An earlier discussion has been highlighting the differences between DA'ing and DF'ing. Xena said:
I am sorry qadreena but I have NEVER in the 20 some odd years I have been a JW ever heard of an unbaptised publisher being D/Aed...marked as bad association yes..but D/A...no...but I guess stranger things can happen...
Well that brought it all back.
Actually Xena the exact same thing happened to my brother in the early 80's. He was only 14. He'd carried on associating with a friend of his who'd been disfellowshipped. The Elders kept warning him but his loyalty to his friend was stronger than anything he felt for the 'suits'.
He was publicly dissasociated.
It devastated our Mum for years. She was, and still is, a loyal JW but she just couldn't see how a minor who had not been baptised could be formally expelled. They broke her heart.
I came home from the meeting the night the announcement was made. I went up to the room I shared with my brother and he asked me what happened - I told him.
I'll never forget that night. We were both just kids, he was fourteen and I was almost sixteen. He picked up his green hardback bible, clutched it to his chest and cried himself to sleep.
I lay there in the dark not knowing how to comfort my kid brother, I was the 'good one' and I was sure my brother was going to die at Armageddon very soon. That night changed everything between me and my brother for the next 20 years.
Our lives took very different paths. The rejection overwhelmed him and he turned to anyone who'd be his 'friend'. He got in with a bunch of lowlifes and wound up doing various spells in Young Offenders Institutions and eventually prison.
Finally, after the 'turbulance' died down he met a girl who helped him more than I can ever thank her for. He's married, holding down a steady job and is totally committed to his wife and three young children. He turned his life around - but he'd done it all without me.
Two years ago, after finally freeing myself (mentally at least) from the 'Society' I phoned my brother and asked if he'd like to meet me for a drink.
We sat across the table from each other with our pints in our hands. I looked at him and all I could see was the kid in his bed crying with his bible. I felt wretched. The last time we'd had a meaningful drink together it had probably been lemonade.
My mind was whirring. I wasn't sure what to say. Neither of us had been 'Best Man' at each others wedding - we should have been. Our children had never shared the closeness that most cousins do.
I hadn't been the one to kick him out of the congregation but I felt so responsible, and I knew why. I was his older brother and I was supposed to look after him but I'd let him down. The moment that thought crystalised the words just tumbled out "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
I've finally made my peace with my brother. I told him I loved him and that I'd never let him down again. Nothing will ever bring back those missing twenty years but I'm glad our paths have finally joined up again.
I know I'm not the most gifted poster but this was the worst. It's taken me almost three hours to make this post, I'm not sure what the point of it all is but I'm glad I've done it.