An adult struggling with the consequences of sexual or physical abuse as a child can be truly debilitating. It can be devastating emotionally, it can destroy relationships, take away feelings of love and affection. It can substitute love and intimacy with, aggression and sexual violence, it can often generate feelings of self-loathing and lack of worth.
I could bring out a whole list of symptoms and negative emotions that anyone who has suffered will know, but I won’t.
What I will say however is it that it doesn’t matter how old you are right now as you read this. The one immutable fact is, that you have survived. Which means that you are strong. Strong enough to have made the decision to change, which is probably why are reading this.
If you have read other pages before landing here you will already be aware my attitude towards time is it is a very valuable commodity, and we don’t have enough of it to waste. It is important to understand that neither you nor I can change history, what has happened, has past, and you survived. The question is where do you want to go now, what stops you from going, and what are you going to do when you get there.
How does a seven-year-old child weighing fifty pounds repel the advances of a man or woman three times his or her weight? They have neither emotional or verbal skills, a sense of what is right or wrong or physical strength.
Dissociation is a primary defence mechanism, and very often the only way of coping, this in itself is a form of self-hypnosis, and it worked. Clients have variously described how they had found ways of being able to separate themselves from their bodies as the abuse happened, it is this ability to dissociate the mind from the body that helps the child to protect themselves from trauma, often described as being similar to out of body experience.
Survivors of sexual, physical abuse will commonly stumble upon this coping strategy all by themselves,
children have fantastic and very powerful imaginations.
The problem with this method of self-protection is that it often lasts much longer than originally intended. Which is why today, now, you may find that you feel removed from your body and emotions years or even decades later.
It protected you during the abuse, it can be now be used to deal with past events, and direct the route of your future.
Victims may believe, at a profound level, their bodies have betrayed them and are therefore not to be trusted. These feelings may be manifest as health anxiety, revulsion at physical processes, eating disorders, anorexia or bulimia, making the self unattractive or the like.
Feelings may become dull or subdued then vented in sudden outbursts of anger, violence, or hysteria.
Self-medication with recreational drugs, alcohol or over the counter medication, even self-harm.
The abuse or violence may have ended but the dissociation mechanisms you set up when you were young will have become embedded and can continue for decades after.
The solutions to your problems when you were young have now become a problem because they don’t work, or don’t fit.
Guided hypnoanalysis can help, you access the strength your unconscious mind has, and roll back this process of dissociation. Hypnotherapy can then help to reassociate with emotions in a safe and very controlled way. It’s incremental and you will always be in the driving seat. Hypnotherapy can help the abused to rid themselves of that anger, anxiety, depression or that absolute sense of ‘I must always be in control’
I have had it described as “emotional Skip Hire”
Be under no illusion abusers are manipulative, the victim is often left to believe that they were in some way to blame for what happened to them.
Perhaps they should have fought back. Perhaps they should have told someone. Perhaps, if I had been bigger stronger prettier, unattractive, perhaps, perhaps. the fact is they could only do what they thought was best at the time it is now forgotten and that child now feels that they should have acted with all the power and agency of a mature adult.
This is self-judgement, it is remorseless and destructive. However, it can be changed.