a couple of years ago I started thinking of myself not as an XJW, but as a former JW. To me the subtle difference has become a glaring obvious. To me an X-anything still connects to that thing I am an X of. But to say I am a former JW cuts th cord for me, because I am a former lot of things....and it just means that it is something that I finished in my life and moved on with. If I started to think of myself differently, then I started to behave differently.
But I have to say, it was not until I took a vacation from this particular forum last year and became a member of another elist called ExitFundyism when I started to realize that the world was a bigger place and JWs are not the only dangerous spins on xtianity and XJWs are not the only ones who have been devastated and hurt by their former religions. One of the first threads I got involved with on that elist was one that asked what things do you think you missed out on being raised in a fundy situation. I did not know what to expect out of the 400 or so members...but after I bit the bullet and wrote about the silly things I didn't know how to do on my own when I left JWs, 0I not only found others comiserating--but they actually experienced the exact same things! For instance, I did not know how to strike a match well into my early 20's...I didn't smoke, no birthday candles, no incense or candles(my dad thot they were too catholic...), electric stove, so until I had to learn fast or freeze to death in North Idaho I had never struck a match. I was ashamed of that. But atleast three other women said the exact same thing...and they were no where near being JWs....they were raised Pentecostal, Church of God, and Assembly of God!
While it may be true that the lingo is peculiar to JWs, the experience is not. And I have also found out that the differences in the lingo are not even all that great. And that elist has members from Europe, UK, Asia, Australia and USA plus! So it is also not just auniquely American experience either...
It has really broadened my perspective and lets me look at things with a more panaramic scope.
I actually go days, even weeks without thinking about being a former JW. And this time when I came back here to this forum, I am disconnected to alot of the stuff that used to tangle around my feet and drag me down.
No offense to this wonderful forum--for it provides an essential and life saving service. But for me, to finally lose that JW-ness, I had to leave all things JW for a while and find out that JWs are only one thing in this world that causes pain.