I took a break from posting, but I'm back, and I wanted to share a story.
I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church, I was never "one of Jehovah's Witnesses." What I know about Jehovah's Witnesses I learned from books, from attending services as a researcher, and from ex-Witnesses like the posters of this site. I know a lot, but I don't know everything. That's why I want to share this.
About a month and a half ago, I went through a difficult day at the hands of the professors in my department (too long of a story to share). I feared that word of this spread in my community, but I couldn't tell for certain, and still can't. Within the next three days, I ran into Jehovah's Witnesses I knew twice, once on the street by a cart, and once at a bus stop. By the cart, the Jehovah's Witness pointed out the cart and said, "There's those people out Jehovah's Witnessing." I said, "You're one of Jehovah's Witnesses, what do you mean?" She told me, letting her sentence drop off, "They're handing out literature, so if you want to take something," and then she walked away. I felt like she commanded me to take a magazine without saying it directly. I know that approach isn't typical for them: that they're told not to approach people when they "cart witness."
A few days later, I called for an uber to take a hike. The uber driver moved an Awake! magazine from the front seat to the back when I got in. He knew things about me and told me them, such as that I struggle at times with mental health, and he tried to make me feel better. He didn't talk about Jehovah, didn't give me the magazine, but I found it strange that he knew those things because I didn't know him. I visited the closest congregation for two Memorials. He could have seen me there, who knows? But although he did make me feel better, I felt... monitored.
About a month passed. Two days ago, I got a text from a Jehovah's Witness I knew at the third congregation I studied. He doesn't text me almost at all anymore (used to, two years ago). Today, I got a call from the small town where the first congregation meets. They didn't leave a message, but I backtraced the number. I know no one in that town but Jehovah's Witnesses with who I haven't spoke in years.
Does any of this make any other poster uncomfortable, or is it just me? Be honest, I need perspective on this. I can jump to conclusions at times.