Cults & Parents
Posted by: notmadanymore ()
Date: February 05, 2004 07:14PM


I'm in a strange position.

My ex-wife exhibits many of the symptoms of a sexual abuse survivor.

Before she first went to the Hoffman counsellor, she had gone through a transformation of personality every time she saw her parents: becoming detached, distant, obsequeious, losing all self-confidence and becoming depressed.

Then it got worse. She has been through all of the usual symptoms of LGAT manipulation. But the strange thing is that many of them are consistent with her BEFORE attending Hoffman, just magnified a hundred times after abusive therapy.

Distant, limited ability to feel motion, unsure of self, distrust of close partners.

Anyone know how this works with parents?

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Cults & Parents
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: February 05, 2004 10:44PM

Be very careful of diagnosing prior sexual abuse if you do not know. Many people have the reactions your wife has when they see their parents, if they come from a dysfunctional family. That doesn't mean they were sexually abused. Unfortunately, when they then end up in dysfunctional therapy, post traumatic stress disorder, dissociation, and depression can result because of the therapy, or if these conditions were present already, they can be exacerbated.

You have to start reading everything you can. There is a book on dysfunctional therapy, covert abuse and manipulation in therapy - I believe the author is Theodore Dorpat, but I will check and correct this if that's not his name.

That's his name, here's the title

Gaslighting, the Double Whammy, Interrogation, and Other Methods of Covert Control in Psychotherapy and Analysis

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Cults & Parents
Posted by: notmadanymore ()
Date: February 06, 2004 04:16AM

Thanks for that....

She has no memory of anything untoward. Just lots of weird memories of childhood. As if her parents were themselves cult-members. This is why I am grappling with trying to understand what came first: chicken or egg.

The family was DEFINITELY dysfunctional. The father IS definitely still in love with her. THey created all sorts of secrets, family rules, pushed away her friends, beat the crap out of her for having boyfriends etc. Very peculiar. Lots of little things: strange finds in the father's cupboard, both of them having affairs, mother teaching daughter to shoplift, mother hanging out with unsavoury types, father being obsessed by his Mother. In particular she was required to lie to her friends about EVERYTHING in order to conceal the truth. It was pretty Norman Bates-like. Like another walled community. was the sort of vacant-mind thing; and the click-of-a-switch turn to suspicion and mistrust of me; as well as the trouble feeling emotion that are odd. SHe would drop me from her life for her parents; and then in therapy, the lady became a parent-figure for her; and she blindly obeyed like some kind of machine; just like her family. They were there before, but worse in some ways after; and actually better in some ways after abusive therapy.

Plus; she has done irresponsible self-harming things in the past in a state of awareness. Just STUPID things, very STUPID things that carried high risk. But then, after therapy she went mad for a month and did really really unpleasant things. I could see she was mad. She went mad for around a month - it started after a visit to the therapist in which she told my ex-wife to drop me and be rid of the 'negative love'. I am not sure whether to trust her because although I know she wasn't psychotic before and was this time, the actions were not dissimilar in nature.

I will get the book - but any more thoughts on the relationship between prior problems and cults would be appreciated.

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Cults & Parents
Date: May 07, 2006 12:36AM

I am not a therapist but I really suggest that you NOT accept as true OR false any of the ideas your ex-wife is dredging up from her childhood.

From personal experience, I suggest you instead concentrate on helping your ex-wife to delineate productive and unproductive thinking patterns. This has helped immensely in my personal experience and it was only after a return to a more functional state that the problems in my experience were able to be effectively treated.

Please be prepared for the shift in thinking from unproductive to productive to take some time. In my case, eleven months.

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