...and so the shunning begins
I have a close friend of mine my age and is still in good standing with his family but doesn't attend meeting and was baptized. His younger step brother and I who we would be considered the younger brothers in our familes clearly get treated that way by my friend.. Even his step brother (they share the same dad but different moms) tells me he feels his older brother really is a spoiled brat. The real dad didn't have money. My friends witness mom got remarried and his step dad had bank. So his step brother who barely scraped by with the real dad just sees his older brother who has always been in and out of the picture. But not fully understanding who his older brother was or the life he had till he was 14.
Like dozy said above. They “heard” you no longer attend. They don’t know if it is true or not but just remove themselves from your life. No confirmation that the news is true. Just silence. This happened to us as well. For an organization that spends countless hours knocking on empty doors or aimlessly standing by a cart that no one approaches, they seem to just disappear from the ones they could try to encourage. They show their true colors.
Sorry you're going through this Phoebe. Those 7 "meek" men in Warwick wield alot of abusive power.
As a side point, as my situation was very similar to yours. I hear reports of ones been continuously hassled by elders or well meaning congregation members when they leave. But for others I'm just gob smacked at how easily and just little attention they gave them when they left. For me, I was in it for just under 4 decades. To this day I really don't know how to take it? As an insult at their lack of attention or as a blessing as it saved me having to deal with them.
I also find it confusing how they will spend billions of hours and dollars knocking on empty doors and yet give so little attention to existing members.
Ii was agony for me, realising that I was being pushed away, distanced ......but of course - as we know, this was not about me, but about the religion.
Like you, I also had several close friends who I spoke to daily, sharing everything....being true sisters...l'll never find that kind of bond again in what's left of my 60 year old life!
Good women, our love for eachother meant we'd drop everything to be at eachothers side....
But, the closest to me feel they can no longer speak with me....whilst a couple of others catch up with me when in town, affectionate, but more guarded as we've lost our 'freedom' to love in the way we used to.
I miss them. I know they must miss me.
You know, I met up with an old school friend recently, we shared our teens together. She came from a strict but very loving Jewish family.
Her Mother was a beautiful woman, adored her children, was a courageous woman who took up 'causes', spoke out against what she perceived to be injustices in the community.
When my friend left university, she informed her family she'd be marrying a 'gentile' - her Parents and family didn't attend the wedding - and her Mother agonisingly let her daughter know, that from this day forward, she'd not be able to see her ever again.
I want you to get an understanding of how much of an amazing, loved and immensely compassionate woman this Mother was.....
Three years later, the rabbis wife discreetly paid the grieving Mother a visit....and said, it's OK, don't miss out on your daughters life.....
That visit turned around the life of that family....and they reunited, the Mother, a warm, witty and generous woman was a much loved grandmother and fiercely protective of her chicks.....🙂
My friend was angry about my treatment from my JW friends and said, like everyone else says 'but, they were not real friends' ...
I suddenly realised, that they were real friends, like her Mother was a real Mother...but false religion can twist any heart and relationship, as can any ideology or politics or whatever....
Sorry this is long winded....it was just something that came up recently and it helped me to put things into perspective.
My JW friends WERE real friends, and I mourn and grieve their absence....but they are marching to the drum of their beliefs, as many 'good' and worthwhile people do....
It gives me comfort to still love them and not feel screwed up with hurt and emptiness....just recognising they can't help themselves......
I don't know if this will help....
I've found love and human warmth shows up everywhere when you stop and just let it happen.......there IS life beyond our JW experience.....keep steady dear 💕
Sorry to read of your so-called "friends." Similarly, I was there for my best friend when he was DF'ed, but he was not there for me when I remained inactive.
To be fair, he decided not to maintain contact during his problem, so that he could get reinstated. But the excuses run thin when shunning is not even required.
I would forgive him if he ever wakes up, realizing he is another dangerous mind-control cult victim.
I'm living the same situation but, before I stopped preachig and going to meetings, most of the people I really loved were strongly told to avoid talking to me because of my "wordly spirit".
I'm sure they really believe they stay on the right side of the line and protect themselves and the holyness of the congregation...
Yes, unfortunately freedom from this cult comes at a price.
I see it like this people can only give you what they have to give and people under WT's "spell" just don't have it. They don't know the real meaning of friendship, love, kindness, compassion because WT has redefined those things for them to mean something unatural.
To Phoebe and you all. I too have known the put downs and some heinous rumours put out about me by the leading elderette (dragon class) who ran that cong like her own fiefdom.
At one stage I grew a tidy beard and at conventions had brothers walk past me and then turn away. If I needed to be told by then it was hit home to me that being an individual is Verbotten! in wt land.
I have known a couple and their kids often met up with them and over coffee we would talk about any and everything. Then I moved away due to work and they phoned me twice in a generation on both occasions asking for another's phone number.
With jw if you are not in their face you don't exist.
Nowadays I have many associates and some deep friends, I have qualified in college which has helped me walk taller than the wt would have us. and I have retired with some benefits I put aside despite the prognostications and warning dire from wt about doing so.
pm me anytime.
"In your chain of friendships consider me a link."
Thank you everyone, you never fail to comfort me and I know you have all been through it too, so you understand.
I know it's the religion that twists them up, so maybe they can be forgiven. I guess I was always a bit of a rebel because I would never shun anyone, it wasn't in my heart to do it. I have a friend in another country who got DF and the circumstances were tragic. I refused to turn my back on her and I kept in contact via email because I knew she needed support. We were talking the other day on the phone and I said 'see, I never turned away from you when you were DF' and she surprised me by saying 'but I would have you'
I just don't understand how you can turn your back on someone, my conscious wouldn't let me be that cruel.
But once again, thanks everyone. It's so nice that I can share how I feel and receive such kindness and compassion from you all.