Just a little disclaimer: English isn't my first language (i'm from France) thus the poor writing skills.
Here is the situation: i'm not a JW. However, i'm in the process of becoming one. In fact, i'm studying with the JW's, and I'll proceed to become an unbaptized publisher as soon as I finish the first book.To make a long story short I was introduced to the Truth when I was 18een. I was studying with the jw, but then stopped when I started my first semester in university. I was in medical school at that time (I still am), and was also working 25 hours/week to pay my student loans. I found it really hArd to balance school, work, and my personal study. I was constantly missing the meetings and postponing my personal study. I faded, and eventually left the organization... I would like to mention that ,while being "in the world", I haven't committed any serious sins that could be considered a difellowshippement offence. As a matter of fact,I'm still a virgin. It took me two years to go back to Jehovah. Today, i'm studying again with my study instructor, i'm attending the meetings regularly, and doing everything I'm required to do. Yet, I feel rejected by certain members of the org. The sisters and brothers, for the most part, are welcoming and very encouraging. Everyone is nice to me except for one family who is making my integration a vey hard process. The father is an elder, and all five children (4 daughters/1 son) are pioneers. The mother, a very condescending lady, shows hostility towards me in a very passive-aggressive way (if that makes sense). While she puts a ridiculous amount of energy to show me that she deliberately avoids me, she spends most of her time scrutinizing me during the speeches. She loves to scan me from head to toe searching for something to point out. Luckily for me, I know how to dress glamorously without breaking the rules. So there is nothing she can report (not in this area anyway). A friend of mine (who left the organization) warned me about this tendency the members have to overanalyze one another. She even told me that "good-looking" single sisters are often put under a microscope more than the rest. Now I don't consider myself to be particularly attractive. However, I do take care of myself, wear nice clothes, and I'm often told that i'm very feminine and sensual. I don't understand why this elderette acts the way she does. She makes it very clear that she's bothered by my presence. She didn't always felt that way though. She tried to befriend me (probably because her son socialized with me a lot) prior to me leaving the organization, but I never let het get too close. For some reason, I never felt comfortable around her. I know only God has the power to read people's hearts, but I don't think she is that good of a person. Sure she does display some christian qualities, but then again I suspect that she does this only because she gets some sort of reward out of it. For example, one time she had me over for diner just so she could get personal information about my life... Now, she's very cold with me, and won't say a word to me. The last (and only time) she has spoken to me was 4 months ago. She wanted to know when I was going to finish my study. I told her I had four more years to go. We never spoke again. Her whole family is shunning me except for the father. The daughters will look at me from head to toe, but won't greet me. As for the son, he was friendly with me until recently. We have had a lecture about uneven yoked marriages and the dangers of marrying non-believers not long ago (WT STUDY). He stopped socializing with me ever since. Being an introverted person, this type of behaviour doesn't normally affect me. But since it's coming from a very influent family, I'm afraid that it will affect my integration in the long run. I'd like to understand why i'm being treated with suspicion. I know that some sisters look down on me because I want to pursue higher education. I may even be regarded as materialistic and selfish, but the truth is that I don't have any other choice but to build a career if I want to be able to support myself while pioneering. Also, I'd like to spoil my parents because they've been working so hard for me. I have no intensions of getting married whatsoever. Therefore I have to be able to support my own self. It's difficult to be treated like an outsider when all you want to do is to serve God. The fact that I don't have any family members in the truth makes it even harder. At this point I don't know what to do: should I continue study with my study instructor until I get baptized, and then switch congregation or should I stop everything now and switch congregation?
Thanks for your help guys, and sorry for the poor quality of the language.
Many of us here have been through similar situations as you have & know what it feels like! I would advise you to please do more research about JW's instead of learning about them by only studying their publications. Please go to google & find out everything you can about JW's before you proceed any further. It would only take a few minutes of your time but it would change your life forever!
Esmerelda, If you think that is unique you are mistaken. Once you get trapped by this bullshit religion you will become a pariah for your sense of style and your education will become a reason to show even more disdain. Take the hint and get OUT NOW!
I'm sorry Esmerelda but I'm afraid most of us have experienced this judgementalism and lack of love within the congregations. I converted at 18 and spent 25 years trying to be accepted and never feeling good enough. There are sisters, brothers or families like that in every congregation. Yes there are kind and well meaning brothers and sisters too, but unfortunately it seems to be the prominent ones who are judgemental and cliquey and they can really make you feel terrible and leave you left out of social events etc... If you are single, attractive and with a good education and career you are setting yourself up for a lonely life combatting jealousy in this religion.
I realised that this religion isn't the truth just recently, because my children were treated badly by others and it opened my eyes. I still love God and Jesus but I don't believe in following blindly what 7 men in New York tell us to do, Jesus said 'I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me" , before you commit please read some alternative viewpoints of the witnesses. After all truth should stand up to scrutiny, you know this from your studies. I don't want you to make wrong decisions and be unhappy for many years as I have been. Here is a good place to start:
at least read this short leaflet: http://jwfacts.com/print/jw-studies-pamphlet
Bro just walk away and say nothing
You said your friend 'warned you that JW's tend to overanalyze one another'- you then experienced that your friend was accurate. What good would moving congregation do? You now know that JW's have a tendency to act like the Pharisees, whatever congregation you move to you will again experience this fruitage of the JW organisation that you were forwarned of.
Indeed, read some articles on the JWfacts website. God will not be angry with you for analysing the facts about this Organisation.
Your English is excellent, better than many of us natives!
The problem is that ALL of the JW congregations are corrupt. They all follow the teachings and interpretations of seven men in New York. The disease is systemic.
If I could scoop you up and take you to a safe place, I would do it right now. I grew up a JW, and I can tell you in all truth that the abusive behavior toward you will not improve. This religion is tainted with people who are judgmental, overbearing, nosy, and hypocritical. Haven't you seen the ravings of governing body member Anthony Morris over men wearing tight pants? It is all over this forum and the Internet. But wait, there's more: Once you are baptized and fully "in", you will only have to continue to try to prove your worth based upon your performance as a JW by increasing your accolades within their org. Even if you manage to reach the esteemed rank of regular pioneer, you will never be fully treated humanely. Women in particular are taught to be submissive to men and their "headship". For example, women are only allowed to utter a verbal prayer (even with their children) if they are not in the presence of a male JW.
Also, you will face constant scrutiny for your clothing, makeup, and hairstyle in and out of the Kingdom Hall. If you dress well, and have good taste, this will attract attention. This is problematic because so few men exist within the religion that single sisters will view you as their competition for a spouse.
The fact is that no enviornment within this so-called religion is healthy or worth another moment of your time. If you are a Christian, please keep looking for a church-home that resonates with you. By all means, run away from those JWs as fast as you can.
Before my wife and I faded, we went through similar women envy against my wife and her sister. She and her sister were among the few great looking gals in the area. She used to express to me that many sisters would act out against them in sneaky ways, behind her and her sister's back. We started our courtship approximately 22 years ago, so now we've been happily married 21 years. The first time I took her to my own hall, she got the dirty looks and ugly statements made against her. This was also from sisters that treated me nicely, the older sisters tried to shit on my parade by asking "are you sure questions" about my new interest in my future wife.
One day we both had had it and were sick of it. After months of blasphemy and made up stories about us, I decided to put my arm around my finance during a Sunday meeting. Sure thing, we were both pulled to the side and asked if we were thinking about marriage. I answered, of course. Then an elder that was always out to get me says, "well you should of told us before you acted on getting engaged". I smirked and said, "I really don't think this is any of your business brother, and I will ask you to marry us if we want you to marry us!" This enraged him but he managed to keep it under control. Then the Presiding elder came to my defense and said, "Well we just want to let you know that we are here if you need any help". Then He asked, "Do you have anyone in mind to ask to marry you". I answered yes, and related to him that we had asked the president of the city at that time. During the 90's the head elder of the city was referred to as the president. This helped in paving the way into our smooth transition into marriage.
So my wife's good looks and classiness also affected her, even if she was fully active. This will be grief you will go through, even if you are fully involved in the organization.
Lastly, I also got pressure and grief for getting educated. Taking a religions of the world class might help in your decisions. I finished my higher education in the Psychology field, and this reaffirmed the abusive control and chauvinistic behavior that permeates this cult. https://www.freedomofmind.com/Info/BITE/bitemodel.php
First of all your English was just fine and your post was easy to read and understand.
Before you even mentioned your appearance I was thinking to myself that this "Sister" you mentioned, is probably a bit intimidated by you because you are well put together and have an education. You are the new girl in town and she may see you as somewhat of a threat to herself and her daughters. I'm also wondering if her Son may have thought more of your casual friendship than you may realize and he may have said something about his interest in you, to his Mother. Even though you have no intentions towards him, she may be worried about her Son becoming "unevenly yolked" with someone who hasn't established herself as a full fledged JW yet.
People are people and JW's are no different than anyone else, they just think they are. You'll meet women like this no matter where you go. It's just a bit more hurtful when it happens in a place where you've let your guard down and may have let yourself become more trusting because you've been led to believe that they are more trustworthy. Sometimes JW's are resentful of the attention new ones get when they first come in to the congregation. I think they feel a little bit like the prodigal son who stayed behind at home and did what he was supposed to while his brother went off and did what he wanted. To them, you have been living it up out in the big bad world and have gotten to do things they weren't allowed to, such as getting a college education. Now you show up in "their world" on "their turf" and you are getting attention for doing what they've been doing all along.
I don't want to discourage you from studying with JW's if you think there's something you can gain from doing so but I would recommend that you verify everything they teach you, from outside sources and not be taken in by the seemingly trustworthy way they have. Many of those you will meet are unaware that they themselves don't have the full picture when it comes to the origins of their religion and it's doctrines yet they really believe it and are only too happy to pass it along to you and expect you to buy into it 100% as well. They will also be suspicious of you if you question it or don't go along with it entirely. They only tolerate questions up to a certain point. After that, their radar goes up and they will be watchful of you.
Much of the behavior of JW's is shaped by unwritten/unspoken rules or ethics that they have developed themselves and are not necessarily Bible based. As with any tight knit group, you'll have to navigate your way through that until you either learn to conform to their ways or get simply get used to being looked at with sideways glaces. It can be done so long as you are aware of what is going on and can manage to avoid losing yourself in the process. Remember, you are there to validate them and their chosen path. Every new one that comes in and accepts the faith is a reassurance to them that they are on the right track themselves. Questions you may pose are a reminder of the doubts they may have suppressed for so long they've forgotten about them.