We are all seeing these messages popping up on social media: it’s the 3rd wave of #me too, it’s about unresolved trauma: sexual abuse…. It’s obvious that there is still a lot of healing to do for many, especially women!
A Healing Package for sexual abuse
Years ago, I created a healing package, a way of working with women, who had sexual abuse in their lives. It never got traction, it hit too close to home!
I still had some more healing work to do on my own story. That’s why I let it go. It’s not because there are no women who need to be helped with these issues. One over three women had some kind of sexual mishap, abuse happen to her in her life. And very often it originates from experiences at a very young age. When the body and the brain still were in a developing state. Which brings us to the question:
Why do a lot of women stay with their abusive husbands, boyfriends?
They could just leave (especially when there are no children involved). Fortunately, I’ve never been in an abusive relationship. But, having had a twin sister who had been beaten and stabbed to death by her mentally ill boyfriend, I surely wanted to find out why! She was pretty, intelligent, and young, without children – and still, she chose to go back to this man who had wounded her physically (and probably also emotionally) over and over in the past. What made her do that?
My twinsister and the unresolved trauma of sexual abuse
At the time of her death we were 23 years old. I had no idea whatsoever why she had done that. For me it was an assisted suicide. I was angry at her for not having the guts to do kill herself or why she could not face life. That’s how I saw it in that moment. Since then, so many years have passed. And I have lived through and learnt so much about me, my body, my emotions. I can now see how my own body is stuck in defensive survival patterns, structures that influence my emotions and my thinking, which create stories about why my body reacts in these ways and why I feel like I do.
Making sense of abuse and trauma
My mind wants to make sense of physical and emotional disease, of why I feel bad (without apparent reason). When I changed my doctor this last fall, I had an overall physical checkup. My doctor noticed that my blood sugar level was pretty high, which surprised me, having never eaten a lot of sugar. My doctor explained to me that it was possible, that my body was pouring out sugar in the morning to make sure that I had enough energy for all the threats for my survival. And that didn’t ring a bell! I have been working for a while with a therapist on my physical reactions to feeling threat and fear in my body. Allowing my body to relax and in such allowing my emotions to calm down.
Emotions are lodged in the body
These emotions, that for years and years, with a certain kind of light, certain seasons, temperatures and situations made (and still at times make) my heart race, make me feel so sad, make me feel desperate, hopeless and helpless.
From what I have figured out through years of therapies and personal development, I lived through, as a very young child, traumatic circumstances. Probably sexual abuse by my oldest brother who committed suicide when I was seven – never to be validated, since he is no longer alive and nobody in my family knows anything about that.
Trauma is physical, emotional and mental
That physical-emotional (betrayal of love) trauma was and still partially is trapped in my body. I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing. Feeling menaced, which, before having learnt about trauma, I would have tried to understand what is so threatening… And for sure my mind could find something. And then – wanted to fix it. But, that didn’t change it!
Changing the reactions
Again, and again this same feeling would come up. Thanks to my therapist I can now, instead of fully going into the thread, do some things to calm down my fight and flight impulses. And by that, also calming down my racing mind.
Coming back to myself. Not projecting and searching outside of me what is wrong and wanting so desperately to fix it.
The source of the “problem” is inside
Because I know now understand that if I fix what seem to be wrong outside – and believe me, there are always things that are wrong! – that there would just pop up other things that are wrong! Luckily for me, the emotional charge is much lesser now thanks to the therapy I have been through. I have deep gratitude for it. And, it still happens that I wake up in the night with my body feeling threatened and my heart pounding …
I now understand it as an old story replaying in my body. I don’t need to find things that aren’t working in my life today to justify this feeling…
And don’t get me wrong! By all means, if you have life-threatening things in your life, please do something to change them! But again, don’t cut get caught up in the net of wanting to fix all the outside. Because, even if you do, the inside pressure of the unresolved trauma will create or find other problems.
The distortion of one’s self-view
Coming back to my twin sister – why didn’t she leave her boyfriend? It’s a result of all the unresolved trauma, I guess. She must have had a similar story to mine who was making her see life through a certain kind of glasses. This class is distorted her a view of herself and of her life in general.
The repetition of what one knows
When you live in a body that feels threatened, you attract and perceived threat wherever you are. That is what your body-emotion-mind system knows and repeats. That is what it will recognize. Not love not peace and not joy. Threat and menace everywhere. That what it is used to and it’s so much easier to repeat.
“It’s my fault”
Having been abused, the mind creates a story to make sense of it. The story of a bad me that deserves to be abused. Because, why on earth, would there be abuse? It must be my fault! And this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy a never-ending self-perpetuating story of mishap and misery.
Gratitude for all the help I have received
I am so grateful to all the therapists and healers I met on my healing journey, my path to my Wellbeing! And, also, to all the spiritual masters that showed me, that I am not my mind, not my thoughts, not my body – and… there is something (or no-thing) that is before all of this.
What about you?
If you are triggered by this story, please get help! You can contact me or any other person you trust and who is able to work with trauma and the body.
Here is the link to the Healing Package I created, which is still very much actual!