. What's really fucked up is that my brother died the same week Victor got married. I attended my brother's funeral on the same day my "best friend" Victor was having his wedding. Victor found out about my brother's death and didn't call or text or email or contact me in any way to see how I was doing! Some fucking best friend he was! He is too upset about me not attending his precious wedding to give a damn about my dead brother. His mother called me to offer her condolences. Not him though. Almost 15 years of friendship for this climatic ending. After the emails against the organization that I sent him, he probably saw me as nothing more than an apostate. So I'm sure he felt nothing for my loss...even though my brother was an elder at the time of his death. All he sees is "apostate" in my wife and I.
Well, that is the end of a friendship I once called my "best friend". If he ever wakes up and sees the organization for what it is, I'll forgive him and maybe we can be best friends again.
My best friend/enemy
*Warning!!! Lengthy read ahead!!!!*
It's sad to lose close friends like that. People sometimes grow in different directions. The things that set off the problems are just the symptoms of that, imo. Let it go, and try to move on w your life. Nothing is permanent.
i have sent you a pm
People grow apart even if they have nothing to do with dubbery, too...it's just that the cult increases the likelihood that will happen.
When I got married, I decided to make Victor my best man. But since he wasn't baptized, he wasn't allowed by the elders. He still came to my wedding. I asked him to be a bouncer type of figure for the wedding at least. He agreed, but as soon as the wedding was over, he wasn't very happy with the way he was treated at the wedding. He said he felt like he was used and felt like a pawn at the wedding. What a fucking chick!!
If I may make a few remarks in defense of your friend...don't hate me!
This happened to me. It was my sister's wedding and I was inactive. I was not allowed to be in the wedding party but I was supposed to be escorted to my seat right before the mothers. yadda, yadda, I wasn't allowed to do that and no one even bothered to tell me. I just stood in the back of the Hall like an idiot and no one would escort me. I walked to my seat but wish to this day I walked out instead.
That is how you treat someone like shit. In a normal person's view, if a priest told someone to treat his sibling or best friend like a piece of crap, the normal person would say Hell no and have the ceremony elsewhere. And that's the right thing to do.
The cult led you to obey bad advice and behave badly. We all understand brainwashing and sympathize with why you did it--we all did evil things in the service of the cult. But please don't call your friend a dick.* He was not in the wrong here.
He still sent me an official mail invite. I was supposed to answer "yes or no" and mail it back to let him know whether or not I was going to his wedding.
Ok, well as odd as it is, this is normal social etiquette. I got pretty frustrated with people during my wedding prep for not even telling me whether or not they were attending. Seems like a little thing maybe but when 40% of your guests don't answer and then change their minds from what they verbally told you, it's maddening and very expensive. People were playing games saying yes then no--I didn't even know what room to book or how many meals to order! The venue was getting mad at me and saying they were going to cancel my reception because I couldn't produce a number. I wanted the written RSVP so they would just commit to a yes or no.
*Or a chick. On behalf of all chicks, please!