Denmark, 80-90?

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Reply Mon 18 Mar, 2013 04:38 am
Hi! Surprised)

My boyfriend and his mum, dad and 2 older siblings were part of The Family in Denmark/Scandinavia from the mid eighties and approximately five years forward.

My boyfriend was just a toddler when his parents decided to join The Family, and the memories he has of the time there are very confused. He has a hard time telling imagination from actual memories, and he can't remember how old he was when they left, nor for how long they where there. What disturbs me (and him) the most is that he doesn't remember anything from his childhood, apart from some horrifying glimpses from within The Family. He doesn't have any memory of being sexually abused, but some vivid scenarios where he was beaten up by his father and the group leaders. He remembers not being allowed to be with his siblings and mum and dad, but having to live with kids his own age.

His two older siblings were pre-teens at the time, and they lived in a differet group and were sent on camps and stuff. The three of them have very different interpretations of the whole thing; the brother is mentally disturbed and damaged for life, blaming his misery on the time in The Family. The sister, on the other hand, describes their childhood as a happy time full of flowers, prayers and fun. She must be in denial, right?

Today, my boyfriend is very troubled by his lost childhood, and it would help him a lot to get in touch with someone who was there, and who can help him fill in the blank spots.

I really hope to hear from someone who can help me understand this matter better, and perhaps help my boyfriend understand himself and his heritage.

Regards, J.

 
Daniel AG
 
Reply Mon 18 Mar, 2013 07:11 am
@Lillefix,
Lillefix wrote:

Hi! Surprised)

My boyfriend and his mum, dad and 2 older siblings were part of The Family in Denmark/Scandinavia from the mid eighties and approximately five years forward.
[...]
His two older siblings were pre-teens at the time, and they lived in a differet group and were sent on camps and stuff. The three of them have very different interpretations of the whole thing; the brother is mentally disturbed and damaged for life, blaming his misery on the time in The Family. The sister, on the other hand, describes their childhood as a happy time full of flowers, prayers and fun. She must be in denial, right?

Why do you think she is in denial? There may be other reasons as well for her good memories. It may actually be what she remembers, or things back then may not be properly understood or come to terms with. In any case, it may not be the best to override what seems to be a volitional decision.

Do you know the other sister's take on the situation?

Lillefix wrote:


Today, my boyfriend is very troubled by his lost childhood, and it would help him a lot to get in touch with someone who was there, and who can help him fill in the blank spots.

I really hope to hear from someone who can help me understand this matter better, and perhaps help my boyfriend understand himself and his heritage.

Regards, J.


What about his parents or sisters, aren’t they helping him fill in some of the blanks and aswering his questions?

I was there during much of the time you mention. Whether I can be of help I don’t know, but you are welcome to contact me if you wish. dag0782 at gmail.com
 
Lillefix
 
Reply Mon 18 Mar, 2013 12:43 pm
Thanks for your response Smile

As for the sister denying anything bad happening to them; I just find it odd that my boyfriend and the older brother have nothing but bad memories of the time spent with The Family, and she has nothing but good ones. They were at the same place at the same time.

My boyfriends parent are very unwilling to discuss the matter, and as time has passed, he has stopped mentioning it altogether, as it creates a tense and unpleasant atmosphere among them.

The older brother has never been able to function in "the real world". Today, he's 37 years old and still lives with his parents. He has never had a job. He suffers from paranoia and various other mental disturbances. I'm not stating that the time in The Family is entirely to blame for his mental diagnosis, but I'm quite sure it hasn't made matters better. The parents have never been eager to get him into treatment - it seems that they're somewhat embarassed by his condition, maybe even feeling guilty.
 
Daniel AG
 
Reply Mon 18 Mar, 2013 03:30 pm
@Lillefix,
Lillefix wrote:

Thanks for your response Smile

As for the sister denying anything bad happening to them; I just find it odd that my boyfriend and the older brother have nothing but bad memories of the time spent with The Family, and she has nothing but good ones. They were at the same place at the same time.


There can be more than one reason for this; one may be:
If she was a so-called 'good girl' and played her cards well, she would also be rewarded well for it by the adults/leaders, never mind if she faked it all the way, which may not be the case here.
If the oldest boy was not so compliant or submissive he would be given a much harder time. The environment was not favouring young people asking legitimate questions that were difficult to impossible to answer for the adults, so often they would simply be punished instead.

The younger of them were obviously most of the time around totally different people than the older ones. Really, a lot depends on who you are with, even within the same home at the same time.

Lillefix wrote:

My boyfriends parent are very unwilling to discuss the matter, and as time has passed, he has stopped mentioning it altogether, as it creates a tense and unpleasant atmosphere among them.

The older brother has never been able to function in "the real world". Today, he's 37 years old and still lives with his parents. He has never had a job. He suffers from paranoia and various other mental disturbances. I'm not stating that the time in The Family is entirely to blame for his mental diagnosis, but I'm quite sure it hasn't made matters better. The parents have never been eager to get him into treatment - it seems that they're somewhat embarassed by his condition, maybe even feeling guilty.


You may be right in your last assessment here. It sounds like a difficult situation, but imo not impossible. Based on what you write, the troubled past may need to be met and settled as much as possible, somehow, by parents and son alike, or maybe the whole family. Only my 5 cent.

One thing to remember is that whatever part anyone has in past wrongs/sins against another it must usually be sought corrected before much progress can be made. This ‘setting things right’ was never a strong point in TF; usually the ones who was most due to apologize never did or never cared, which I believe in some cases crippled people for life, unfortunately.
Good to hear from you again, keep the chin up…
-D
 
 

 
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