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cult abuse

Recovery

it's time to start over, but not fresh, since the effect of kipple is permanent. over time newer kipple will cover older kipple and a landfill, or a desk, will evolve.

last week I experienced the feeling that my life was going to slip away, after my appendix ruptured. for several days I didn't know that's what happened. I'm used to being in pain, so the degree of pain I felt was not such a degree greater that I knew I was going to die or that anything really bad had happened. I wrote it off to the flu, and subsequently developed an infection that, had I laid down to nap instead of going to the hospital, likely would have killed me.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 6

for session six of Prolonged Exposure Therapy, I chose to focus on the final act of domestic violence by Scott (the man I was then married to) against me.

it was both more and less damaging than the previous event I'd focused on, the gas-lighting session by cult leaders that destroyed my ability to trust others and to make decisions on my own. it was more damaging because it brought me closer to accepting death as a solution to my pain than anything I'd previously encountered, even the verbal and physical abuse I suffered at the hands of my mother.

it was less damaging only because my psyche was already so damaged that it couldn't have created in my heart any more of a sense of worthlessness than I already harbored against myself. it is possible that if Scott, along with the cult leaders, had not destroyed my soul so completely in that closed-door session a few years before, I would have found the strength to gather up my children and walk out the door after he attacked me.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 5

I think I'm learning to step out of numbness. I mentioned in my last post that I was angry. I explored that feeling in session five of my Prolonged Exposure Therapy, as I had thought about it quite a bit between sessions. I broke it down, distilled the cause of my anger to the least common denominator, and when everything else was gone the cult leaders stood alone in my mind's eye with one outstanding quality: greed.

I was angry. so, so angry.

I was so isolated, so alone. complete immersion in cultish culture was required. fear was cultivated by leaders, members were shamed into cult-approved behavior. interactions were controlled, friendships discouraged. we all lived in a group, emotionally isolated. we spoke in code; ex-members call it "wayspeak". it served to keep us culturally separate from our communities.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 3

this session was downright painful. it was painful because I had to face the pain I'd been running from for years. it was the pain that marked a cross-roads in my life, or could have, had I been in a position to make decisions for myself.

it was twelve years ago, and a simple mistake was blown out of proportion when I embarrassed "The Ministry". that's what we called it. that's how we thought of it, with a capital T and M, as significant in our lock-stepped, cult-conditioned minds as the difference between a sculpted god of the pantheon and the "One True God".

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 2

I experienced an unfortunate glitch in my treatment protocol when I discovered that my iPhone's voice recorder application is basically worthless. the recording of session one was there, I swear! then I synched and suddenly it was two seconds long.

sigh.

since my only homework following session one was to listen to the recording once, I figured I could just as easily read the handout. so I did. and it was good! this jumped out at me:

... if you believe that experiencing flashbacks is a sign that you are losing control, you may try very hard to push the traumatic memories out of your mind. However, the more you try to push these memories away, the more they will intrude on your consciousness and the less control you will actually have over the memories.

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