Life After Disassociation (or really leaving by any means)

by dubstepped 14 Replies latest jw experiences

  • dubstepped

    Ya know Doc, I too thought the same about people. In the town where we live things like what high school you went to are a huge deal, more than even what college you went to. People have their social circles set up. I was never in any groups or anything. It was just my wife, me, and often my parents hanging out on weekends before we DA'd. We really had nobody when we were "in". Love bombing happened when we would go to a new congregation, and I knew all kinds of people and was fairly well known throughout the area. But those "automatic friendships" were never anything more than acquaintances. My wife and I would go out to eat or do something alone and stumble upon large groups of Witnesses out doing things, things that we were never invited to. Maybe your situation is different and your friendships had more depth than merely seeing each other at meetings or out in service. Ours never were anything really. Any momentum was always short lived.

    I really think there is something about leaving the dubs officially and altogether that make some difference. I don't know why but we were never able to make any kind of friends outside of the organization while still in. Maybe we had dub-funk on us and other people could smell it. Maybe it was us self-sabotaging because we knew as Witnesses we shouldn't really have friends outside. I don't know, but once we were vulnerable and let people know what we were going through, once we got out, we suddenly had things open up for us.

    Again, our clients became our friends to start. After years of turning down offers to go to little social things here and there from people we worked with we started saying yes. We started going to football games and talking to people around us. We've made sure to friend people on Facebook as a way of keeping tabs and starting relationships.

    You could also try getting involved in some volunteer activities. Do something nice with other people doing the same and you might find some connections.

    Funny how some people in the organization did really find some meaningful friendships. I had some when I was younger but the never lasted. We tried so hard, so very hard, when we were in. We always ended up on the outside looking in anyway, so being outside isn't anything new to us. I really do think there's something that has changed in us since leaving officially. Even our clients have told us that we seem so much happier and free, less standoffish. It was like we were running a race with a heavy pack on our backs and we sat it down and are running free.

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    '' The world is not the evil place the JW's paint it as. The are good, genuine and caring people out there. So good to hear success stories from those who have escaped.''

    By painting the World an evil and vile place is nothing more than a high control tactic to retain JW's and keep them in line.

  • berrygerry
  • LongHairGal


    Congratulations on your success story and best wishes on your journey!


    I am also a "fader" but I am single and (thankfully) have no relatives in the JW religion. I do have three friends there. They don't know that I know the truth about the whole scam. They think I am out because I am supposedly "stumbled" over bad attitudes towards women, which they happen to agree with to a large degree. These women won't leave the religion for a combination of reasons:..their social life and contacts are tied up there and also it would send them over the edge with depression if they were to realize it wasn't true... I will not disillusion them.

    I agree with you that the love-bombing and automatic friendships give Witnesses a wrong impression of what it is really like to develop real, actual friendships. As somebody who was not raised a Witness, I know full well that real friendships develop over time!

    One thing you said certainly did not apply to me at least:..I worked my whole life full-time and did not make any lasting friends. My work friends were like the hall: once you walked out the door they were over. I don't feel badly about it. It's just the way it was for me.

    If you are younger and have a family you will feel differently and do what is best for you.

    I am retired now and at this point in time I'm not interested in new friends, just family and the few acquaintances I have locally and the re-connections I made with childhood friends from the old neighborhood and Catholic school.

    I am satisfied and glad I'm no longer involved in the Witness religion. I am much happier and would never tolerate that abuse anymore.

  • OnTheWayOut
    Be open and honest with people in your life outside of the organization. Tell them what you're going through, what you're going toward, and be vulnerable. We were completely open with the people we clean houses for and they've been our biggest allies through all of this. They are our new friends and family, and we've branched out from there. Find those lost Witnesses that disappeared years ago and reach out to them. We've been reacquainted with several people that left years ago and made friends there again. People are generally good, and if you're leaving something like a cult then you have one of the more interesting stories that anyone could share. People love hearing about it and find it interesting, and they will become your cheerleaders as you escape something that is so destructive. They want to see you succeed. Open vulnerability begets open vulnerability. We've learned more about others around us as we've been open, and it builds real relationships, not surface level ones like the JWs.

    I just saw this thread as it was linked from another.

    This is awesome advice. I was totally open with my coworkers, something rare among macho firefighters. It was great, not a bad reaction among the bunch to what I was going through. That doesn't mean it would always be that way, but the good should outweigh the bad if you experience any negatives.

    I gather with ex-JW's all the time and we support each other. That's awesome too.

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