Last night, my hubby & I were discussing the upcoming meet-up being held here. My husband's never been a JW (or involved w/religion for that matter). And to be perfectly honest, although he's put up w/my online activities, and occasional f2f gatherings, he's never been 100% completely comfortable with it. I understand his reservations - you hear all the time how it causes marital break-ups, affairs, yucky stuff. He trusts me - but like he says, doesn't *know* any of the people that I communicate w/on here (although he has liked the one's he's met).
During our discussion he says "You were just raised in a congregational way, you need that sense of community to make you feel like you're a part of something."
That actually made me think. I've been out for 20 years now. My hubby & I have many friends, but they are "dissected" (our friends aren't *friends* with each other). I'm involved in a couple of different charity organizations, but again, dissected. I do advocacy work for parents w/special needs - but again, no large "group".
3 years ago, I found these boards, and it filled some hole I didn't even know existed at the time. Last night, I realized what it was - the feeling of being a part of a larger community. It's "Ex" JW's -true, but "JW's" nonetheless. And I realized last night as well, my role here in this *community* is exactly as it was in the JW's prior to my leaving, sort of on the outer fringes, always looking in & *watching*. Just like in the JW's - I've been *hurt* by members of this community - in ways I never had been upon my leaving. I've been lied about, shunned by those I thought were *friends*, used & then discarded. I've also met some cherished individuals, who made all the negative events worthwhile.
Psychologists say we humans tend to recreate past experiences that didn't *work* for us in relationships, etc., to try to make the outcome different. And today I'm wondering if somewhere deep down that's what I'm doing, and if that's why I'm still here, and whether it would be better for me to just finally comes to terms with my past, bury it and move on. Not that there aren't many of you I'm taking & keeping with me. Or maybe I'll always need a "larger community" to feel whole.
Is it just me?