Wow I got up this morning to all these posts. Thank you very much for all your great ideas everyone, here's a few highlights,
If somehow, with a lot of financial "jiggling" you could pioneer but weren't you were "shirking". - Abbasgreta
Graduating High School and having college closed off and a War going on in Vietnam my generation of JWs were trapped with Pioneering as The Choice. - Designs
Your question brings up bad memories. The easiest answer is of course, yes, but there was so much more to it than that. - Lois
I don't see how anyone could *not* feel pushed into pioneering. It was shoved down your throat at every.single.meeting that if you weren't pioneering yet, you had better be making plans to start - Finally Awake
Relentless prompting from the platform and publications that if you do not preach "blood-guilt" is upon you. Then special articles in the km specially in the school vacation time entitled: "Will you do more in these months?" - T D Joseph
I thought I was "volunteering" to pioneer. I now realize how afraid I was not to pioneer. Threats of death due to lack of maintaining your spirituality is a strong motivator... I forgot about the pressure to continue to pioneer. Pioneer meetings are designed specifically to keep you on the pioneer roster.- Cult Classic
Definitely pressured into it and also pressured into not stopping... which is why I left cold turkey. - Mr Freeze
It was one of my "aha" moments that year, they didn't care about service, they cared about keeping you guilty and afraid. Could God possibly be so cruel as to expect people to spend their lives in futile, ineffective and demoralizing field service? I couldn't imagine it. I was immune to the manipulations, and saw it for what it was as. If God exists, he doesn't require human sacrifices. - Lisa Rose
gave me a long lecture about the purposes of my baptism & dedicating my life to Jehovah etc. Out of guilt I started pioneering. - Jaidubdub
I actually was forced to pioneer. Any money I earned on my job was taken away from me, so I could not save enough to escape. I was threatened that if I did not pioneer I would be kicked out of my home...I am posting this in the hopes people will realize how sinister this religion can be. - Rebel8
"Lord, lord, did we not Pioneer in your name? Did we not do 70 hours a month in your name?" And what does Jesus say in reply? - Julia Orwell
Thinking about my friend and how to help her see TTATT it seems to me that these thoughts are very helpful,
I think you're trying to look at your past with some objectivity. It was your choice even though you did feel pressured into it. Try to keep a focus on the good things that you experienced from your pioneering. It might include learning to live on less, being able to spend much more time with your husband than you would otherwise have had the opportunity to do etc. - Listener
Anyways the pressure of making time sucked, I mean there were moments I didn't even care about what I was telling people as long as I could make my hours. After that I never auxiliary pioneered ever again, I couldn't see where all the joy came from as I was too worried about upsetting Jehovah by not making time or by not pioneering so either way I seemed to be boned. - Sammy Jenkis
This, from Cult Classic, really hits the nail on the head for me as regards my OP,
JWs love laying on the guilt in order to strong arm you into servitude. Then, if and when you snap out of the BS, they'll "remind" you that, "it was your choice all along". Didn't know you had options while you were a faithful witness now did you? It is such a slap in the face.
Brilliant CC that is exactly what my friend seems to be saying to me, it was your choice to work so hard, nobody made you you had options .
If you felt forced to pineer it was all in your own mind. Just like the 1914 thing they step back from all the talks, conventions and magazine articles about pioneering and say, we didn't say that! So if we felt guilty that was our own conscience.
Thanks guys I think I know where I am going with my next letter now, appreciate your help. I echo what Sammy says,
You're so right, life's too short to waste worrying about worrying- hopefully your friend can see your point and take advantage of time before it escapes.