Within the first couple of years of leaving the WT quite a few people told me to “forget it, get over it and move on”, it wasn’t like I kept talking about it, in fact, as much as I needed too, I seldom did. Its just that they observed my interest in talking with exjws…an interest that I’ve never tired of. I used to feel like I owed people an apology because a lot of my best friends were exjws! Sometimes people who come here ask us why we don’t just get over it….why should we feel pressured to forget it all? Why forget the damage caused by the WT? I've moved on, but I'll never get over it.
The only reason I knew that the elders had announced my disassociation from the platform was because they called my mother and told her NOT to be at the meeting that night, she called me to let me know it would be finalised that evening and I wouldn’t be hearing from my JW family members anymore. She cried on the phone and for me, that was emotionally hard to deal with. The Watchtower had no right to put a heavy weight on her or on me, why should I forget their crime?
The morning after my dis-ass was read out I was aware that I had just lost my history! The Watchtower had no right to do that either, it continues to bind you with heavy weights even after you leave!
When we lose our history there is no one to say “hey remember years ago when we did this or that?” there are no episodes of happy reflection, all our friends and family whom we have associated with now treat us as dead. No one speaks anymore, in his or her eyes we are dead but we just refuse to lie down! There is no one to remember the fun times and the sad times we had, the trials we faced, the people we knew, the things we did together, the best friends we shared, the confidants, people we thought we could trust, the acquaintances, the daily experiences of life, people of the same faith who we would write to or visit in other countries, no one to bump into in town and catch up with. Life is isolated for the first couple of years…forget it and move on???
Then there is the issue of what to talk about to the new people we begin to meet? The Kingdom? The remnant 144000? Paradise? Armageddon? Kingdom expansion? Whose been disfellowshipped and whose been baptised? Pioneering? The service and the bible studies? Cults???? Surely people in the “normal world” would look at us like we had gone crazy if we spoke of these things. Yet these are “the normal” conversations we would have on a daily basis and its difficult to know what else to talk about when we leave. What did we have in common with people “in the world” when we were JWs? How do we now find a common ground with people who have never been in the cult? During the first year of our exit we probably became the worlds experts on the weather “Awful weather isn’t it…looks like the suns about to shine… I thought we’d lost the sun in England…its cold enough for snow today isn’t it...better get your thermals out its getting chilly” (abrupt end of thrilling conversation).
Exjws have enough to contend with, they don’t need people telling them to “Get a life” or to stop associating with people on exjw boards, they had “a life” remember and look what happened to it…. wiped out without as much as a blush from the WTS. Only other exJWs can relate to the enormity of that.
Thing is, until you have lost your history and everyone in it, you wont need to talk about it so much.
I feel that I have been wronged, I’m not bitter I’m just damaged. I’m pretty much over the worst, but I can still move on without throwing my past away. Its my past and its very much part of who I am in the present.