Fading & Feeling Lost ... Part 2

by What Now? 17 Replies latest jw experiences

  • exwhyzee

    What Now?

    Yep...I know what you're going through and you have my sympathy.To me it's much like the feeling one gets when eating all alone in a restaurant and everyone else is chatting away and you don't know what to do except pretend you're intently interested in reading the label on the ketchup bottle. It's like coming back from a great vacation and not having anyone to share the photos with when you get home. Something's missing...you feel like you were invited over for drinks,only to find out everyone else is staying for dinner.

    I think this is what one can expect to feel when one exits a cult or extremely insular(unhealthy) social setting such as what we were all part of. A lot of us have a major case of arrested development going on. We never developed the social skills needed to make friends that weren't already prequalified for us. We are unsure how to act when there isn't a script to go by. Like it or not, I think you are going to experience this feeling one way or the other. You can deal with it now or deal with it in a decade or two like many of us are.

    It seems to me you have two choices.

    1. Stick with the JW organization and view it as a means to an end. Have the best of both worlds, have your cake and eat it too. Go to the meetings with the intent of gleaning from them what you can but don't veiw them as the supposedly life sustaining banquets they claim they are. This way they'll be mildly amusing rather than annoying and dissapointing. Do as much or as little as you choose or are able. Do as well as you can with the established beliefs but draw your own conclusions where the beliefs conflict with your own sense of what's real. Keep your personal thoughts about life's big picture to yourself. It's nobody's business what you feel personally about everything. I call this the "JW My Way" Plan. This is what my Brother does. I envy his ability to go throught the motions without any mental discomfort. He has a ton of friends all over the country and world really. He doesn't believe JW's are the one and only truth out there yet he is able to take from it what he needs. If you are able to do this you'll get the social interaction you desire and you'll get to be around some basically nice folks who are trying to do what they think is right. Your child and you will have a built in framework of people to choose friends from especially if there are a number of other K. Halls nearby which is helpful if you're assigned to a "Dud" Hall. Being a JW is what you already know so you still have the option of going back to your comfort zone and will be able to concentrate on being a Mom rather than having to rebuild your life while simultaneously raising a child.

    2. You can tough it out now realizing that sooner or later you'll probably have to face this same situation anyway. You'll have to trust that like anything in life, if you hang in there long enough you'll get the hang of it and your efforts will build one upon the other until have something to show for yourself. It's nice that you can be part of certain activities because of your child but It might be easier if you make friends based on your own merit. Chances are you'll click with people better that way. Your child will have no trouble making his own friends especially if his Parents are doing the same and are socially well adjusted themselves. You can take steps toward gaining new friends by getting to know neighbors you've seen around but didn't bother with when you were a JW. You may have to stick your neck out and form activities of your own and invite people over . It may flop a few times but it's a learning experience right? Make up an excuse to happen by your neighbors houses when they are out in the yard working and introduce yourself. Maybe you can join a book or book clubs where you can actually discuss the topic at hand without being sensored.Maybe you'll decide to take a crochet or knitting class or become part of a knitting group so that you can knit your child and new baby a blanket of their own. From those groups you meet with regularly, friendships may develop. Place yourself in situations where you will see the same person or persons regularly such as at a gym or Yoga class for example. Basically that's what happened when you were a JW. You probably never discussed religion with JW's, you just kept seeing them 3 times a week so naturally you gravitated toward certain ones you clicked with. It had nothing to do with the beliefs being true or not.

    Whatever the case, one thing is for sure, you came to the right place to vent and have a listening ear from those of us in various stages of the same process.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Hang in there. You will find playmates for the little one. You will connect with other parents. It will happen. Don't rob your children of a real upbringing. Break the JW cycle and suffer until you make it work, for their sake as much as yours.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    HIYA, What Now? !

    Just one idea for something that might be helpful. Schools love volunteers, I don't know about Canada but I imagine they are the same.

    Maybe you could go once a week to the school where your child will be attending in a couple years. Get familiar with them and the staff and parents can get to know you.

    Here where we are, the kids who have volunteer parents active in the school, really get treated the best and get attention and help from their teachers. The staff has a better attitude towards those kids, possibly unintentionally but i've seen it and it is true.

    You could be a teacher's helper, maybe listening to kids read to you, or helping out in the lunch room with little kids. They never have enough helpers. I've seen little kids with their hand up for 10 minutes at a time before one of the helpers came over and opened up whatever it was for them.

    Or you could even be making presentations to the classrooms about your musical talent or art, things like that.

    I love the way kids want to learn and how much they need adults to appreciate them and encourage them in school. The kids remember those helpful people their whole lives.

  • AudeSapere

    Sounds like you are doing the right things. It's just too bad that the others in town keep flaking.

    You've got some good suggestions in this thread and I'm sure more will come up.

    Keep working at getting involved. Something good will happen.


  • sarahsmile

    I've been especially depressed this past week ... all the more so when thanks to social media, you can see all the fun that our witness friends are having without us - mamas on playdates, dinners out, get togethers etc.

    Are they really? Did you ever feel like you had fun? Were you overly careful to not offend others or hurt their feelings?

    Here something you can do enroll in a class for yourself.

    You can finally take guilt free classes.

    My best time of life was taking classes and meeting other students. Playdates,dinners,nd I remember all too well the get togethers,boring unfullfilling and no one really bonds. Besides in my view point all of that does not get you a better life. But art classes are a lot of fun!

    The best thing you can do for your son enroll him in a bilingual day care. These so called wordly mothers are so darn cool out there. I went to college with a young mother who had her preschooler learning Chinese and Spanish. She said he gets enough English from her and daddy. Now that stuff you will not here your JWs having so much fun say! You know why? Because they waste too much time doing basically NOTHING FOR THEIR CHILDREN'S FUTURE.

    It just me but I do not ever remember JWs get together being positive with children's education and training first most.

    You need to go to the library and make plans for your personal future! That is another thing JWs do not help other sisters. It is not real sisterhood.

    So give yourself a short time to MORN your old JW life,okay.

    NEXT, journlize your future.

    Prepare for YOUR future as if you were not married. Career and school. Pregnant women go to school all the time.

    I telling you to look forward to your future because you can not have that future planning get together a mommy days with mothers who are in La La Land.

    Fourth months is nothing! Look at your future because after you mourn and grieve your past JW life, it time to celibrate your smart educated empowered life.

    Your son is too young a daily preschool will give him friends and get him started with his education.

    You now can focus on education instead of what God wants!

    If you want birthdays and holidays the and God. From my experience mainstream religion has more to offer. And none of them will be anything like the JWs.Because they are focused on what is inportant and that is their childrens future not Armageddon and end of world.

    So you are going to be a fantastic mother and have plenty of friends outside of the Jehovahs Witnesses fony go no where friendships. You know why? Look how much energy you wasted planning outings and get togethers for others just to do something. Imagine what your going to do out side the cult! Not too many JWs plan their future after marraige and babies!

    I was born and raised as a JW there was a lot of depressed people in the cult.

    Your going to do fine as long as you do not romance the JWs and friends. I did that and it was a waste of my time something made up in my mind. Reality sets and it will make you depressed. basically that is what your doing when you think the JWs are having fun or that your neglecting your son by not going to gatherings. Yeap fiction LOL. Most of the JWs you know now peobably in five to ten years will leave the organization or move away.They will not think of YOU as much as you are thinking of them now. When I went back to the Hall I grew up in there was me and one other person the rest were not orginal people. They were newbies. So how can you bond and once you bond they are gone. The religions doctrines changed like their people.

    Wish you the best.

  • ABibleStudent

    Hi What Now?, I'm sorry that you are feeling lonely and sad. Making new friends is difficult. Have you visited www.meetup.com to join meetup groups near you? You can also use a web browser like Google to search for activities near you. It takes time and a lot of work making new friends. The good news is that non-JW friends will not shun you just because you no longer want to be a member of their organizaiton.

    Recently I moved and it is difficult making friends in a new city and in another state. Yesterday, I meet a Vietnamese guy at a Mexican restaurant. We talked at the bar while watching sports and waiting for our dinners. It was interesting asking each other questions about our lives. He was very lucky to leave Vietnam during the 1980's and also lucky to survive the voyage to the Philippines. I feel that I make more friends by smiling, projecting happiness, and asking questions of other people and telling people a little about myself and how I feel. If you like to entertain, you can always invite people to do something in the future if you feel some connection or you have some common interests.

    Life will get better for you. At least you have more hope of life getting better than if you return to the KH. Keep posting how you feel. Maybe someone will read your post and ask if you leave near them in Canada.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • DesirousOfChange

    XYZ: I call this the "JW My Way" Plan.

    My closest friend who is also "awakened" to TTATT does this very thing. His family (wife, kids, siblings) are all still "IN" so he says he FAKES IT for the sake of not losing any of his family & friends and to maintain the social network they have in the JW community. He uses depression as an excuse to not do more and to not "reach out". His wife is a social butteryfly and would be crushed without being in the center of the JW social scene. Evidently(TM) it's working for him.

    My wife could/would do this, too, but it hasn't worked for me. I still have such anger/hate for what this religion did to me (wasting all my prime years of life) that I can't tolerate sitting and listening to all the BS. I did make a day of the Dist Conv to assist my elderly mother and keep up "appearances". I wish I'd have taken a flask to help endure the torture. I walked around a lot. Yet, when I bumped into old friends (who don't know I'm doing the disappearing act) we had wonderful conversations, catching up on kids, etc. I'm sure they would have turned the other way if they knew my true feelings about The(ir) Truth(TM).

    I actually tried taking some notes during the sessions. They said NOTHING! Blah blah blah blah blah blah! In reality, it's probably just me. Eeryone said it was the greatest DC EVER!

    WHAT NOW -- If you think that the "JW My Way" method would work for you, go for it!

    Just don't give up planning for the rest of your life while you're young enough to do so!


  • flipper

    WHAT NOW ? - I hear what you are saying. I'm sorry that it's tough getting some activities together with other people. You just need to keep trying, even perhaps within your own neighborhood. My non-Witness wife and I have made some friends in our neighborhood who get this - " are actually good " worldly " people " ! LOL ! Surprise, surprise !

    The point you made in your case was true in my case as a JW that " if we weren't doing the calling or inviting , we didn't hear from people. " I experienced that as well in the JW's. In my opinion it seemed that the JW folks I knew were mainly " users " people who would be there to enjoy your hospitality, but never gave as much to the party or getting together process themselves.

    My suggestion is to get with other ex-JW's who understand what you are going through. If you don't know any in your immediate area, please feel free to PM others here on the board who you would like to talk to to show you support. My wife and I offer our friendship to you too. Anybody here would be glad to assist you. Lots of great people here ! Just PM me if you'd like to talk, O.K. ? Things will get better, I promise. Just keep on, keeping on- don't go back though, you'll just be made to feel miserable and enslaved with no self esteem or low self esteem. Plus if something happens to your children, they'll let them die with no blood transfusion- so think about that and your feelings of loneliness may dissipate somewhat. Hang in there

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