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Old 01-07-2022, 07:29 PM   #1
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Trig Cult Abuse, Ritual Abuse, and Spiritual Abuse Survivors

Are there any other cult/ritual/spiritual abuse survivors here?

I struggle with religion and certain spiritual things being triggers because of my past ritual/spiritual abuses. I was never in a cult, but one of my abusive uncles was in a cult. It affected me throughout my childhood. I have dissociative identity disorder because of my polyvictimization (sexual abuse, physical abuse, spiritual abuse, ritual abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, neighborhood violence, school bullying/harassment).

When I was in a trauma hospital, one of their modules included spiritual healing. Part of that was allowing myself to be free from the invisible chains of ritual abuse, spiritual abuse, any cult-related abuse, brainwashing, mind control, indoctrination, loyalty manipulation/obligation, and religious institutionalization. I could pick and choose my religion or spirituality freely - not out of some sort of pressure, obligation, coercion, fear, death threat, institutional rejection, or otherwise - which are altogether abusive and traumatic, in terms of what I had learned in various spiritual healing modules while I was inpatient. I learned to figure out what I liked, instead of what others wanted me to like. I learned to figure out my own spirituality, and whether or not I wanted to believe in a higher power. I learned to understand the diversity and fluidity of others' beliefs, whilst also being allowed NOT to conform to it. I learned that it is okay to have my own mind and my own spirituality, so long as I'm not harming others or society because of it. I learned to be more open-minded and honest with myself, and to ritualistically remove those trauma bonds and invisible spiritual ties by writing them down and then ripping them up and throwing them away. And when they return in thought or by flashbacks, I revisit that ritual of writing it down, acknowledging the triggers and painful trauma memories, and then tearing them up and tossing them away. With each tear, I remove the chains that keep me bounded to traumatic abuses.

I learned to find what was safe, too. I found safety in discarding all of the religious artifacts that kept me feeling obligated. I found safety in being clean, innocent, and free again - because what was done to me and what I was forced to do were not my fault (the moral injuries were traumatic and forced). I found safety in knowing that I wasn't the only one to be brainwashed, manipulated, influenced, invisibly chained to cultish loyalists, and more. I found safety in admitting my moral injuries as well as my guilt and shame from being a victim of cult-based beliefs and practices, of spiritual abuse, of ritual abuse, and more. I found freedom in being my own authentic self, albeit disabled and fragmented with multiple personalities that held the traumas for me. I found freedom in knowing that I could heal throughout my life, and that I could heal at my own pace. I found freedom in speaking my own mind about how I could so easily be hypervigilant, which my T says could be a strength in times of high danger, too. I found freedom in detecting cult-like behaviors more easily now that I've been aware and placed into the freeing healing process. I found freedom in embracing the grey, the balance in the middle, the place where less extremists go to avoid being brought into cult-like obligations and/or beliefs. I found freedom in being afraid, and learning to use my fear as a guide toward healing, safety, acknowledgement of past pains, acknowledgement of present dangers, and otherwise. I found freedom in knowing that all my feelings were valid, and that I was free to choose what I wanted to believe in, what I wanted to stand by, what I wanted to cathartically advocate for, and what I wanted to walk away from.

I still go through these processes of deprogramming.

Last edited by FooZe; 01-18-2022 at 12:09 AM.. Reason: added trigger icon
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