I'm not sure how best to ask this question because of my personal experience-- long story short, I was discovered through informal witnessing back in college. I was lonely, away from family, and was touched by the attention and care that was shown to me. During the course of many years I became very very close with the sister conducting the study even though we were thousands of miles away. We communicated regularly. Bottom line is, I thought of her as my closest older friend; closer than my real sister. I mean, that was a special connection that one would call real naive, "pure" love, if I may. I cared sooo much for her even though she was way older than I was. (I have a separate posting years back regarding this story). I felt that she cared a lot about me, too. She was involved in many of my major decisions in life. Yes, because I saw her as my mentor.
Fast forward to today, I couldn't help but try to not contact her anymore. She doesn't contact me either. There was a point sometime last year (?) that I think we both sensed that there was nothing more to say anymore to each other. I realized maybe I was too emotionally dependent on her for many years. Every time I had a problem, I would call her and share my burdens. (I'm sorry about that now). She told me that she has given plenty of advice to me for so many years and that it depends on me acting on what I know is the right thing to do. (I agree about that).
During those times, I realize now, I was looking at that sister as a true friend, a confidante, despite the age gap. But that sister looked at me as just another "Bible study." I'd like to think it wasn't the case because there came a point in the past when we stayed at the same house for a few days each week. She looked after me, and I listened and followed her like a little sister. We slept in the same room. She'd tell me many stories about truly living the spiritual life. She "poured" a lot of herself in nurturing me. The other sisters who were close to her told me jokingly that I cause a lot of heartbreak to her during the periods that I was not doing well. And she really helped out other people around her (I saw her do those things). It was during the time I visited her country and stayed for a couple of years while I was on some sort of internship.
I connected to her on a personal, non-JW, non-religious mindset level. But I cannot shake off the feeling that I was, after all, just another one of her potential converts. It hurt me to feel that way. It is only now that I am in my late 30s that I realize I was too naive for my own good.
Sorry if this post is quite confusing... but I wonder, are there present and/or former sisters and brothers here who treated their "Bible students" as only potential converts? Or is there anyone who truly cared for his/her "Bible student" on a personal level? How do you feel about it now - whether you are still in or out of the org?