Here is some email correspondence between myself (in blue) and my ex best friend (in maroon). How this began is a long story though. It is some very interesting stuff, and you will be able to see the type of language that is used in addition to the obvious brain washing and hate. See for yourself, and tell me your thought:
Well all I knew is what you told me. If the hours you spent talking to me on ICQ, not to mention the days you spent at my house werent enough to 'know you' then I guess thats because you didnt know yourself. As for shunning you, we were good friends and then one day you up and left. There was no 'shun' or any other action on my part. One day your there, then your gone. And now i'm some kind of evil guy because I dont come find you and 'hang out' anymore? Sorry J****, I just can't think of you as a martyr, because I dont think anything really special happened to you.
nothing "happened" to me...I didn't "leave", I was always around. But shunning? I can name some instances here if you want.
1) not talking to me when I was with R**** (because he wasn't a JW *cough*).
2) The whole time in Old town you didn't talk to me, but your brother in law did.
3) Not invited to the wedding...what a way to treat your once really good friend.
And, I was always there, I was always a phone call, or email away. That never changed. Ever. It still hasn't. Hell, D**** contacted me the other day, J**** H****...
You still always thought the worst of me. I defended you so much to my parents, and to a lot of other people who thought badly about you...but I didn't get the same in return.
Do ever pretend for a second that you are a good friend, you abandoned me when I needed friends most. And that sucks.
Well I'm sorry I didn't talk to you when you were at OT, but it had been so long, it felt like there was some kind of barrier there. Whatever JYo said to you, I never slandered you out of hand. You have to understand that J**** has his own formidable problems with which hes dealing, mostly within his own mind, and hes not the best source of information. He inferrs a lot, and has a very active imagination.
As for the wedding, we were rather seperated long before then, and I had thought you made it clear that the truth was not for you. You know its never a good idea to mix witnesses and worldy, mostly for the worldy persons sake. I didn't invite any of my friends from school either, with whome I had, and still have, very active friendships.
I still talk to D**** occasionally, though hes usually online long after i goto bed at night. I never thought the worst of you, I had only assume with what I saw, that you had disassociated yourself. My parents never had a problem with you after you were drifting, and I never had to defend you in front of them.
Your mother actually came to visit me once, to try and help her encourage you! I have no idea what you went through with your own family, as your mom still bears an intense hatred of mine.
As for abandonment, I was the one who's always been here! If you were having hard times, you never gave me a call for help. Once you moved off to UMO that was pretty much the last I heard of you. J**** only came over because he loves somebody with comiserate with.
You've always had a self esteem problem, and for a very long time I tryed to do what i could to help you feel better about yourself, but I didn't seem to work. I thought that maybe what I was doing wasnt helping you ultimately, and it was something you needed to work out for youself.
I would hardly consider us drifting apart wholesale abandonment. We both made our choices, which led down different roads. I chose to stay in the truth, get married, get a education and a job. You chose to leave the truth, date the worldy, and have your own way. You can't expect the choices you make to have no impact on the relationships you made before you made that choice. There is no such thing as unconditional love and friendship. Would you have stayed my friend if i decided to join the KKK or something like that? That's an extreme example, but you get my point. You chose ideals that were not in harmony with my own, which was your right. Obviously that choice was going to affect your relationships with the same ideals as me which you turned your back on.
Any way, i really have to get back to work here. =P
I really did feel you were shunning me, and it hurt because I valued your friendship so much, in addition to lydias and vanessa's. I was told by J**** Y**** specifically, that I wasn't invited to the wedding because V**** thought I had romantic interest in you-which completely blew me away! At that point I attributed your apparent shunning to maybe feeling uncomfortable around me (which is understandable if you thought I had romantic interests).
As far as my family goes, we have gone through a lot. Currently, only my brother and mother talk to me. My mother and I have also become a lot closer and I respect her so much more now.
In terms of the religion, I am a very feminist person, and I pretty much decided that feminism and that religion does not mix (for obvious reasons). When I got to college, I just learned more about myself and about the religion through research and feminism. I have many friends of other religions, certainly their choice (because its all opinion, not fact) of spirituality or religion would not cause me to feel they are wrong or not worthy of being my friend, we all can have different opinions. Ok, the KKK illustration was definitely extreme and I feel not applicable. I can not see how my belief system could be compared to a racist, hateful group. In the process, I have learned a lot about myself, and in addition, gained self esteem and confidence. I am a better person now, and very happy about the decisions I have made. My only regret is former friends could not get past their reservations and prejudices to share in that, the only person that has been there is my brother (and we have grown closer too). In any event, our differences only help us be more acceptable of others, it certainly is no hinderance in any way, it just helps us learn. I hate to use the word "wordly" I feel it is very derogatory...I mean, would you appreciate being called a "gentile" by jews? or worse... I do not know exactly where I was going with this, just wanted to explain myself and my actions further and have some sort of justification for them (which I strongly feel I do despite others just not understanding that).
I hope at a later time we can get past this and accept each others differences, because really, thats how progress is made. I am glad you are happy in what you do though, and I hope you atleast understand where I am coming from.
Then, I re-read his email and didnt catch this: "We both made our choices, which led down different roads. I chose to stay in the truth, get married, get a education and a job. You chose to leave the truth, date the worldy, and have your own way. "
So I really wanted to address this:
I do not know why I didn't catch this before. I feel this statement is highly offensive. I chose to get an education, I am also going to be working for my masters degree, I too, have employment, in fact, I have had a really good job for the past 2 years that has helped me pay my own way through college, a new car and an apartment-on my own (not with parents). In addition, I chose NOT to get married because I feel 21 is too young for anyone to get married and have a healthy relationship, especially when one has only been having good social experiences for the past couple years (and even more so for those just plain-old indoctrined). I do not "date the worldy" (again, derogatory word). Not only do I not date often (2 guys in the past 3 years) the people I do choose to date, I choose for their character and good ethics, certainly not based on what religion they happened to be born into or indoctrined with. To me, that builds a better relationship and marriage. Now, you may feel that the way I live is immoral, but that honestly is just your opinion because we base our own morals differently, I chose to find out for myself, what is the right way for me to live, a way I can be happy with, and at the end of the day, feel fulfilled. In fact, I could give you reasons why I feel your life is immoral, but that would not be productive to the conversation and who cares anyway, right? You live your life the way you want to, and even though I may think it is probably not responsible or whatever, you are happy and we have no right to judge. So, I hope you can see my point.
Something tells me you like to be offended, to get your blood up. As for worldy being offensive, well, its the best way for me to describe a non-witness. Anything else is clumsy and incumbering; non-witness, heathen? I can't think of anything else that works as smoothly. Obviously you know what i mean, so the communication is sufficient. As for being called a gentile, how can I be a mature adult and be offended by being named for what I am? White, gentile, brown hair, average height, average weight, prick, christian, Jehovah's witness. It's only when im falsly labeled(libeled?) something that i am not that i get wound up.
I regret that you inferred from my statement that I thought you had no job, or education. Also you inferred that i compaired you to a KKK member, which was not my meaning. I chose KKK specifically because i know its diametricially opposate to your beliefs, and ergo a hyperbole.
For some reason you seem to confuse fact with opinion. "The universe is transformation; Life is opinion."
Just like M**** said, all we have is opinion. Just because it IS opinion, doesnt make it any less valid. All we have is our opinions, and that is our reality.
You also seem to think that because I choose to stay on the path my parents started for me, that I have not found anything out for myself, and am just some brainwashed dupe. I disagree with you in the strongest possible terms. I've gone to gradeschool, summerschool, college, work and the internet. I know what other choices I have. Let me remind you that I am not the one who choose the mainstream way of existance. I have to say J****, that your all things popular. Prohaps I am not the one indoctrinated? Were I to use the media, popular culture, collge campus culture and my human relations professor as my guiding post, I would probably be just like you. I chose the road less traveled, and it has made all the difference.Main stream? How so? Yeah I am more social now, but I do not know how that is main stream, even still..whatever. You chose what was easier for you, the way you have to live is all right there, being told to you by a group a old guys in new york (who every couple of years change their views on whats 'right' anyway). I went against what I grew up with because I knew it was wrong. Being a feminist certainly is not main stream, neither is being bisexual, neither is going against strict gender roles, or even escaping the roles that the JW's threw at me...since it was what I grew up with the whole time, that was what was "popular" to me. Hell, I risked losing friends and family over my decisions....hardly easy. But is was a conscious choice on my part. To be true to yourself against the odds...what a concept, huh? The road you chose...well traveled by those just like you, and if you leave that road? Thats where the people you know leave you because you are not like them anymore. I am sure it is easier that way, takes less thought, but sounds like always living in fear...I did that already.
PS: media? I watch the news and travel to get a view of the world around me, is that so wrong? College campus culture? I am here, aren't I? And so are you! and I do not have a human relations professor...but the professors here are so much more qualified in what they do than any JW I can think of....do you even TRY to learn about your own religion? Do you know just HOW molestation cases are handled? Well, I am glad to see you are at least getting an education...
**** names edited to protect individuals' privacy