Hi Nori,
Please refer to the question below that I asked you earlier this week. I have more to add: I have made countless bad choices about finances, in addition. One of these is credit card debt. I have over $40,000, and Mom's BFF (we'll call her Rachelle), who is a tycoon, cosigned for a loan~ of course, Mom does not know, and she would be livid if she ever found out. I will not be able to pay it back, and although I think Rachelle will forgive me, and just pay it herself, that is not the half of it. As you know, I also took money without asking… It's money I would have inherited, but I still should not have taken it, which I would not have, had the pharmacist not instilled such trust. Third bad choice: one day, I was on the phone with my 90 year old great aunt, and although I did not straight out tell her (and I don't intend to, as it's not fair to a woman that age to put her in that position), I was making suggestive statements, basically asking her what she would do, if she were presented with the information, or the one in my spot. A rich man, whom I don't know from a hole in the wall, was listening to the conversation. He then approached me, and said he would give me money, if I would engage in sexual favors to him. I hate to say it, but I went along with it, and did the same for some of his friends, as well. Now, since I have had the ileostomy done, he finds the bag repulsive, and will not do that for me anymore. He also stated he would give me a little more money, if I would find him somebody else to get his kicks with, which is not going to happen, as I hardly know anybody as it is, and I certainly don't know anyone who would stoop to that level; I cannot even believe I did. I do think he could hurt me, however, since I don't even know his last name, bringing it to the attention of the police would be useless. It was suggested by my therapist that I share this with a friend, and since Juliette is really my only friend (and you have to know somebody pretty well to share this), I would love more than anything to at least bring it to her attention. As told by my therapist, she can help me only when I'm in her office, which is once per week. Beyond that, there is not much she can do; she cannot take me under her wing. If she did that for me, she would have to do that for all of her clients, and there are not even enough hours in two weeks to make that so. Although Juliette found me "clingy" two weeks ago, I think she should know why; I started to drop hints, but it went nowhere, as I shied away. I have since cut ties with Facebook, and any other social media, as I know I'm not in a safe spot. Telling Mom is out. SHe has been a VERY GOOD mother, but there are certain issues, such as finances, where she is so anal, and will not back down. Dad told me, the week he died 13 years ago that this is how she is, no exceptions, and living with her for all these years later, I've found it's completely true. How could I approach Juliette, and at the very least tell her what I'm going through? Somebody needs to know, and in terms of my comfort level, she is the only person I feel I can tell. I got a therapist, as Juliette insisted I do, so I feel I'm a team player, but she has to know that there are limitations, and I cannot turn to my therapist everyday. This is really, really bad; my life is already a nightmare, with the effects of the ileostomy, which I cannot escape. As a result, the only prayer I have of finding work is if I can get a home-based computer job, which I'm going to give my all to finding. With all this on my plate, I need Juliette to be my friend, which I need suggestions, as I will give it my all, until I can fight no more. Please help me!!

I have a very complicated, serious situation. First of all, I'm 35 years old, living with my widowed mother. I was raised an only child, so naturally, separating is not easy. That said, I may be forced to, I just need help making that happen. I have countless health problems. For years, taking laxatives consumed my life, and I have horrible rheumatoid arthritis. I recently had an ileostomy done, which has now taken over my life, even worse than the laxative ordeal. I feel like that is what my life has come to; all I do is contend with this bag. My mom and I have not gone a day without fighting, since it was done. To make matters worse, I did something I hate myself for: when I could not finance a medication for arthritis (insurance denied me coverage, after a period of time), I was promised by the pharmacist that if I paid out of pocket, and wrote a letter to my insurance, I would get reimbursed. Insurance then agreed to cover it, but did not and will not reimburse me. I got the money by daring to go to my parents' safe deposit box. Because I just was so sure I would get it back, I took the money. My mom does not know, and I cannot tell her, as that will ruin my life for good. I run my own business, but I only make money, if I can find somebody willing to pay for my services, so I cannot get it back any time soon. If she finds out, I'll be forced to leave, which at this point, I may even consider good. Moving on, I don't really have anywhere for certain to go. I have one friend (we'll call her Juliette), who is 61, whom I feel a particular closeness to, but sometimes I think I'm too much for her. Even so, I think I may need to ask her if I can stay with her and her husband. I think it would be a good fit for me, as I think I would turn my life around better. However, I don't know how I could make this happen. Truly, I am so sick of fighting with my mom, that I just sometimes don't even know how I will go on, as it is, and if she finds out, my life is officially over~ there will be no more point to it. Mom does a lot for me, and I don't show nearly enough gratitude (she even lets me take over her car… rarely for anything fun, but at least she lets me use it if I finance fuel). However, I've reached my breaking point, and think eventually, Juliette may need to be involved. Do you know if I could find a mediator? It may even be the death of my relationship with Juliette, but I can assure you, she is the only person who is not a bad influence in my life. I'll admit, I'm clingy, but she does not know what she means to me, and how much I need her in my life. What do you think I should do? This is really, really, really BAD!! My mom would never, ever forgive me, especially since she laid the ground rules down, when she put my name on the locked box when Dad passed away; said I can only go in it if she is dead, if she is not present~ absolutely no exceptions. Juliette is the only person who can help me; the only other two women in my life who were mentors are no longer alive, and although I would go to them before Juliette if they were, I still could not do it on my own. Please help; I am officially SCREWED!!

Dear Kirsten,
Your problems are complex, and dealing at a distance by computer, and not being a licensed counselor, there's not much I can do to be of help.
You might find a good resource in Debtors Anonymous, one of the family of Twelve Step groups.
Best wishes,


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Nori Muster


Art therapy, positive thinking, and abuse recovery.


I have been an expert at since 2000. Before that, during college and graduate school, I put in approximately three hundred volunteer hours working at juvenile halls. I also worked in drug and alcohol counseling agencies. In addition, I have done art and writing therapy with young people who grew up in abusive religious groups.

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), helps families, people who grew up in cults, and people leaving cults.

Books by Nori:
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World, a history of positive thinking and how to practice it in the post-9/11 world.
Child of the Cult, a collection of stories about children who grew up in restrictive religious groups.
Cult Survivor's Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life, a recovery handbook for people who had a bad experience in a group.

For a summary of all writing, see

Masters of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (psychology, counseling, and criminal justice), Western Oregon University, 1991.

Awards and Honors
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement won an award from for best selling book in its category.

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