How do you deal with the loneliness after leaving?
I'm having one of those days where I feel lonely and wish I had someone to just hang out with. My husband got disfellowshipped 3 years ago and even though I didn't do anything wrong I was pushed away. My so called "friends" decided to avoid me. I couldn't believe it. I guess being a stay-at-home mom with 2 autistic boys makes it harder to make new friends. I feel like I need to be careful with making "worldly" friends. I was raised to fear anyone who is not a jw. I hate it! How do you deal with these horrible feelings? There is a co-worker that wants to hangout and I would really like to. How do I push this endoctrination out of my head that it's not fine to be friends with someone who is not a JW? I feel like a big mess bleh.
I signed up to a life drawing class and met tons of people there with the same interest as me (drawing). Have a lookout online for local classes in whatever you're interested in.
Also, meetup.com is a great place to start. I joined an international friends group made up of immigrants from every country living in the UK. We meet up in pubs and go on days out. I have like 20+ friends now from different cultures and languages.
i know it's tough, but if you put yourself out there you'll meet people. I promise you.
Don’t be afraid of worldly friends. If you open yourself up to friendships, some will take, some will tank and some will fizzle away. And that’s ok. You will learn to choose friends that suit YOU rather than being stuck with pre approved WT associations by default.
It is very hard. My kids are pretty much my world.
Have lost so so much.
It's hard to make new friends.
Most people don't get what it's like being in a Cult and leaving.
There are so many normal experiences that everyone has had that you haven't.
Hard for people to relate to you and even harder to relate to others.
Your husband was DF'd 3 years ago? Is he not in your life anymore? I am wondering why there is no one who is available as your friend if you are married.
It helps not to attend any meetings or read any of that Watchtower drivel.
Finding like minded people can really help. If you have autistic kids that must add to that despair. You need emotional support and understanding. There must be a support group. Stop thinking that people only want to take from you. That can be true with anyone, in or out of the Org. Building trust takes time. You just have to use the same good sense that woke you up. If the autistic group are depressing, find another group of some sort.
There is a co-worker that wants to hangout and I would really like to. How do I push this endoctrination out of my head that it's not fine to be friends with someone who is not a JW? I feel like a big mess bleh.
That sounds great, just don't get too heavy about it, keep it light, no need to tell your life story, just hang out. If you don't enjoy hanging out with this person just don't accept further invitations. Don't worry about it. People in the real world don't shun you if you just don't want to hang out.
Yeah, try and make friends but don't limit yourself to exJWs. Most people are really empathetic if you open up a little about the challenges your past life gives you (but keep it light as people have said).
Trying to be involved with activities is a good way to meet people but work is often a place where you just click with certain colleagues and with a bit of effort you can develop long lasting friendships.
If you can, become a volunteer for something you are interested in or care about. My wife and I started volunteering for a local nature reserve that we love. We've developed quite a few friends through that.
Also, through work.
It takes time and effort though.
Just a few years ago my wife would start crying, saying, "How are we going to make friends? We're going to end up being lonely old people."
Now, we have the opposite problem, and have to say no to things so we have a little time for ourselves.
It took a while though. We've been out for eight years.
I was raised to fear anyone who is not a jw. I hate it! How do you deal with these horrible feelings? There is a co-worker that wants to hangout and I would really like to. How do I push this endoctrination out of my head that it's not fine to be friends with someone who is not a JW? I feel like a big mess bleh.
I'm so sorry you are feeling like that. It's a very undeserving treatment what they gave you.
I don't feel comfortable giving you advice, but I can suggest that if you feel that your JW hangups are precluding you from moving on, especially from socializing, there are healthy ways of dealing with it. There's professional help if you feel the problem is something you cannot solve on your own (counseling, therapy, support groups, reliable self-help information from reputable sources to name a few). There's you just taking baby steps to feel comfortable out "in the world". As opposed to the black and white mentality that the JWs promote, you don't have to be extreme (neither a loyal inseparable absolute best friend, nor totally isolated from everybody).
I didn't have problems making friends, probably because I prepared and faded, I was not pushed out. That gave me the opportunity to start making friends and building support outside as I was preparing to leave. I went to college, did volunteer work, activism, and joined groups and people I like.
It may be different if you still feel that the WT's preachings are true. In my case I couldn't care less, and once I stop believing in the Jehovah crap, I couldn't care less about being friends with the JWs I knew then. That was motivation for me to look for support outside.
There isn't one way of getting a better social life, but a good starting point for me was to get rid of the WT influence as much as possible.
My husband and I are still together. I am so happy I posted this. There's a lot of ideas you guys suggested that I need to try. I guess my next step is therapy. There's definitely a lot I need to process.