Thursday, June 10, 2010

Inner Child Letters Series - Processing

I am still processing the first letter in this series of posts.  The grieving has lifted some.  The headaches have gotten less frequent but the nausea of this past week is still hanging on.  Last night I was talking with a friend about the headaches and the nausea and what their significance might mean to me.  I know the headaches are from the stress and my own inner resistance to doing this work.  I know that I had headaches as early as seven years old.  I know that my first year in 12-Step meetings, I left every single meeting with a headache when I didn't have one at the beginning of the meeting.  Some part of me was resisting what I was hearing in those meetings.

This afternoon I have been thinking about the nausea and remembering.  I remembered that every time there was a sexual encounter when I was a child that I would immediately get an upset stomach.  I remember many times telling my dad or my mom that I felt like I was going to throw up and them ignoring me.  What I learned was that how I felt physically and emotionally didn't matter to either of them.  I remember for the first ten years of my marriage that every time my husband and I made love I would then, afterwords, experience nausea and I would ignore it as my parents had taught me to do as a child.  As an adult, I continued to discount my feelings, physically and emotionally for many years.  I didn't know any other way to be.  It took several years of going to 12-Step meetings before I began to feel anything.

What I realized today is that the nausea that I have been ignoring this week may very well be a body memory since I am now opening up to the inner children who felt this as a way of trying to stop the sexual abuse.  The nausea may not be related to the sexual abuse at all but with these thoughts coming up, I have to wonder.  I know that all of this is pure speculation on my part.  I know to some people this may sound totally crazy.  I do know that there is a connection between feelings, abuse and physical symptoms of the body.

Louise L. Hay in her book Heal Your Body, The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them on page 52 says "Nausea      Fear. Rejecting an idea or experience.       I am safe. I trust the process of life to bring only good to me.

Those words could be very true in my past situation with the incest and my current situation of going back and visiting my inner children and the abuse that they suffered and continue to carry for me.  A part of me is still rejecting the idea that incest occurred in my childhood and is still affecting me today.  The part of me that still doesn't want to deal with this could be causing the nausea as a way of making me not face the truths that I am facing with writing this Inner Child Letters Series.  It could be that because I am going back and revisiting this past trauma that the nausea is coming out as a body memory of what I felt back then.  This could be the body's way of finally releasing its feelings of unease from back there.  In many ways this whole thing is a new territory for me so I am feeling my way around.  Does any of this make sense to you, my readers or am I totally losing it here and trying to make up something to explain away the feelings again?  It would be nice if when I finally finish processing all of this that the headaches and nausea would completely go away.

This isn't the post that I thought I was sitting down to write.  Oh well, what is is.  This is my post for today.  Before closing, I want to share these websites and blogs that really helped me to stay positive while dealing with this stuff  in the past few weeks.

Kendra Kett blogs wonderful little tidbits of wisdom at  http://www.pinwheelgirls.com .

Ellen Brown has a blog called Stepping Stones that offers help for going through many of life's transitions at   http://ellen-brown.com/blog/2009/10/02/attitude-of-gratitude-helps-when-dealing-with-job-loss-or-other-life-transitions/

Thanks to Kendra and Ellen for the posts that you have written that haved eased some of my pain of last week.  There are others and I will post them in my next articles.  I have company coming over so have to get off the computer for now.
Love to you all,
Patricia

15 comments:

Shen said...

This whole series is a spectacular set of enlightening pieces. YOu are working through the hardest part right now, and sharing it may be helping someone else get the courage to face their demons.

You are so right about body memories. I'm just starting to get in touch with my body, with the sensations I have ignored or dissociated away. It's not easy. the massages I've had have been helpful... not I'm working with someone who does "heartwork" and hypnoses. we are going to do a Soul Retrieval next week, which should be helpful in finding my way back to me.

take it slow... and hold that child tight.

Patricia Singleton said...

Shen, thank you. The work that you are doing is truly amazing to me. You also light the way for others to follow. I would love to find the key to these headaches and nausea. I will keep digging, going to deeper levels until I find my way back to the Light.

katie said...

dear patricia~ i'm sorry you're still suffering emotionally and physically, though i'm glad your symptoms have eased some.

i can relate to the nausea and headaches. i never thought of those as related to the abuse in my home. if i experienced those symptoms when my experience was not even physically violating like yours, i can't even imagine the pain you've gone through. i always thought it was because i didn't eat well and had allergies. and also i have thought as an adult reflecting back, that in my family, if you wanted attention at all, being sick worked. but though i did fake some for attention from my mother, i do remember excruciating headaches often and being a kid and having to take a little tylenol bottle with me everywhere i went. i remember lots of anti-nausea medicine. and i remember going to the nurse a lot. i never thought about the pain and sick stomach feeling being associated with the sexual threat hanging over my head and the shame feelings and secrecy i was internalizing in my family. though it makes sense. when i started to have my own "chosen" intimate experiences with peers as i grew older, i would always feel intensely nauseated in those experiences. just writing and remembering this now i can remember the feeling so vividly. i think that those feelings were the physical representations of fear, shame and disgust. from never having learned a healthy version of sexuality. and betraying and repressing my own instincts, going along with what other people wanted.

i totally believe the body stores memories and so when we're going back to the past and resolving old traumas, it can certainly bring up old physical symptoms as well. my first experience with a massage therapist was from a woman who specialized in helping women who'd been sexually abused or assaulted. she said the focus of her work was to help women get back in touch with their bodies, give them a space where they could feel empowered and in charge, and experience safe, non-sexual touch. she is the first person who told me that the body stores memories. she said once she had been working on a seemingly meaningless part of the body, like a shoulderblade, and the woman burst into tears, having recalled a trauma.

so yes, i believe you completely. and think you are not crazy at all. but very sane and brave and i appreciate you very much.

~~sending safe hugs and comfort to you and your inner children~~~

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, thank you. You input is so important to me right now. I remember a chiropractic appointment about 20 years ago and release feelings in me like you describe with the massage therapist. I cried nonstop for over an hour. I have a friend who is a massage therapist who is asking around to see if I can find a massage therapist here who does body work. Blessings and hugs to you.

Angela Artemis said...

Dear Patricia,
I'm overwhelmed by your story. I have never been through anything like what you're describing, but I do feel the writing out of your experiences really helping you. I believe it's also releasing a lot of toxicity into your body and causing your physical symptoms. Hopefully, once all the toxic memories are released you'll also be free of the physical symptoms.

Blessings to you.

Patricia Singleton said...

Angela, I am coming out of the overwhelm of a week ago myself. Yes, I believe my writing is also helping me. I hope you are right about the physical symptoms stopping soon. I was talking with a friend earlier and have decided to try Cranio-Sacral Chiropractic sessions to help with releasing the body memories. Someone told me that would help. We will see.

Hold Fast said...

Patricia,
I have had Cranio-Sacral therapy and it did help me. There were times I would burst into tears like you described at your chiropractic appointment. Also during my therapy I would say out loud, "I give my body permission to release the _______ (feelings of nausea). I am now safe from all past hurts."

I truly hope it also helps you. You are embarking on a huge step in your healing. What an inspiration you are.

Patricia Singleton said...

Hold Fast, thank you for this information. I will use your affirmation. I hope that this works for me. I will let everyone know if I have any success with this.

Dan L Hays said...

Patricia - Wow, I hear a lot of processing going on, and as you can imagine, I can completely relate!

I never had headaches, but upset stomachs were a part of life for me from an early age. If you remember my story "The Hunt" I lost my dinner when the drinking started and I was not safe! I was known as a picky eater and had many foods I just would not eat!

You are doing deep, powerful work! Keep going!
Warmly,
Dan

Patricia Singleton said...

Dan, thank you. I do remember your post "The Hunt." I just told my husband that I am so tired of feeling this way. There are other things I want to be doing and just don't have the energy to do them right now. I keep reminding myself of what Stash keeps saying on Dialogues With Dignity about being gentle with myself as I go through this process.

Colleen said...

When I go through something like this, I often feel like there is something wrong with me and I resist it all which, of course, makes everything worse. I have to remember that old but useful saying - I have to go thru the dark to get to the light.
I did not/do not have physical symptoms like you describe but it makes perfect sense to me. I think some of my physical ailments however have come from the abuse and my early resistance to facing it all.
Both my sister and I share physical problems that do not run in our family anywhere - such as kidney stones, hypertension, bladder problems, miscarriages. Notice that most of them have to do with genito-urinary systems. Hmmmm. I also have GERD, IBS, RA. I have been healthy all of my life so why all of this all of a sudden?
I think our bodies have a way of saying - hey look at me! I am hurting here!!
Hugs.

Patricia Singleton said...

Yes, Colleen, our bodies do work hard sometimes to get our attention. For many years, my awareness of what was going on in my body was shut down. That was my way to not face the incest, to stay in my head, totally disconnected from the neck down.

Just Be Real said...

Pat thank you for sharing another awesome post. I have similarities as Colleen at times. I too did not experience physical symptoms. Thank you for sharing dear one. ((((Pat))))

Patricia Singleton said...

JBR, thank you so much, especially for the hugs.

Patricia Singleton said...

Thanks to Dan L. Hays for including this blog post in the September 2010 Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: Inner Child edition found at http://danlhays.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/september-2010-blog-carnival-against-child-abuse-inner-child/
Check out all of the articles that were submitted to Dan this month. Be sure to leave a comment.