So this is new, and it's really freaking me out - how to fight brainwashing?

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Okay. I'm just going to let myself talk. I try really hard not to get started talking too much because when I do sometimes I just can NOT stop, and I end up being awkward and weird and very annoying. Probably has something to do with the fact that I was basically locked in a box with a violent animal for two years. I had no real human contact during this time. At all. If I tried to speak to Asshole he would just turn his head towards me all creepy and blank like a zombie and stare for a minute then slowly turn his head away. He usually only communicated something to me when he was tearing me apart.

If he took me to the store my eyes had to stay on the ground at all times. If I looked at another human being I was a whore. If I so much as glanced out the window then I was actively trying to somehow f*ck the man in the car next to us. Self checkout only. No store clerks. Whores keep their eyes down. Whores keep their mouths shut. Whores need to respect their man.

I wasn't permitted to display emotion of any kind. If I smiled it was because I was f*cking so many men and none of them was him. If I looked sad it was because I was plotting to destroy him. My pain wasn't real. I was fake. I had no emotions. Women don't have thoughts or feelings of their own unless they're demons. So for me to be such an actress and pretend that I did was a blatant and viciously evil attack on him.

I wasn't even allowed to talk to my "family" unless he wanted something. I had to be supervised every moment during the call and only speak the script he fed me.

Once he started this behavior there was no break in it. It never stopped until he was gone. Total social isolation. Two years of non-stop solitary confinement.

After I got him out the first thing I did was start trying to reintegrate with people. I had no friends left. He'd made sure they were all gone for good, but that was okay. I grabbed my laptop and ran to the nearest wifi signal. I was supposed to be finding an income and assistance. I did that a little, but mostly I just talked to anyone and everyone I could find online and around me. I found activities with others of my species and went out. It felt amazing because I hadn't collapsed yet, there were real live PEOPLE again, and I felt like my old self.

Then I started working a job where I was in a room by myself all day completely alone. And by all day I mean all day. Nine in the morning until nine thirty or ten at night. Alone. Six days a week. Off early on Saturdays, but otherwise, mostly long days. That stressed me out. I had a very well thought out plan to resocialize myself, but I was too exhausted when I was working so many hours so I decided to delay it until such time as I got Asshole's financial disaster sorted. That stressed me out. I started getting afraid and struggling to go home. By then I'd met Boyfriend and stayed at his house instead. Then a few other really major things happened. I gradually got a little worse and a little worse until I finally collapsed completely at the end of November.

Since then, I haven't been able to leave the house without Boyfriend as an escort. Much of the time I can't leave the house at all or if I do my body starts jerking like I'm having some sort of seizure. It's because when the collapse happened my programming suddenly kicked back in full force, and now my brain just can't seem to grasp that it's okay to interact or even be in the general vicinity of other people. It isn't safe. That's not what a whore is supposed to do, and if I try it then I deserve to lose my life. Most days I barely even speak to Boyfriend now, and I start jerking if I hear his voice. So even more near total isolation.

Really long intro to the problem I've started experiencing the last few days, but that's fine. If I don't start allowing myself to speak I think I'm going to go rip roaring nuts.

Since yesterday something really bizarre has been going on. I've been in a wonderful mood. I've felt happy and more confident and I'm even genuinely enjoying going out places and having others around me. But here's the downside. My sensitivity to sound, movement, touch, and so forth has become more intense than ever. I have been constantly gasping and jumping and tensing all my muscles so hard that I am in a hell of a lot of pain. It won't shut off.

I've been physically jumpy before. A LOT. But it has always been when my mind is in a bad place, never when I've felt this positive. It just doesn't match up at all.

I think it's because of this. The other day Boyfriend pushed me into a social situation against my will. I gave him an override card for when I refuse to do something like that, and he used it. When we got there I realized there would be people I'd never even met before. I was flipping out and trying really hard not to burst into tears as soon as I walked in the door.

Then the most amazing thing happened. I sat down on the couch, and I was somehow mostly okay. I felt really shy and nervous, but I'd brought a little book to study so when I felt uncomfortable I just turned to that security blanket and read for a few minutes. I left feeling pretty proud of myself for making it through. Then after that I decided to feed the feeling by making myself post a few replies on here. Even better. I slept then woke up feeling incredible and awful at the same time, as described above.

This was tremendously confusing to me yesterday, but I'm usually pretty good at sussing out what my wacky brain is up to so I think I've figured out why this is happening now. Basically, I think when I went to the gathering it somehow woke up all of those wonderful instincts that millions of years of natural selection have granted me. I am a member of a social species. I am supposed to be around people and like it and need it. That's what is creating my good mood. But at the same time I triggered a massive conflict because all of the wrong instincts forced into me by the brainwashing are still there too. That's being expressed physically. So I have two mutually exclusive and completely opposing sets of beliefs battling it out somewhere in my head. I think.

I even know what I need to do to resolve this. I have to keep feeding the right set of instincts. I have to keep talking and putting myself around people as much as possible until the right instincts win out and the wrong ones get obliterated. I think.

Big problem, though. I've been having trouble with my heart for a really long time. I was seeing a doctor and was on beta blockers pre-Asshole, but of course that had to stop when he arrived because suddenly I was a whore and only wanted to see a doctor to f*ck him. I haven't been able to afford a doctor since I got away so this has gone untreated for quite awhile. On top of that I've been experiencing more stress than I've ever felt in my life which seems to be exacerbating things.

Lately, I've been having symptoms that are really frightening to me, and this situation seems to be making it even worse. I seriously considered going to the emergency room last night because of my heart.

So, if I try to push through and fight the brainwashing, how long will it take to break it? Has anyone else gone through something like this? Should I try at all or just retreat for the time being? For some reason, since this started yesterday it has been taking a really big toll on me, and I'm worried that if it goes on for too long my heart might not hold up. I'm probably just being paranoid, but it's scary. If I need to retreat, how do I shut this off, and will I be able to reinitialize it when I'm ready? Am I completely wrong about what's going on here or what needs to happen to fix it? And before anyone asks, no I can't afford a therapist either. Couldn't pull that off even before I had to stop working for months.

And thank you to anyone who actually read all of this. I know it's really long, but I needed it.


wow. Well first up - let's get a congratulations out there for being brave enough to get out! Your story is so very sad.... and terrifying! Being able to get out and come back to the human race? That took some guts -- so pat on the back to you!

Now - on to the rest...
So I have two mutually exclusive and completely opposing sets of beliefs battling it out somewhere in my head. I think.
I think you are on to something here. What your heart and soul want vs what your brain was conditioned to believe would be hugely confusing. So I would think it makes sense you have some physical issues coming up.

But none of that means anything if you drop dead from a heart attack - so a trip to the ER is a must. While you are there, ask about a referral to a domestic violence group (or just call one from your house) so that they can get you hooked up with resources. You may not be able to afford a therapist or a doctor but they should be able to help you find one at either low or no cost. Plus they would be the people who have the answers to many of your questions about where you are and where you want to be. The YWCA is another great resource or call 211 if it is available in your area. Both are one stop shopping for resources.

There are people on the site who have been in cults and been brainwashed so you do have people here who can understand what you are going through. Until they get a chance to connect with you ...Slow. Down. You had two YEARS of torture. Recovery is going to take time. You don't just run out and conquer it (I know - I tried! LOL). That doesn't mean it won't improve along the way. But you are going to need help --- you can't fight this on your own.

So physical health first. Get your heart checked out. Then start working on mental health. And then you will start to feel better because you will see there is a solution process that you can be a part of.....


Okay. I'm just going to let myself talk. I try really hard not to get started talking too much becau...
I am so glad you got away from that person and you have started the healing journey. Its long and curvy, but worth it. I am glad you experienced okness (not a word I know) when you sat on the couch. I encourage you to share more in this space, its cleansing and healing. especially when you do not have funds for a therapist. I look forward to reading your future posts because you deserve support and healing. Sending you many blessings and love if you accept.


Brainwashing is just a program that is running in your head. Start identifying words that trigger the thought patterns that someone planted in your head to control you. Find a word (a loving word) to replace 'whore' and start using it when you are feeling well. Breaking down those trigger words will be key.


Getting used to, it gets easier.

Kindness and goodness and okayness are allowed to be in your life, and it was the prick and everything he insisted on that are the minority and oddball, not you, and not kind folks.

Nothing wrong with being happy for a while, and nothing wrong with being frightened either. You are not messing up now.

Also: Not sure if you have anyone in your life to joke about this, but I found humor helps. The people without trauma and abuse whatsoever in their lives can be jumpy as all hell too, and asking people to cover for me about XY normal situation that I cannot goddamn manage led to some hilarious moments. Ookay, you deal with a flag in X color for me, and I will have the unmanageable crowd cruising tactic for you. And then we will go to shared cursing of the clouds neither of us can even with. Sounds fair.
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In my opinion, you're doing amazing work.

Sure, it's been a slow process and you've had some moments where it came back, but you've done amazingly well.

I noticed you kept mentioning that you're human, part of a social species, which social instincts. I do this too. I was told for years I wasn't human, and had to act like it, so it's nice to be free to be human.

You're emotions are instinct too. They're genuine and needed. You aren't an evil version of a man. That was the delusion of someone else. You seem to be getting that just fine, though.

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