Posts Tagged ‘cult’

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Cruelty and Healthy Boundaries…

September 17, 2010

What my mother has done is cruel. I keep trying to empathize and to understand her pain. But not matter how much I empathize…no matter how much I forgive…it still hurts like hell. I am the unwanted daughter. I did not step up to the plate. I did not take over. I stepped out of line. I left. I have no desire to be a princess other than in the One True Creator God’s kingdom.

I will never live up to her expectations. Her expectations (and his) lead to death. I have chosen a different path. If they do not want me…they can forget my son. I was actually willing to let them talk to him on the phone, but if they don’t want me…forget it. That is not being selfish…it is being real. It is not being vindictive…it is setting boundaries…healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are not OK in the cult. My whole life I had no boundaries. I did not know where I ended and other people began. I was trained to be a chameleon…to anticipate others needs/wants. Those in the cult who knew the trigger words and actions could get anything they wanted. NO MORE!!

I was accessed by a “Christian” therapist after we moved here. He had experience with cult clients. Little did I know that he was not only cult himself…but that we had met many years ago. It ends here…and now! I will not kowtow to my parents. I will not kowtow to anyone but my Lord…and He does not ask me to. He lifts my head to look into His eyes so that I can see His healing love.

I hurt. I am angry. I do not deserve to be treated this way. Even IF I had been the worst daughter on the planet…rather than simply and imperfect one…I do not deserve this. I have reached out via email for a year and a half. It has gone nowhere. I tried. My conscience is clear. I have done what I can. It is their loss. They can blame me all they want…but they have a part in this. I am an adult. I will not submit to them or to their control. I will not go back to the way things were.

So I will continue to mourn what was and I will mourn what never was. I will mourn the dream of having a somewhat regular family. I will keep my heart open until there is nothing left…and at that point…I will mourn for what will never be. I have dreams. I have always had dreams. Many of them are just broken dreams…turning to dust beneath my feet. Oh, well.

I have survived. I will survive. Nay…I will thrive! In spite of how hard my life is right now…I have more freedom than I ever did living under their control. The Creator has given me the gift of who I am…all of me. I am His…and no one else’s…no one’s.

I hope we can make peace before she dies…same with him. But if it does not happen…I refuse to beat myself up with guilt that is not mine.

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When Is It Rape?

July 28, 2010

I titled this some time ago. I finally decided to finish it. I feel a need to write. My guys came back home. They forgot something and so are going to go tomorrow evening instead. I decided to finish this anyway. Here is the post. I hope it is coherent and makes some kind of sense.

When is it rape?

When the other person feels coerced into having sex…regardless of the form it takes…regardless of whether there is penetration or groping or…fill in the blank.

When the other person does not really want to do it, but feels they have no say.

When the other person is forced physically into being the recipient.

When one person is a bully who just wants their own way without regard for the other person.

When it is an adult with a minor…a parent with a son or daughter.

When it is a boss with an employee.

When something is held over the other person’s head…like a promotion or being able to keep their job.

When the victim submits because of the threat of the victim being blamed and embarrassing their family.

When the victim is told that their family will not believe them or will disown them…or worse…when the victim is told that a member of their family will be killed if they don’t submit.

When you have to pry the other person’s legs apart to do it…and yes…even if that person is your WIFE!!!

When? When. When! Do I need to continue?

My ex raped me several times…but I could not call it that. Not until…

My boys had been seeing a therapist and I finally decided to see one myself. Not too long after I started to see her, I separated from my then husband. So, she switched gears on me. I had paged her…really needing to talk to her. She told me in the phone call that she felt we should switch from the childhood stuff I came to her for and deal with the marriage separation…that I was in crisis.

“Crisis”…the word was foreign to me. My whole life had felt crazy. This was “normal” for me. Crisis? I had NO idea what she was even talking about! At our next appointment, we talked about it. I told her how I did not relate to the idea of my situation being a “crisis”.

She gave me an assignment. I was to write down everything I wanted to say to my husband…not that I had to say it to him…thank G-d…but if I could say anything to him…what would I want to say. Well, I did just that.

When I brought it in, I handed it to her. She read it and then handed it back to me and told me to read it…out loud. I refused. I absolutely could NOT do that. I had written things that could not be spoken. The fact that I had even written them was a huge step for me. It went against everything I “knew” or “believed” about how I was to behave. I wrote my heart…but expressing my heart was verboten! Forbidden! I thought she was crazy, mean and unreasonable to expect me to read it out loud. After all…I had written it down, hadn’t I? Sheesh…what more could she want?

She insisted. I refused…to the point of throwing it on the floor. At that point, she picked it up and started reading it…out loud. She got to the part where I wrote about some incidents between my husband and I. I had merely brushed over his actions and I had not labeled them.

Yes…there was a word that would sometimes creep into the back of my mind, but I would always quickly shut it out. I figured that, if I used that word, I would be judged and people would explain that I was wrong and that my husband could not have done that kind of thing. I must have misunderstood…especially since he denied it. I simply could NOT apply that word to what had happened. After all…he was my husband and I was being difficult. Anything he did…I most likely deserved…and so it went in my head and heart. I had been trained well.

My therapist asked me to describe the incidents that I included on the list. I had only mentioned them in passing and she wanted details. As I explained to her what had happened…well…then she did the unthinkable. She looked right at me and softly said, “so…he raped you.” She used the “word”…the unthinkable word. She hit it right on the head and that word that I kept shoving out of my mind…even though I secretly thought it probably fit…came screaming to the front of my mind…and I cried.

Yes! It was RAPE! I don’t care if he remembered doing it. I don’t lie…unlike him. But then…that is typical of people who lie a lot…they never believe anyone else is telling the truth either. Funny how that is…deceitful people tend to believe that everyone must be just like them…and not to be trusted.

He raped me…more than once. I remember what it felt like…how each time it felt like a little piece of my heart just broke off and died. In fact, it was that feeling of inner death that the L-rd used years later to help get my children and me out of the charade of a marriage. He showed me that, if I did not set a particular boundary, I was going to die. And I was suddenly taken back to the rapes and how it felt. I knew what kind of death He meant.

It was a huge thing to do, but with His strength…I did it. It got pretty hairy, but I was determined. “No” meant “no”! Period! But he did not cross the line because this time I was not going to submit. I was willing to resist no matter where it led. I was prepared to be beat up…if need be. Thankfully…it did not come to that…although he did get physical…threw me on the bed and tried to undress me. I did not try to get away. I just resisted. Every time he stopped…I stopped…which gave him the idea I was giving in…until he started again and I resisted again. Oh, the threats he made…but I stood my ground. One week later, he was out of the house…at my request. It was time…and G-d showed me it was do or die. He gave me the strength to do what I needed to do.

What is rape? Take a look at that list! I could not stop my father. I could not stop my mother. I could not stop the cult. They took me. They took my sister. I could not stop my husband…until that moment in time. I could not stop the others who triggered my programming and used me. I could not stop the therapist who accessed me and used me almost four years ago. But I am a fighter! I have been through a lot and I will keep on fighting.

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What’s In a Song

April 1, 2010

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This song really touches me deeply. It makes me want to cry. Although my life with my ex was not quite like that, there were times when I was afraid of him. But I don’t think that is quite what it is. I think it is the helplessness…the feeling of being trapped. I have felt that way almost all of my life.

Even as an adult, I felt trapped in my relationship with my parents. Moving out sort of helped…although I did end up back at home…where I felt even more trapped.

Getting married did not help, either…at least not the first time.  I was still trapped. I was still enmeshed with my parents…especially my mother. Of course, I am sure it did not help that my first marriage has all the earmarks of a cult arranged marriage…an alliance.

It was not until my second marriage…my non-cult marriage…that things started to change for me.  It took a while, but he provided a bit of a buffer between them and me. I started to be able to be around them and feel more comfortable…which isn’t saying a whole lot since I did not feel all that comfortable anyway.

My parents could control me so well. Hubby kind of interfered with that a little. It would take quite a few words to describe what would go on between us. It was so subtle and between the lines…not something an outsider would easily pick up on. In fact, I was still in the dark in so many ways as to how they were manipulating me. That is the way of the cult…programming…training. And I had been trained well for my job.

I did break free, though. It was a bit hairy as layer after layer of information came up. It was a journey…a process. It was a fight…and well worth it. My son was my biggest motivator. I was fighting to keep him safe.

So this song…I see a woman who is trapped. She could no more leave this jerk than fly. Just like I felt with my parents. I could not separate from them…not truly…not on a deep level. They had me.

But it isn’t just the video…it is the words, too.  Because of You I relate to hiding how I really feel. I grew up that way. Now I can be more real, but for most of life…even my adult life…I had to hide how I really felt…especially with the ex.

Even now I struggle at times with being open. That is mostly because I just don’t think people would be able to understand the depths of what I go through and what I feel…especially when I get triggered. That is when I hide the most. I am slowly opening up more. It depends on who I am with. And it depends a bit upon who I am, too.

Working on freedom hasn’t been easy. I am still working on it. Healing is hard.  So is being open. Being open is also a gamble. I just keep inching my way there…and then pulling back…observing. Some day…

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My Sister

February 16, 2010

My sister had a brave heart. She was beautiful and childlike. She was a fighter who would not give up. She was trapped…caught in an unseen web that was too sticky for her to break free from. They had her where they wanted her.

My sister ran away from one cult family right into the arms of another…but she didn’t know. Neither of us did. At that time, we were both amnesic to our true history.

I wonder…did she ever figure it out before she died? Did she finally remember her childhood abuse…the younger years? Did she remember “everything”…or just the minor “stuff” she used as an excuse to run away?

My sister kept trying…in recovery and out of it. I remember her telling me how she had to fight with the recovery people to get her a counselor. She kept saying she needed one, but they did not want to give it to her…not even in those fancy, high class, expensive recovery places.

Was it because it was being paid for by his parents? After all…counseling might mean that she would remember something…something important…something damning…about them. Maybe she would finally wake up to the truth about her boyfriend and his parents…the family she lived with. Or…maybe she wanted a counselor because she already had an inkling of the truth? I will never know in this life.

This is the time of year that I especially think of my sister…as her birthday approaches in a couple of days. And I wonder about her death…and sometimes, I wonder if she even really died…or if they have her holed up somewhere. It didn’t look like her. And my father would not leave me alone with her. If he had…what would I have done? I don’t know. We weren’t supposed to touch the body…but I think I would have. It did NOT look like her. I had seen her within the last year.

My father said it did, but he had not seen her in years…so far as I know. But then…it is not exactly like I came from a truthful family. Ha! “Family”. What is THAT supposed to be? Not the caricature I grew up with.

It’s funny how everything seemed to be so good…on the outside looking in. All the memories I concocted about growing up seemed so OK…yet I was so not OK.  Stories my mother told me were woven through my mind with photos from the family albums. Childhood. Sure…that was my childhood…only…it wasn’t.

I remember the day I suddenly realized that it was all a lie…a fantasy. It has been so long now that I cannot remember if it was before or after I realized that I could not remember growing up with my sister. It is as if she did not exist…yet I know for fact she was there…in the same house with me.

So many things are buried in the mists of amnesia with a tiny flash of a snippet here and there that blazes through so fast that I can barely figure out what just went by. Yet…those flashes ARE there. And I do have the photographs. My sister was there. Some of the photos I took…yet, I can barely see anything beyond the photos themselves. Whatever I see is more like a surreal picture in my mind.

She died on my birthday. At least…I am told she died. I saw what was supposed to be her body…but it sometimes haunts me to this day. I know she was becoming “inconvenient”. I would not put it past them to agree behind closed doors while pretending to hate each other to me. Two families…warring for her body. It was sick. It was insane. It was my sister.

I will never get the chance to get to know her. Her living…except for the few times in the later years when I finally did meet up with her…is buried deep within. What I do remember makes me wonder if I really want to remember the rest. I don’t know. Maybe I should just create a life with her just like I created a life of my own? No…I want to honor her by remembering the truth…if I can.

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Pastor Time Again

October 30, 2008

Well, I met with the pastor again. It looks like we will be meeting weekly. I really appreciate this man. I gave him an article I had found on ritualistic abuse. It can be found here: Ritualistic Abuse. I also gave it to my t.

It is a very heavy article. It is my desire to be available to the survivors in our church. I know they must be there. This area is cult heavy. I also know that it is risky to reach out. I talked with him about his helping me to find some safe people in the church to share with to try and create a safe team to help survivors. He said he could do that.

It is also my desire to be able to share parts of my story. I want to share it in such a way that the non-survivor won’t pick up on anything, but the survivors will. I can use key wording that they will hear and know that someone who understands and shares their background is there. Hopefully, they will approach me and find support.

I am also hoping that he might share the article with some leaders so that they can pray about whether or not they are able to help. They need to really pray about it. This is no game. Last week, I spoke with my therapist about it, too. My insurance has run out and I am looking to change my relationship with him. It is my desire to move away from being client into more of a brother in God capacity…a co-healer/support person for survivors.

I want to be there to help survivors heal. If they want to meet with the pastor, meet with a therapist, get into church, I want to help them…to walk with them. I know that I will not do it perfectly, but I am willing to do what I can.

It is risky…but well worth the risk. Survivors need to be ministered to, too!

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Feeling Positive

August 18, 2008

I am approaching a time of year when it is typically more difficult for me, due to being a cult survivor. Yet, I am also growing. Yes, I sense the struggle beginning to take place within. However, this time of year is only one part of my life. It is NOT my whole life! I refuse to let it be my whole life!

I am choosing to make sure that my focus is not so totally on what is starting to happen that I neglect to feel good and positive about other areas of my life. I am moving forward in some areas. That is exciting.

So, regardless of what this time of year brings…I am looking up! I am moving forward. I am not going to let my upcoming struggles keep me in the dark. Even when I find myself reeling under the enormity of things, I will also keep my eyes on the positive steps I am taking in my life!

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Expressing Anger

August 6, 2008

It feels as if it has been forever since I have been able to come here to write. There are some things that have kept me away from my keyboard. The last few days I have been thinking about anger. What do you do when you cannot safely express anger at the offending person?

I would really love to hear others’ thoughts on this. You can comment anonymously.

I had something happen early in 2006. It was an incident that scared the heck out of me. I was backed into a corner, figuratively speaking, and interrogated for about an hour. I am proud of how well I did. I held my own pretty well. However, I had to use restraint for fear that it might cost someone else his job.

It was terrifying, angering, triggering. I still see the person who did this, on occasion…not by choice. Life circumstances bring us together, along with the woman who was also there when it happened. It is usually from a distance within a group and there are polite exchanges, nods and smiles…all very innocuous…as if nothing had happened.

I am pretty sure that they…both him and her…were afraid of my diagnosis. I wish they had asked me about it. Instead they asked someone behind my back. Grrrr! Even if the end result had been the same, it could have been handled differently.

Sometimes, I picture in my mind going into his office, and bringing her in, too. I want to tell them I forgive them, but to please not do that to anyone again. I was treated as if I were a criminal trying to hide something. I was made to feel as if I had been deceptive.

Other times, I want to corner him and really lay into him. How dare he treat me like that! I want to tell him what I really think…that he may be cult and that he is not fooling me and a whole host of things that run through my head. Obviously…that would NOT be a good idea to try out for real!

The other person was also accused of hiding something, but he managed to keep his job. What were we “hiding”? My cult background. There was nothing to disclose! It made no difference. It did not effect my ability to do what they asked me to do there. The group was not in any danger. Yet, it did not matter. I lost. I lost something that I was really feeling good about doing…all because someone there got wind of my background and got scared.

I cannot go to them and express my anger over what happened, although, in my mind, I sometimes do. So, what do I do with it? I will do fine for a while. Then something triggers it to the surface again and I find myself making comments of a type that I really don’t like to think of as coming from my heart. I realize that there is something still in there.

I do not want a root of bitterness to grow within me. I have chosen to forgive and, every time it comes up, I say it again…”I choose to forgive him/them.” It is mostly him because I think she just pretty much followed his lead. I forgive her for following him. I forgive the group for giving him so much power and authority.

Overall, I believe in the group they work for and don’t want to make waves for the group or friends who work there. Still, I am left with this anger and hurt that keeps coming up. The PTSD part of it at least is gone…other than the anger that sometimes gets stirred up. When it first happened, the PTSD was awful. It had just finally started to settle down from something else when this happened.

So, what do I do with this anger? How do I express it? That is what I think I need to work on now. I would love to hear from others what their thoughts are.

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