my father was also df'd, though not divorced. He was out for 18 years, and I was pressured by the elders at that time, not to have ANY contact with him. I didn't agree with that stand point even at that time, but like an obedient puppy, I followed the rules.
Argh! I know what you mean here. The mould has been made, the pattern set...
My mom was disfellowshipped while my children were at an impressionable age. I did not shun her for ten years ... UNTIL Elder Busy-Body wrote me a letter and threatened to disfellowship me if I continued to have contact with her! I was devastated ... It was a very difficult decision to make for me. Nevertheless, I relented and shunned my mother for the next five years, until she was reinstated. Of course, my children saw my example ~~ and now they figure that I will never come back as long as they have contact with me. They believe now that the only way that I will come back is if they "rightfullyTM" shun me. So they shun me 100% ~~ absolutely no contact!!!
My son lives in a different province, I found this out through my ex-sister-in-law. He did not even inform me of his move. As far as he is concerned, I don't even deserve to know where he is. Like the dubs teach, as long as we are disfellowshipped, we are to be treated like we are dead, because we have no chance at living in the New SystemTM...
What they don't realize is they are the ones living in the fantasy. We are living in the real world.
I have gone on with my life, Puternut. I do what I love doing, which is my work and my dancing. I have taken more than nine years of therapy to heal from the ravages of the jw cult.
My adive is to take care of Puternut first. Get help to shed those awful dubisms that bind and enslave. Remember that we are not bound any longer by dub rules, as much as our family members would like us to be enslaved along with them. Their rules still affect us because of their shunning us, however.
I just figure if we find our way to a peaceful place and we are happy in our own right ~~ and it is possible ~~ that is the best thing we can show our children. They need to know that as unbelievable as it may seem to them, we can be happy outside of dub-dumb.
Be glad that your children will see you when you call a "Family Business Meeting". You might just want to "invent" reasons to have family meetings and continue to see them like that when possible. At least that is something. Continue to assure them of your love.
Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more...