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To those who have been through it:


Active Member
I am a survivor of religious trauma, guilt, abuse, just finally ready to address the gaslighting and awful guilt I have for being "eccentric", bisexual, and just generally a black sheep. I have ignored my issues for too long and am starting to break down. What kind of therapy works for this type of thing? Which of you have been through this? How do I stop breaking down everyday as I watch people abandon me and those that are still around gaslight me?

Share whatever has worked for you.


The Brutally Honest Man-Child
You may want to consider looking up specialized therapy if they offer it in your area. And even if not, there is always online therapy.

I know it's gotta be hard, but you will be much happier in life without these people. You are finally showing your true colors, so now others wearing the same colors might spot you better!

I know there is a handful of users here that have experienced terrible religious/cult rituals. I'm sure they could offer some amazing advice.


Seriously: therapy. One-on-one, in-person, talk therapy. A good pro can guide you through a lot of the self-esteem issues that were created and developed (through no fault of yours) by gaslighting, abuse, religious judgement and so forth, and can probably also recommend some books that would help you further make sense of it all and recover from it. Been there, done that, and I'm here to tell you: good therapy's a lifesaver.

Also, if you can - and this isn't always easy, especially at first, so isn't necessarily essential right at the moment, but if you can - try to find a social milieu of people who share your values and accept you as you are. No point in looking for acceptance among those who have made clear they don't accept you, so move on as soon as you can and create a new and healthier life for yourself with a new community.


Antelope-Addicted Hyena
I second that, therapy is the key.

I've been through religious abuse myself. And I know well how it feels, to be forced to stay with those who are gaslighting you, for the lack of other options. Also, black sheep, hell yeah...

It's hard to tell in advance, what kind of therapy (and therapist!) will work best for you. Everyone is different. You may need to look around and try before you find the right one. Just don't get discouraged, I've found the right one for me in a backwater town in the middle of nowhere, of all places.

Her approach is a bit special. So-called process-oriented therapy, focused on feelings, emotions, associations and the "flow" of what is going on at the moment, rather than purely logical explanations (as in the case of CBT, for example) Of course, there could be very down-to-earth parts too, but they weren't the sole focus. Can even get somewhat "shamanic", with guided meditation/trance used with those who are willing to try such methods. For me it worked wonders.

Books helped a lot too. It's great if you can get some that are talking about your issues. For me the choice was rather limited, but even the most general books about psychology were helpful, as they made me more aware of what is going on in my mind.

Best of luck, and the most important thing, don't give up! I've learned through experience that the solutions are out there, and even if none is in sight at the given moment, it's the matter of searching and finding them.


Magepunk Fashionisto
Cult deprogramming. Researching the BITE model/method. I was in a Baptist End of the World cult from 2008-2014. I know how you feel.
Therapy, cult deprogramming, get curious about science, don't force yourself to go to church or read the Bible out of fear or guilt.
Know that you will be okay.


Just a fox.
As far as therapists go, if you're not clicking with who you start seeing, try another. You're going to be vulnerable and you need to feel comfortable. My first therapist was really kind but after 3 months, I realized I was no longer really learning or getting anything out of the sessions. My next therapist, I always left feeling lighter and empowered and more knowledgeable somehow.

Good luck, and yeah, I agree that you probably don't need the people who make you feel badly. If it is family and you're in a situation where you cannot remove yourself from the situation, therapy and learning coping skills is going to be really helpful.


Following up on this... You (OP) don't mention what specific brand of religious indoctrination you're dealing with, but if it's some flavor of Christianity, you might check out a daily blog called "Roll to Disbelieve" on the Patheos website. The writer is a former evangelical turned atheist, and picks apart the abusive nature of Christianity very thoroughly and convincingly in a way that's both well-informed and quite accessible. The comments threads accompanying each post are worth reading too. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/

Also, re my and others' recommendation of finding a good therapist, it didn't occur to me to mention that 1) if you're presently in a situation where you can't easily go in person or 2) if you're reluctant to (understandably) because of the risk of covid infection, most therapists probably do video-call sessions these days too. That at least allows for them to see your face, hear your tone of voice, pick up body language cues and so on...and also has the advantage of not limiting you to therapists in your immediate area. In-person is still the best, IMO, but via video is still good.

Netanye Dakabi

people call me queen
I don't suggest you do what i did.
I got a violently protective boyfriend.
It DID solve the problem but-