Friends of All Sorts....

by wisdomfrombelow 4 Replies latest jw experiences

  • wisdomfrombelow

    When I hear people say that you can't keep your JW friends when you leave I can understand why they say that. However, I can also see how that is a generalization. I remember my life growing up as a JW and having good friends who were Jewish and Catholic and Protestant and Buddhist and Hindu and Muslim and Atheists. I didn't try to force my religion down their throat and I respected them and they respected me. School and work expanded my exposure to different viewpoints. I also had some JW friends (and a lot more JW acquaintances.) As some of JW friends faded or were kicked out I still kept in touch because they were first and foremost, friends. Later, when I became a ex-JW some of my JW friends still kept in touch and visit and call. I guess because they are real friends and that is rare because they risk expulsion if discovered.

    People who are "in" probably don't ask of their friends "if one of us were to leave the JWs would be still keep our friendship?" I guess that is something they might want to consider before determining who their friends are. If you can't be honest and truthful with your friends then you need to find new friends. Is there anyone else out there who has managed to keep friendship with JWs after they exit or kept friendship with exJWs when they were still in?

  • Introvert 2
    Introvert 2
    Good post, I'm guilty of putting too much effort in being friends with JW's when in just because they were in and in good standing. Pretty superficial of me and I suffered because. Good thing I kept in touch with my childhood friends that I'm getting closer to again now that I'm out.
  • wisdomfrombelow
    I am glad that I had a diversity of friends growing up because of school and that had helped me be tolerant of different points of view.
  • Gayle

    It's wonderful you had a moderation regarding what "friendship" meant to you personally. Fortunately, you did not let the judgmentalism of the Watchtower impact you. Most JW parents run a tight ship on association for their children. Many JW kids like to associate with non-JW kids at school. Extracurriculars, school or otherwise were forbidden by most JW parents with regular admonitions. Most JW kids find a personal contradiction wanting to have non-JW friends, but however, being taught and believing somewhat, that their God, Jehovah, was going to destroy all non-JWs soon. (oh, the pain of heart I had going door to door calling on a fellow students and even teachers - didn't know where they lived)

    How much a JW youth absorbs, takes to heart, lives with personal conflict, is complex, impacts each one differently. I saw very frequently, when one parent, often the father not 'in' at all, or not as devoted to JWism, leaves a window open for many children to be more independent of thinking and a very high rate of those leave the organization very young and not with much trauma.

    However, when both parents are very devout, father is an elder or ms, mother pioneer frequently, often, there is no or not much room for independent thinking on the part of the JW child. For this child, as one grows and matures, on into adulthood, there is much re-education, re-analyzation to go through, it can take time and a lot of effort.

    Certainly, it is worth it and when raising our children, we find much joy raising them with freedom of heart and mind.

  • problemaddict 2
    problemaddict 2

    It is rare to keep friends when you leave. But it has a lot to do with the quality of the individual, and their own markers for "spirituality". I have three tiers of people.

    1) Friends, even long term friends, that just decided they could not "associate" with me anymore, or for any reason, due to m rejection of their faith.

    2) People I wasn't really close with, that just fell of the planet.....not really friends to begin with.

    3) A couple of close ones that hang in their, and have directly told me they love me and while they don't feel the way I do, short of me being some sort of crazy person or loosing it, they would continue to do so and never even thought about cutting off the friendship.

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