Disfellowshipping And Family

Hello. I’m hesitant to post this, but I need some feedback. I’m just curious if you are disfellowshipped how do your family members treat you? And if you are disfellowshipped with children, how do your family members treat your children? I was baptized at 15 and I was DF’d at 22. I am not 33, married, with a child and another on the way. My relationship with my mom has been an emotional rollercoaster. It has gone from me living with her to help her financially to me not being able to call her, to I can drop my child off but I am not able to enter the house or stay, to I can’t even send her pictures via text of my daughter. I have finally gotten to a point to where I’m done. My daughter will not grow up with a grandmother, and that’s ok. I don’t want her to go through that emotional rollercoaster either. I just wondered if it was just MY mom that acts this way if others family members do as well.

Thank you in advance for your response.
Joysome12 Joysome12
17 Responses Dec 20, 2012

I'd advise you to carry on with your life. Get an education and pray earnestly to the Heavenly Father. I was disfellowshipped at one time.......it was the same as disfellowshipping the entire family. I wasn't the one cheating, beating, smoking or using drugs. I was the victim who divorced my abuser to literally save my live. However, even though I was in good standing (per the elders and committee) and with no disciplinary action (he didn't get that either), I was treated like I was truly a leper. No encouragement. It was like I died. It did hurt for awhile to have members look down their nose at me , when I had done nothing wrong. I always went to all meetings and saw to the instruction of the children. Attempted to associate with only those in the congregation. But I was no longer included in most everything. My one friend asked me to be her matron of honor at her wedding. I was delighted and readily accepted. Had my dress made and everything. Then the elder who was to conduct the wedding took me aside and told me he was going to refuse to perform the wedding ceremony if I was in it because I was divorced. Even when I brought up that I was in good standing and he was well aware of everything. Still, he refused. Mind you HE didn't tell THE BRIDE AND GROOM. He told ME. It was completely on my shoulders to tell her. I did and gracefully bowed out as to not cause a commotion in the congregation. That's just a the tip of the iceberg. To make a long story short, PRAY to find where you need to be and PRAY for your loved ones. Remember, in their eyes, you're already dead. But, I've found that during that time I was just being prepared for where I am now. I know God is working in my life and Jehovah has a plan that cannot be interfered with. It's too bad that THEIR eyes are closed and they are unable to see the rest of the story. I'm not sorry for being one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm also eternally grateful it prepared me to be where I am now. Just be polite, but set YOUR bounderies. They ARE NOT in control of your life. Allow God to do that. He will, and I can guarantee it feels wonderful and brings families TOGETHER instead of tearing them apart. Pray to learn "the rest of the story" because your not getting all of it at the Kingdom Hall. Even the Bible tells you not to go around with blinders on and to KEEP EXAMINING these things to see if they are true. Don't be a victim of someone else's error. Perhaps one day they will soften their heart and take the scales off their eyes.

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I was disfellowshipped 10 years ago and have been in casual contact with my family during that time. I never contacted them out of respect however they used to call me when they needed assistance or when they happened to be in town. Which was fine for a time.

However the ad-hoc visitations became too painful. Seeing the growing disappointment in my now elderly parents who were supposed to be "the generation" that would "never grow old" is just so, so sad. My parents have gone from once excited and hopeful to sad and discouraged. My sisters, who are still JW's, have even acknowledged this.

My mum used to have multiple bible studies and auxiliary pioneered and now she stays home with daytime television. I get the feeling my folks have become a bit freaked out by some of the changes in The Watchtower policies in the last few years.

It may sound cold, but I eventually asked my family to no longer contact me. My decision is not advice to other ex-JWs, this is just how I decided to handle the situation and it has worked out for the better. I wanted to allow my family to live their life and stay by their choices and I have done the same.

As much as I don't prefer it, the reality is there are two sides to this situation.

Any ex-JW can give 100 reasons why disfellowshipping is so wrong, but the fact remains that while our family member's believe The Watchtower is run by God then they believe they are doing the "right" thing.

What matters most is what we do with our lives today and how we live them.

I absolutely love my life out of The Watchtower, even if though it's without family. The quality and fullness of my life after leaving a cult cannot be expressed in words.

No, mine is worse lol

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I would say 99.99% of JW parents behave that way to their Df'd children/ relatives

It's time for the organization to have "new light" on the subject of disfellowshipping ( to name just one). The key scripture they use to defend this position is that of Paul and the fornicator in the church. What isn't in the scriptures is the absence of a time worthy of repentance. The bible speaks clearly about forgiveness immediately upon repentance. We are also to follow Christ. Christ would never put someone out for sinning. He would immediately forgive and tell you to sin no more and to follow Him. What frustrated me the most about this unbiblical teaching is that they do not hold the same standard for all. My husband was disfellowshipped for fornication with me prior to our marriage. Immediately upon me starting a bible study and attending meetings with him, I was loved on by everyone in the congregation while my husband had to go sit out in the car waiting for me. I expressed many times how is it really fair or Christlike to show a different "love" for him than me? (Considering they call it love for him that he is being shunned). We committed the very exact sin. We repented the exact same time. The only difference is that my husband is a baptized JW. This in itself is not sufficient since I too have been baptized in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Albeit the absence of dedicating myself to an organization. Which in itself should make anyone considering joining this religion to STOP IN THEIR TRACKS. No where in the bible does it say you must be baptized and dedicate yourself to an organization. These teachings are traditions of man/men (namely the governing body). Which again is against biblical principals. There are so many discrepancies in their teachings that do not reflect true Christlike actions. Twisting of scriptures to suit their agenda is what they accuse all other religions of doing, yet they do it many times more so than mainstream Christianity does. My husbands daughter at first was scared to talk to her dad. As time went on, she was told she could for the sake of the grandchildren, but limited to just that. Her husband who is a newly baptized witness stayed in the bathroom over an hour the first time we went to their house to visit the grandchildren. Eventually he came around and speaks to us. Even spending a day at the beach including eating a meal with us. His daughter pretty much said she doesn't care anymore. But she's not open about it, of course. Not with other witnesses. She continually begs him to stay steady in going back to the meetings so he can get reinstated!!! This reeks to me of following man, not God. If Jehovah knows your heart, then shouldn't it be a conscious matter for an individual to decide if they want to communicate with their family or friends who aren't perfect? Especially a repentant one! Jesus did!! He said himself, to love your enemies...how much better are you who love those who love you...even the taxpayers do that! (Mt 5:46) Too much emphasis on twisting scripture and not enough on following Christ. I pray for each and every one of you who are going through the family separation because of a false teaching organization. I could write a whole other comment on my insight to how deliberate the Watchtower Society is to rob people of their joy. In fact, I came to this site for research for my book about almost becoming a Jehovah's Witness. Keep praying that the Holy Spirit will reveal to your family members that are trapped in this false religion and to have a Paul like awakening so the scales will fall from their eyes and they too can see for themselves the real "Truth".

Hi! I just discovered this site. I just wanted to let you know that you're an excellent writer! I hope to read more of your commentaries as I start to roam through this site. I study religions as a hobby. If you know of any particular posts or conversations you think I'd be interested in & would suggest, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Yep mine is the same only I'm just inactive don't want anything to do with me my husband or my kids sister is dissed and the same wit her and my other sis is inactive same with her she's really ****** up in the head I'm thru with her

There is such a double standard ....the average nobody jw is told you can't associate with family members who are disfellowshiped or disassociated but katherine jackson seems to feel no heat from the big boys in new york for associating with her disfellowshiped children or the Williams sister's playing competitive sports and prince hanging out with all those wordly people getting idol worship. Could it be because of the money they give to the organization. What Hippocrates......i feel so sorry for the pain so many are going through for something that is not real a made up story...life is short .only religion can make good people do such cruel things to love ones in the name of the invisible guy in the sky.

That does seem to be the case. I know in the congregation where I was, the outcome was very, very different depending on who was related to whom.

Joysome, I very much understand that emotional roller coaster! I am 23, was baptized at 16. I dissociated myself coming on 2 years now. as I knew, my family, friends, my whole life I knew had instantly cut me off. I knew this would happen, but didnt expect it to be so hard to cope with. I am still learning to deal with it everyday. My relationship with my mum in particular was very close hence why its so sad to see someone so bitter towards me. Since leaving ive had major surgery, after my fiance letting her know - her response: 'thanks for letting us know'. Major surgery. i spend 5 months recovering! and heard nothing from them, they live 10 minutes down the road.
Next month is my wedding, my father in law is walking me down the aisle. and it saddens me so much that they said know to our invitation. Im at the point where i dont care what religion anyone is. cant this be something separate to a Parent-Daughter relationship??? Some times i find it so over whelming to think about, that all i can do is cry, other times i get angry about it. Im honestly not here trying to convert them, or influence them...i just want my parents back
The other situation I have found (maybe because i havnt been out for long) i feel like i have no friends, no true friends. from having so many friends as a witness, to now - having my fiance as my best friends, but no girl friends i can rely on or just hang out with.
I know every day will get better, maybe not from the relationship side, but my learning to deal with it better.
I really hope things get better, for sake of your children especially! all the best :)

Hi, I'm exactly in the same situation. I was disfellowship in '02 and was reinstated in '03 so I know exactly what kind of scar is left as a person. My mom supported me because she wanted me to go back so badly (was living with her at that time). I left the organization in '04 because God opened my eyes to what and where real truth is found, The Lord Jesus Christ. I am a Christian now and my mom still a JW; In the beginning ('04) she hardly spoke to me for about 3 years until I got pregnant. We started to fellowship more, but hiding in a way. I would go and visit her after hours along with my husband, she was afraid that the "brothers" would see me there at her house. Years went by and got pregnant again and she even came to the house to help me cook and stayed for several days. My children are 5 and 3, they love my mom and she loves them so much. We have even gone to a restaurant to eat along with my sister, I was SURPRISED!!!! but thrilled. Unfortunately it's going to stop. She told me she couldn't fellowship with me anymore and that I have to be content with the relationship she can provide meaning only "business". The elders told her that since she cannot drive (I pretty much take her everywhere) she can see me just for that. When I call her I can tell she's with one of them, she is so short on her conversations and doesn't talk at all, very different when she's by herself. I feel like someone is puncturing my heart. It's been going on 9 years since I left the organization and still have huge scars and still are trying to heal. I pray that the Lord Jesus would open her eyes. I have never told this to any other ex-jw, I feel relief knowing that I am not the only one. May the Lord be with you and help you thru this.

Good for you that you have made your story public, it will encourage others locked into this terrible system of counterfeit Christianity.

After all the years that have passed, I see one common thread. Guilt. Guilt and keeping the members limited. How can you KNOW a religion is the truth unless you can study it and compare it to others? I've tried to serve the Heavenly Father all my life. And still do. But I repeatedly see when a person gets beaten by their husband, raped, violence in the family, or is criminal enough to want to get an education......they suddenly become "evil" or "bad association." But I also don't seen anyone going out of their way and helping those in need out. Being a help to the "fatherless boy" or "the widow." I continually see them shunned, ignored or forgotten. This is not the example Christ set us to follow.

Hi, I have a similar problem with my nana. She raised me for the most part, I left the religion when I was 18 and we remained close until this past year when they forced her to first only see me for business reasons so shed make up trips she needed my help with to see me then to I can't even speak to her and my kids can't either. Im 25 and my older son who is 5 asks about his nana all the time and im at a loss what to say. I cry about it a lot. I feel helpless because those awful fools have taken my only real family member I cared about. They are cracking down apparently on people with disfellowshipped family members, though I willingly disassociated and was not disfellowshipped they're saying it's no different now. If only I'd never gotten baptized, it was my ultimate mistake and cost me dearly.

I think it's a roller coaster in that situation all the time because it is unnatural and confusing for both sides. It's not just your mom. She's not sure what to do - she is trying to interpret the man made rules as best she can, thinking she is doing the right thing. Probably best to do what you did. Get away from it. My love to you. I sure do understand.

I'm a baptized jw but haven't been in years my mom does not talk to me or my kids I'm trying to understand why when god is a loving god and his people should be loving too, why teach them to shun there friends or family because of a mistake,my sister is disfellowshipped and she doesn't talk to her at all now she will do for the kids she's so wrapped up in the religion that she's willing to let her kids and grand kids up I'm through with her, if I were you I would stop your daughter from going around that .

Sorry to hear that my mom was a JW she still talked to me and my children until she passed away a few months ago. My dad talks to me in intervals.Sometimes i talk to my.sisters.I ve been disfellowshipped for a few years ..Its been my experience some are more.extreme than others.

I was disfellowshipped long ago. My mother was still alive and a JW when it happened. Her initial reaction was similar to your mother-very resentful. As time went on my very patioent and loving Catholic wife won her over and having grandkids softened her stance. It took time, Give her time. As she gets older her love of your children will reveal itself

Dear joysome12
My brother was disfellowshipped many years ago, I was still a JW but I kept in contact with my bro. Elders were telling me I should not have anything to do with him. I ignored them. I was disfellowshipped a few years ago because I left my abusive husband (he is still a JW!) and I met and moved in with a non JW. My father refused to talk to me. 3 years ago, my mother left him and she became DF. Only then did dad talk to me and my brother because he needed emotional support from his family. We holidayed together and dad often stayed at my house. My children loved him and he doted on them. His elders told him he should not have contact with us, dad's excuse was "I want to see my grandchildren so I have to see my children because they live in the same house" then dad remarried a JW. He told me cold heartedly that he would no longer contact me as his wife was not comfortable knowing I was DF. He has moved, changed his number and I have no idea of his whereabouts. What hurts is seeing my children so upset that their grandad has disowned them (they were never JWs).
I spent 35 years as a JW, I have never known of anyone having communication with a DF family member, some even saying their DF children are dead to them. It truly is a sick cult.


Yes i hate to agree but it's truth im 30 and I've seen and experienced this over and over

If you do not get a response from EP try a search for Ex Jehovahs Witnesses on the net, there are many well resourced sites formed by people like yourself that would be of a big help.

I was disfellowshipped years ago. My mother is a witness but still communicates with me. Maybe because she is married to a non-Jehovah's Witness, my dad, who is very loving. Sorry to hear of your circumstance with your family.