What you're dealing with may be along these lines

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Posted by Thinker on January 31, 2011 at 17:27:06

In Reply to: Re: Need more specifics posted by alexander on January 30, 2011 at 09:21:18:

It's great that you've taken an interest in her, and care for her wellbeing. Here is what you're dealing with:

If she was born around 1980, it increases the likelihood she was exposed a wide range of abuses from light to severe.

On the lighter end, she would at least have been subject to a lot of control and monitoring, constantly made to put on a happy face, have a lot of instilled guilt and a feeling of absolutely never being able to measure up due to the cult's double-bind method of manipulation (damned if you do, damned if you don't). She would have been spanked, punished, made to do chores and look after younger children. There would have been a lot of heavy-handed forced compliance in her life, even if it came with an "I love you." She would have been home-schooled, used as a door-opener in relentess fundraising efforts, while at the same time isolated from the world, trained to fear authorities and living in a state of perpetual alert and with a constant siege mentality. She would have been taught that the world would end no later than 1993 when she turned 13, and that she would have to prepare for the antichrist persecution of all true Christians prior to Jesus' return, and that everything would be dependent on her steadfast faith and adherence to everything the cult taught her. Even if she was never sexually abused, she would have been groomed, and she would have seen a lot of open sexuality around her. She would be quite confused as to what love really means, and sex would have been more of an obligation for a girl, not so much a free expression of her own free choice.

On the severe end, she may have been raped, pressured into sex, humiliated, tortured, put in "Victor Camps" where she may have been sleep deprived, starved, sensory deprived, beaten, had her mouth taped up for days, made to memorize bible verses and so on.

If the cult was all she knew and she ran away, it was no small accomplishment.

She probably has to care about nothing but her own problems because she needs to have that space for herself. You are dealing with a person who probably never had much of a childhood or any personal space, mentally, emotionally and physically speaking. And if she is generous not because she genuinely sees the joy in sharing, then it would be because it is what she was made to do all her life: share or be accused of selfishness.

I hope that you will find it in you to help her find her own way in life, whether that may or may not entail your being her boyfriend. Perhaps it is like you say, that she is responding to you in a romantic manner. I hope that whatever may be the case, that you will be there for her, because she seems to need you in her life, and people like you who care can mean the difference between life and death for survivors of cult upbringings.

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