Being Part of the Community

by pettygrudger 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • pettygrudger

    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?

  • iiz2cool

    I never felt like I was part of the JW community when I was one. I was always on the outside looking in. It was tough at the time, but it made it much easier when I left.

    Before I was a JW I had several circles of friends, and they didn't know of one another, so it wasn't a "community" thing. It worked out very well that way. In such a situation, if you have a falling out with someone, they can't talk shit about you to everyone you know.


  • Preston

    I think having get togethers with X-JW's is a part of moving on. I don't necessarily think that we recreate situations and experiences that we were unhappy with in different settings with the intent that they work out better, I merely think we oftentimes take our life experiences with us no matter what because that's what we're familiar with.I think if anyone wanted to truly recreate the JW sense of community in another environment then they would assocate that sense of community with another demanding religion. I think everyone needs to be a part of a group of something, no matter how closely knit or loose....

  • Tigerman

    I've never been a Witness, however I have family who have been in for a long time, close family. And even after all these years (30 or so) the only people that I can truly relate to about the Witnesses are ex Witnesses and I search them out . . .in other words, I need their support. The majority of the puBlic has no idea what the WBTS is all about, only the people that have been there and have had their hearts broken. I feel so sad for so many. . .one day there will not be a Socety !

  • candidlynuts

    seeing people in different stages of exiting helps everyone who reads here i think.

    myself personally never go out of the house because my man is housebound due to disability so i am happy to have online communities to go to! i had no social life as a jw so i dont miss that. but i did have some order in my life.. going to meetings etc. i think i miss a reason to shower , doing it everyday just to prevent STANK is boring!

  • zen nudist
    zen nudist

    we are essentially domesticated primates and like all primates there are natural tendancies to be part of a tribe or pack or group.

    there seems to be a general trend according to one book I read called ROGUE MESSIAHS that about 21 people will cluster around an alpha male. it has been my experience that the outer most three or so tend to be camelons or loners who people come to see as either traitors, collaborators or something else....

    our underlying world view seems highly programmable and what our family life was as a child seems to determine a great deal about our assumptions about belonging.... our peer group growing up has even more influence so if we were part of a large peer group we will likely feel a vacancy when we are not part of one later.

    plainly religion takes advantage of this pack mentality.

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