I'm sure that whatever stage we are at with our journey in leaving the Corporation disguised as a religion, AKA the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, we have good days and bad days. Maybe young ones who have managed to escape mentally do not suffer quite as much, or suffer in different ways, but after 40 years of indoctrination, what I now like to call the "machinery of reinforcement" it is unavoidable that you don't have days where your head is messed with.
Yesterday was just such a day for me. I lost a dear work colleague yesterday morning (who was only 27) so was already in a bad emotional state. Then in the afternoon I had, not one, but two visits from brothers in the congregation. One from a brother I haven't spent a lot of time with, who was fairly new to our congregation before I left, and one from my co-ordinator, a person I considered a true friend and colleague as we have served together for many years.
Frank conversations were had with both. The publisher treated me as a friend, with dignity and kindness. He listened and acknowledged my viewpoints even though he no doubt disagreed with them, and shared a "scriptural" thought with me in a very kind way, which I thanked him for simply because I appreciated the kind intent behind it. It is nice to have dealing with brothers that still have humanity in them, not just for their own, but for outsiders as well.
The elder on the other hand acted like a tyrant and bully. He called all my viewpoints "rubbish", yes those were his words. When I offered to show him supporting evidence of my viewpoints he said it would be a waste of his time. Funny how they claim they would die for their brothers, but once they consider you the enemy that will not "waste" so much as half an hour of their time for you. He also had the arrogance to claim he is not accountable to me or anyone else, only to God. Funny, when I was an elder I always considered my self accountable to my fellow humans, especially the brothers I served in the congregation. As far as I know there is only one group of people who consider themselves unaccountable to their fellow humans and this is dictators and tyrants.
Anyway, getting back to the point of this post. I want to thank all the contributors here for your support in general. But I particularly want to thank @stuckinarut & @unstuck, two friends I have had the recent pleasure of getting to know in the real world as well as here online. People who demonstrate the real meaning of friendship, as the scripture says, "brothers borne for times of distress." People who have never (yet) met me in person, but have been there for me unconditionally over the last few weeks whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on. I know they know how much I appreciate it, but I wanted to acknowledge them publicly, and all the others too that I'm sure are out there that help others on their rocky journey to cult recovery.
I also wanted to say that there is nothing like having that human connection. It is lovely to share stories and comment on forums like this in the virtual world anonymously, but being able to talk to someone in the real world is important too. I know many of us are probably scared/paranoid/shy/burned/lacking esteem - pick one - when in comes to making new connections, but I think its still worth trying and reaching out to people. Other ex-jw's may or may not end up being the right friends or compatible friends. Being an ex-jw in itself is not enough in common if you lack other common interests of course, or you have different world views. But it is a good place to start. Because at least they understand you on one very big level. And most will at least share the same values.
To all those who open themselves to friendship and give of themselves to provide emotional support to their fellow ex-jw's THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You are the best of humanity.
P.S. In regard to the death of my colleague, I am very proud of the community of colleagues in my profession here in the city I live in. We started an online fundraising campaign and within hours hundreds of people in our profession chipped in and we had raised the $3,000 we needed to be able to fly our colleague's widow's mother out from the other side of the world to be with her daughter and be here for the funeral. And this from so-called uncaring, selfish, "wordy" people. People who don't really know what true love is. Amazing!