I'm sure some of you on this forum have either attempted or perhaps succeeded in contacting other JWs or XJWs. Personally, I tried it 3X (times). My first attempt was back in 1993.
I used to, many years ago, talk to this one single-Mom sister. She was great! I really got along with her, and she was so supportive and always lent a listening ear. But, on a whim and being brave, I thought I would go through the phone book to see if I could locate her.
I was nervous as hell. I dialed the number, and within a couple of rings, she answered. But I was not sure if it was her. As soon as I asked for 'her', she confirmed, and I identified myself. SHE WAS FLABBERGHASTED! She was happy too, but she immediately asked me if I was 'DF/DA'd' which I told her: 'I don't know'. She asked me if I was lying, and I explained the situation. She was OK, but she wanted me to return to meetings and 'Jehovah this - Jehovah that'. It was weird. What I thought I would get or I thought I needed, did not transpire. It was kind of sad. I didn't talk long with her, and she basically ended with encouraging me to return to the meetings.
That same year, I tried another one. This time, outside of the Toronto area. I did one of those, dial...hang-up...dial again...hang-up..then try again, get the answering service...hang-up...try again, left a msg., and identified myself etc., but you know.....I do not even know if that was them. I left a number, who I was, 'my situation is the same'. Never heard from them. But like I said, could have been a wrong number by then. Afterall, it had been 10 years.
The last attempt, was with a brother I knew back in Atlantic Canada. I didn't know where he was, but I did an extensive 411. I was getting a bit bold I think. His family name was unusual enough that only 3 listings could be found, period. So I call one number, and presto! I get someone, but I ask for the person, but he is not in. But I vaguely recognize the voice, it's his wife (I forgot all about her). When I identified myself, she was very quiet and very uneasy. They were both active Jehovah's Witnesses. She asked me if I was disfellowshipped/disassociated, and I told her: "I don't know" - again, explaining the situation. All she could say was: 'I can talk a little, but not long'. I could tell she was very uneasy and not comfortable. I asked her about her brother, whom I found out was disfellowshipped. I asked her how she felt about it. She said 'he knew better and that that's the way it is'. Did she speak with him as a disfellowshipped family member? NO - not at all. I feel sorry for her brother. It was apparent that the conversation and some of my questions and comments had her anxiety level at an all time high. Time to end it. I told her it was probably best she not mention we had 'our conversation'. It was weird.
Since then, other than posting here and there (less intrusive and embarrassing), I have not called anyone. That's now, 10 years later. The rejection is what I hated and feared the most, although I could handle it better than let's say: 20 years ago, and even 10 years ago.
Good news though, on Tishi's old board, in the 'finding other XJWs', I located a good buddy from 22 years ago. That was amazing! I couldn't believe it. We still talk to this day and won't let anything EVER come between us ever again.
Anyone have any similar experiences? Any positive outcomes? I know this is a toughy for some, considering many have family that are active J-dubs, therefor the shunning is extremely painful.
Just curious, but I do hope some of you whom are comfortable enough, will share. I do find some solace and comfort in the stories of others. Thanks everyone.