See, I may not have ever been a JW, but I've been to my share of meetings!
First time back to the king dumb hall in a year!
You may possibly have a phobic reaction. This could include things like sweaty palms, dry mouth, blurred vision, dizziness, racing heart, difficulty breathing.
If you have them remember that it is because this is because of a carefully indoctrinated phobia which you have as a result of years of programming by WTBTS mind-control via their manipulative propaganda. It is a form of Emotional Control.
You can read more about this here to prepare yourself:
Mind Control – The BITE Model (Steven Hassan)
8. Phobia indoctrination : programming of irrational fears of ever
leaving the group or even questioning the leader’s authority. The
person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled
future without being in the group.
a. No happiness or fulfillment “outside”of the group
b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: “hell”;
“demon possession”; “incurable diseases”;
“accidents”; “suicide”; “insanity”;
“10,000 reincarnations”; etc.
c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends,
peers, and family.
d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group’s perspective,
people who leave are: “weak;” “undisciplined;”
“unspiritual;” “worldly;” “brainwashed
by family, counselors;” seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.
See also this link for practical suggestions on dealing with this:
What do you do if you have a phobic reaction, 00DAD? Put your head between your knees? Breathe in to a paper bag? Sneak off to the bathroom?
AH, I see you provided a link. I see one suggestion is to practice a relaxation technique.
One tip I learned from an "overcoming exam anxiety" course is to practice a relaxation technique while pinching two fingers together. Do this at home before the event. Then when you need to return to that state of mind, pinch those same two fingers together. The mind naturally goes back to that good place.
jgnat: What do you do if you have a phobic reaction, 00DAD? Put your head between your knees? Breathe in to a paper bag? Sneak off to the bathroom?
The first step in dealing with a phobia is recognizing it for what it is: "... an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger."
Next is to prepare for it. Realizing the source/origin of the phobia is key.
Refer to the OVERCOMING PHOBIAS link in my post above for additional references.
I found out from a true jw friend when I was inactive that my brother was getting married and when/where. No notice from my family. It seems the inlaws had not invited me to the shower and my family were told I refused to come. My family found out at the wedding that I had not been invited to either. In-laws explanation, "we figured she didn't come to the meetings she wouldn't come to the shower." I give my family credit, they appalled at the lies they had been told about me.
I remember a jw soon-to-be couple who thought that only people who received in invitation could come to the wedding at the KH. No matter how much the elder body told them that was not possible, they proceeded. Of course, other jw friends showed up not aware of this couple's self-defined rule. They glared at everyone one of these people and froze them out. All jws in good standing, not freeloaders, people that had helped them all out. Some of you jws might say that only jws from their congregation could come, they all were from their congregation.
Take note of how they talk down and belittle women during the wedding talk - at least they did at the last one I heard.
Be prepared to NOT sit in the family row, if they have one. You don't want to be invited to move out of the row in front of a bunch of self-righteous people.
The wedding talk is tedious, boring and down right embarassing. My teenage son was totally turned off when he heard one this fall, which is a good thing.
I'd say show no weakness at all if possible.
Mentally prepare yourself for stupidity like "We miss you" or "Are you going to come back for meetings anytime soon?" Think out some short and crafty replies to this bullshit that implies they are guilty for not checking on you, not the other way around.
Dress a step above everyone else if possible, (shouldn't be too tough if its a JW crowd with their cheap suits)
Laugh, smile and enjoy yourself. Do not let on one bit that you miss their little cult world.
pretend youre the gestapo attending a bar mitzvah