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    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

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A

Arashi

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Feb 7, 2021
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3
Location
Dallas
I had a major perfect storm that happened in my life in 2003. We lost our business in 60 days after our best year ever because the land owner sold out to a major pharmacy company. In the middle of filing bankruptcy I was on a website learning about homeschooling our 2 children. To make a very complicated and awful story short. A cult leader picked me off and lead me down a very scary experience. I am a lifelong epileptic. After almost 2 months of brainwashing by this individual I broke my promise to sell everything and move to his cult town. He had such control over me that I promised I would kill my self if I broke my promise. My mental literally went from normally stressed to psychosis in less than 2 months. That was almost 19 yrs ago and I’ve been diagnosed with Major Depression, Anxiety disorders, and OCD. My intrusive thoughts have been so bad at times I’m not able to have a real conversation because I can’t get out of my head. The thoughts I have are usually religious in nature and me being on the opposite side of what I really desire.
Im glad to be here and I hope if anyone has any similar thoughts or experiences I would love to hear about them. Thanks
 
stygianiron222

stygianiron222

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
229
Location
the underworld
this sounds like an awful experience. could the police do anything about the fact you were brainwashed by a cult leader?
 
A

Arashi

New member
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Feb 7, 2021
Messages
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Location
Dallas
The legal term for “brainwashing “ is called Coercive Persuasion and it is a criminal violation but very hard to prove. It took me years to even be brave enough to research what happened to me and all I really heard was that someone was trying to swindle me. It is true that this man tried to get me to sell our house but the damage he really did was severe spiritual abuse. Some call it spiritual rape. It’s been almost 20yrs and the abuse hasn’t really stopped. I manage the best I can and my view about religion has changed but I still have times of intense fear and confusion. I really hope to find some support here. I’ve gone to many doctors and I am currently but I hope I can find a group to share with so I can hear of others mental illness. I believe I was sick before this man came along and that’s why I was such an easy target for him.
 
S

Support4depression

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Raleigh, NC
Since so much of your intrusive thoughts are religious in nature, I wonder whether it would be helpful to address that part head on with religious discovery through a congregation like Unitarian Universalism or Buddhism or whatever might appeal to you. Although it may be unrelated to your brainwashing experience, I do know a lot of people who have been traumatized in some way by their religous up bringing who have found new energy and a way of framing the world, through the journey of religious discovery.
 
A

Arashi

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Feb 7, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Dallas
Thanks for sharing. I left organized religion about 10yrs ago and you’re right that most of my trauma is religious in nature. I was brought up in the church but started around age 12. My dad was an abusive rage aholic. So, when I heard that there was God that loved me I had real expectations of a different life. What I found was myself trying to earn Gods approval and never measuring up. Church never fixed the damage of my upbringing and in the end made things worse. I’m afraid to seek out other practices because of the fear that is implanted in my mind. I know the Bible very well and when Bible verses are used against me in my own mind it is absolutely torturous. I enjoy reading. If you have any suggestions I would be open to looking at them. Thanks for your response.
 
J

Just a Guy

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
15
Location
CA
My wife has become a catholic zealot with somewhat of a cult like leader priest. I’m no longer a believer in any of it, but these people that use religion to excercise power are so very damaging. While I can’t totally relate to your experiences, I do hear you. Hang in there.
 
S

Support4depression

Member
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Feb 8, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Raleigh, NC
I haven't read this one, but it looks like a good book to start to open up thinking about religion cross culturally with without the trappings of any specific denomination or faith: Doorways to the Soul: 52 Wisdom Tales form Around the World. In addition, if you like an academic approach, Unitarian Universalism writers may appeal to you - it is a very liberal group just for your awareness. A Chosen Faith is one book that gives more information on the origins of that religion. They are kind of a religion for the non-religious, some are very spiritual, some more academic. I'm a Christian, but I have enjoyed a lot of the UU teachings because I don't think that my faith is the way for everyone. For me, the beautiful thing about Jesus is that he loved everyone, the lepers, the Samaritans, the children, the women - he listened to and cared about everyone, with all of their flaws, and yelled at people who steal and were cruel. So, if you do get back to religion at some point, don't focus on God. He's super overbearing, especially Old Testament God. Go with Jesus :) [if you want to - that's just what I do!]
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

Well-known member
Forum Guide
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Jun 16, 2020
Messages
5,610
Location
Norway
Hi Arashi welcome to the forum :welcome:
 
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