The Shunning Paradox?

by blacksheep 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • blacksheep

    As I am in the midst of continuing bizarre hot/cold treatment from the JW members of my family, a thought occurred to me. If my JW family members DON'T like what I do, feel I've been led down the wrong path, and generally "disapprove" of me, why the heck not just AVOID me altogether??? Why come into and out of my life in whenever THEY deem it desireable?

    I finally laid it on the line with my sister, who wanted to be a part of a special life event of mine, while overtly shunning me from similar life events of hers. I called her on her hot/cold behavior. The reason she gave? There IS a distance between us because I'M not living life in accordance with her rules (she didn't say which rules, but they are the JW-imposed rules). So it's okay for her to insert herself into my life whenever she feels the urge, but to overtly deny MY participation in the same/similar parts of her life??

    Now, it seems to me MOST people would see the utter unfairness/undesireableness of that attitude. But not my sister, mother, and other JW relatives. Somehow they think it's okay to be involved in MY life on their terms during certain events/times, etc. But it's ALSO okay to overtly SHUN me or deprive me of partcipating in their life events, or in areas where most families would generally participate.

    So, what I'm thinking is that it MIGHT relate back to the shunning principle??? They cannot totally cut me out of their life because for shunning to really work, you've got to keep up a certain measure of contact(?) Does the "hot/cold" treatment keep you on your toes or something? Are they even doing it conciously?

    I mean if someone REALLY disapproves of you, why not just avoid you altogether? If I'm THAT bad, I'd think they wouldn't want to be around me at all, on any terms. So, I'm thinking this shunning thing really goes a bit deeper. Any thoughts??? Experiences? Explanations?

  • DakotaRed

    Blacksheep, I was in a similar situation when I first started posting here. Disassociated and married to a JW. Whenever her friends or elders dropped by, I was shunned within my own house and expected to leave the room to make them feel comfortable. Of course, none of them had a problem partaking of the material things I provided within the house or expecting me to repair their cars, if needed.

    I found this highly hypocritical and made my feelings known. Most stopped dropping by and the wife and her kids took offense at me for it. They thought it perfectly acceptable for me to be shunned inside my own house and were extremely upset at me for taking offense at it. To make a long story short, the divorce will be final in a couple months. Of course, they are still good little dubies and still expect me to step in and help them out, with money, car repairs and such. Although no alimony or anything is being ordered, I continue to give her money when I can and help them out.

    But, just like you, I wonder why they ask for and accept my help, yet still shun me. Any more, although I still wonder, I am not worrying about it. I'm just getting on with my life and have two grown nonJW daughters from my first marriage who love me and I have great relationships with. I also have two wonderful grandsons. So, who needs the nonsense from the JWs? Not me.

    Lew W

  • onacruse

    Dakota, you sure we are not clones??

    "I was shunned within my own house and expected to leave the room to make them feel comfortable."

    Same here.

    "Of course, none of them had a problem partaking of the material things I provided within the house or expecting me to repair their cars, if needed."

    Same here.

    "Most stopped dropping by and the wife and her kids took offense at me for it."

    Same here.

    Blacksheep: JWs are caught in a catch-22. They either totally go by the hardline, and act as if their df'd blood family no longer exists (which many, if not most, are unwilling to do), or they continue to associate with their df'd blood family and risk themselves being df'd (which many, if not most, are unwilling to do.)

    There is no explaining their schizophrenic behavior.


  • Cardinal Fang
    Cardinal Fang

    I've been experiencing the same sort of thing myself recently, and I'm not even DF/DA (couldn't be as I was never 'dunked'), although most of my family shun me since I was 'outed' for my 'apostate' views (by a sibling I confided in who was also going through their own crisis at the time and who I thought might understand - unfortunately, they weren't already 'on the way out' as I was then...)

    I got a call recently from one of my JW siblings who lives out of the area, after a couple of years of no contact at all - MAJOR shock... anyway, after a few social pleasantries, they cut to the chase and started asking 'where I stood' (I would've thought the lack of contact on their part made it pretty clear they already had their own ideas as to the answer). I explained as patiently as I could that I had my own personal relationship with God now, that he'd brought about some major life changes for me, and that I felt closer to Him than I'd ever done when I was trying to live the Witness life, which, of course, he couldn't accept, and since to him I'm a "dead man walking," he said that this was basically goodbye.

    Like I said, if he'd already made his mind up about me (and the evidence would suggest that was the case), then why torment me by making contact only to tell me he wouldn't be having any further contact with me (apart from, of course, "necessary family business" *puke*)? All the while feeling that they can maintain contact with never-JW relatives while shunning me because I walked away from a cult that I was indoctrinated into and a part of purely by accident of birth? True enough, there's absolutely NO sense to the JW mindset at all....

    "They never told me what was the truth - just a young man losing his youth..." - 'Bear Cage', The Stranglers

    Edited by - Cardinal Fang on 10 August 2002 5:2:45

    Edited by - Cardinal Fang on 10 August 2002 5:39:1

  • Francois

    I never had the experiences you folks are talking about. I let it be known in very clear terms that my home was indeed MY home and if I was to be shunned, it would have to be outside my home because IN IT I WAS LORD AND MASTER. If they were uncomfortable with that, they'd better stay away. They did.


  • blacksheep

    Thanks for your comments everyone. Wow, Dakota (and others), shunned in your own house??? That beats my situation. But then, we have no JW's living here. I suppose if I did, I'd experience the same thing. And it would end up breaking up my family as well.

    Unbelieveable hypocracy. It's kind of like they at some level they believe YOU still must think you owe them something. That you recognize you left due to some shortcoming on your part, not because you think their religion's hogwash. When I found out my sister, who lives in the same town I do, did not invite me to my neice's high school graduation, while she DID invite out-of-town JW's, it hurt. And when I confronted her (when she wanted to be at one of MY kid's events) what did she say? That she didn't want ME to be uncomfortable around all those ex-JWs (some elders) who would be at the event. Now why should I feel uncomfortable around THEM? I no longer play by THEIR rules. The event was about my niece, not them. I had nothing to be uncomfortable OR ashamed about. My guess is that this was the type of psycho game the JW's tried on you in your own house(?) Somehow it was worked out that YOU had to excuse yourself because deep down YOU were ashamed (?)...Ugh!!!!!! KWIM???

    What a bunch of twisted thinkers. Yes, the religion breaks up families, no doubt about it. I guess I'm at the point where I'm wanting their complex shunning games to blow up in their faces. Time will tell, I guess.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences. I needed a reality check. You guys are great.

  • Nikita

    They either don't have a "clue" (insert "ignorant") of how they come across or they are the epitome of arrogance.

    I can tolerate ignorance much better than arrogance.

    One woman who studied with my Mom had come by one day to visit with her while she was dying. I arrive home with my Dad (I was da'd, my Dad was never a dub) and as I am getting out of the car, I hear her say to my Dad, loud enough for me to hear, "Hello *****, I can speak to you, but not Leslie."

    My Dad let her know she was not to come back with that kind of attitude. Mom found out later and was livid! One thing I always took great pleasure in knowing was that she had stopped by to see my Mom, but had no idea that Mom had a blood transfusion a short time before then! This woman has always come across as arrogant to me.

    Leslie, aka "Nikita"

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