Remember the words of Job: "Lo, the very thing I feared has come upon me". Seem like these kind of fears act as magnets for the event.
Saying "hi" leads to love and leaving your wife...
You and are drwtsn are dear, sweet people and I'm glad we got the chance to meet you. It is "normal" (what is normal anyway?) to feel anxiety when leaving the Witnesses. The organization was the security blanket with all the answers. Now you're out on your own and being forced to look at every idea and belief you once knew as truth. It is only natural that, that anxiety would attach itself to an insecurity you might have.
Give yourself time, keep an open mind without pressuring yourself and above all else, just relax and enjoy the ride. You can make your belief system and your life, anything you want now.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different thoughts or ideas. I'm doing that this year with voting. I don't know if I'll do it again, but I want to try it out and see if it fits. I believe in a God who is inclusive, rather than exclusive and if he is so, then he would encourage exploration in search of him.
We all have our demons...and they tend to pop their heads up at the most unreasonable hours Even though I have been out of the dubs for awhile....and I have men friends...from time to time I still have to deal with some of the same feelings. I think it's a natural reaction at times...when you love someone you don't want to lose them, if you didn't care that much about him then you wouldn't be at all concerned.
I do feel the need to say though that sometimes when you have a good thing other people see it and want it...and setting boundries on any friendship isn't necessarily a bad thing...you know?
One of the first steps to healing is becoming aware of the "disease" so to speak. You have identified the abnormality, probably identified the source, now you need to move from the intellectual understanding to the emotional acceptance of a new paradigm. There are some good people out there in the counceling field that work with rational analysis and reality adjustment thinking. I think it would be worth one or two visits to a good mental health clinic to learn some mental tools to neutralize the feelings you are having until they fade away.
OBTW, there are many women who suffer from this phenomena that have never been witlesses.
Thanks so much you guys for everything. Xena, your post was really sweet - makes me look at doc a little differently! Sometimes you just forget how lucky you are, you know? To leave the dubs and make it out together is a blessing (since I don't believe in god I don't necessarily know from who!) and to have the support of everybody is wonderful. The dubs don't know what they're missing...
Kitties! *muah!* ((((hugs))))
I was thinking the same thing as Princess and LittleToe while I was reading this thread...focusing on your own friendships and making friends with guys could help. Because you'll be learning to see things from the other side, you know...I think that one of the most insidious JW tactics is teaching the idea that we can't trust ourselves. Not only hearing it constantly from the platform, seeing it pervading the lives of all the people you knew, but even getting it drilled into your head on a regular basis by your own father has got to make the healing that much more difficult. :( The idea that we can't control our actions and we can't control our decisions and all our feelings are bad...bleh. It's just wrong, but we know that. ;)
I think that in being able to forge a close friendships with members of the opposite sex would be a great healing (I'm working on that one too...actually, for slightly different reasons) beacuse you would be able to see and experience first hand that the teachings were wrong. Relearning and reprogramming your brain with reality, instead of disaster-thinking. Learning to trust yourself. Trusting yourself makes trusting others a piece of cake. :)
And for those times when you're up late and all alone with scary thoughts at 3 a.m....feel compassion for yourself, because you've been through a lot of pain you don't deserve...and you're doing great. :-)
****LOTS OF LOVE AND HUGS****
Talk to you later sweetie!!