Me and my brother.

by nicolaou 60 Replies latest jw friends

  • nicolaou

    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/ 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.


  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    great man. great post.

    Gotta admit, I was with the xeen. I never heard of it either. Youd think they had no right. Anyway Nic, if you say it happened, it mustve.

  • WindRider

    Nic, your post was so moving, it actually made me cry! And I really needed that tonight but that's another story.

    I really empathize with you over the years lost between you and your little brother; you sound like you were very close. It must have been heartbreaking for all of you. When I think of the burden, esp. imposed on you two kids at such a young age, it breaks my heart!

    I am so glad that you sought your little brother out again and were able to some extent to let the years melt away and feel that strong love you had for each other when you were just kids.

    Thank you for your story; it really touched me.

    sincerely, Windrider

  • Skeptic
    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.

    You did great. And I am glad to know that I am not the only one who needs three hours to make a post.

    I know JWs used to shun bible studies who stopped. This eventually made the Dubs look like such jerks that the Society changed the rules.


  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    shun people who stopped studying.
    Never heard of that one either. Then again, maybe because I never had a bible study in my 20 years of membership.

  • larc


    Gifted writing has nothing to do with puting up one word against another. It as everything to do with expressing yourself. You did express yourself, and I got a tear in my eye when I read it.

  • messenger

    A very moving story and so sad. The disipline you refer to was called DAA. Disapproved Associate. This was instigated as a method to deal with unbaptized publishers who committed wrongs that were dealt with by judicial committees. I know this might make no difference to you but perhaps it might mean something to your brother. The DAA was recended in the late 1980's. All persons this action was taken against were to be treated as regular worldy people instead. It seems someone took the matter to court and found if you are not baptized you cannot be disiplined as a member. It was interesting as we had to instruct those we had DAA'd that it no longer applied and we hoped they would come back to meetings and have a bible study. None did. This is an interesting footnote in jw history as it represented the Society taking back judicial action for the first time. All those who were df for transplants were never given the same dispensation. It seems the "new light" found in the court of law induced the GB to remove their sanction. A bit hypocritical wouldn't you say?

    You might want to inform your brother the wt holds nor has any labels on him, his rejection was totally unfounded even by their current theology. It is a small consolation yet you might wish to share it if you think it would mean anything to him.

  • cornish

    Hi Nic,
    Thanks for sharing that,please dont blame yourself,the blame lies fairly and squarely with that destructive organisation,I knew of a couple of young ones who were dissasociated as unbaptized associates in the 80s,one girl was on kidney dialasis,and had enough on her plate with her health,she passed away a couple of years ago bless her soul,but when the Watchtower had new light(we know now that this new light was the reult of legal difficulties with the policy due to law suites)her mother spoke to me and said,'Now the Elders tell me its OK for me to talk to my daughter again,they tell us to swith your emotions on and off like a tap at command.'

  • Duncan

    Thanks for posting this Nic.

    Very moving post.


  • Frenchy

    I'm sorry that this happened to you but I'm happy that you have been able to reconcile with your brother. I know a family right now that just lost their son to AIDS. He was df'd because of homosexuality and, of course, there was very little contact with him. The parents are having an extremely difficult time dealing with it. Although they would never admit it, I'm sure they regret all the time they could have shared with their son if they had not honored the shunning thing.

    There is an elderly sister who lost her husband a couple of years ago. Her only son is at Bethel and her only daughter is df'd. I met and spoke with the daughter at the funeral and I know she would love to be able to be with her mother but the mother will allow that. The old man who died was never baptized although he was at every meeting and even commented. The reason he never got baptized was because he knew once he did that, he would not be able to speak to his daughter.

    BTW he died of post surgery complications because he refused a blood transfusion. He had colon surgery and the stapler malfunctioned and it took too long to sew him back up with a needle.

    She is now a lonely old woman living alone in a big house. The witnesses don't visit much because she's single. She has no worldly friends because that would be 'bad'. It's been a very long time since I have seen her smile.

Share this