The Jean Linderman Story
of False Memory and Deceit
(Durbin: I thank Jean Lindeman for allowing me to put her story of deceit and the implanting of false memories of sexual abuse from her youth by an unethical therapist who then used her sexual as part of his so-called healing therapy. No ethical therapist would use his techniques. Recovered Memory Therapy is bad therapy because it produces bad outcome. Our job as therapist is to help people live better lives and be released from problems.)
I would like to share my story with the hope that it will help some other person or persons to never go through the pain that my family and I have endured. I am the victim of a psychiatrist that is now serving a total of 133 years in prison for sexual assault and deviant sexual assault.
My name is Jean Lindeman, I am now 46 years old. I live in a small town in southern Missouri called West Plains. My story really begins in the year 1988. We were having problems with my 12 year old son, step-son to my husband. My son had become withdrawn and was losing weight so we decided to take him to our family physician. The doctor determined that there was nothing physically wrong with the child but did recommend that we take him to the psychiatrist at our local hospital to have an evaluation. This doctor didn't specialize in adolescent treatment and sent us to a child psychologist in Springfield, Missouri. I was impressed with the compassion that we were shown by the psychiatrist in West Plains. His credentials were outstanding, at least the ones we knew about. His name was William Cone and he was a graduate of Yale University, had formerly practiced in the St. Louis region but decided to move to a smaller community to escape the fast pace of the city life.
Just a few days after he had sent us to the child psychologist, Dr. Cone called me at home to ask how our son was doing. He seemed most interested in my background and the effect that it might have on my son. I recently had an upsetting experience with my brother and my parents, had a ten month old son to care for and the doctor seemed concerned that all of this was a part of the problem. He called me at home a total of 3 times I believe and finally made the offer, that if I needed to see him to deal with my own problems, he would be more than happy to try and help out.
This offer still seemed to me to be out of true compassion for my situation. I talked to my husband about it and he even went to talk to Dr. Cone before I made an appointment to discuss the idea of my entering therapy. I had become depressed with the worry of the problems that I'd been having with my family so we both agreed that it might be a good idea. I called a few days later to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cone, he was able to fit me in for an appointment the next day.
I honestly didn't know what to expect, I had never been in therapy before. This is a small town, Dr. Cone came highly recommended. He did ask a lot of extremely personal questions and specifically asked how my sexual relationship was with my husband. He also asked things like, how old was I when I had my first sexual encounter, was I married, was it pleasurable? I can look back upon it now and see that most of the questions centered around sex. The thing that caught me off guard the most was the fact that he put me on anti-depressants that day. I realized that I had been suffering from some sight depression but never really thought that I needed medication. His reasoning and explanation for this was, "it would make things much easier to deal with and this would help me in the therapy, I could relax and not be so anxious." That day I began taking Prozac.
Another thing that was prescribed for me that day was to begin reading a book called, "My Mother, Myself." I'm certain that some of you out there have no doubt read this book. It doesn't come highly recommended from my standpoint. If one is just beginning therapy and isn't certain of why or what lies in store, this book can certainly put ideas in your head as to the kind of relationship we "didn't" have with our mothers.
I would be the first to admit that my relationship with my parents lacked certain elements of emotional and physical attention. Unfortunately that was the key element that this doctor played upon or better yet, preyed upon. It took a very short amount of time for the things that he pointed out as being emotional and physical deprivation to take a turn towards having been sexually abused as an infant.
Soon my every other week appointments became weekly appointments because the doctor felt that I was becoming suicidal. Within a few months I was coming in at least twice a week, sometimes more and I had his permission to call at any time day or night.
I've been rather detailed up to this point so that I may give the reader of this an idea of how my therapy with this man began. I won't be so detailed from this point because my purpose in writing this article for Dr. Durbin, as I said in the beginning, is with the hope and prayers that this sort of thing doesn't happen to others.
If you are familiar with therapy, especially long term therapy, you know that it is essential and inevitable that transference is going to occur. A good therapist will recognize this and help the patient work through it in a kind and loving manner. This psychiatrist recognized it and used it in every way possible to his own advantage. For instance, I was shy about expressing the fact that I had sexual feelings for him in transference, he told me that this was common but in our case he felt certain that we would one day have sex as a way of dealing with my past problems. He told me I was not to be shy about these things and wanted me to describe in great detail my fantasies about him.
It was about six months into the therapy that he decided it was time for us to have sex. This would make us connected and he felt that this would make us much closer and I would be better able to share the secrets of my past. He wanted to give me the power because if anyone found out, I would have the power to destroy him. This was his way of showing me how much he trusted and loved me.
Not long after this he decided that he would re-parent me, he would become the loving, nurturing parents and I would no longer need or visualize my biological parents in my mind, it would be him. In this process, I was bottle fed, sucked his breasts, fed baby food from a jar and taken to the bathroom. He used a great deal of guided imagery, mostly convincing me that my father had sexually abused me when I was very young, young enough to still be sleeping in a baby bed. Eventually this raised doubts in my mind and I began to wonder if my dad had truly done this. He would tell me that if my dad did not do this, there was no doubt in his mind that some family member had and that I showed all signs of being sexually abused as a child. Of course when we no longer used the bottle as a way of nurturing me, his penis became the only way he could nurture me, since a man's breasts are too small to suck on. In his words, I became his beautiful incest child.
This of course led into all kinds of dysfunctional diagnosis. He first believed that I was a borderline personality and I read all sorts of information to help myself understand this. After a couple of years as being borderline, this led into having multiple personalities. In fact, in his testimony during his trial, it is on record that he sometimes couldn't communicate with me because I would go from being an adult to being a small child and made no sense in what I was saying. He then had me read material and watch movies and videos about other cases of multiple personality disorder.
For those of you who are great John Bradshaw fans, I also attended one of his weekend seminars during this period in my life. Trust me, if you aren't confused before you go there, you will be by the time you leave. And, I think I've read every book the man has published. I am not trying to sound bitter or discourage people from reading self-help books but have a good therapist tell you what is helpful and what is not.
This continued for six years of my life. I was admitted into a psychiatric unit on at least three occasions, one time because I overdosed on medication. Of course I always had plenty of medication around for depression and for sleeping because Cone would give me hundreds of samples so that I didn't have to buy them.
During the last couple of years that I was seeing him, he became totally obsessed with the sexual activity in the relationship. This also included wanting me to talk my husband into having a threesome with him, he spent months and months telling me just what I needed to say to convince him to do so. This of course did not happen so he went on to other men in my life. In the last few months of the relationship he began to plan a threesome that included his stepson. This young man had been in his house from the time he was approximately three years old. After weeks and weeks of being told how this would be helpful to all involved, the incident finally took place. A short time later, Cone was turned in to hospital authorities by another one of his patients because he had been having sex with her and she could no longer deal with it.
This was an absolutely devastating period in my life. I was totally dependent on this person plus the fact that I was dependent on the medications that he gave me. I was told that I must never tell what had gone on in the therapy for others would not understand his methods of dealing with my deprivation. I didn't tell until the point that I was forced.
Cone went away to a hospital in California that dealt with sexual addicts. He stayed in contact with me during this period, telling me that he would eventually come back and finish therapy with me. During his forth week there, he and the staff there asked that I come also. He and his wife paid my way out there and for my room while I was there. When I got there I was told that Cone would not be coming home and would not be my therapist anymore. I needed to tell my family what had happened and also tell authorities the whole story and let happen whatever needed to.
This was more than my mind could take. Not only was I losing my caregiver but I was to tell my family. Well, to make this simple, I ended up in the hospital out there and the only way I would be released to come home to Missouri was for my husband to come get me. I was taken off all the medications that I had been on for nearly six years, cold turkey. I was put on different medications by a female psychiatrist that was assigned to me at the hospital.
After a couple of weeks there in California I finally made the trip back to Missouri. I was on medications to make me hungry, meds to make me sleep, meds for depression and anxiety and was assigned to a therapist by the state of Missouri so that I wouldn't be alone when I came home. This could only be the most horrible nightmare that I could envision.
It truly has been. It took years to get Cone convicted and it took telling the story over and over to so many different people I almost lost track. My family was torn to pieces and my parents were without words that someone could accuse them of sexually molesting their own daughter.
My husband and I are finally beginning to get things back on track, not that anything will ever be the same again. I did get back into therapy after a couple of years with an ethical therapist that was willing to work long term with the mess that Cone had created. I am currently still in therapy, it has been a long road to healing and some days I can see light at the end of the tunnel. There are still bad days when the heartaches return but I've learned to deal with them much better. I pray and I ask God for strength to replace all of the garbage that was put into my head with good things.
My prayer is, that if anyone reads this and you have been abused by a professional, that you would find the courage to come forward. It is not easy, I would never tell anyone that it is but please don=t live with the kind of pain and heartache that keeping it in will cause.