I just had a two-hour doctor's appointment (treatment for branch retinal vein occlusion) that requires screenings, scans, dilation, anesthetic and injection, etc. This makes it necessary to spend a lot of time in the waiting room.
My former P.O., Book Study Conductor and later Field Service Overseer was there and greeted me in a friendly way. This is a man that has to have seen my resignation letter referencing child sexual abuse and the ARC; so in his eyes, I disassociated. If for some reason, he is no longer an elder and did not see the letter, at the very least he should be shunning me as a 5-year inactive fader. Also, I know for a fact that I am on the Do Not Call list.
Apparently, the congregation is growing (20% increase) and has lots of children now. Counting baptized minors and elders and servants imported to "help out", I don't doubt the numbers. I just don't think this can be called growth. I did comment that it's wonderful to have kids around and shared a photo of my grandson. I mentioned when my husband and I were first married in 1978, there was so much emphasis on "the end is so near" that having children was hugely discouraged. He said the emphasis now is not on "getting time in", just on "doing the best we can". I asked about his daughter and son-in-law. Apparently, they are still active in the congregation and bought a house on the beach and by Dad’s words are “enjoying life.”
He commented that I look well, happy, am smiling more, and that there is a "lightness" about me. As he knew me well-- as only invasive JW elders do, I did say that I was no longer on meds for anxiety and depression; and I said when I was in the congregation years ago, I took on a lot of pain and anxiety regarding my husband and children's life choices (read Armageddon death sentences). He acknowledged that he knew that. I said now I just live a day at a time and let the rest go. I didn’t mention I was lighter for having a happy family life (something the JWs promised me as a pre-teen that sucked me in to the organization which they later took away by asking me to shun my children) and having dumped the JW burden of guilt and never ever being good enough.
We chatted for the entire time, catching up, and we even hugged good-bye. I would never have guessed! He said, "the friends" think warmly of you". No further attempt to witness to me. There is not a chance in hell that I would ever go back, but this chance meeting further relieves any anxiety about running into the elders. We do live in a very small town.