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The Myth of Closure

What happens when religious shunning shuts one door and leaves too many others open?
“A New York reporter doing a story on the anniversary of 9/11 asked me why I thought New Yorkers weren’t over [the trauma] yet. My answer: “Because you’re trying to get over it.” 
— Dr. Pauline Boss, in the Guardian.
Just thirty minutes up I-84. That’s how long it takes to go see my kids: “M,” my son, age twenty-five and “L,” my daughter, sixteen. An easy drive, until you factor in the unbridgeable psychic gulf—a fiery lake of religious shunning, sulfured by an aging divorcĂ©e’s ancient grudges. So there’s that. I haven’t seen L in months. For M, it’s been years. They might as well live on Saturn.

In 2002, I was disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Overnight, every friend and every family member I’d ever had vanished. Labelled an “apostate,” I was presumed toxic, a threat to my kids’ spiritual health and a stumbling block on their path to Christ’s Millennial Reich on a paradise earth. Indoctri…

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