Fading ... and Feeling Lost

by What Now? 43 Replies latest jw experiences

  • What Now?
    What Now?

    So my husband and I have not attended a meeting since the memorial. Prior to that we had been in a new congregation for about 9 months, and we were just irregular. My husband rarely went, and I would go occasionally with our toddler son just enough to show our faces and keep the elders off our backs, and for the sake of some friendships in our old hall.

    The last meeting I went to, I was sitting there and suddenly realized that I just did not want to be there. All of the reasons I had for going were just no longer important. I realized that i was going because of what other people would think. I haven't attended a meeting since, it's going on nearly three months now. We've now made peace with the fact that we will likely lose many so called friendships due to our inactivity (and soon, as people from our old hall know people in our new hall)

    Since the memorial we've missed a CO visit, and the special zone meeting. We have not received a phone call or visit from anyone in our hall, except for once a month when my husband gets a text message from our service group overseer asking for our time. So much for the love of our Christian brotherhood ... But that's another thread.

    While we are definitely enjoying the newfound freedom that has come with our fading ... I also feel incredibly lost.

    I always enjoyed entertaining and organizing big group outings, and to suddenly find ourselves in this sort of social vacuum is very difficult for me. After a lifetime of "instant friendships" found within the congregation, I've realized that I don't REALLY know how to make friends. I tried enrolling my son in a couple of preschool classes, hoping to meet some other moms in the area, and both of them were cancelled which was really disappointing. I've tried my hand at every hobby I could think of, but none of them aroused any sort of passion in me.

    This is the weekend we would have been attending our convention ... And while sitting through the convention itself was a drag, I almost miss the excitement of packing lunches, picking out new outfits, etc. At least it was something to DO.

    My husband keeps telling me that once our son is a bit older and enrolled in soccer or some other sport, or when he starts going to school is when we'll meet a lot more young couples with kids that we can start friendships with. It's just hard to be positive when that is still a couple of years away.

    I feel myself getting more and more depressed over this, and less and less motivated to make more of an effort. On top of everything else, we're also expecting our second child, and its a time when you need support more than ever.

    I'm not quite sure what to do.

  • cantleave

    This weekend I am attending an ExJW visit to the Natural History Museum. It won't be boring, it will be with a group of fantastic people and it beats any theocraptic activityor JW "get together"

  • Satanus

    'While we are definitely enjoying the newfound freedom that has come with our fading ... I also feel incredibly lost. '

    When you are used to having everything prescribed for you, when you have been subjected to pressure for yrs; when that is finally removed, it is refreshing, at first. The new found freedom take a while to get used to. Responsibility comes, responsibility to take our lives into our own hands. It takes a while to adjust to a new life.

    Depression can be dealt w somewhat by keeping busy. Try to learn what kind of things you might enjoy doing. Try cutting out negatives. One huge source of negativity is the news: print, tv or radio.


  • crmsicl

    Make a plan and try to stay positive, a cliche, I know. But since things could get worse and though you seem troubled and as you said, less motivated and expectecting again, it might be wise to take some forced action on your part.

    I noticed you enjoyed entertaining and organizing big groups. That's really good because that doesn't come easy for everyone. Do you think you could organize something? What about asking at your doctors office if there was some way you could reach out to someone else in your situation? Maybe there is someone from out of town who could also use a friend. Maybe a meet up with Mom's & kids in the park.

    Keep thinking. You'll come up with something.

    It's so unbelievable to be in this situation.

  • Robert7

    My wife and I went through the same process. it's tough because so much of your life will change, and it takes time, years, before you feel fully acclimated to the normal world. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Life outside is so much better, with your ability to use your freedoms any way you want. People will like you because you are you, and not what you believe.

    People can suck, in and out of the organization. There are many people outside that you won't want to be friends with, or they won't want to be friends with you. What we've found out is most people have a 'friend capacity', and that is not a big number. Most people have their set of friends, and even if they like you, may not let you 'in' because they are 'full'. This was discouraging, but we've found there are other great people out there just like you looking for good friends. However, like us, you will make mistakes. You will make some bad decisions, but this is all in light with learning how to live in 'the world'. You may end up befriending the wrong friends just to have someone, and learn the lessons that quality is more valuable than quantity, and you may have to let some go, and that's a good thing, you just need to learn your lessons to improve your future.

    Early on, we filled in the void with Ex-JW get togethers. Associating with others who went through the same challenges helps, but we've come to learn that many times we really don't want to be friends with them either. We've since stopped looking for Ex-JWs, and have found a good group of friends (some ex-JW some not) and our new associations are all non-JWs.

    The toughest part is that you don't have a congregation of 'instant friends'. A good friend is a gem, and you don't find them very often.

    Keep your marriage and family strong, and don't let this discourage you (I know, easier said than done), and in time it really does get better. You're finding your own way, and finding out your own life and personality, in a whole new world. This is exciting! You have your whole life ahead of you!

  • Aunt Fancy
    Aunt Fancy

    Don't give up because that is exactly what the WTBS wants you to do. We faded last summer after the Friday session of the DC and switched congregations just before we faded only attending one meeting. Keep finding things that you are interested in and you will find new friends. Your children will be a great way to meet people. You will go through lonely times because we are conditioned to only associate with JW's so our circle of friends is limited to just them. My husband loves music and playing the guitar so he joined some Meet Up Groups. You can go on line and look up Meet Up and there are a lot of different groups to join. I started bowling so that helped me meet women my age. It won't happen over night and there will be times you will be discouraged. Also, do more things with your husband, we go out on dates and enjoy our time with each other. Hang in there!

  • DNCall

    Are there any ex-witnesses that left before you did that you enjoyed being with? There were quite a number of these in our case and it has been great reconnecting with them. I'm hoping you have some of those.

  • Tater-T

    I know how you feel ..it's been 20+ years since I've been out and I've never made any real friends .. that's why I'm always on here.. It makes me feel like I'm near people who understand me, which I've never felt before..

    Ok enough of that.. go to an event that you probably never would have thought of going to.. just look in your local event section of your paper ..

    pick something a concert, comedy.. sporting .. whatever .. don't go because of the event .. go just to be around a crowd of people..bump into people

    get out and just be around people .. It'll make you feel better..I promise .. sometimes I go to the store just to bump into people and say," Oh I'm sorry and flash my big grin excuss me"..then They smile back and ..ahh the free warmth of human contact.. and I usually ask every worker I come into contact with at that store ," How you doing today"

    you don't have to make new friends right away but, do not let yourself become an anti-social hermit .. get out

    anyway I hope you find some happiness..if you can't..... make some.. it's all around you..

  • sosoconfused

    @ What Now - Your experience is literally 100% the same way ours has been. They key for us once my wife was onboard was that we had to realize worldly people are human. I had never had a worldly person in my house. We invited over some neighbors to play cards. It was a slew ogf fun and there was no worrying about what we would do or is something acceptable. I played black jack(no money involved) with the guy and the wife and her sat in living watching realhousewives while drinking some wine as the kids ran around. The hubby said he had to go @9 because of work and he said next time would be at his house. They left and we were shocked that entertaining them was easier than the "friends". We sit on the couch at night and watch TV. We take the kids to Chuck E Cheese midweek. The key here is stop letting witness restraints keep bubbling up and just enjoy life. My wife is business minded and help back growing our business for years so as not to stumble the friends. She is now doing all she can to build something we can pass to the kids and she loves doing it. Thanks to people on this board I am now a cigar aficionado and will occasionally have guys over to play dominoes and drink scotch. Remember you have morals but you no longer are attached to the JW restraints. ENJOY YOUR LIFE

  • outofthelionsden

    Hi What Now? your not alone in this situation my husband and myself are exactly in your position. its hard when your a stay at home mom, we faded almost a year ago and it has been very difficult for me to connect with other women and make friends .what has helped me is that my daughter is in school so their always having events that you can socialize some what , i also haven them in soccer and dance . something you could try to do is go to your local library they usually have story time for toddlers and its full of moms with kids!! another replace is meetup.com you can search for local mom groups that are looking for friends.

    im still trying to find my place in this world but i know i have to give it time. i have my days some good & some depressed . but, i know that i never had true friends in the hall because its been almost a years since we last attended and i have not received one call or visit from anyone.

    At least now your don't have to limit yourself to certain friendships, its nice to meet people from all walks of life. try to stay positive especially with a little baby growing inside you, they need positive vibes.

    you are welcome to PM me I need friends as well

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