Hi all, I'll leave my full story for another time. But briefly: I was born-in, raised by my single JW-mother, baptised at 18, faded less than 18 months later (never DA'd.. or DF'd to my knowledge!), never gone back (though I looked over my shoulder for some time afterwards!) - I still have a little contact my JW-mother and older sister - but have a great relationship with my younger ex-JW sister.
9 years ago, I celebrated my first birthday in the company of a few good friends; this week I will be celebrating my 9th (30th!) birthday with a much larger group... built up in the time since - I feel closer and happier with them, then I ever felt with JWs growing up.
I don't know if it's the big birthday or what... but a few weeks ago, I started reading the odd ex-JW website here and there - and then stumbled over here and have spent the time since then reading thread after thread after thread, discussing the same kinds of concerns that I had had once upon a time. It has felt like a weight lifting gently off my shoulders - relief that there are literally thousands of people like me.
All this has led me to thinking about those "friends" still "in"... or if they were still in or not?! I truly believe that if released from the WT/JW shackles that they were raised in, I would be as close to them as the friends who I have adopted as my "family" in the years since.
So... I've reached out and sent some friendly messages – to a few folk whose FB profiles look a little non-JW... or who I'd heard rumours that may be out/on the way out – just asking how they’re doing etc. I'm hoping that they get back to me, as it would be good to catch up with these good people; this includes one who I knew as an elder 10 years ago, though I suspect is now out (I'm 85% sure), though I'm not about to just message him out of the blue and say "are you DF/DA'd?? Want to chat???" (I'm still thinking on this one... how to approach it)
What about all of you? Have you reached out to people you suspect are ex-JWs/on the way out, or waited until they were completely out and in the open? Have you had any success/backlash?