We had gone to Oakland to meet up with a woman who we met the week before at the Women’s Expo in San Francisco. What was unusual about this meeting was how we met. I was standing in the middle of the pavilion among about a thousand other attendees and she walked right up to me and said “You’re why I came today!”
I looked at her and smiled and she said she had intended to attend on Saturday, but she had been guided to wait until Sunday. The fact that she walked right up to me was what was so unusual. Somehow she had a feeling she needed to meet me.
So we made the appointment, “to talk about an event we’re planning in January (Your1DayMBA) but once we started talking, and you know how we ladies can talk, I noticed there was a deformity around her right eye. She explained she had been attacked and her business had not been the same since.
The first thoughts that crossed my mind were “her power had been taken away from her when she was a child”. That was odd. But I’ve become very aware of those thoughts and I trust them to have a meaning that needs to be acted upon.
I asked if she was open to me doing some work with her. She’s an ordained minister and what I do isn’t always embraced by religion. But I had a sense of her strong spirituality.
She agreed and I showed her how to rub her fingers together and establish her yes and no. I had her hold her arm out straight and I asked in my thoughts to isolate what the event had been. It had occurred when she was 5 and it was her uncle. He had violated her.
She’s a very stoic woman and it was obvious there was a strong emotional pull from the event but she simply nodded in agreement. She remembered the event. She remembered how she felt.
The act of violence brought the original event to the surface and she began to feel as though she couldn’t protect herself. She became apprehensive in every decision she made. She was no longer comfortable or enthusiastic about marketing her business. But because of her strong spiritual foundation, she still functioned as though nothing had changed, at least on the surface. To those who know her well, they might not have even noticed a change in her. But it was there and she was fully aware of it.
We focused on getting the logical reaction: she was a child so how could she defend herself against an adult; she should have been able to trust her uncle; her parents should have protected her; she had done something wrong and was punished for it. There are many reactions for a child but most of them are hard to understand as a child. Even thinking back on them as adult, they have a tendency to appear the same as when they were a child.
Then we worked on the emotional reaction: the fear, anger, disappointment, helplessness, frustration and rage. Negative emotions hold us back. They keep us from being rational or making logical decisions.
It took about an hour to reverse what had happened when she was merely 5 years old. But the emotional reaction to being violated is not a memory of something that happened but it no longer has an emotional drag on her life. She will not be subjected to exposing herself to additional events that will reinforce her vulnerability and the sense of being out of control of her own life.