I've been Love-Bombed
So my husband and I are on vacation. We are in another country visiting his non-JW family. We lived here for many years, and our closest JW friends are all here, albeit a 4 hr. plane ride away. They all know that I am inactive, and since we weren't planning on visiting the town we lived in, 2 families came to us.
We had a blast together. We laughed until we cried, we caught up on all our friends' lives. We haven't seen them in 8 years, but we picked up where we left off like it was just last week we'd been together.
My friend had her phone FULL of greetings to us from people we know. Pictures, video messages, emails, etc, etc. Mostly they were to me, and it was really nice to see everyone.... at first. After a while, it was just uncomfortable. It was too much, it was unnatural, something.
And then one day 'the guys' were all out and it was my friend and me. And the questions began... what could she do to help, what had happened that I felt that I couldn't go back to meetings, how it was so important to stay close to Jehovah's organization, the great tribulation was about to begin, blah blah blah. I know she is sooooo sincere, and she and her whole family have fallen for the JW garbage hook, line, and sinker. She was literally in tears, trying to figure out some way to 'help' me.
I mostly told her that I knew that Jehovah understood the situation I was in (I don't believe in Jehovah), and that no matter what anyone thought, Jehovah knew that I was doing the best that I can. After so much talk about my trusting in Jehovah and how I know that Jehovah is helping me through my difficult time, she switched gears to Jehovah's Orginazation and how important it is that we stay close to that.... good grief. I'm exhausted, lol!
Anyway, it was kind of a twilight-zone experience for me.... I feel sorry for my friend, so blinded to reality. But I feel a little sorry for me, too. I miss the friendships that we had. We have history together, and our relationship will forever be different because I left the JWs.
Her kids are pioneering, as is her husband and her sister-in-law. Another sister has moved Where The Need Is Great with her husband and they have put off having children until the Paradise. MY kids have graduated from 2 of the best universities in the world, have great jobs, LOTS of friends, have traveled the world, and are free to think, say, and believe what they want. And that is priceless.
Sounds like you had a wonderful time. The love bombing can feel quite good. People want to be accepted & loved. However, I think you have a good grip on the reality of the situation. There are 3 things you can probably count on with JW's if you have been away & inactive for awhile.
1. Although everyone was nice.....you know how JW's gossip. No doubt you have been gossiped about because of leaving.
2. The love bombing is because they want you be be of the same mind as them in a mind controlling cult. How would they really feel about you if they knew you really didn't accept all things currently believed by JW's?
3. Even if the love bombing got you to go back, do you think they would keep it up? No....it's conditional love only designed to get you back in. If you didn't make 90% of meetings, get X amount of hours in FS, comment and give TMS talks, then you would not get the love. You know you can never do enough in this organization.
I'm curious......if you have been out since the over-lapping generation change and the Governing Body only is the F&DS. Ask them about these changes, and see if they can make sense of them.
MY kids have graduated from 2 of the best universities in the world, have great jobs, LOTS of friends, have traveled the world, and are free to think, say, and believe what they want. And that is priceless.
As hard as it is to leave, it is good that you have taken the step for the sake of your children. It is a point that I like to make to people that are in two minds as to whether they should take to step to leave or stay and go through the motions.
I would never go back. You are right, I am sure they both gossip about me and try to figure out how they can get me back in. I'm past the point of being treated like a 'weak' JW, and I am now worthy of love-bombing. I'm too far gone in their eyes. For me, this is both a relief (I've successfully faded!), and a little sad. It's the end of many, many close friendships. But that's ok. My freedom is worth more than that.
These JWs will never respond to logic. Any questions about the JW teachings will be answered by the JW-party-line. Doesn't matter if it makes no sense.
An interesting example of this happened when my friend's husband got up from the sofa after sitting a while.... being middle aged, he had stiffened up and groaned that he was getting old. My friend answered, Oh no, we will never get old in this system of things! You know, Millions now living will never die! .... I almost said, You know, millions who read those words already ARE dead!
jwfacts - I so agree with you. In my family, the JW cycle is broken. My kids are informed about what the JWs really teach and know that it's NOT "The Truth". They have made real, true friends in college and in their work lives. They have travelled and stayed with friends when they arrive in different countries or states. I love telling my die-hard JW relatives this, because growing up as JWs, we are led to believe that that is only possible when you are part of Jehovah's Only True Organization. It's soooo not true!
Compare your childrens' lives to what you had.
It will give a preview of what you can have too because it is not too late for you and your husband to explore new things.
I understand. Good on you for giving you children a different life. Freedom is priceless.
I feel the same way after seeing the old friends. I feel sorry for them in their delusion...the future they expect will never materialize...what a waste of life. I feel a little sorry for myself...little...just sets me back a wee bit. But when I think about the freedom I have, that chasm between gets wider and wider, and I feel less and less about it. Phew...what a journey.
Congratulations on your successful exit!
In my family, the JW cycle is broken.
I love hearing people use this phrase. It means the Watchtower influenence is broken. The family has true hope for the future, and the family relationships will be based on true love for family and not on conditional GB bullshit & whims.
Honesty - my husband is still a JW, and isn't interested in 'worldly' association. I miss having friends :( But I still could never go back.
Dagny - I do sort of feel like it's set me back. I've made a couple of friends in the last few months, ex-JWs from JWN :) And I'm so thankful for mew friends. But the old friends, the ones I have decades of history with, are hard to completely let go. Knowing that they view me as a 'project', as someone who Needs Encouragement, is a little sad.
AlphaMan - nope, no more WT influence in future generations of my family! :) My kids are leading successful lives, happy and fulfilled and self-assured. At their ages, I was a pioneer and unquestioningly obedient to the WTS. Such a tragic waste of youth.
(1) Her kids are pioneering, as is her husband and her sister-in-law. Another sister has moved Where The Need Is Great with her husband and they have put off having children until the Paradise.
(2) MY kids have graduated from 2 of the best universities in the world, have great jobs, LOTS of friends, have traveled the world, and are free to think, say, and believe what they want. And that is priceless.
GGG, that says it all!!!
I'll take what's behind "Door #2" [reference to American TV game show].
Your friends and their kids are doomed to having fruitless, empty lives. Oh sure, they will tell themselves how happy they are with their devotion to God The Cult, and how it's the best way of life, and how they have been so blessed in their choices to serve God The Cult, but in reality they will end up with an empty bag, other than a bunch of equally braindead "friends" who confirm their decision and their happiness.