It's when you don't expect to be SHUNNED...

by Ms. Whip 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • Ms. Whip
    Ms. Whip

    ...that it hurts the most.

    Today, when I was walking into the grocery store entrance an old jw friend of mine was walking out. It was one of those face to face akward moments where there's no way you can pretend the other person isn't there.

    I looked directly in her eyes and gave her a big smile and said "Hi There!"

    You'd think I shot daggers at her. She shivered, her eyes grew huge in horror and her face contorted. She made an uncomfortable strangled gurgly back-of-the-throat noise. Her knuckles turned white as she squeezed her basket handle and made a mad dash away.

    My heart sunk to my stomach.

    Do you know how many times I hugged this girl? How many times we've laughed and cried together?

    I was her teacher. I studied with her every week. I was there when she got baptised. I kept her secrets. I held her baby.

    Now she looked at me as if she had seen a demon.

    It makes me want to be disfellowshipped or disassociate myself.

    Then I can expect to be shunned and it wouldn't bother me much.

  • candidlynuts

    hugs ms whip

    its a hurtful thing and its a shame we have to deal with it.

  • Quandry

    Do you mean you are not disfellowshipped or da'd and you were shunned?

  • hillbilly

    Yeah... I had someone look trough me at Wally World the other day..."By their works they will be known..."


  • restrangled

    Ms. Whip,

    I can relate! It kind of takes the breath out of you doesn't it?

    This kind of reaction makes you feel like evil personified. Think about everyone you have ever met in your life. Other than a JW, who do you know who would react like that to a smile and hello?

    It is just out and out bad behavior.

    Hope your day goes better.


  • greendawn

    The strange psychology of the JWs and how they experience the gap between themselves and the rest of the world a very isolationist mentality. I understand you are not DFed or DAed and yet they shun you.

  • misanthropic
    My heart sunk to my stomach.


    I completely know that feeling well. It totally sucks and there is nothing you can do about it. I'm in the same boat as you, neither DA'd or DF'd and was very surprised the first couple of times this happened with people I USED to be close to.

  • anewme

    That's really creepy Mrs. Whip. You arent even dfd or da'd! What a mess they have created!

    As a dfd person I went to my old hall (as instructed by the elders to do if one was repentant)
    A sister from another hall saw me and came over to me.

    "Hey! Good to see you! I havent seen you for awhile. How are you doing?"

    I then informed her I was newly dfd.(as the elders instructed me to say to anyone who inquired)

    She screamed bloody murder out in the parking lot and ran from me, holding her face in disbelief.
    Her daughters ran to her aid.

    Stupid idiots!

  • jgnat

    Monty Roberts of horse whisperer fame, maintains that horses and people alike respond to non-verbal cues to belonging. Non-verbal rejections like shunning are very powerful. We are by nature yearn to belong to a community.

  • Ms. Whip
    Ms. Whip

    I'm still shaken up over this.

    shunning is a devastating practice. You feel like crap.

    It feels like they still have control even though I am long gone.

    If they could practice stoning, I think they would. Take a young girl out back of the kingdom hall and stone her to death for some trivial sin. There is that much hatred.

    Yes, I am not disfellowshipped nor have I disassociated. I've been shunned many times. Usually, it's just a matter of the witness pretending i'm not there or walking to the other part of a store. I've been shunned by people who I didn't want to talk to that didn't bother me as much. This is someone I cared for and who I thought cared for me.

    Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. It is a sanction against association often associated with religious groups and other tightly-knit organizations and communities. Shunning has a long history as a means of organizational influence and control. Extreme forms of shunning and related practices have rendered the general practice controversial in some circles.

    Shunning is often used as a pejorative term to describe any organizationally mandated disassociation, and has acquired a connotation of abuse and relational aggression. This is due to the sometimes extreme damage caused by its disruption to normal relationships between individuals, such as friendships and family relations. Disruption of established relationships certainly causes pain, which is at least an unintended consequence of the practices described here, though it may also in many cases be an intended, coercive consequence. This pain, especially when seen as unjustly inflicted, can have secondary general psychological effects on self-worth and self-confidence, trust and trustworthiness, and can, as with other types of trauma, impair psychological function.

    Shunning often involves implicit or explicit shame for a member who commits acts seen as wrong by the group or its leadership. Such shame may not be psychologically damaging if the membership is voluntary and the rules of behaviour clear before the person joined. However, if the rules are arbitrary, the group membership seen as essential for personal security, safety, or health, or if the application of the rules are inconsistent, such shame can be highly destructive. This can be especially damaging if perceptions are attacked or controlled, or various tools of psychological pressure applied. Extremes of this cross over the line into psychological torture and can be permanently scarring.

    A key detrimental effect of some of the practices associated with shunning relate to their effect on relationships, especially family relationships. At its extremes, the practices may destroy marriages, break up families, and separate children and their parents. The effect of shunning can be very dramatic or even devastating on the shunnee, as it can damage or destroy the shunned member's closest familial, spousal, social, emotional, and economic bonds.

    Shunning contains aspects of what is known as relational aggression in psychological literature. When used by church members and member-spouse parents against excommunicant parents it contains elements of what pyschologists call parental alienation. Extreme shunning may cause traumas to the shunned (and to their dependents) similar to what is studied in the psychology of torture.

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