My brother is shunning me (but he's not a Witness)

by john.prestor 13 Replies latest jw experiences

  • john.prestor
    john.prestor

    I didn't know where to post this but it's been on my mind and I'm looking for support and advice from people who know what it's like being shunned. I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church, so what I'm experiencing is a little different than most posters on this site. I've been out of that church for years, and my brother's been out for a while too. So what he's doing isn't religious or mandated by anybody in other words: it's a choice he made, and I'll explain why.

    My brother started a fight with me last winter because I accidentally hit him with a grenade during a co-op game of Halo (yes, you read that correctly). We're both in our late 20s by the way. He got in my face, gave me a menacing stare down with his body tensed up like he was going to hit me, and threatened to break my wrists, to the point that his wife (the daughter of a Jehovah's Witness) started dragging him away from me begging him to stop. I tried to deescalate but after he insulted me for a solid 10 minutes straight (he called me the c word a couple times) I got fed up and told him to his face in front of his wife and our cousin, "You're an exhibitionist narcissist" (I figured this out a few years ago and told my mother, who told me a counselor he saw at 16 said the same thing then). So at that point he threw me out of his apartment, and I left, after telling him that I loved him and that I would meet at any time to work things out while I was still in town for the holidays. Later, over text, I offered to pay for online counseling. He refused, of course.

    I sent him a text every so few weeks after that but he stopped responding so I asked him outright whether he wanted me to text him or not. He told me that he wanted me to apologize for calling him a narcissist and for "disrespecting" him and his wife like I'm 12 or something. I'd already apologized for calling him a narcissist in front of his wife and our cousin, the only thing I thought I should apologize for, although he never took back a word he said to me or apologized for threatening me. So he's drawn a line in the sand and refused to talk to me going forward unless I tell him he's not a narcissist.

    I never understood how painful shunning could be until recently. I hear people describe their experiences on here, and it sounds brutal, and now I know... it is brutal. It's downright cruel in fact. How do people cope with that kind of thing?

  • Giordano
    Giordano
    He got in my face, gave me a menacing stare down with his body tensed up like he was going to hit me, and threatened to break my wrists, to the point that his wife (the daughter of a Jehovah's Witness) started dragging him away from me begging him to stop. I tried to deescalate but after he insulted me for a solid 10 minutes straight (he called me the c word a couple of times).

    He definitely has some serious anger and control issues. Unfortunately be it anger and or narcissism of the violent type......... I don't see any reason to try to make amends. He threatened you with bodily harm and then threw you out of his apartment. If he's shunning you your safer and better off without him in your life.

    As an ex JW who simply took a 50 year break from being an active JW..... what I would always do if I was being shunned was to drop any attempt to reconcile or explain anything about my feelings and beliefs. Be it a close friend or family member.

    A shunning JW is not wired up properly.

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    My parents have been no contact for 25 years. They can't blame JW doctrine as they never were even though the previous generation on my mothers side of the family were and she had no contact with them but I never knew why. I never even knew my mothers side of the family til i met JWs and joined them and found my maternal grandmother and the rest of my family in my middle 20s.

    My point is some families and people are just toxic even without JW influence (my mother is a narcissist but I didn't know that until I was in my mid 50s) and although it hurts having no contact sometimes that is less stressful and hurtful so for the best if you want a peaceful happy life.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    To Amelia Ashtons point; There are a great many Disfunctional families in the world. Their dysfunction has nothing to do with religion, but a great many of them seem drawn to cults and fundamentalist groups. This only succeeds in magnifying the dysfunction. Crazy family is crazy family. He doesn't want you in his life? Best to count your blessings and walk away.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    Let's call it, Dysfunctamentalism: an affliction of the dysfunctional who is drawn to, and overzealously adheres to, a fundamentalist ideology.

  • Finkelstein
    Finkelstein

    My brother started a fight with me last winter because I

    accidentally hit him with a grenade during a co-op game of Halo

    Now that's funny and you guys are in your 20's

    So when are you guys going to start to act like adults, in your 60's ?

  • john.prestor
    john.prestor

    Thanks for the feedback guys, I've been thinking about the possibility of just cutting ties until he's willing to talk things out and make amends, and honestly, I don't think he ever will be. I deleted his phone number today so I won't be tempted to text him anymore. He's just not right but I wish he was.

    Aww come on now Finkelstein, you got a problem with Halo? That game was high school for me, haha. A little match now for old time's sake keeps me young.

  • sparky1
    sparky1

    All I can say is that I am glad I am 63 years old and won't have to hear of foolishness like this much longer. Grown men in their late 20's fighting over a [email protected] video game? There are far more important things to worry about in this life!

  • OneEyedJoe
    OneEyedJoe

    The way we frame things goes a long way toward determining if (and how much) we suffer due to the circumstances we're in. It sounds like he might be doing you a favor. I know all too well how stressful and exhausting it is to be around people that can go off on you at a moment's notice. One lesson that I've learned from the distance leaving a cult has placed between myself and my family is that I'd rather expend my efforts on people that enrich my life than those that I just so happened to live under the same roof with for a time (and not by my choice, at that.)

    So your brother's 'shunning' is really his helping you to remove a toxic influence from your life. Now you can spend your time more productively - work on yourself, meet new people, volunteer, do things you enjoy. There's always a period of grieving as you become accustomed to things being a little different, but it diminishes over time until you'll one day wonder how you could've been so silly to waste so much time and energy chasing after someone that did little but make your life more difficult and stressful.

  • Phoebe
    Phoebe

    john.prestor

    was it a plasma grenade? The ones that stick to you?

    I'm may be old but I'm still down with the kids (do people even still say that??)

    I'd just leave him be. You've done all you can.

    My sister (uber JW..who thinks she sits on left hand side of God) hasn't spoken to me for 27 years and has never met my youngest. Apparently I was never good enough to be a witness, so she said anyway.

    I reached out many times to her but to no avail. In the end I realised she was just toxic and my life was better without her in it. They say blood is thicker than water but so is custard (do you have custard n your country??)

    Anyway, just get on with your life. It's his loss if he doesn't make it up with you.

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