How did you overcome feelings of lost time in the Org?
I'm a very positive person who always try to focus on the good side of things.
However, my fading is becoming increasingly painful and I'm starting being shunned by some I thought were friends. I'm missing some meetings so the rumour is spreading to neighbouring congregations where I'm known that I'm not as spiritual as I used to be. Elders want to have a shepherding meeting with me. Last meeting one of them was asking me personal questions like if I'm getting along with bad associations or if I'm hidding something.
At the same time, things outside the Org are not going exactly as I had planned. I'm doing job interviews to move from where I live and I'm being asked many times why I got my degree so late. Got some feedback from one of the companies I was interested and told me I was not selected because of my age (almost 30) and not having enough experience despite having done it well in the process.
Regarding meeting new people, I find it so hard. I keep trying to go to different activities but I'm starting to feel a bit alone recently. Yesterday I went to have dinner with some brothers but that feeling of loneliness was even greater, sitting there and having to listen to JW conversations about how fast the Ends is approaching or how incredible the JW.ORG videos are.
I hadn't experienced that feeling until now but it's quite depressing to look back in your life, when you were in your 20s and wasting so much time instead of doing something useful for your future.
I guess I just needed to rant about it.
I'm starting being shunned by some I thought were friends
Sorry dude but you've been in a mind controlling cult, that's why your designated friends are starting to shun you, you've been labeled spiritually weak and danger to them as they have been programed to think so.
The JW religion has been built upon lies and ignorance, show any doubt or question to its doctrines and you will get into serious trouble.
Unfortunately, there is no magic "silver bullet" to cure that one; unless somebody invents a Time Machine, the past is the one period of time that none of us has any control over!
At the end of the day, all any of us can do is make the best with what we have. You at least have age on your side. Coming from somebody who is more than twice your age, 30 is not at all a bad age to be! Another advantage you have is having already completed a university degree (you didn't mention what qualification you gained there?). That definitely places you one step ahead of the likes of myself, who never managed to complete their degree until over the age of 60 (and even then, only gaining the equivalent of an Associate Degree).
It is true that all too many employers have rather unrealistic expectations of a job applicant - the old wanting somebody who is "17 years old and fully experienced" attitude still reveals itself on occasions! However, rightly or wrongly (and as I discovered), academic qualifications tend to be rated higher than practical experience. In my own case, although having worked at all levels in the industry from labourer to senior management, that lack of formal qualifications posed a definite barrier (very much a situation of "No degree qualification - don't even bother wasting our time!")
Being a JW doesn't exactly refine ones social skills, and as Finkelstein has already remarked, somebody like yourself gets rather quickly "sent to Coventry" by their former friends. There are, though, ways of making new friends, through involvement in various community groups - such as sports clubs, cultural organisations, social groups etc. In that way, it is a bit like moving into a new town.
The main idea is to try to keep looking ahead through the windscreen, rather than backwards through the rear vision mirror!
I'm being asked many times why I got my degree so late. Got some feedback from one of the companies I was interested and told me I was not selected because of my age (almost 30) and not having enough experience despite having done it well in the process.
You're not in USA, I presume. That kind of questions will give you enough money to retire due to settlements.
To your question, I think that you may have started your fading too soon. There's no easy way of knowing certain things, but this is the type of things that many JWs fading neglect to think about. Once again, fading is 99.99% about learning and experiencing as much as possible life outside the WT, and only 0.01% detaching from meetings and preaching. Unfortunately, a lot of JWs don't take the time to learn about life outside and barriers to overcome.
BUT, here now, not finding a job, leaving your life behind and leaving your loved ones behind, along with being shunned, all that creates a lot of anxiety, sadness, even depression. In that state, I'm quite sure that anyone is going to struggle with meeting new people.
Have you considered getting help with the emotional aspect of it, that is, a mental health professional? Also, I refuse to believe that you are the one and only person in your country who has finished a college degree later in life. Look for support and information about what others have done. you cannot be the only person who has done that, so there have to be something and some solution to that.
This may sound a little out there, but it reminds me of my time between my first JC and my last time ever in a KH. During that time I had a double life. I was using the naivete of many Jws, the ones I identified that would fall for it, and pretended that I was still in, still interested and still being as JW as I was.
There was an overlapping time when I was seeing my JW girlfriend and my not-so-JW boyfriend.
Would you consider faking "returning to Jehovah"? That can buy you some time and get you less headaches while you still continue solving whichever obstacle you still find in your transition. It's something like a "do-over".
The good thing about JWs is that they will buy it if you say that you are "back" and need their "spiritual food" or whatever does it for them. Remember, they are brainwashed to believe that such types of miracles happen.
Would you consider that? You can act like I did when I was on my way out. Sounds insincere and fake, like you're doing something beyond your sense of ethics, but it is your life and well being we're talking about here. If you are up for it, now that you know more about the kinds of things you actually have to address outside, concentrate in getting that solid necessary foundation FIRST, then on fading and leaving.
(I cannot believe that I am actually suggesting somebody to go back!)
but it's quite depressing to look back in your life, when you were in your 20s and wasting so much time instead of doing something useful for your future. ~Skepsis
While I do relate to the feelings you are experiencing, let me help put this in perspective. Or least, from my perspective..............as I "edit" your sentence:
But it's quite depressing to look back in your life, when you were in your 20s, and 30s, and 40s, and 50s and wasting so much time instead of doing something useful for your future. . . . . ~ Doc
You are almost 30? If age is your problem getting a good secular position, it isn't that you are TOO OLD! There are members here who went back to school and graduated in their 40s (and older) after discovering TTATT and they are prospering in life!
One real advantage to being a JW is that friends come easy. Every other JW is your automatic "friend" -- as long as you toe the "party line". No doubts. No questions. And, from my experience, they can be a great and resourceful network to help find employment, etc. It sounds like you have lost the JW network (due to your fading) and haven't developed an alternative network to work with to find new employment. Seek advice from others. College counselors. Job fairs. Don't give up! (NOT the Conv Theme).
Good luck! We're all rooting for you!
The greatest revenge is living a happy and successful life!
Thank you everyone for your messages and advices!
Well, I'm not in the USA, I live in a southern European country and that's the answers I'm getting here. That's in part why I'm moving abroad in September but mainly it's because I want to fade quicker.
Anyway, I'm not expressing doubts openly, it's the fact I'm doing less than in the past and starting missing some meetings what is annoying some people. So, I assume that except for the family, fading, DA or DF are the same in practical terms.
There's another reason behind elders' attitude: I'm moving to another country soon and they see it as a materialistic goal. Well, I don't really mind. Maybe I could have done it in a softer way but after quitting pioneering I just couldn't stay as MS, giving public talks and having parts every week knowing the TTATT.
It was my purpose when I joined the board but I just don't want to waste more of my time and my mental health in this cult. So I told them I'm stepping down as MS in August.
@Skepsis I tried to fake the "return to Jehovah" attitude, but my elders were armed with secret evidence against me (implicating me for knowing the real truth about the organization) that caught me off guard. The whole meeting derailed and I was caught red-handed for thinking for myself. I really hope the elders haven't been "investigating" you for your sake. You could be very lucky and they just sincerely want to shepherd you. Either way, I wish you so much luck.
Which country are you moving to - can you say on this forum? I understand if you want to keep any personal info on the down low.
As for age, you are in your prime. I turn 27 in August and thank my lucky stars I still have a few years on my side to start over as a normal person without the cult. I think the only thing worse for you than being a JW for 30 years is being a JW for 31 years. Time is precious. Make your break while you are still relatively young. I'm rooting for you!
@Wake Me Up: I was caught red-handed for thinking for myself.
This is THE most serious crime a cult-member can commit. Far worse than anything else.
@Skepsis: the rumour is spreading ... that I'm not as spiritual as I used to be
Good. That means you're no longer a mindless drone. See my response to WMU for clarification.
@ Skepsis: I'm moving to another country soon and the [elders] see it as a materialistic goal.
What the elders think is irrelevant. It's your life. The elders need to mind their own fucking business. Of course I wouldn't advocate telling them that in those exact words, but only because it could unnecessarily complicate things. Although ...
@jp1692 I see Warwick and Patterson as a materialistic move. I see lavish drain covers at the headquarters as a materialistic move. I see Samuel Heard's Rolex flaunted on JW Broadcast as a materialistic move. I see Stephen Lett admitting that the expenses for the new Bethel exceeded the available funds as a materialistic move. I see the Governing Body flying business class to zone visits as materialistic. I see...
You know what? Forget it.
@Wake Me, you're not supposed to see any of that. ... LOL!