I DA'ed myself two years ago, one of the main reasons was because my Mother died and the congregation was more interested in"meeting attendance, and service" than anything else. For the first time in 30 years the very conditional friendship offered by the jehovahs witnesses came to the fore, and I was literally blindsided by it.
Several months later I attended a grief support group at our local hospital, and boy it was a real godsend for me, I realised that the so called "worldly people' could actually be nice, supportive, and lend a real listening ear. The hospital had one of their Grief Support Counselors lead the meeting, and she was really good at what she does. She made me realize that what I was feeling and going through was normal.
Fast forward to the current time,
Last week I took my dog May (she's a therapy dog) to the hospital and I ran into this counselor, she invited me to the office and she asked me how I was doing .
She thought that maybe a follow up visit would be good, so yesterday afternoon after work I went back and got "evaluated" for depression.
My Mom had a history of being depressed, but in the 60's methods of treatment were not as available as they are now.
During the meeting she asked me about my spiritual beliefs/life. Well I told her the whole JW thing, and all throughout this she just nodded her head up and down. I finally got to the point where I explained the whole shunning thing, and she seemed quite aware of this aspect. She had heard about shunning before, and now she was now nodding her head side to side like she couldn't believe it either.
In a psychological manner, she stated that this shunning behavior could be a very heavy stressor for somebody who is also dealing with a major loss. In other words it's like punching someone when they are already down.
That really made me feel good in a strange way, the witnesses method of shunning was beginning to make me feel somewhat like a leper, the disgusted look that witnesses shoot and family members shunning me was starting to bother me.
When I go back next week, she wants to discuss ways for me to get back a certain amount of spirituality outside of the witness mindset.
I'll post what suggestions I receive