Four Steps to Cult Recovery
Several months ago I had an interaction with a person who had been in a cult and was clearly very wounded by her experience. She ended up lashing out at me once I had offered her some help. I knew I shouldn’t be taking it personally and I had to see past her words to remind myself what she was going through.
My exchange with this person made me remember how I felt back when I left the cult. I was incredibly angry, sad and lonely. I felt like no one could really understand what I went through. I am really grateful that I had the support of my partner Karl at the time, as well as weekly sessions with David to get me through the the awful transition period.
There are several ways that you can leave a cult. One way is through an intervention. Another way is by becoming disillusioned and walking away on your own. The process of cult recovery takes time. If you have also either recently left your cult on your own, many years ago or through the help of a family member, here are three useful tips to consider:
1. Remember That It Is Not Your Fault
This is some of the most useful advice that David gave me and I noticed that he kept repeating it throughout my sessions with him. It really is not your fault. You were taken advantage by someone with power.
I went through a period where I felt very ashamed for being manipulated by a cult leader, but the fact of the matter is that this could happen to anyone. Once you accept that you were in an abusive situation, you can empower yourself differently.
Telling yourself that it is not your fault is also giving you permission to be angry at what happened to you. But realize that you will not always be in this state, especially if you work through your feelings with the help of someone who knows what they are doing and can educate you about mind control.
2. Get Professional Help from Someone Who Knows Cults
I almost signed up to do simultaneous work with a therapist who performed Rapid Eye Movement therapy and I’m so glad she didn’t. There was also another energy worker who had claimed to have had experience working with members of the cult I was in.
I cannot stress enough that due to the nature of mind control, not any therapist will do. Most people have no clue about how mind control works and how you should undo it completely. There are therapists out there that will actually try to blame you or tell you that it is just a communication issue or something about your past relationship with your father that brought you to the cult.
There is so much more to it! And the last thing you need is some one with little or no experience trying to help you. In fact, it can make it worse. The best way to find a mind control specialist is to ask them whether they have been in a cult and what success they have had working with their clients.
3. Be Careful How You Share Your Experiences While You Heal
The psedopersonality wants to engage with people and tell them everything about your past. In fact, you may have been trained in a cult to do just that. This is how my group worked – you had to bare your soul so that the leader could have intimate knowledge and information about you. Well, now is the time to do just the opposite.
Many your closest friends and family members (possibly all of them) will not understand what you are going through. They may try to understand it, but it’s really quite difficult. It may be the best thing to not talk directly to them about it. If you are lucky to have a partner or friend that you can trust with this information, be aware of how much you are comfortable with sharing.
And some other good advice I received was to keep this to yourself when meeting new people too. You may end up having a “friend makeover” where you build new relationships with people who don’t know this part of your past. You don’t have to tell them anything! It’s your life, really. This will give you the opportunity to have space to heal and project yourself from being potentially judged.
4. Read as Much as You Can on Mind Control
There are tons of great books, literature and clips on YouTube that can really teach you so much about mind control and how it works. Please see our resource guide for some great places to start. The more you read about mind control, the more you will understand about how exactly you were manipulated.
Overall, it really hits home that this whole thing was not your fault. The fact of the matter is that there are really awful, abusive people out there and that unfortunately, they have been put into positions of power.
There are many forms of cults – from religious groups to spiritual groups. There are even yoga cults, business group cults. You name it. When you see what is out there and how other survivors of cults have gotten their lives back, you also can begin to feel a sense of hope for yourself.
It Will Get Better
It may seem as though you are far away from recovery and that no one out there really gets what you are going through. But really, you have to be patient with yourself and seek out assistance from those who can understand. Find books on the subject matter of recovery. Talk to someone who knows about cults. And be patient with yourself. The more you educate yourself on mind control, the freer you will feel.
– Ruth –
Photo: Eric Magnuson via Flickr Creative Commons