Ran into my brother at a concert; first time I've seen him in years......
My wife and I went to a concert on Friday night. There was a friend of ours there doing security, and she happens to be an exjw too. She sent me a message on messenger to inform me that my brother and his wife were at the show, not knowing that I'd be there too. So I told her where we were at and she swung by and pointed out my brother and his wife. There they were, just across from us, with really few people in the way as it was before the show started.
I looked at my wife and said that I think I want to go say hi. She thought it was a big deal, but it didn't feel like one to me. She agreed to come with and we walked up to them at the side. We appeared in front of them, I waved and said hi, and they waved at me and said hi...............for a moment. It was fascinating to watch their process. It was friendly, and almost in the exact same moment they both turned red and then looked to their right.
I laughed, said oooooohhhhhhkay, and then we walked back to our spot on the other side. Immediately, literally as soon as we got back, before we had a chance to say anything to one another or process anything one of our new friends since we've been out appeared out of thin air behind us. Her smiling face was the first thing we saw, and we talked to her about normal things for a minute. Then I saw another new friend of ours coming up the aisle toward us, and he stopped and talked to us. It was so interesting, like the universe said "here are your real friends" immediately after this experience. It felt good.
Afterward we had a chance to talk, just my wife and I. I felt so amazing. I just made them actively shun me. For a split second their humanity kicked in, and they turned red because they know deep down how messed up this is. Then the indoctrination kicked in and they looked away in disgust. I never really had to shun anyone in person that I cared about, that has to be hard. JWs expected the shunned ones to be shamed and never see them again. I'm not going out like that. I've made it clear since day one that I'm still here and human, and I exhibited my humanity, as did my wife, while they had to go into shun mode in stark contrast.
I feel for my brother and his wife. That has to be super hard to do to people in their face. It's one thing to walk to a different aisle of the super market, but to have someone say hi in a pleasant manner and then have to be a total douche to them has to cause some dissonance. I hope it did. Having to shun one of my brothers, who just disappeared to another state so I never did shun him in person, was super hard for me. It felt messed up once I got healthy after many years, and I reached out to him because I couldn't even do the shunning thing when we were worlds apart forever. I just can't imagine if he had approached me in person. Then again, I tried reaching out after my brother was dfed, so I guess I never was the best shunner anyway because ultimately, I cared about people. I'd love to know what my brother and his wife were talking about over there after we walked away.
Oh, and shame on him and his wife for being at a concert that even apostates would go to, lol.
What a surreal experience for you, dubstepped. You had the twin advantages of catching them by surprise and at a venue where they couldn't hide behind other JWs. But yes, the "automatic" friendliness rapidly evaporates once they "catch" their act of friendliness and replace it with eye-contact avoidant social awkwardness. Decency had you and your wife retreat which shows you did not want to force the issue of their shunning. I'm sure you were heavily on their minds throughout the concern and afterwards as they were on yours.
Unless people been through something like this, they would have no idea what it is like. But it drives home how messed up enforced shunning is and in your case, who your true friends are.
Always remember it was their choice to shun you. Don't ever let them make you feel guilty of their actions. I am going through this with my own family. I do not care any more as life is too short to worry about stupidity.
Oh, no shame in my game. I don't let it make me feel bad at all. I was proud to be a free human saying hi to another human that isn't free. I figured that I knew what would happen and was right. Like I said though, this was good for me. It was my little chance to take power back. They want you to cower, to disappear, to feel shame like you're a horrible person. Nope, not going out like that. I will be a good person and will be me and if they don't want to participate that's fine, but any time I see people like that I'm going to make them shun me and face what they're doing. It feels good, not bad, to me.
"With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion" Steven Weinberg
Your brother and sister-in-law did not commit an evil act, but the quote still fits. Their natural goodness was suppressed once religion dogma entered their heads.
Good for you Dub!
You are living in a real way with of open, kind, honesty.
Your poor brother and his wife do not feel they can do that as of now.
Its too bad.
Yes, they are the ones who looked and acted like fools.
We all feel sorry for those who choose to give over their natural human affection to the dictates of a bunch of men who they don't even know in person! (didn't the bible say that the last days would be marked by those with "no natural affection"??)
Yes, they will shun their own family because some guys they don't even know tell them to...
Her smiling face was the first thing we saw, and we talked to her about normal things for a minute. Then I saw another new friend of ours coming up the aisle toward us, and he stopped and talked to us. It was so interesting, like the universe said "here are your real friends" immediately after this experience. It felt good.
I love that real friends made up for your brother's weirdness. Last night I missed my daughter being at open air Shakespeare with me. She usually comes with me but she had to go back to uni to finish her masters and go to job interviews. No family to go with, same position as you, so I went with a new friend from my Meetup group. She produced a bottle of wine and two glasses and I felt ..... loved.
I think a lot of JWs who shun dont realize the gravity of what they're doing until you do that, walk up and say hi. Now they're FORCED to openly shun you to your very face. I do what you did. If it's family or old friends who i actually liked i approach and say hi because it's normal. They're then given the choice of behaving like a normal human member of society or be a douche and ignore me. People dont like to act like douches on purpose so they get anxious and a little shook up.
It's funny. They want US to feel shaken up, anxious and ashamed but when you approach it takes the power away from them and THEY end up feeling that way.
I was shunned not because of being DFed but because of being marked. My old partner Daryl Kunde had a brother that was DFed back in the mid 70s. He has not talked to him on a social level since. What a waste of time to shun family who only want to live their life for a cult that has fucking never been right in their life.