Thursday, August 23, 2007


Two years ago today, it was announced at my local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses that I was no longer one of them. And that's when the shunning began. I had attempted to send out a letter to a few of my close friends before the announcement was made as to why I was leaving so they wouldn't be shocked and at least I could say goodbye. One friend, who I'd known since I was 5 years old responded with anger. Another refused to speak to me, even before the announcement was made. Of all the people I knew and loved my whole life in that group, there was only one that wished me well.

I was alone the night the announcement was made. I heard it through a hook up patched secretly into the meeting's phone line. I was at a cottage, supposed to be enjoying a much-needed holiday. J was working that week and would arrive later. But I was alone when the announcement was made. And I cried alone.

When I was 15 my grandfather died. I was alone when I got the call from my parents. I cried alone then too.

J is gone now. The last witness to my jw past. I have been perusing photos today. We were happy once. We shared a lot of good times. Now they are gone. Like all the others in those photos. They are all gone. It is unlikely I will ever see these people again. Just like I will never see my grandfather again. Part of me has died along with each of them. And here I am, once more crying alone.

It is raining outside my window as I type this. The sky is gray, heavy with sadness. My heart feels like it has sunk into my stomach.

I do not yet feel the freedom of being released from the Matrix. The illusion was a warm blanket in a harsh world. All I feel is grief. The grief of what will never be again. And the unanswerable question of whether it ever was to begin with.

tall penguin


heart2heart said...

It was very brave and courageous of you to step out from that warm blanket and stand up for what you felt is right, despite the harsh consequences. You are stronger than you know!

It is sad that the jw's make up these rules, they even refer to someone who is da'd or df'd as being "dead" to the world. How sad! If only they knew that when they make the choice to shun us, they "die" along with us because they've forced themselves out of our lives.

I didn't have many friends in the org, but there are many pseudo "aunts" and "uncles" that I do miss terribly, not to mention my in-laws who I spent so much time with before I left. It seems like another time and place, knowing those people so long ago...

Funny, that our hope for them is the same as theirs for us: that they will see their mistakes and come back to us!

Gayle said...

I am so sorry. When I am down, I try to think of grief and joy as being two sides of the same coin. Although the grief face is up now, joy will come soon and with equal intensity.


Anonymous said...

As captain of the Black Pearl, I tell you, your ship will sail again. It's those times when the wind doesn't blow that we feel a little "adrift". All ye need is a hard wind, and you'll be on your course again. Don't lose heart, you'll need it.

Jack Sparrow

Ganga Sunshine said...

One day soon you will see the upside of all these bold choices, my friend...the freedom and lightness that comes from letting go of the pain and the joy that comes with embracing life with a renewed sense of being. I once wondered if the pain would ever end and it did my friend. It did. sending you lots of love,

Ganga :)

tall penguin said...

Hey heart2heart, thanks for the love.

My hope really isn't that they "see the light". I don't think most of them could adjust to life on the outside. I don't even necessarily want these people back in my life. I just want the hurt to go away. The hole that's left behind is not so easily filled.

tall penguin

tall penguin said...

I hope you're right Gayle. I hope you're right.

tall penguin said...

Wow Jack Sparrow. So touched to have you stop by and shed your wisdom on the situation.

Was that a "hard wind" you said I needed? Or a hard drink? Or was it a hard, oh, nevermind. :)

tall penguin

tall penguin said...

Ganga dear, as you well know, I'm at the stage of wondering if it will ever end. It goes on forever. And just when I think it can't hurt anymore, it does. I want to believe you when you say it will end. I really do. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

tall penguin