I was raised in JW as a child. My dad was a jw my mom was not, they are divorced now. I was never baptized or anything but I stopped going once I had the choice at age 12. Now I am 41 and my dad will not associate with me, my wife or my 3 kids. He didn't come to our wedding and doesn't know my kids. For years I thought it was because he didn't love me or care about me and obviously that caused me a lot of emotional pain and I have battled with depression. It still hurts, but by doing some research I am starting to understand that the JW organization teaches them to shun their family that isn't loyal to Jehovah God and it's not because I am a horrible person, but because he is brainwashed by the watchtower society. For decades I just put my JW past out of my mind and tried to move on with my life and never stayed up to date on the teachings and harsh expectations the organization places upon its members. I guess I am just hoping to hear from other people who are going through this because I don't have anyone in my life who can really relate to my experiences and talk about it with. It would be nice to know other people who have the same background and fully understand what i am going through.
Shunning & separation from family
Hi CJxfarmx, I'm sorry your father is treating you this way. I find it unusual he stopped associating with you since you were never baptised. Shunning is usually reserved for those who are 'disfellowshipped' (JW talk for excommunication) or 'disassociated' (JW talk for leaving the religion). They urge you to limit contact with non believers, but not to flat out shun them. Your father's behavior sounds appalling, like he's one of those 'everything by the Watchtower' JWs. Again, I'm sorry for what J-Dubs have done to your relationship with your dad. One of my worst fears is being abandoned by my family once I finally leave this religion. My family is by the book like your father sounds. My advice to you would be to continue to have a strong relationship with your wife and kids, and be the father to them your father couldn't be to you.
Some of the shunning could be based off fear that you will try to "unwitness" to them. My family and friends are shunning us also so I am very sorry for what you are going through. Perhaps by letting him know you will not separate him from his faith he will feel safer to be around you.
Its a fear inducing cult after all. They are afraid of their own shadow.
I´ m sorry for you. Not having a father and not been able to show your children their grandpa…must be painful and stressful. But there is a question that rose up.:? Did you ever do the preaching work? Were you ever recognized as a JW? Did your father ever cared for you before the separation. If your answer on these quest. are No…then your father has no scriptural reason to shun you. He is just another blatant idiot to men that doesn’t understand what he actually ought to do…… Taking care of his child. Many men just run away from their responsibility and try to hide behind a façade of working hard, doing the preaching work, don´t want their congregation to know “mistake” from earlier time…Meaning that you “father” is nothing but a real asshole. In fact he is not worth your or your children’s attention at all… These men frequently appears both inside the org and outside…. I must admit that I became a father at the age of 20…a boy…. I was not a good father always trying to avoid my duties as a father….this because my immaturity. Now at the age of 70 and my son at the 50, it has become much much better… We have both left the org and to day my son is my pride (I think he is a little bit proud over his father to)
Your father sounds like what I call a JW extremist. They are very black and white thinkers. Both my family and that of my wife fall into that category . We actually were JWs, and we were shunned before we ever officially left for going to see my disfellowshipped brother one time after over a decade of shunning him. You can do all the right things , slip up once in their eyes, and be instantly dead to them.
I'm sorry for your loss, though really it's his. You have a family, he has a cult.
My father and mother raised me until I left home after high school. My father raised me in JW and I went to Kingdom Hall meetings twice a week since I was a baby and some of my earliest childhood memories are actually in the hall for example laying down underneath the chairs with my blanket during meetings as a toddler. When I was a little older my dad took me out in field service but I would have been maybe 9 or 10 then at age 12 made it apparent I did not want to be a part of JWs and he did not force me. All the while he was an alcoholic, physically abusive to me (becuse the holy scriptures say "spare the rod...") and cheated on my mom. That's why they are divorced. I guess not forcing me to be a JW was the only good this he really did for me. But now I have no relationship with him because of that.
Hi CJ, i can relate to loss of relationship with your father.
My loss came about a different way, but i still lost my father. He was never jw, in fact made all kinds of fun of my husband and me when we started studying with jw and going to meetings.
A few years after that we learned that my father was a pedophile. He had been charged with child sexual assault. He had been having sex with teenage boys. He called me collect while he was in jail awaiting his hearing. He never admitted any wrong doing. They let him go after he pleaded no contest to the charge, but with 10 years probation.
We had family money business to conclude and once that was completed I never spoke to him again. I wrote him a letter saying he had to stay away from me and my family. About 20 years later I was looking up his name and learned that he had died just a few years after I cut off contact.
But the person that I thought my father was, never existed. I was so sad for a long time after i learned what a horrible person he was in reality. No where near the guy I believed he was, all my life.
You don't have to stop loving him but you have to accept the facts of all the bad things your father has done, and not try to idealize him the way kids naturally do.
Much love to you.
Your family treating you so hatefully is supposed to help you to love Jehovah and want to serve Him. Is it working?
Lown Mylife, thank you. Best wishes to you and your family.
I totally sympathise with your situation , my own life and others of my family . . children grandchildren are all affected by this mind set of shunning at worst and setting of invisible barriers which create abnormal family feelings. It's my knowing that my feelings of love and togetherness are normal and harmonious as opposed to their enslaved beliefs which promote unnatural behaviour and feelings. They are ultimately the losers if they do not change.