Community Outside of a Religious Setting

by What Now? 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • What Now?
    What Now?

    Is this possible?

    This is the one thing that I have struggled with since leaving the organization.

    I recognize the need and value of belonging somewhere, being a part of something, showing up weekly to a community where me and my husband and children are loved and utilized and incorporated and cared for. A place where are my kids qualities are nurtured and encouraged , and then reigned in and developed when needed.

    I've joined mom groups and parent groups and tried to get involved in my sons school and enrolled my kids in community classes ... but it's not the same.

    I miss that feeling of "brotherhood", and often wonder if I have done my family a great disservice by taking this away from them.

    For the record we are not at all religious, and I have considered attending non denominational Christian churches just for the sake of community, but I didn't feel right about faking the whole Jesus thing.

    I almost want to start a " Church for people who aren't religious"!

  • Onager

    Move to a small village? They tend to be tightly knit communities. We lived in a village in the Cotswolds for a year. Village fetes, weekly pub quizzes, everyone into everyone else's business... I thought it was great, but it drove the wife mad. YMMV.

  • xjwsrock

    There are pluses and minuses to a religous community. The gossip and judgement are sometimes unbearable. The feeling of togetherness can be nice though. My thought is this. Togetherness should not be manufactured through lies and intimidation. The org is shady and corrupt. Look at their veiled real estate business dealings. Always explained away as "furthering kingdom interests" (whatever that means) and "wisely utilizing dedicated funds" (like saying dedicated funds automatically legitimimizes their activity).

    I think the mind has a way of romanticizing the past when we are having a down moment. We tend to see the past through rose colored glasses. There is nothing rosey about watching people die from declining blood transfusions or seeing them commit suicide from the pressure of living the JW "never good enough" life.

    It takes time to build strong bonds and friendships. Be patient and stay moving. Exercise, meditate, bond with nature, play with the kids. Laugh too loud and kiss too long.

    Better to have a small tight group of friends you can count on than 8 million that will throw you off the boat and watch you drown if you make a wrong move.

  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    It's hard for many to adapt to a non-judgmental, non-restricted, and liberated life after being in the org for so long. Can take a bit of getting adjusted, especially trying to make a new social circle with folks whose outlook on life and attitudes are radically different from what we were used to.

    Better the devil you know.........................?????? Why need to know any devils?

  • Simon

    I think studies have shown that most people only have a very small group of really close friends, we feel pressure from crap like facebook to have more but the reality is we won't. The rest are really just associates who may share an interest in some activity. Sometimes though the people we come across through these activities become close friends and sharing an interest often helps kick-start regular meet-ups (because no one becomes great friends overnight).

    So best thing to do is join some clubs for things you're interested in and start meeting some people regularly through it and over time people who get on gravitate toward each other.

    BTW: What you describe of the utopia of super-loving and caring religious groups is more often than not completely fake. I'm sure some exist, but not many.

  • undercover
    ...wonder if I have done my family a great disservice by taking this away from them.

    Seriously? A disservice? You've saved them from indoctrination into a cult. You probably saved them from later personality issues once they realize they're in a cult, and try to escape. You may have even saved their lives, should the blood issue ever arise down the road (hopefully not, but do you want to really face that crisis as an open eyed JW?)

    Remember, the 'brotherhood' you were part of was based on everyone in the collective obeying the leadership. Remember how you looked down on 'weak' ones? Remember how you strived, but were never quite good enough, to be the perfect Christian family, spouse, publisher? It was all by design.

    Once your eyes were open, and you saw the reality of being in this organzation, you were nothing to them. The leadership cuts loose those they can't control. You're 'friends' ... your 'brotherhood', obeying the leadership, cast you aside. They cast you aside as so much refuse being flung from a car window at 80mph. They don't care about you. They care more about obeying than they do people, just as they've been indoctrinated.

    Be thankful that you saved your family from that life of servitude to a religious cult.

  • corruptgirl

    Lol i totally understand where your coming from and i feel the same way... Don't really have any advise but remember you only miss it because it's what you always did....we don't need to be part of a community to feel whole... Just fine a few good friends to get together with and enjoy life!

  • redvip2000

    So best thing to do is join some clubs for things you're interested in and start meeting some people regularly through it and over time people who get on gravitate toward each other.

    Agree, I also think this is the right path. One needs to understand JWs are "forced" to meet a few times a week, and in some ways "forced" to like you or at least pretend. This interaction, even if forced, inevitably leads to bonds being created. But the real world doesn't turn this way. Secular clubs are not like this, people come and go, sometimes they are there, and sometimes not. Nobody pretends to like you, they just act like you know...real people!!

    Another thing i noticed is that on secular clubs, there is a lot move variety in thinking and opinions, so this can be a lot more challenging. You don't necessarily "click" with people. In the hall, the Org ensures conformity about a lot of aspects of life, so it's just a lot easier to be accepted. Even if you walk in a hall where you don't know anybody, you already know how they think about a lot of things, so this integration is much easier.


    I miss that feeling of "brotherhood"

    Watchtower controls the Loyalty of JW`s..

    WatchTower can order JW`s to turn on any other JW,at any time..

    There Is No Loyalty..

    There is No Brotherhood,in the WatchTower "Jehovah`s Witness Cult"....


    Image result for No loyalty

  • LisaRose

    You might try United Church of Christ (The "united" part is very important, the other Church of Christ is horrible). They are very welcoming and have no doctrine. I thought of attending for the same reasons as you, even though I am an atheist. They didn't have a problem with my atheism, it's a kind of go with the flow type of thing. The have nice nice music and snacks and do a lot of charitable works.

    My experience is that eventually you do develop a community of friends of various kinds, it's just not one big group. It takes time, so it's not going to happen overnight, but it does happen.

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