Anonymous

Grandmother Shunned by Family for the Last 7 Years

Stories

I am 51 years old and have been shunned by both of my parents, 2 sisters and 2 nephews for the past 7 years due to my decision to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion.

I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness from a young child but realized at a young age that I did not want to be a Jehovah’s Witness. However, I did, at the age of 15, succumb to pressure and got baptized.

Seven years ago I had 2 elders turn up on my doorstep to question me and interrogate me as to whether or not I was celebrating Christmas, even though I had not been attending their services for about 3 years.  As a result of that interrogation, I ended up formally disassociating from the religion. To me, this was the best option as I no longer viewed myself as a Jehovah’s Witness. 

As a result of my disassociating, my name was read out at my local congregation stating that I was no longer a JW and was to be treated accordingly, meaning I was to be shunned.

I live in a small town, so I regularly bumped into members of the local JW community. All of them actively shunned me, some giving me a dirty look to go with it, some even changing lanes in the supermarket line so they wouldn’t be standing behind me. It was, to say the least, soul-destroying. I would come home from town crying, anxious to leave the house and feeling like I was a horrible person. 

My last conversation with my father was him telling me that I was dead to him and the only way back into the family was to return to Jehovah. I never got to talk to my mum and my 2 sisters, and nephews never once rang me to find out why I disassociated. None of my family have met my youngest granddaughter and they have not seen or made any attempts to contact my oldest granddaughter because she lives with me full-time. Shunning is generational. It doesn’t just stop at the person being shunned it has a flow-on effect.

The first 3 years of being shunned nearly destroyed me. I went through a grieving process, depression and anxiety. But due to having a supportive husband and real friends who have unconditional love for me, I have come through the other side. I am a survivor. I am a success story. Sadly, many are not.

The JW cult says they are a loving organization, but they are the exact opposite.

SHUNNING needs to stop!

How can this religion be classed as a charity organization, receiving tax breaks due to being a charity and yet be allowed to practice Shunning? Shunning is a form of bullying, to say the least, and would not be tolerated at school, workplace, or any other part of life, so why is it allowed in religion?