Another good little read about missing friends.
Resi, thanks for this post. It's a fact that people get, as Slimboyfat said, "sucked into" the jdubs when they are at a low point in life, or feel they have a hole to fill. Your story shows this to be true, yet you had the resilience to back away when you realized they were not truly a loving group of people.
It's sad that you are disconnected from those you befriended. Truly it's their loss as you seem to be a really compassionate, well-rounded person. Unfortunately, the same conditional thinking that led to you being turned down for baptism is what led to you being cast aside as a friend. Those young women are locked inside a cage not of their own making.
I agree with Nicolaou. Being associated with a friendly group seems as important or more important to you then the doctrines.
My wife and I have a great friend, we've known her for 40 years........ who left a remote New Mexico town to live with us for a year or so here in Virginia while she recovered from a stage 3 cancer, surgery and chemo. We are all in our mid to late 60's by the way.
Now our small city, population 7,000, has two colleges, a couple of libraries and 5 or 6 coffee shops etc. It's a very friendly place. Our friends became her friends but she had something else going for her. She was an on again off again Buddhist. If she lived close to a temple she attended. If not she went about her life.
Apparently Buddhism is not a religion and Buddha is not a god it's about meditation and some other non threatening stuff.
She was pleased that among the 34 or so churches their was A Buddhist temple.
Our friend began to meet regularly once a week with a group and with an occasional retreat thrown in the mix.
So this Buddhist center has about 90 members but unless there is a special event 25 to 30 people attend on Sunday morning. Like a number of churches they are not spring chickens so 40 to 70 seems to be the common age span.
Her first 3 or 4 visits she didn't get the love bonding that a JW or other type of churches offer. In fact no one even talked to her. She did stay for refreshments after the service (or whatever they call it). The service was basically to assume the position and meditate. People also arrived early and or stayed after cleaning up, working in the gardens and so forth. After a few weeks she made it a point to volunteer and she began to be accepted as one of them. Relationships need to grow organically.
From this natural association and shared meditation she began developing friendships......... some very good one's in fact. She drew close to a single friend and that escalated into a full relationship.
This is not the first time I've known about this as another friend lost his wonderful wife and his mourning was deep and debilitating. He was encouraged to visit this same place and found the meditation helpful. He also met and made new friends and about a year later began to date a women who also attended. They married a year after that.
There is something to say about sharing a space on a weekly basis throwing in a little volunteer effort and using the mediation as a different type of spirituality.
There is also something even more positive to say that you don't have to believe in any of the higher levels if it's not your thing and you don't have to knock on doors and lie to people about a belief or answer to a dogma that combines ideas about grooming and health care and looks forward to billions of people being destroyed.
Food for thought Resi?
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.
Yep, it's gotta be 100% or nothing.
Your post really brings to light how conditional and insincere the Jehovah's Witnesses are. When they first show up at your door step they behave like your long lost cousin specially if you accept the literature. And if you actually accept a study right then and there, wow, you are literally that person's BFF. And if you ask to accompany them to a meeting then WOW they will literally kick their spouse, kids, and grandma out of the vehicle just to make sure there's space for you and you can attend.
It's insulting that true friendship is based on whether you agree with the anti scriptural teachings of their Organization.
My suggestion would be to emotionally end your relationship with them in every possible way. The thing is while you are reminiscing and dreaming of times past, these incredibly shallow, robotic, imbecilic, and misguided people have probably already acquired another person who has replaced you as their new BFF.
I feel your pain. It can be difficult to lose friends. But then again, was this person really your friend? Does a real friend have these sort of tight restrictions and conditions on their love.
I recently got "broken up with" via e mail by a friend I have had for 18 years. This guy was like family. It hurt. It was painful. But in the end, this person is not a good friend. Friendly? Fun to be around? Sure. But that is empty when people are only there for you based on a very slim criteria, and your association with a particular group.
Move on. It will hurt for a bit, but look for real friendships.