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Understanding the Incomprehensible

Children of incest or long-term sexual abuse grow up to be wounded adults with complicated emotional issues. Unfortunately, some symptoms are misinterpreted or often dismissed as "crazy", only serving to maintain a tormented victim status. We, as a society, have the power to change this dynamic. Each of us can make a difference.

Dec 22, 2008

The "P" word

Those of us who were raised in that underworld of organized pedophilia are considered to be "programmed". We were probably trained to use that word because it evokes incredulity and disbelief. We aren't robots. We aren't computers. They have wanted us to think we were; but if you are reading this blog, you are healing. That would be a decision driven by your own free will. Those under the "mind control" of others have no free will. I propose we not use the word programming to refer to ourselves. I have gone to great lengths not to use it in this blog but wanted to make a point of referring to it today...for a safety reason.

Some believe if they are programmed they must go to a "deprogrammer". It is not necessary to be "deprogrammed" by another person to heal. A good therapist, or at least a willing therapist, can safely guide you to undo whatever you find internally on your own. You become the person who undoes your stuff. If you rely on someone else to "undo" what is there, how can you be sure it is in your best interest? The best therapist/survivor relationship is one where both agree on the methods of treatment.

That being said, I have some thoughts and opinions that do not necessarily reflect that of any or all of my colleagues in psychotherapy with regard to DID. Some therapists use hypnosis beyond that which is typically used in the treatment of DID. Sometimes a drug can be used so the host is not aware of conversations the therapist is having with an alter or alters. I have known survivors who were terrified of being in touch with some parts. In such cases, it may be a good idea to have work done under that type of hypnosis.

What I know of programming I learned from undoing my own with my therapist and hearing the stories of other survivors. A more or less common language is used by recovering survivors--the words used on them by the abusers. It is rare, within my realm of knowledge, that a survivor actually knows how they were programmed.

There are people "out there" in the world who claim to be former programmers who have healed and now are working with survivors to help them undo programming. The first question is, how do you know the former programmer is not still a programmer in another alter state. Programmers are very entrenched in that world and basically have no basis for empathy or emotional attachment. In other words, no scruples with regard to helping the bad guys maintain your dissociation rather than relieve it.

I confess I learned the hard way. When I first began to remember the government stuff, I was terrified of having been "programmed". It brings up all kinds of scary connotations, especially since we're talking about my brain! I was terrified to find a therapist because of FMSF reports blanketing the internet. Since I belonged to a survivor support group, I asked if anyone was aware of someone trustworthy. A woman I very much trusted referred me to a former programmer whom she had spent time with getting a jump start on healing. I wanted a jump start.

I spent a long weekend with the deprogrammer. I did learn a lot from her. She got me headed in the right direction. After that weekend, I maintained regular email contact with her to let her know of my progress. Several months after my visit with her, my system revealed that she had done something to me while I was with a dissociative state. That meant she knew how to test to see if I still responded to certain cues and obviously I did. I think (I hope) all she did was make sure I gave her progress reports. At one point I processed a memory that was huge. I was into the government messages. The email she sent back to me included some phraseology that put me into a tailspin. The spinning was awful and it took me several days before realizing it led back to her email. I then pulled out the collages I had done while I was visiting with her. It was then I knew for certain she had "accessed" me and given me instructions. I stopped contact with her immediately and made sure my survivor friend was aware that, if she had been safe, she was no longer safe.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who can reinforce the old programming when you seek help to undo it. A therapist with little knowledge of how things are done is the safest route. Having someone who can stay with you through the really tough memories and not be phased by it is a wonderful therapist.

As a therapist, I sometimes had been asked by my client to say "x" or do "x" because it would help them undo something. After processing the reason for the request and why they needed me to do it rather than help them through doing it themselves, I did have occasion to help in that manner. Information coming from your system to you is very different than someone else telling you what needs to be done to your system.

You are the client and you have the control to tell a therapist you do not want to engage in a certain kind of therapy. You might change your mind later (as I did with EMDR), but you needn't do anything that feels disturbing to you. That includes any therapist suggesting they use certain tones, touches, or phrases to help activate certain alters or to calm down certain programming. What works for one client does not necessarily work for another. Only you can be the judge of what is right for you.

In the world of healing from such extreme abuse, I know it is difficult to be your own advocate. You need your therapist to be a partner in your healing. If you feel that you must please your therapist by submitting to whatever is suggested, it's not a healthy relationship. Even if the therapist is not hurting you, it is up to you to be okay to ask questions before anything new is tried.

There is nothing that was done to our minds that our minds can't undo by themselves. We are remarkable human beings. We are survivors.


Anonymous said...

"Even if the therapist is not hurting you, it is up to you to be okay to ask questions before anything new is tried." <--- I'm so SO bad at that, I'm really wondering if it's possible that I'm beyond help.

My therapist really seems like a nice person and there is no doubt that she WANTS to help. But I have major doubts about whether she CAN help. And it's probably just my fault.

I don't know whether these doubts are "normal" or if they're on target, or if they were somehow "programmed" to slap me back should I reach out for help. How can you know?


Grace said...

Hi Amy,
All of the above. If your therapist has treated trauma before, she knows you are having those issues. That's also a good therapy issue. Talking about what you are uncomfortable with is huge and most welcome to a good therapist!

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you so much for sharing what happened with the "deprogrammer"! How exactly right you are about the fact that we survivors, if not extremely cautious, can be accessed and "tested" to see if we are still under the mind control influence.

Several instances i will try to very shortly cover....After our children began remembering and talking, my sister came to our country house early one day in 1997, to take us to the therapist's appt later that afternoon. Before i knew it, the abuser (sister's ex husband) walked in the door. I was shocked and outraged because i now knew what he had done to our children. He told me he was "with" my sis, and i said impossible, and raging that he was a "child molester", i tried to attack him. My sis actually held me back and he started molesting my daughter in front of me. Things got worse. By the time we left, i was in a trance. My sister drove us in her car, following perp to a place of abuse in the country. We were threatened with torture associated with therapist's name. From there, we were driven by sis to therapist's appt. I only remembered this in the past few weeks.

Another one...perp sneaked into the back door of our next house one afternoon in about 2001. This was before we moved far away. He checked to see if my daughter responded to him as she was "trained" to. I was in shock and stood there like frozen. What could i do?? He could have k*lled us all on the spot, not to mention the years of abuse and control must have kicked in. Amnesia again until a few months ago.

And....believe there have been a few phone calls since we moved. Once my daughter answered while i was asleep, and the next one i think i answered. Believe i was told to do something to myself, but for some reason, this did NOT happen, obviously.
***Religious next paragraph****

Here i give praise to the true God for this, as i remember standing in the kitchen and know what i had been commanded to do by someone on the phone. Many times over the years our lives have been saved miraculously, and i am so grateful. Just our memories coming back and the control unraveling is such a miracle in itself, because if not for THAT particular miracle, we could still be in that bondage. I will always be grateful for the deliverance which started in 1996.

What you wrote just gave me chills because i KNOW the truth of it. What really, really hurts is when a family member is still under mind control by a perpetrator and does not have a conscious clue of this. This makes them very unsafe to be around unless a safe person is there, also. My family was not like that before the abuser came along! We were a close family, with such good times & memories. If i believed there was no hope for them to be free also, it would about break my heart. But i know they can be delivered from it, just as we have been.

The abuser always told my children that he would make contact with children he molested throughout their lifetimes, to bring them into the satanic "group/s" later. He said that he would send "messages" through others if he was unable to contact them. Yep, that's exactly what he has tried.

Oh, there is so much to this subject, and it is such an important one for survivors to take to heart. The abusers of *our family* did NOT just walk away and let us be free. Oh, no!! Perhaps they feel there is too much at stake to let the survivors go free. Or maybe there is another answer, too.

Thank you again....
with appreciation,

Anonymous said...

"What I know of programming I learned from undoing my own with my therapist and hearing the stories of other survivors. A more or less common language is used by recovering survivors--the words used on them by the abusers. It is rare, within my realm of knowledge, that a survivor actually knows how they were programmed."

This is one type of "programming" that was done on me which caused great problems after the time it was hypnotically put into my mind, and also how i have dealt with it...

In the early to mid 90's, i started nearly running red lights constantly, and even did run one or two. This scared me badly, especially with our children in the car. I could no longer "notice" red lights, and didn't know what in the world was wrong with me!

Finally, in desperation, i would say, "Green, go" to myself in Penn Dutch (language i grew up talking) when coming to an intersection which had a green light. If i couldn't say that, i WOULD NOT drive but would stop. Today, this problem stemming from the abuse is tremendously improved, but i still sometimes take these precautions just for safety's sake.

Several years ago, i remembered that abuser (brother in law then) had me sitting and staring at what seems to have been a white wall or movie screen. He flashed huge bright photos of stoplights on this, and would say "Green GO" when he put the red light up there. This was done over and over and over to drill it into my head subconsciously. He did the same thing with a photo of a stop sign, which he called a "GO Sign", so that i would run these also. He told me that he wanted me to die and have it "look like an accident". "Haw haw haw!" was how he laughed at this wordplay, and in glee anticipating my d*ath.

My children told me that when they were taken out to eat by their "uncle" and my sister, he would take them to a restaurant with a large stoplight that changed color like a real one. He forced them to eat ONLY when the light was green or red, his choice. If they even dared to *chew* food in their mouths when the light changed color, he would grind his big heavy shoe onto their small feet under the table and pinch them terribly hard. They were trained to obey him implicitly or else. My sister could only eat during his color choice also, but she also watched to see that our children obeyed her maniac husband in this.

During the abuse years, i used to want to sleep with headphones on, in order to "learn". I never knew why, but remembered years later being forced to listen to sped up sounds this way, and also to other things. You couldn't get away from the sound, or take them off your head because of your hands being bound somehow.

Phone calls were an important part of the mind control. I have remembered several incidents of talking on the phone or listening as someone spoke to me on it, and being in a trance state. This was part of how we were controlled, and how communication was done in a hidden way.

There was also some training connected to the tones/beeps that the telephone numbers make as they are pushed, but i haven't been able to figure that one out yet. In time, it will come back~ i'm believing for that.


Grace said...

Hi LJ,
Just a few words now. I have horrendous phone phobia. Rarely answer phone...goes to voicemail first. If you notice my twitter background, the little girl is holding a phone. I know my cues in my adult years were phone and a tone combined with certain words.

You are a testiment to the backwards language. Your example is so very dangerous. Thank goodness you figured it out!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "phone phobia"....during the abuse years, i was in terror when the phone rang, or when there was a knock at the door. Sometimes, i would even take off running through the house when someone came to the door! My husband used to get so aggravated at me, and ask what in the world was wrong with me?! I didn't consciously know what it was, and didn't have an answer. Of course, even if i had been able to answer him truthfully, it would have done no good at that time because he was also going through the abuse and probably wouldn't have "heard" me. I never thought of the fact that i had zero such phobias before my marriage, and not for a couple of years afterward.

Today, both of these phobias are much, much better although there is still a "startle" to phone ringing or knocking.

I think it is very smart for ANYONE who has been abused in similar ways to not answer the phone if they don't recognize the caller. This would help protect against re-accessing by the abusers.

Good for you that you know how your cues were done with phone tone and words! I have an impression of a series of phone tones, like a tune. Don't know if words accompanied this or not. Just talking about these subjects often help me to uncover more. So i really appreciate the chance to talk with someone who understands and has been there. Although different circumstances in many ways, there are still similarities.
Thank you again for your insights and the chance to talk about these things...

PS Just thought of this....abuser used to talk about "Ma Bell" and "Southern Bell". This was in reference to the phone, but there were double meanings. Southern bell meant to turn a woman "south" which meant not living anymore, to "ring" her whatever that meant. "Bell" was also a reference to a male part, putting it very simply, as there was more to it. The phone cord was also compared to an umbilical cord. Just as perp claimed his mother tried to "s*ffocate" him in the womb, he used the cord around the necks of women who reminded him of his mother. His training was sometimes complicated and hard to explain without going into great detail. This is THE TRUTH of what i was told and demonstrated on by my former brother in law. He also said that he was a serial k*ller, and i also believe he was telling me the truth about that for various reasons.