Missing Friends.

by Resi 15 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Resi

    It's been a long time since I posted. For a brief recap, I have an aunt who is one of Jehovah's Witnesses. When I was really sick, I sought out their group because I remembered the support my aunt had and how they were like a second family to her. I studied with them for a year and became an unbaptized publisher. The "friends" had considered me a sister and felt my baptism was pending. When I answered the questions for baptism, I was turned down by the elders based on my attendance (which would suffer because I would be sick). I was really discouraged and started to pull away from their group. In that year, I had been close to them and there were a few whom I considered to be close friends. Though I tried to fit into the larger group (how all the young adults knew each other from the different congregations, probably because they grew up together), they didn't really accept me or know how to respond to me. This was several years ago, but when one of the "sisters", whom I was close to, got engaged and married, I felt so sad I was not apart of it. I cherished being close to her and she was there for me when I was really sick. One of her friends was knocking door to door and I had remembered meeting her before, so we reconnected and study together sporadically, though it's not consistent at all. Through this friend of hers that I study with, I still hear about updates, etc. What triggered me to post this is the close friend finally defriended me on facebook and I feel so sad. I really do miss their company at times and how close we were. However, I don't want to move through my life feeling guilty or like I have to conceal or downplay aspects of my life.

    I feel odd sometimes about celebrating holidays even though I only abstained for one year. My spirituality has grown in a different direction, but I still miss the company. I sometimes consider about reconnecting, but when that occurs to me, I remember that straddling a fine line in showing up doesn't mean I am welcomed or accepted or considered one of them. I realize maybe they consider me returning to the world or being a worldly person, but with that barrier, I'm assuming even if I am active, it won't really make a difference since I don't have a baptized status.

    My life is fulfilled in other ways, but sometimes you miss the person you knew. I realize we are on different paths now, but I still consider our time together fondly. It makes me sad that such a vital split is because we cannot honor where the other is now, different as it may be.

    Those are my drifting thoughts...while studying with them provided me a foundation and structure and connection when I was really sick, I am much better now and able to sustain my own in all those areas. I found my involvement with Jehovah's Witnesses really shed light on my relationship to peer pressure, how much I value connection and community, my relationship with personal boundaries, and where I was in being able to speak my truth and be solid in who I am and what I'm about.

  • slimboyfat
    Many of us get sucked in to the religion when we are low and get stuck there. Count yourself lucky that you had/have the reflexivity to realise what you got out of the Witnesses and what they couldn't give you. In some ways it sounds like you got the best of them while avoiding the worst. They'll never respect any decision other than to join them you just have to accept that.
  • Tornintwo

    I have faded over the past few months and find myself quite lonely at times, missing some friendships. But I realize I can't have them unless I accept teachings and practices I no longer agree with, no blood, no birthdays, family shunning, looking down on worldly people, believing that everyone else is wrong and will die, mishandling of child abuse, legalism, dogmatism, judgementalism within the congregation and a thinly disguised hierarchy.

    The reason I'm lonely is I've never cultivated friendships outside the organization, because I was told not to. My plan it to try to do that now and hopefully I'll miss the few nice witnesses less and less. Hopefully in the long run well have better friendships, which aren't conditional on us conforming to an organizational ideal.

  • nicolaou

    Hello Resi

    I was fascinated by your post mostly because of what you didn't say. At no point did you mention doctrine, it seems to have been of no consequence to you.

    I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, what is actually true or not seems to matter less and less these days. I think, like yourself, that most JW's are in it for the community but that creates serious problems when once blinkered minds begin to open.

    Hope you find what you're looking for.

  • KateWild

    It's an awful feeling to connect with people and realise they don't really see you as that much of a priority in their lives. You're right about them being prejudice as you're not baptised.

    This cult really causes a lot of damage and isolation. sorry you are missing your friends.

    Kate xx

  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    Hi Resi, you hit the nail on the head - it won't really make a difference since I don't have a baptized status.

    Sadly, people only find out too late that the "Christian" love and friendship being offered worldwide is totally conditional on two requirements being met -

    1) a person has to get baptised as a J.W. and

    2) they have to exert themselves in proving their loyalty & obedience to the Org in everything they are "counselled" to do.

    Failure to comply with either of these demands will exclude you from most/all J.W. social interactions.

    Exert yourself - and create your own social circle far away from such vacuous people.

  • ToesUp


    Your post is sad and I am sorry you have been hurt.

    These people are conditional, they are not your friends. Friends do NOT treat you this way. Friendships in the JW organization are based off of JW tasks. If you perform their tasks, i.e. field service, meeting attendance, going to assemblies, pioneering and reaching out for positions (if you're a male). If you perform these tasks, then they will more than likely accept you into their little world. Let me repeat....that is not friendship. Move on with your life.

    There is a great quote I think of often:

    “I used to think the worst thing in life is to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.”

    Robin Williams
  • KateWild
    Move on with your life.-Toes up

    You have no idea how rubbish this advice is. Moving on after being in a cult is lonely and a struggle, don't be so naive as to believe moving on is a simple case of getting an education, a career, volunteering, finding hobbies. You don't actually get true friends by doing all of this. It's just a distraction from the isolation. then when you're tired and home alone, you get emotional and feel how awful it is you have no one to share your life with because your acquaintances from your jobs, hobbies etc, have other priorities and are too busy to socialise with you.

    People come to this board for advice and support. we need to acknowledge their struggles, not be dismissive about isolation and how stressful it is.

    Kate xx

  • Vidiot
  • LisaRose

    I am sorry you were treated that way, it was very hurtful. Although it's good you never got dunked, what kind of a stupid, f'ed up religion wouldn't let you get baptized because you were sick and missed some meetings? Most religions would have been happy to have you, they wouldn't criticize you for being sick, they would bring you soup. They shoot themselves in the foot by being so stupid, it's no wonder why they are having money troubles.

    I know it's hard right now, but you are young and will meet new people and the pain of being treated as disposable will fade with time. I have been out so long I hardly think about it anymore, I've made and lost friends since then and made new friends again, that's life and there are a lot of great people in the world, just keep looking until you find them.

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