I've moved on, they have moved on, we have little to nothing in common. If my Mom and I sat down together it would be a short conversation. Yes, I've been shunned for over a decade. However, in all honesty, I left town and started over and they could say that I had initiated it, by my exclusion of their authority in my life.
I had experienced a large portion of slander, lies, and other nonsense taking place within and from my family and family influencing hatred through the congregation after my Dad's death. When I found out how the opposition (family) was viciously intent on ruining me financially, my business, within the congregation, friendships, and wanted to break me and my wife up, I left town without a word. My brother even suggested suicide to me.
Up until a few years ago, I enjoyed regular conversations with my sister and her husband and felt she understood and agreed with my plight. The last time I tried to contact them I seriously believed that because of their silence there had been another accident or such. However, I got a short text that said, "Did you attend the Memorial this year?". Then a short time after that received a letter from my sister saying in effect, "What happened to you, you started out so spiritual?" I thought about sending a reply, but said, Why cast my pearls before swine? and give them more ammunition to hate as haters do.
The question I have is, Why does the shunning issue bother ex JW's so much? Yes, it sometimes is extreme, meaning, they can't even say hi at a grocery store, as if we are not of the same human race. They have made their decision to "listen, obey" and shut up, and we made our decision, end of story. At least my decision is based on the principles of integrity, honesty, truthfulness and other qualities that I have personally worked on and the facts of the behavior of the organization and their false teachings.
Am I perfect? No, not by any means. we all have our struggles. But, I don't claim to be God's sole channel to mankind either. I can live with myself in good conscience, sleep well at night, and carry on an authentic personal life instead of having some split personality that requires either alcohol in large doses or prescription drugs to live with myself.
If anyone, any religion, any group of men want to dictate that much control over my personal life but not accept the responsibility and the only payment is some far-fetched idea in the near/distant future? Then, I don't need them. I spent nearly 50 years listening to all the reasons that I wasn't good enough, that whatever I did, it was not enough and that I could and should have done more, that I was merely a good for nothing slave. Because of the negativeness and hatefulness in that religion, I have suffered mentally from depression, and physically from working myself to death, and not showing balance taking care of myself or my family, for what? For a tax-free real estate empire disguised as a religion.
There was one time in my life when going through the grieving process and the "season" from losing my Father to death, that I needed some supportive friends, spiritually upbuilding personally tailored for me. What did I experience? Basically, a mob beating, hoping I would die!
I experienced character assassination from my own fleshly brother. Even after I had supported him for over a decade financially while he "worked" in Bethel; he is a most aggressive bully, a liar of professional means, whom I have not met his equivalent since.
My so-called friends in the congregation? fellow elders that I had put my armor on and fought for them and their families when they were being viciously attacked by a rogue, arrogant, self-righteous group of elders? Even at my own financial detriment? (It's a long story) Because one of the attackers of their families were in business with me and my stance made me immediate enemies? I received absolutely nothing but more grief from these false friends, just as Job.
However, just as Job received double for his troubles, my life is now peaceful, without drama, malicious attacks or lying. I am not afraid of anyone or anything. I have faced the worst. At the time, I thought my actions resulted in a huge and permanent financial loss. However, I have gained it all back, and hope to shortly enjoy the second portion for my troubles. More than that, I can say I stand up for the right cause, (fill in the blank).
For all the grief I have been through, I just don't see it even worth it to discuss their "shunning". We all know, that Any relationship we had was false and conditional. It was as if we lived in a life full of smoke and mirrors, a carnival of professionals at slight of hand. All our time in this cult we were not able to distinguish what was the reality of thought, of friends, of "critical thinking", but here and now, some picking up the pieces trying to make some sense to it all, we are sitting here trying to decipher what aspects of the lie, the mirrors, the smoke was real?
We were in a paradigm of thoughts, that ended up as fictitious as Harry Potter. I don't even try to make sense of it anymore as if it was some futuristic chemical vacation we could take to some fantasy land in a doctors examination chair, just like in West World.