Yes I have. It does hurt but never makes me want to return for an instant. In fact, it convinces me even more that they are not true Christians.
Have you Been Shunned Even Though Just Considered " Inactive " ?
We went to monthly meeting and although my husband and I received much attention I noticed that the children were ignored by their friends. In a way although as a mother it pained me to see it I was also relieved. We were only attending for the sake of the children's friendships, if they are so easily broken then I feel less obligated to continue with the facade.
Balsam makes some good points - there is a degree of resentment from some Pharisaical JWs who feel that inactive JWs are exploiting the system by maintaining friendships while not doing any ministry or going to meetings etc and this is often evidenced in a very self-righteous attitude and criticism of "weak ones" who associate with inactive ones.
My own experience seems to by quite typical of others - what I have noticed that it is often family who "take the lead" in shunning and who take a very judgemental line.
I'm currently shunned by all my JW siblings who don't even send anniversary cards (the JW equivalent of Christmas cards) or postcards any more. I've had the usual "until you return to Jehovah & the FADS then we don't want anything to do with you" letters. Most of the brothers from the congregation are still friendly (in fact I've had some over for meals and vice-versa) , though there are a few who will cross the road or ignore me.
Conversely I am closer to non-JW relatives and friends now.
Thanks for all the responses ! Been working a lot so finally have time to respond. Sorry for the delay. You all have good takes !
CHOOSING LIFE- I'm glad you are careful how you talk to the witnesses so they don't sway you into going back to meetings. It is a strange feeling talking with active JW's- I know what you mean, it's like walking on eggshells.
DISSED- I'm sorry you and your wife are treated that way. Your assumption is probably correct - somebody ratted on your wife talking to the elder about her doubts, that's why her sister shuns her. Yes, they DO love to gossip, don't they ?
JADEEN- Yeah, I've seen that too. Like yourself, some aren't even baptized and they get shunned !
TRUTHSEEKERIAM- Yeah, I get a mixed bag too. Great move on your part putting the elder on the spot out loud ! I love it. Bet he'll think twice about shunning you again in a public place ! My daughters JW mother in law tried shunning me in a bank parking lot- but I spoke up loudly and she had to stop and grunt hello to me. Gawd, they are so weird !
ZOIKS- I'm sorry you are being shunned. Like yourself, some of my relatives and former friends have spread news around about my inactive state for sure . No telling WHAT they tell people. I don't even live in the same area, but I sure get the looks when I occasionally run into JW's I knew once.
MISSCHIEVOUS- See, that is the problem, what you mention. They think that by shunning us they are doing it for our own good, but it just makes us not want to go back even more ! With friends like that- who needs enemies ?
NOMOREKOOLAID- It really is true. When we exit the witness cult- we really do have to start over with new friends who are unconditional in showing their affections to us. I have had that like your husband - no witnesses wanted to do business with me once I stopped meetings. Hang in there friend.
ILOVEBIRTHDAYS- Sorry all your friends shun you. At least your mom will talk with you, although it is limited. It is amazing how red faced they get because they are embarrassed deep down because they KNOW how unchristian they are acting really. They are so mind controlled.
CHICKPEA- WEll, it's good you don't have family in the witnesses, at least you don't go through THAT kind of shunning. But it sounds like the JW's in your area are pretty paranoid of acknowledging you or speaking to you. Hang in there.
5th GENERATION- I'm glad you have developed some great new friendships with non-witness people. It's actually what we need to do in order to move on from former JW friends. It's amazing how our former friends will drop us like a hot potato easily.
JERKHOVAH'S WITLESS- It is amazing how word gets spread around about us after we stop attending. If we really knew EVERYTHING that was said about us- I bet it would curl our ears. Sorry you go through this.
BOHM- I hear you. My situation is pretty much like yours. My close family, mom & dad still talk to me , but all my former JW friends still in the org. totally shun me. Hang in there.
MISSING LINK- So you have to be a " secret friend " with a JW you knew ? Amazing how image conscious the witnesses are. It's all about appearance to them. Hang in there.
BLONDIE- I find it interesting that you aren't shunned now being out 10 years. Do you live near where you used to attend ? What made them shun you while you were atively attending, but not now ? Just curious.
MAD SWEENEY- It is an " out of sight " and " out of mind " thing for many JW's. I'm sorry about your daughter being shunned. But it sounds like she is making new non-witness friends, so that's good.
FINALLY FREE- I hear what you're saying. I too was shunned by some inside the congregation even while still attending. Some just didn't like my independent thinking.
EMMA- I'm so sorry you were treated so shabbily and shunned by family and others. I agree it was very harsh and cold blooded how we were all treated and shunned. Hang in there sis.
MINIMUS- I'm glad your mom still talks with you, sorry about your family though. It is weird how some of the witnesses will b nice, I think just for appearances some times.
FOUND sHEP- Sorry you've been shunned. I think it opens aLL of our eyes when we get mistreated like this from people we once thought were our friends ! It's astounding. Crazy. Hang in there
O.K. now for pg. 2 responses. Thanks for all the responses.
COLDREDRAIN- I like your expressions you use- you are very funny ! Like describing our witness relatives and former friends as having " some sort of prideful, psychotic arrogance about it. " Hilarious, but SO true. They are " douchebags " as you described because their brains have gone soft due to cult mind control instilled into their craniums. But you are right- once they invite us back to meetings and we don't attend- they usually give up after awhile.
HIGHDOSE- Yeah, I've had those weird looks from witnesses at the supermarkets also !
BALSAM- I see what you are saying. A lot of people in the witnesses would look down at inactive ones who would come out of the woodwork for only attending the Memorial each year- then go back into hiding until the Memorial a year later. NOW after being out of the org. for 6 years - those inactive ones seem pretty smart to me all along ! They are just playing the WT system to stay in contact with JW family while not burdening themselves year round with meetings and service. Seems like a stroke of genius to me now - being on the outside.
DEEP BLUE SEA- Sorry you and your husband have been treated that way. It is true what you say- many witnesses associate dissassociation in the same light as being inactive, even though technically in the WT society's terms it's different. But many hardline people make up their own rules anyway- so what do you do ? Can't change it.
TARREDNFEATHEREDJW- What you mentioned is a good point worth repeating - the JW's who shun us are more screwed up than we will ever be ! Like your mother that you mentioned. They claim to have it together but are more strung out than we are. I'm sorry you have been treated so shabbily by your family and former friends. Hang in there, life does get better after the cult as you know.
BREATHING - It is weird how we get treated like we have some strange disease and are the bizarre ones. When in actuality the WITNESSES are the bizarre ones for their shunning actions. Hang in there.
CRAPOLA- Well, at least you are not shunned in the supermarket or stores. But you are right, our former friends won't be proactive in seeking us out either.
DAGNEY- You and I were both raised in the witnesses for YEARS. I agree, isn't it AMAZING how we were dropped like hot potatos by former JW friends once we stopped attending ? It is interesting now that your elder brother wants to pick up on a elationship after your mom died. Perhaps her death made him think more authentically like a real human about HOW IMPORTANT family relationships are and perhaps you will now see more of his non-cult personality come through. Let's hope so. I hope it works out for you with him. Good luck.
FINDING MY WAY- Yes, there is THAT situation you mention in regards to a case like yours. A really weird variable where JW relatives will associate with inactive drug using witnesses , but shun you even though you live a clean life. Ridiculous. It shows how legalistic the witnesses are and are so bound by their stupid rules they follow, instead of being realistic. Sorry you are going through this.
WHA HAPPENED- I'm kind of like you, some ofmy family will not shun me, but almost ALL former JW friends shun me.
YADDA YADDA 2 - I agree. The shunning hurts, but I'm like you- it convinces me they are NOT true christians. I'd never go back.
BABA YAGA- I'm so sorry you get shunned Baba, hang in there sis. You know we care here on the board.
NUGGET- I see what you are saying. Although it hurt seeing your children shunned, by seeing that it convinces you more or gives you even more of a reason to not go to meetings as you will be able to spare them the hurt by not attending. Hang in there.
DOZY- I too am closer to non-JW friends and relatives now also. It is amazing how judgmental they can all be. Ridiculous. I'm sorry you have been treated this way. Hang in there
Figured I'd bump this up for those who hadn't seen it
Yes. By The Friends™ and also by JW family members, as well as non-baptized, but raised JW siblings. But they all, apparently, talk amongst themselves and decide how they are going to handle dealing with me. Oddly enough, they try to keep in contact with my kids via facebook.
It is a stroke of genius to play the system and play the witness by going occasionally just to keep the JW family members happy. It is funny looking back on it some of the so called inactive ones who I tried to be friendly with even calling them to see how they were doing were friendly but distant and basically made it clear they weren't interested in what was happening in meetings. It wasn't till I was out I got it and had to laugh, and finally understood why they popped up occasionally to put in an appearance then disappeared again.
I left and was disfellowshipped so it was a clear cut so I never got to do the inactive way but I can totally see the benefit of doing the fade thing. Good for you all who have made it out of the crazy cult.
SCULLY- Yes indeed your take is accurate. They ARE a$$holes. Sorry you are experiencing this also. It is weird how they all talk about us in clandestine fashion like behind closed doors among themselves on how to deal with us. I feel if I was a fly on the walls of my different JW family and former friends, my ears would have burned off by now ! It is odd they are keeping in touch with your kids on facebook, I thought they recently had " divine " counsel allegedly to get OFF facebook ? They pick and choose what they want to follow. Hang in there