15 thoughts on “When Family Is A Cult (Pt 1)

  • March 19, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Fantastic! I’m looking forward to part 2.
    I watch members blindly follow. Once you question the “leader”, your X is painted on your back. All members know this. The punishment begins swiftly. The attacks, nonstop. They’re loyal and relentless.

    I, proudly, wear my scarlet “D” (defector) . It’s not easy, but I’ve support from the numerous others who battle the wrath, from breaking free. ?
    Thank you, Lenora

    • March 19, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      And thank your for such a wonderful comment, Clara!

      ~ L

      • March 19, 2016 at 4:25 pm

        You’re welcome.
        As always, you’re spot on and I enjoy your writing.

  • March 20, 2016 at 8:11 am

    So sorry for your suffering. I was the black sheep in a narc family as well. Very much like a cult! My mother died four years ago, and I haven’t spoken to my three sisters since that day. It’s like I was born that day. I had learned about narcissism shortly before her death and even joined an online support group which helped me immensely to understand and to heal. I will never re-connect with my sisters, as they were complicit in her cruelty towards me since I was a child — even though she abandoned two of them who I finished raising. Still, they remained ultra loyal to her to the end. And they all dumped her on me to care for her when she was gravely ill during her final few years. I have had only had 4 years of “freedom” in my life, and I’m 59. Your article is spot on! I wish you much peace and happiness in your life — you deserve it.

    • March 20, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Hi “Cookie Girl,”

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so sorry that your life has been, well, difficult!

      I often hear stories on Facebook of family members expecting the abused, black sheep to care for their ailing parent, won’t lift a finger to help…but shame the black sheep if they have objections to being the caretaker. I mean…what the heck!?

      So glad that you too have found freedom and peace…at long last! Thanks for sharing.

      ~ Lenora

  • March 20, 2016 at 10:08 am

    You are spot on. I married into such a family.

    • March 20, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Ayayayiaiaya! I was relieved to marry out of such a family. Thanks for your comment!

      ~ Lenora

  • May 19, 2016 at 1:04 am


    I just discovered this post after poking around your previous blog posts on lunch at work. I have known my ex-mother-in-law–nazi-in-law, as I call her–since I began studying Psychology. Since I left my ex almost 1.5 years ago, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. I have had PTSD for 27 years, but never have I had anxiety to this degree. It was at a degree that I began to finally wonder what the heck was wrong with me. As I read on, articles and books said anxiety can be onset with verbal abuse. Then I wondered, I wasn’t verbally abused, was I? No. Keith was an a-hole, but he never truly verbally abused me. Then this article made me realize something. It wasn’t my ex who was the culprit. It was my nazi-in-law. The verbal abuse, and self-doubt I suffered was her doing. I am so glad to see narcissism described from the point of view of the victim. It makes everything so much clearer. Keep writing my fellow Nano!

  • June 4, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Lenora is a voice for the voiceless. Her writings are not only brilliant but validating and inspiring.

  • April 19, 2017 at 12:39 am

    I’ve just come across this site, it describes my family oh so well. I am going through some serious legal stuff involving my family and would really love to talk more with you in relation to your views on family as a cult. I have said this exact thing for so long, yet my lawyer refuses to acknowledge my thoughts on this. Your site here really does give some substance to my theory. If you would be so kind as to reply or get in touch I would greatly appreciate it, regards, Amy

  • July 12, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Just curious, how many hits does your site get from Springdale, Arkansas? (the Duggar’s hometown for those who don’t follow that trainwreck of a family!)

  • October 15, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for helping me to get how toxic my family is. I used to go to counseling but counselors never got it, they’d tell me to take the high road but this is impossible with such a dynamic, the only high road to take us towards complete freedom and detachment, I was tired of people judging me for refusing to communicate with my family or telling me that things will get better, they don’t, always my Intuition would nudge me towards freedom, amen

  • April 6, 2019 at 12:10 am

    Very true, It took me a long time to wake up.

  • June 20, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    I grew up in a similar family – with added benefits of the family being completely devoted to a church – it was kind of a cult within a cult – and I”m still healing from the C-PTSD and DID that family left me with.

    In the end, I found that the people who understand me the best were those who also grew up in cults, and were it not for them, my healing wouldn’t even have a chance. Thanks for your perspective on this.


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