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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:00PM

That they were a bad and a worthless person? Does anyone else struggle to believe they are a good person and gain true self-esteem and self worth because of the gaslighting into thinking you are a bad person no matter what you do. Just struggling to believe you are a worthwhile person and deserve to be on this planet like anyone else. I still struggle in adapting to the real world and getting along with everyone. Just basically struggling to think you deserve and are worthy and worthwhile in having or building a real life. Not religious or a cult life under oppressing tactics, but a real life with a free mind to make your own choices for yourself on a constant bases. Connecting with people is sometimes hard for me and i become kind of reclusive. I know i can not continue to live like a recluse. I need to take more chances and really put myself out there more i guess. The transition of being completely controlled and oppressed most of your life and now having to make your own decisions for yourself on a consistent bases and trying to believe that you are truly free has been hard. I never thought i would have the opportunity to get out of their control and live a real life i guess. I always think the rug will get pulled from underneath me like previously in my life so i should not expect anything good to happen to me in life. I just struggle to believe my mind is truly free for good and that i am free in general.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:44PM

Yes. I was gaslighted from the time I was a small child until my teens by a very, very bad father.

I literally believed I was terrible. I understood on a deep level that the truth about me was pure ugliness and that I didn't deserve to live. I used to argue with people who tried to tell me I was a good girl, because I'd been indoctrinated to accept thai I was stupid, worthless, perverse, and evil, and to this day I have a false memory of doing something as a little child that not only I know didnt happen, but there is literal proof that it didn't happen, and I have been told by multiple people it didn't happen. If at anytime I want to see the proof, my sister actually has the item in question for me to look at. Even so, I still can't get rid of that memory. It feels real, which is a whole another head trip in itself about whether or not I can trust my memory. That is how powerful gaslighting can be.

There's a huge community both here and on the net at large who have suffered from reality bending inflicted by an authority figure/abuser. A lot of people describe the same kinds of feelings and trouble with new life outside the toxic sphere, myself included.

I have found counseling to be very helpful, particularly a method called EMDR. It is very good for PTSD and dealing with recovery from living a life, like you said, where you thought you'd never get away. There is a book called "The Body Keeps the Score" by Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk that explains the science behind why gaslighting, a type of trauma. does what it does to a person. It is a real neurological syndrome and it is possible to recover from it.

Like everything I write, I am speaking from my honest experience and am not trying to push any one way, and don't want to come off as trying to dictate how anyone else does their thing. I do feel for your struggle and hope you know you're not an anomaly, you're not alone. There are plenty of us out here.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 09:17PM

My parents are and were horrible people and pretended that abuse never happened. They happened and my psychologist knows there was abuse in the childhood as well. My brain has tried to pretend that what i went through never happened for decades. Being around my abusers constantly through life. My father is an insane narcissist and i even thought i was a narcissist from being around him constantly but my real self is not a narcissist i am realizing. I was just copying my abusers basically. I have been doing EMDR and constant counseling for a few years now and it does help to an extent. I am still afraid of my abusers that controlled and oppressed me and made me think i was a horrible person. Learning to take care of myself and learn self love and self care i think is key. I just barely learned about trauma bonding and i think that is what happened to me. I trauma bonded with my abusers. Its hard to face the truth that you were abused and brainwashed by your own parents. It happened and i can't pretend that it didn't to get by in life. Gaslighting is the most evil thing that can happen to someone i feel. Especially if the person was good from the beginning.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 10:54PM

I'm glad you know about EMDR and that it helps. For me, it was the only thing that made a dent at all. Regular talk therapy and CBT were just rehashing, stirring it all up. You're the first person I've met online who has said they're doing it too.

You're right about the trauma bond. Sometimes it's hard to see myself for who I really am. I'm terrified of someday becoming a narcissist, even though I know that isn't how personality disorders work. Anytime I catch myself doing selfish things or being a bit witchy, I think, here it comes, I'm turning into my father, even though I simultaneously know that isn't really what's going on. It's just such a mindscrew, what narcissists/sociopaths do. They chain you up inside your mind. The bars are made of words. The warden is your own good nature. You don't trust the abuser or society but you trust yourself even less.

And the triggers. Good grief, triggers, triggers everywhere. I'm minding my own business and then boom, I have my father on my headspace and I have to stop and deal with it. While I'm working or doing dishes or whatever. It makes it so hard to focus.

Honestly if the was an operation that could snip out my father's DNA and replace it with "generic law abiding non-abusive male parent" DNA, I would do it. It wouldn't matter if the side effects were rabbit ears and a donkey tail, I'd do it. I look more like my father than my mother, and sometimes I hate my own facial expressions because I've seen the same expression on my father. Gaslighting and the way it mangles the victim's mental circuits is pure evil, like you said, especially since we really WERE good from the beginning.

I'm having a much better time of it now, though. I think recovery is just going to be really long for me but it's a steady uphill. Just existing isn't a fight anymore. Not every thought is an argument with myself about what's real and what's not. Gradually, gradually, I am losing my fear of my own power. I'm starting to trust myself. My body's working a bit better. Whole huge gaps of time go by where I am not seized by CPTSD. You are spot on about the self care aspect, and about taking the time, deciding what your own standards of trust are. This is every person's basic right.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 12:08AM

You understand. My father is in my head constantly and can't figure out how to cut him out of my head and live an actual fully independent life of my own and not have my mental energy always being sucked. He always did what he wanted to do and didn't care how it affected. I was never taught life skills by him or my mother so i am still learning. I think i was just a narcisstic supply for my father. He saw me as a piece of his property sealed to him like inbisible chains of control over a son. He does not own me and i have to remember that. There is no cure for him and he'll never admit that he did anything wrong or apologize for anything. Both my parents should have served jail time and i should have been removed from the home into foster care. I would have probably turned out better if i had non-abusive and sane foster parents i am sure of it. Its very hard to figure out a way to get away from these people forever but i am trying. It is a slow and steady climb no doubt about it. With your mind starting to function a little more properly. Complete strangers think i am a good person and it is confusing for me to grasp that. I was seen as the spawn of satan to my family for a very long time. The contrast between complete strangers in the real world and the religious or cult world is dramatic. I am treated way better by people that have no religious affiliation. But its always been this way. The people that have no religious connection are usually the most sane people i have come to realize. I haven't done EMDR for a while but i was doing it pretty consistently. I imagine we will get back doing EMDR again in the future on a consistent basis. I feel my real self returning to the surface but it has been a long road to get to this point no doubt about it and i know i still have a ways to go and all the memories that are blocked may not be pretty. If a lot of my past is blocked still that is not a good sign i don't think.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 11:29AM

Boy, I hear you on this one. Maybe our fathers were identical twins in the pre-existence. But yes, I was gaslighted badly by him and truly believed that I was the ugliest and most vile creature that ever walked god's green earth. Once he yelled at me when he was forcing me to drink yeast mixed in orange juice (because a kook he taught college with told him that yeast cures acne--which they now know aggrivates acne) when I couldn't get it down and spit it back out, "how do you ever expect to find a husband with a FACE LIKE THAT??!" Those words stuck to me like glue.

So when I married into the ward crazy sociopathic family, because the guy I dated/married and his family was so weird, none of the normal (pretty) mormon girls would date him, I truly thought it would be my only chance to marry an RM in the temple. He was right off his mission and we were both horny as hell and BOTH sets of our parents pushed that marriage hard. The gaslighting only got worse marrying someone like that.

It's been 25 years since our divorce and I've pretty much recovered from all that, but I had to let go of my adult children in order to do it. Two of them are also sociopathic and learned the art of gaslighting and manipulation from the masters of the game and they are damn good. But unfortunately, they hurt people and have no capacty for empathy or remorse.

But to your comment about EMDR, I am such a skeptic and NOT into things like that which seem like woo woo. But I was talked into trying it a few years ago and it was a big start to really getting to "clear," well, if I were a Scientologist. I had an unexpected result--gaining a recovered memory (I wasn't even trying, I just realized one day that I remembered) from when I was 12-years-old.That incident had been the ultimate gaslighting moment that probably set me on the path to making the horrible life decisions that I did and was the reason I had internalized what a bad person I was. Remembering that was the key to letting it all go and just being glad that none of those people, especially my father, was really a major part of my life anymore.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 07:55PM

A lot of blocked memories have been returning for me in the last month i would say and it has been an insane experience. My mind actually feels like it is almost my natural and real self or real mind. Connecting with nature lately and the universe has helped me a lot to feel more like my myself a little bit. There is something very honest and consistent about the universe and it holds no allegiance to anyone and i like that. Humans can not stop or control what the sun or the universe does no matter what the bullshit they try to do to other humans is. The sun or universe is always out of the narcissists reach to control and i like that.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: November 12, 2019 09:50PM

Warrior71783 Wrote:
> There is something very
> honest and consistent about the universe and it
> holds no allegiance to anyone and i like that.
> Humans can not stop or control what the sun or the
> universe does no matter what the bullshit they try
> to do to other humans is. The sun or universe is
> always out of the narcissists reach to control and
> i like that.

Oh man, I like your insight. The universe handed me a gift six months ago. It's like I was on the chain gang and someone came up to me and said, "you've done your time. I'm unlocking your ankles. Now go and figure it out. Find you.

The best thing is that I can leave my past out of my new orbit. If I need to talk about it, I can come here. People I've known for a long time keep telling me I look rested. I must have looked like the death warmed over that I felt. But I love that the new people in my orbit don't even know whether I've been married, ever had kids, and haven't even asked about religion, although the Utah thing was on my resume. They know I'm fine with working with mostly African Americans, so they probably assume that means I'm not Mormon. They care about my skills, my interests and maybe my alcoholic preferences. What more does anyone need to know? This is a temporary stop on my new journey and I'm loving that I can explore different options for the future. Turning off the gaslight is something we have to do ourselves. I never should have let it stay on for years like I did.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 05:54AM

I have an awesome group of friends in my orbit right now. Sometimes i wonder how i even got to this position. I think the universe has been putting awesome people in place around me as i have kept walking my journey. These people actually like me. Like for real and it throws me off a little bit. Not the love bombing pretend friendships i was previously used to in the past. I can actually say what is in my head around these people without any repercussions and i was not used to that. I was used to anything i said or did naturally offending someone in the morg and i hated it.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:52PM

My older sister all my young life and on up. We barely talk and have gone years without talking now that her kids are raised and I did a lot to help raise them.

My "husband"--he cheated with men, left me, didn't give me any money, but I didn't raise the kids the way he wanted them raised while he wasn't in their lives and didn't visit them or take care of them. But it was my fault. I was told he cheated on me because I didn't give him enough sex by a mormon leader. So I asked the gays on this board how much sex would a gay man need from a woman to the point he wouldn't cheat.

Now my current boyfriend is gas lighting me and as I look back, I see how many times he has done it.

Even my daughter thinks it is my fault my husband is still gay and that he left. I gave up on things as I left the church, so I wasn't righteous enough.

I'm the obvious target as I GET THERAPY. My therapist told me I'm the identified patient. I'm in the process of breaking off a 15 year relationship with the "one who got away" when I was 20 because of what he is doing right now. It isn't over for good, but I'm pretty much done. I'm doing okay because I have Xanax. I needed Xanax when I found out my boyfriend/future husband was gay. It sure does wonders for when you feel like you can't live without someone. My life could have been so much different!!!!

Done with relationships. Recluse sounds good.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2019 08:53PM by cl2.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 09:29PM

You have an insane story cl2. My father is a closet gay man that has never come out of closet and that bothers me. He's been pretending his entire life and his behavior and constant anger was killing me. All my energy got sucked out by that religion and my father. My self-esteem destroyed by my mother. I basically felt like i had no real parents and i was an orphan living under the same roof. They never apologized or admitted guilt and that hurt me. They never defended me but turned against me in favor of that damn religion. That religion always came first to them and they made me feel like everything was my fault and that i was the problem. The identified patient as well. Well i finally am getting real help and i realized they really were the screwed up ones and not me. Still not exactly where i want to be in life. Are you in a decent position in life cl2? Or are things pretty bad for you in life. I feel like narcissists target me and i have a hard time trusting anyone in life and getting away from these toxic people. I am trying. I think i need to secretly move again to a new location and get a little more distance from these toxic people while i heal all the way.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 05:44PM

My life is okay other than what the boyfriend is doing. I'm still wondering what the hell???? We're in therapy together. We'll see how that goes. I refuse to take blame again from someone. I always do.

Other than that, my job is okay. I'm getting SS. I have 2 great dogs and 2 great kids. My "husband" is paying all the bills so I won't divorce him and take half the pension and 401K and I'm fine with that AS LONG AS HE DOES WHAT HE SAYS. He's better with saving and so my kids will get what he saves.

Other than my mouth is full of gauze because I just had 3 teeth pulled, I'm doing okay. I just take my Xanax. It takes a lot for me to stand up to somebody who just wants me to go along with whatever they think I should put up with and I am refusing. He doesn't like it. Too bad. He needs me more than I need him--the boyfriend. I'm more shocked and angry than sad.

I'm sorry that your parents did to you what they did. My kids' dad abandoned us, not just left me. They still have issues, especially my son. My daughter pretends she has forgiven him as she is a good TBM. Someday it will all come out. My kids are doing good--my daughter more than my son. I'm going to ASSUME that part of your mother's problem is what she has had to deal with living with someone who is a closeted gay. There are issues in a marrigae like SEX and the woman KNOWS she isn't desired and they probably had sex enough times to have kids and then none, and your mother might feel she has had to become an IT--not really realizing it, but it happens to most of the women I talk to. Your dad is banking on God changing him to straight in the next life and so he is doubling or tripling down on mormonism to be saved. I have a SIL who is like that--she came out to me years ago and now she denies she ever said it. I know what I heard because she told me things that I'll never forget as my husband said the same things when he told me he is gay. Talk about messed up kids and messed up life! She is so unfeeling, so closed off.

It is NOT a good thing for kids to be raised in a straight/gay household. A gay/gay household is much better as the couple LOVES each other. It makes a difference.

I'm just tired of always being blamed for everything. I've been in therapy for over 23 years and I'm still working on things. I love my therapist. I don't know what I'd do without him. I'm still blamed because my husband is gay even if he tells them otherwise, but I was blamed by him before for doing things that would lower his ability to resist temptation like watching Married with Children on Sunday no less, drinking diet coke, and I was told it is my fault that he cheated as I must not have given him enough sex and then my husband agreed. Now he says that he never said that.

I was blamed for the finances after he left. People still think I'm a loser because of it. He made everyone believe it--but he has a house to live in that I paid for. Go figure.

Oh well. I'm kind of dopey from my medication. They had to give me one of the deadening shots 4 times as it wouldn't deaden so I'm pretty out of it with the pain pills, too. Sorry I'm rambling.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 08:10PM

I have never heard someone say that it is not healthy for a child to be raised by gay/straight parents. I do know my mother had insane self-esteem problems and i still do have insane self-esteem problems even after years of therapy. I was confused as hell growing up. I did not have the real father that would play catch with his son and it left a huge void in my life of not being raised by a straight male as a father. I would have much preferred my father had come out of the closet when i was like 3 years old so i would not have been so damn confused my whole life of how to become a real man. I still to this day have no idea what real love and what a real healthy relationship even is because of my parents. It was like two people that made a business deal with each other that did not love each other at all but had to live under the same household because of the business deal. Or the hereafter deal. Both parents have been divorced for quite some time now but my father remarried and still has not come out of the closet and i know the new wife is paying for it. It is all a religious charade or front. Without that religion i know my father would fall apart but i know its the source of his anger. He is taught nonstop in that religion to hate his true nature and i know that it kills him and everyone around him pays the price for it.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 11:01PM

Gotta love that Xanax, cl2! Whoever came up with benzos, I want to hug them.

I have to use a CPAP because I have sleep apnea and there is NO WAY I could get to sleep with that claustrophobic miserable mask on my face without a Xanax before bed. I'd have had a heart attack by now if the apnea had gone untreated, so good old chill pills literally saved my life.

Your story is so compelling. Do you have it all on one thread here where I can read it? I feel so kindred when you post about all the family insanity you've gone through, I'd like to read your background, if you have written one.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 12:14AM

I take buspirone and i think that helps. I tried the cpap but i don't do well with things on my face. I had my TMJ doctor make a mouth device so i use that instead of a cpap. I think the mouth device helps to open the airway so i don't stop breathing when i am asleep.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 05:48PM

I do have a story that Beth had put somewhere that she might have, but that was written oh so many years ago and it didn't say a lot about my family other than they all come to me with their problems even when my life is in the toilet.

Oh, my brother took me on a couple of cruises a few years back and I stayed in the same room as my SIL and she has CPAP. OMH. I couldn't handle it. I needed Xanax back when I found out he is gay in 1983--it would have HELPED IMMENSELY. When I went to a doctor to get antidepressants, she wrote in my chart that I didn't seem depressed. I was SUICIDAL in a bad way daily and she said I didn't seem depressed. (I learned you have to cry to get anything.)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2019 05:50PM by cl2.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 11:49PM

Colleen, I SO hear you! I hope it is OK to use your real name here - you mentioned it yourself in a post within the last week or two.

When I first moved from the Deep South to NM 30+ years ago, I was absolutely drowning in PTSD. I had managed to survive an abusive childhood upbringing by always being rebellious and fighting back. What broke me was my first marriage, who was sweet during the first months of our marriage and then he went to Vietnam. When he came back, he was different. He got out of the military, went to work for a mega, multi-national company (in the Forbes 500, I'm pretty sure) and he went Grade-A narcissist on me. Rose through the ranks like a hot-air balloon.

He forced me to take on a job I didn't want, which, in turn, made me abandon the one I had always dreamed of: writing. I had begun writing (and selling) short stories to nationally-published magazines, and loved it. I was seriously depressed, and then, when my brain was already struggling, the gaslighting behavior began. I didn't know what it was. My best friend told me about it. I described a particular episode to her, and she said, "He is gaslighting you! Don't you remember that old movie??" I had never seen the movie, but she was spot on.

I managed to hang on until he brought his girlfriend to live with us "just until she gets back on her feet again." (This was in 1986 and she is still with him.) I had wanted a divorce for years, but he liked my earnings. When I moved out and filed for divorce, we were done.

I was lucky to move to another State, find the best EMDR therapist ever, and later, married a man I could love and trust. A shrink I went to prescribed Xanax for me, but he eventually had his medical license revoked for being too liberal with Xanax and a few other substances, which left some of us physically addicted to Xanax. I tried, some years ago, to gradually wean myself off of it, but when I got down to about half of my original dose, I started getting terrible headaches and my blood pressure went through the roof. So I'm stuck with a physical dependence on it.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 12:16AM

I am glad you got out, catnip. It sounds like you found your groove. So, did you go back to writing, too?

Xanax does have its downside, and thank you for bringing that up. I can't go a day without it, and I'm on a pretty low dose. The sick that sets on me if I run out without a refill is nasty, but I tried Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil and a handful of others to be able to sleep with the CPAP on. Nothing worked except Xanax, so I'm pretty stuck with it, but it IS effective.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2019 12:17AM by ptbarnum.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 05:53PM

and I only notice how much it helps (except for sleep, it puts me right to sleep), but when my dogs die or now goingn through this, it has helped so much. I take a half of a 0.5 mg so I don't run out as I need it so badly right now. When I'm on it, I'm like, "Oh, who cares!!!!" I'm sure that if I run out that my doctor will give me more if she finds out what is going on, which I will tell her.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 08:09PM

No, pt, I never got back to writing. I was sure for years that I would go back to writing when I retired and had the time, but the stories just weren't there any more. I tried a novel or two, but they fizzled. Then the Muse abandoned me altogether. Now, I have the time, income, and freedom to write, and my DH would be SO supportive, but I'm just not interested any more.

It feels like I have lost a part of myself. I wanted to write stories ever since I became literate.

Some years back, I took a night school class in fiction writing, taught by a little old lady who had published several children's books. During the break, I happened to run into her in the restroom, and she told me, "Keep at it. You're the only one in that class who has a clue about how to write."

True, I have absorbed the pattern of how to write a story: start with a "hook" and build from there. Add conflict, let simmer to a climax, and then wrap it up so that the reader can catch his or her breath.

The technique is still there. But I was kept away from it for too many years, and I guess the storytelling part of me has just died from disuse.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 12:47AM

I had to buy the gaslight movie to get an idea how it is done from an outsider perspective. I heard that most narcissists function exactly the same but i am not sure if its true. That is what they say. So my fathers behavior is not unique and it can not be cured or changed. The only solution is no contact because their behavior will always be repetious and neverending. They will always have to look for new supply to suck energy and life out of someone. Guys like me are always the one that gets walked on and gets damaged from it. They don't feel a damn ounce of empathy. Anything from them is not real and fake. They will never know what will love is. They just mess with and try to control everyone around them that is in their sight. They are obsessed with controlling you and not letting you develop and grow into a proper adult. I swear i need to secretly move again so they have no clue where i live and have true peace and have a completely safe place ti heal and rest my mind and never have to deal with any of those types of people again. I'll find a new family that gives a damn for real eventually. Have just an awesome group of friends that are decent and sane human beings. There was no sanity in that religion. Wasn't allowed to ask question. What i said or thought did not matter. I was not allowed to think for myself and it was bullshit. I knew if i said anything my father would have a narcissist rage or something. Totally obsessed with that religion. I was taken to all the sites constantly like the hill cumorah and joseph smiths house and the carthage jail where he was killed. Even went to brigham youngs house with all the 60 rooms in it for his wives. Not sure how many rooms there were but it was a lot. I saw the bible plagiarisms in the book of mormon but i could never say anything. To me the religion was absolute bullshit from the beginning. Even before the internet i knew something was not right about the whole thing. Somewhere along the way my brain just kind of went numb and just shut off. The indoctrination was so constant and insane that it was just like beating my head against the same drum over and over until i had no brain left. They did not care about my thoughts about the whole thing. It was either pretend to believe this bullshit or be cast out of the family and be completely homeless and alone at a young age and not know if i could make it on my own. I was being held hostage basically and forced to be brainwashed and indoctrinated constantly. I could not believe my family actually believed all this shit literally. It has had their minds for a long time that is for sure. They'd choose that religion 10 out of 10 times over me instead of being a normal parent that actually cares about their child over religion. Insane mind control to choose a religion over your child. I did not understand why back then. But as i am reading books about cult mind control it becomes a little more clear. I really got screwed up from being around these people. Their morals and priorities were completely backwards from what is sane and normal. How do you overcome it all to live a real life? Not entirely sure. This is an unknown road for me but it is the correct path i feel.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 06:22AM

About five or so years ago, I needed a CPAP at night to get enough healthy sleep and not wake up gasping for breath several times per night. I really struggled psychologically for a few years when I finally started to address the issues that revolved around Mormonism and how it detrimentally affected my life. I got professional help (counseling) after going it alone and with only RFM for a long time. Since highschool I have always been slightly overweight at best until recently, while staying 80 lbs overweight for most of the past twenty-five years. It wasn't until just two years or so ago that I made some significant breakthroughs. I got some counseling for the first time in twenty five years then and was finally able to truely put some things behind me that had vexed me psychologically since I resigned from the church in 1993. That led to being able to control my diet (over eating) and I lost eighty pounds. A lot has changed for me physically and psychologically since then, although life still isn't perfect. I can be happy and feel good most of the time now, and not need to think about the past. A terrible psychological cycle that would usually cause a lot of psychological distress and depression about half of the time is nearly gone now and still is fading fast.

The most significant thing that has changed other than feeling the psychological relief and feeling much healthier physically, is that attractive women have started noticing me for the first time in my life. Even when when I was younger and I had an active mormon social life, women who don't know me never went out of their way to smile and say hi (like they actually want me to notice them - never happened before until now) like what I have experienced over the past year, and I've never caught any women checking me out before until just early this year. I noticed that it was the last twenty pounds that I lost out of eighty, that seemed to make that difference. I have an open relationship but my sweetheart of twenty-five years doesn't want any relationships outside of our relationship and I have elected for quite some time now not to get involved with other women because I can tell that it causes her pain, even though I tell her where I am going and what I'll be doing (no lies and no betrayals). With these new-found opportunities it's tempting to want to explore other relationships and sexual opportunities now and I would if I wanted to. It would probably be so much easier now more than ever. But without the church being there, nagging me to do the right thing, I can make my choices myself now based on what I want instead of what I am supposed to do. How ever it goes, I can be honest with my world. I don't gaslight anyone else and no one gaslights me. The honest and balanced self that I felt as an active and celebrate mormon has returned except now I am more of a complete person who doesn't need religion and celibacy to live a balanced and happy life.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 07:38AM

Consistant counseling and finding good friends(more of like real friends) outside of mormonism has made a pretty big difference although i still get nagged by the past and what others did to me, i am not quite as angry though. A possibility of letting it all go and never seeing those toxic people again seems more possible now than ever. I was used to being around these types of crumby people that were in that religion that saw me like a fuck up piece of garbage and now i am just barely understanding what the hell self-esteem is. I had totally forgotton that i had once had self-esteem. It was like it was my fate to be around abusive people that did not love or encourage me or even raise me or teach me any life skills at all. All they cared about was that damn religion like some kind of fanatic obsession i had to be around and endure. I remember being forced to do tons of things that i did not want to do like being forced to watch conference as a kid. God that was painful. But my parents thought the talks were authentic and awesome. I thought it was torturous and robotic. Fuck i remember doing tons of embarrassing rituals like getting baptized for dead people. They are so obsessed with dead people i can't even describe or understand it. But i know its not healthy to focus on the dead constantly. Life is not to be focused on death all the time or what kingdom you are going to after you die. They do not focus on the here and now at all and that was not healthy for me because my father honored and cared more about geneology and saving dead people than raising a son. He did not know how to raise a son that was straight. I figured out my father was a closeted gay man later in life and things made a little more sense. Still pretends not to be because he knows if he comes out of the closet the religion he loves so much would crucify him. But instead i was crucified and blamed for his gay porn watching on the computer. I never seen gay porn to this day but my sisters blamed me for it when they saw it on the computer history. I think my fathers insane anger comes from that religion. I put the connection together years ago. The religion teaches him to hate gay people but he is a gay person so he is taught to constantly hate himself and all those around him suffered for his anger problems. I still feel like i am walking on eggshells and i am never around the guy. Thats how crazy CPTSD is. It continues even when you get away from the narcissist. But of course they didn't do anything wrong and never apologize for any hurt they have done to you. They are apparently perfect in their own eyes going to temples constantly while neglecting your son completely. We never played catch once in my life. What father on this planet does not play catch with his son. Huge void of having no true father in my life. No one to defend me at all. Total bullshit. Women(not mormon of course) are starting to notice me as well and this hasn't happened since high school. I can still remember the girls that did not want me because i did not serve a mission. Total dejection like some leper. Very hurtful period of time. I kind of hope they are miserable with their mobot RM husbands right now. I know that is bad to say. One of them looked pretty traumatized at her reception after getting married in the temple. I knew that something disturbed her when i talked to her at the reception like she had made some kind of regretful mistake. Very painful to not get the girls i wanted to date in that religion just because of not being an RM. I was seen as lower class by everyone basically. Fuck that shit though, i'd rather have a sane female that has her mind still. I'd be miserable being with a mobot female i realized having their mind being being manipulated and controlled by a cult. Fuck that noise.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 10:41AM

Personal plea - large blocks of text without white space are quite difficult to read for many people. There's a reason newspaper columns are narrow, and their paragraphs short with white space separators. Plz add a couple of return characters every few sentences.


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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 02:48PM

Sorry, i wasn't trying to write an essay report for people or a newspaper column with correct grammar and everything. Just saying what was in my head in a quick manner i guess.

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 12:52AM

Ya I can’t

read it

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 08:22PM

I will try to work on it for you guys. Like i said english was my worst subject.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 10:58AM

Gaslight is the fuel for their KOKAUBEAM.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 01:01PM

And now I've got "You put da lime in da coconut" stuck in my head.

Thanks for the laugh!

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 08:24PM

I see. Makes sense to me actually. Gaslight their way to kolob.

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 02:11PM

I only recall being gaslighted once. It was by a co-worker who was a pure horror. She tried like heck to get our boss to think I was destroying the office. He fell for her tricks until he got fired for being so lame. To my face she always played nicey nice but behind my back she was trashing me at every turn.

The single gas lighting event was when I was asking this co-worker a question about her husband's work. She had once told me all about a wonderful house he had built. When I was recalling the conversation we'd had she denied ever having told me about her husband's work. I kept reminding her of different points of the conversation (I could practically repeat what she had said verbatim) but she just kept insisting we'd never had the conversation. It finally dawned on me what she was doing so I just walked away. In those days I'd never heard the term gas lighting but I knew her personality and suspected she was just messing with me for fun. In the end she quit our office because all her tricks came back to haunt her. We had consultants come in to evaluate why our office had so many problems and they implemented procedures that pointed out that she was manipulating our boss big time. She quit before they fired her. YAY!

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 02:53PM

Wow, i absolutely hate when someone does not remember events or lies about the event never happening. I remember them clearly as if it happened yesterday but they conveniently don't remember shit because they know jail time comes next in the real world. The real world does not care about how a cult does things and disreguards the whole legal system.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 04:05PM

By the Morg and my narcissistic jack-mo sperm donor. Lucky me.

I still have trouble speaking to people, one of the reasons I mostly lurk here (that and I tend to sound like an idiot when I do post here). I also have issues trusting people; I keep thinking that they may just want to use me or wondering how long until they realize what a nutcase I am. And I still have trouble seeing myself as a full person, one of the reasons for my screen name being an animal.

I really should look at my insurance and see if it might be possible to see a psychiatrist about my issues.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 07, 2019 06:00PM

without him. Good I didn't divorce my husband as his insurance provides me with the therapist and I've been seeing him around 23 years. Some years, I've only been to him once. Lately, once a week. When I first started going to him after my husband left me, I went twice a week.

I sometimes am just in shock at how terrible people really are. I like my dogs personally. And, yes, my name is Colleen and I don't mind you using it here. I forget that I'm Colleen--I'm mom I guess. Sometimes I see my name and think, "is that really me?" I thought I was Lucy. ha ha ha ha I am actually doing pretty good with my self-worth. It has allowed me to stand my ground in the situation I'm in right now. I have taken enough abuse in my life. NO MORE. I'm done.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 06:21AM

I know i sound like an idiot to the really educated posters here but fuck it. Didn't have the money to get the awesome education of others. Sometimes books are simply just books in the end. A book can not back you up or defend you in a fight so thats what i care about. Sometimes books are helpful like reading about how cult mind control works. But in the end they are just books and you have to live life like someone with street smarts. Because there truly are no rules except respect other humans in public really. You respect them and then they respect you. Nothing too complicated or needing to read a book to understand that. Consistent counseling helps. Even though i may be proud to not need counseling i really do need it. I was around cultists for most of my life and i did not even know it. Just that fact alone of being around cultists and being influenced by them i know i need counseling. I basically was around crazy people that did not know they were crazy. If you think you are going to be involved in a secret handshake contest with jesus one day then you might be crazy i realized. Its ok to be crazy but thats a little too crazy.

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Posted by: Lafayette ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 04:13AM

A baptist preacher told his congregation: "- Am I worthy doing this?"

His best friend, his wife, told him when he was doubting while planning his preaching that he was never worthy to begin with, not ten years ago, not past month not even today! But the Lord blesses him anyway!

People in our times struggle with many concepts about our self-worth and self-esteem. The first is closer to our personality, almost clinical, the person you became as a kid when people mirrored you. The second, self-esteem, is fleeting in a social game of this world.

Find the frames for your self-worth and be strong!

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Posted by: bspcnot ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 06:50PM


I believe this is a term from a movie where a husband tricks his wife into thinking she is crazy and it is used to describe one aspect of many narsasistic traits.

Are you saying that you feel you were made to think badly of yourself (as opposed to crazy) by people who were mormons or by the mormon church? Are you saying that these people or this organization, based on the system as it is, causes others to feel this way?

How does one separate what is their experience or personality from the experience specific because it was part of the mormon church?

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 08, 2019 07:16PM

to save my gay husband. I was suicidally depressed because of how they handled me and the bishop told me I just had PMS and that was the problem. They sent my boyfriend/future husband to therapy, but not me. I literally was suicidal daily, minute by minute for 18 months, and they always told me it was something else like "satan was working hard on me as I was trying to do something so important." The leaders and members still think I failed in "saving" my "husband." It has been 35 years since we got married. Even my TBM daughter thinks it was I who gave up and wasn't righteous enough. When he left me, I wanted to stand on the roof and scream, "It wasn't my fault." You bet they gaslighted me and they did drive me crazy. It is surprising, it is beyond belief that I am STILL ALIVE.

Then when he left, his boyfriend and him tried to convince me I was the nutcase and they wanted to put me in a "home" and take the kids from me. They screamed at me all the time and told me I couldn't get any money. I paid all the bills here and kept the house and raised the kids MYSELF and they told me I had problems as I had financial problems. His boyfriend would literally screma in the background while I was talking to my husband on the phone that they were going to declare me incompetent and take the kids from me. One of the reasons I didn't divorce him is becuase I didn't want the court to determine how I could handle the kids. I didn't allow his boyfriend (that one) to ever be around them and my husband knew I MEANT BUSINESS.

So now, stupid me, since I get along with the husband, I am not taking him to court to get my half of his pension and half his 401K--he lives in the house I paid for (so do I), but he pays all the bills even cell phones, etc., and as long as he does that, I'll not take his "money" as I'm not into destroying people like other people I know.

You bet the lds church gaslighted me. Oh, one of the leadres told me it was MY FAULT he cheated as I obviouslyk didn't give him enough sex because a man will only cheat if he isn't getting enough sex, doesn't matter how much, just how much the man needs. Ask the gays here on the board how much sex I would have needed to give my husband to keep him from wanting men instead.

You BET THEY GASLIGHT US. I tend to attract narcissists.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 10, 2019 02:37PM

Cl2, I hope you know I think you're one hecka strong person. I hope all the best things for you.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 08:18AM

I get tired of the constant I'll say drama in my life. I wasn't going to say that as I don't want people to think I seek out drama--drama seeks out me. I take in those who need me and they are usually in a bad situation. I have my nephew now, even though I don't speak to his mother.

Now she is the narcissist that I grew up with who is 17 months older than I am and so I attract narcissists because I do believe she had the most influence in my life. My parents didn't know what to do with her, so they left it to me. Easier to say "it takes 2" than blame her and deal with her. She did it to her kids, too. They all ran away several times and one ran away and has never gone back. He was a junior in high school. Got an after school job and got an apartment, and paid his way. They all left the church. They all had kids out of wedlock at 19, all started smoking and drinking. My therapist said that was a way to tell my sister F you.

People getting divorces seek me out, Even after I had left the church, I had women coming to me to tell me their problems from the ward. Not as much anymore, but at first. The bishop's wife--who lived next door--came to me as she was going to leave him and she wanted to ask me what she should do. I was in shock. I told her better to stay (after what I had been through). He's a good guy and they have worked it out. She made some demands that she expected to be met and they worked it out.

But I'm weary and have been for a long time. I'm extremely weary today as the 3 teeth I had pulled a week ago are still bothering me A LOT and that is why I got up at 4 a.m. and started doing stuff on the computer. I'm not functioning well right now.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 06:36AM

I was suicidal for a long time. When your family sees you as the spawn of satan and that the devil is constantly working on you no matter what you do it was hard not to be. Now those tactics they used don't work on me as well. I have noticed that if i am totally out of range of their words that i do pretty well. I noticed also that they do fear legal ramifications despite the fantasy they live in. Like something in their head clicks, "oh i can actually get locked up for child abuse and i can't use the religion to scare or threaten the kid anymore". Deep down mormons fear legal real world ramifications for what they do to their children or screwing over others in the workforce i have learned. Most of them are dishonest in all they do and think they are immune to any law for anything they do.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 10, 2019 02:17PM

"Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic in which a person, to gain power and control, plants seeds of uncertainty in the victim. The self-doubt and constant skepticism slowly and meticulously cause the individual to question their reality." --

This tactic can result in a variety of emotional responses from the victim. It's NOT just about feeling crazy, although the idea of not being capable of seeing the world properly does commonly lead to doubts about one's sanity.

Feeling inadequate, broken in some intangible way, stupid, unworthy to live or have any nice possessions, friends, food and shelter like other people, becoming depressed, suicidal, angry and viewing oneself as hopelessly trapped are all very well documented experiences of narcissistic gaslighting.

In it's most narrow definition, yes, it means deliberate manipulation of the environment to induce a feeling of psychosis, as in the movie, but in today's survivor culture it has a broader meaning that encompasses the projective nature of narcissism and the long term self-reliability questioning it causes in the victim.

Mo'ism is at heart a narcissistic organization that engages in mass gaslighting to continue to obtain its primary goals of money and obedience to a narrow minded socioeconomic and political agenda from its followers.

The cult actively teaches its authority structure how to use narcissistic projection to avoid the organization being held accountable for the damage if causes families while keeping those families willing to pray, pay and obey. It was founded by a malignant narcissist who passed the torch to other malignant narcissists.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is "contagious" in that there is both a genetic predisposition in the children of narcissists as well as narcissistic parenting being toxic to the formation of normal personality in young children.

There is no need or point in separating the individual from the organization when both are so fundamentally alike. A quarter has two sides, the individual head of Washington on the obverse, a representation of the nation on the reverse. When your narcissistic abuser is a Mormon, do not look for a disparity between individual and organization where there is none. No matter which picture you look it on the quarter, it is worth 25 cents.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2019 02:20PM by ptbarnum.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 09:52PM

Thanks for this post. I thought i was an actual narcissist by being around my father and growing up in that organization. I was mimicking them because i thought that was the normal behavior that i had to become to be approved of their god or something. But in reality i am not a narcissist at all like i thought i was. I just absorbed their traits as an empath.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 08:39PM

Only a lot of therapy for years could even convince me somewhat that i was not a bad or a crazy person to some degree. As strangers i have come to find along this road made me realize i was not all that crazy in the first place. The method of gaslighting is very affective though in questioning your own sanity to the point that their fantasy religion is reality and what you think which is counter to religion was insanity. I thought my brain trying to be logical about their beliefs was the insanity. Thats how well i was gaslighted. I thought i was crazy because my brain could not understand their religion but their brains could somehow.

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Posted by: doyle18 ( )
Date: November 10, 2019 11:54AM

Yes, my TBM ex did that as it was one of the ways he was abusive towards me. I occasionally struggle with feelings that everything is my fault, even things I have no control over which was his main form of gaslighting. Therapy did help as those moments are now really rare and I can use the things I learned to move on from those intrusive thoughts.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2019 11:56AM by doyle18.

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Posted by: mav ( )
Date: November 10, 2019 08:07PM

the Gaslight play in 1938. The movie, 1944, stars Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotton and describes this behavior.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 01:41PM

My former boss and manager were both temple attending TBM's to the max. My boss was an expert at gas lighting.

At the time, I was working with 2 co workers who had to have been somewhat psychotic. Many incidents happened with these two against me, and one of them involved money. We all had money bags that contained $50 change. I went to the restroom this one particular day, and when I returned to my desk, I was looking in my desk for pen and noticed my $50 was missing. I looked all around and asked the psychos if they had seen my $50-they said no, and the one said:"have you checked your trash can? You just never know". I looked and near the bottom, underneath some trash was the $50. I said: "what kind of a joke is this?" "Oh", said the one: "you must be getting's happened to me before".

My boss always sided with these two, no matter what. I decided to notify the CEO that I wanted a meeting about an unrelated matter with these two and I wanted them fired.

The meeting was myself, The CEO, the 2nd in command, my boss, and the manager. All of them were TBM's.

The meeting started with the CEO looking at some Norse jewelry that I was wearing. He then said that he went on a mission to Norway, and that the Vikings weren't strong and powerful; that they were small and weak. The message he was sending me was crystal clear: "Don't think you can mess with us." He then said he wanted the meeting to be as transparent as if we were all sitting there naked. What kind of a statement is that to make?!

It ended with them all praising each other and blaming me for things that happened with my co workers. I then asked to be transferred to another area, and he said that was not possible and where did that leave us now? I walked out of there with my job still intact, but so infuriated. A few months later, an opening came up and I was able to transfer out, but it was awful while I was there.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 10:04PM

There is no justice when TBMs are in power. Trust me i know this better than most. Don't bother going to the police or going to the judges in certain areas. Its a joke. The good ol' boy system. Protecting their own corruption and bad behavior at all costs before giving the victim any kind of justice. I never bothered to go to any police to tell my story until ttwenty years after abysive events. By this time too much time had passed for anything to be done. Zero justice. I took the fall for these corrupt bastard s even as a kid. Swept me under the rug and pretended they did nothing to me.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 12:03AM

I had two relationships with narcissists and I nearly had a breakdown afterwards; it was a wake up call and in some ways I wish I hadn’t been forced to take that red pill. I started to realise just how many narcissistic people were and had been in my life. I’d already left the church years before and had no contact with anyone anymore but it was only then, only after these relationships that I realised the Mormon church was much like an emotionally abusive partner.
So I saw a pattern. Thought I had it all figured out until this year after several incidents with TBM family members (brother and SIL) pulled some confusing, unkind stunts and I went through another breakup. So I decided to go to therapy. And after months of doing this I woke up with the epiphany that my mother has unhealthy narcissism.
Unfortunately if we are raised by someone neglectful or abusive we may tend to repeat the same pattern or attract the same situations, until we are healed. You need a therapist and you need to be no contact with anyone abusive to you. It’s the only good way. Wish I’d been able to do this years ago, I’d have saved myself more heartache and wasted time. There are also tonnes of good resources on this topic, and it’s good that you’ve reached out.
I did feel crazy around narcissists. I was convinced everything was my fault, I was heartbroken, confused and couldn’t think straight. It was like being tortured in a maze you can’t escape from and being told you are doing all that to yourself. I was also told by a bishop once that he knew I hadn’t forgiven an ex, and it meant I had to do stuff to make up for it; the first part is gaslighting, followed by manipulation.
Both narcissistic exes told lies about me after the relationship was over; the second time I lost all of my friends. I was also the victim of a hate crime once and I literally started to feel like I was a terrible person.
Just remember all of this is evil. Things can’t change though until we’ve up levelled our thoughts to new and better things. It takes time but that’s the starting point.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 03:36AM

When I was a TBM, I thought I was sane. I thought the world was crazy. No, I was the whackadoodle. My self esteem was in the toilet for what, 40 years? Until psychedelics. Mormons had me that screwed up. And for what? For filthy lucre. Their church, built up to get gain, had put these chains of Hell on me and used me as slave labor. Greed will make them justify anything. Per capita they are one of the wealthiest churches on the planet and their humanitarian spending is 1%. Somehow cutting janitors didn’t bump up that number.

In a way, that’s a relief. It was nothing personal, just business. I’m so glad RfM exists so I can rail against made men. They can call us rat bastards all they want, but we know who the real rats are. No offense to rats.

It’s a real thrill seeing you claw back your sanity. You’re not crazy, they are. It never was you, it was them. I’ll let you in on a secret. You are perfect. You really are. God never made anything that wasn’t perfect. You were always good enough. Shit-talking carnies just wanted your money, but their games were all rigged. When a tattooed ex con carnie convinces you that he’s better than you, you have a problem. But now that you see the problem I’m sure you’ll fix it.

The truth is inside you. You will find it if you seek. A different age is upon us. Mormonism will wash away.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 06:48AM

You've always made sense babylon you've always made sense and its rare to find someone that makes sense and is not regurgitating what they have been told their whole lives. In an upbringing where up was down and down was up things are starting to not seem so upside down anymore.

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