Ostracism more damaging than bullying

by jgnat 22 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • steve2

    Absolutely agree jgnat. It's more about "taking stock" in the meantime. We humans need each other. The "trick" - if it can be called that - is to recognize when the group one has been in has well and truly closed the door and the "practical " need then is to re-build your life which will likely include very early on the need to develop still-existing ties and make new ones with others.

  • twice shy
    twice shy

    steve-When you realize they have bolted the door firmly in your face and have made unmeetable demands before they'd even be prepared to think about unbolting it

    This thought is all too true. Yes, resilience goes a long ways. They preach it, but don't teach how to bounce back because more than one tool is needed that's why it's so devestating when it happens. They aren't taught how to get their legs back underneath them at the hall. The Elders depend on just that to instill and be assured of the conformity in the repentent wrong doer.

    It also depends on how the individual whose being ostracized views it.

    For me: The threat of being disfellowshipped or disassociated didn't and doesn't phase me one bit. I took the mental stand that reflected my personality. "So what, you are not speaking to me; because most days I can assure you I didn't want you to speak to me either." In typing this it dawned on me that it read a bit cruel or forward. No offense is meant.

    I just noticed that they gained all of their power at the hall by the way they treated the out crowd. Once you notice that, you take back their power. I started turning my back to them when they saw me or I saw them coming. I guess it is also just as effective in reverse, because they didn't like it one bit and would often times walk by me twice just to see if I really did what they thought I did. So, when they passed by the second time it confirmed my so called arrogance in turnining my back on them. None of it bothered me at all, but it seemed to annoy them dearly.

    Ostracizing only works if you are defined by that which they are using for the grounds of the ostracizing. "In short, you need to know what defines you. "If you define yourself by what you have or the title you carry then you will feel worthless if you lose them. It may also keep you in a state of despair and anxiety out of fear of the threat of the loss. The danger of feeling worthless is you will always get somebody beneath you because their constant need of you makes you more valuable." The last part of that statement as well as Steve's snipet I quoted earlier sums up the Elders at the hall. They get power drunk making your life miserable instead of being kind and gentle.

    Being a JW was a nice thing and I am surely committed to Jehovah. I just was no longer commited to the society as I was when I first got baptized and still wet behind the ears. The loyalty left when it was shown that their decisions were of man. Especially once I realized that they weren't making decisions soley in line with the bible and Jehovah's spirit; my embarkation to freedom began. It was at that point being a witness no longer defined who I was. There were far greater things that defined me that came under a larger umbrella than them.

    Under the JW circumstances ostracism may be viewed more damaging than bullying, but I still conclude that ostracism IS bullying. They are both all aout power and control.

  • steve2

    agree twiceshy.

    Some variables can make the experience potentially of greater threat such as having family still in the organization - which is likely harder to bear than if you are disfellowshipped but none of your (close) family are in the organization - so there's no threat of losing them.

    At the time I lef the organization, a few others also left - some of them had "only" been in the organization a few short years and had no significant others "still" inside. They considered it no big deal leaving and found it laughable that people they'd met and had once considered loving and kind hearted could suddenly become so cold-hearted and shun them. Besides that, there were no other consequences because essentially their family and outside friends were still there for them.

    Yes, some variables can make leaving harder - having family still in the organization may be one of the toughest to bear (but it is still possible to "recover and rebuild" one's life - it's just harder to do.

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