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 anyway...so 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.