Healing Trauma: Abortion and Open-heart Surgery
This article was written by one of my clients who chose to remain anonymous. I’ll call her Sally. She was a smart business leader whom people respected. She felt confident at work, but she had trouble forming meaningful friendships. She felt empty inside.
When Sally began the Deep Emotional Healing Retreat, she had no idea that her difficulty was rooted in unresolved trauma. This story illustrates how quickly transformation can occur when we do body-based emotional-spiritual healing. Breathwork accesses unconscious memories, which rarely surface in talk therapy. That’s why breathwork is such a powerful therapeutic tool.
Here’s Sally’s story.
For a long time, I had been living in my head and keeping my distance from people. I wanted to get in touch with my spiritual heart.
My objectives for the Deep Emotional Healing Retreat were to make a deeper connection with myself and others.
During the first breathwork session, I experienced pain and a tight knot in my pelvic area. It was so painful that I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
Benita applied pressure on the spot with her hands and coached me to breathe through the pain. It finally subsided.
Afterward the breathwork session we drew pictures. I realized that I was angry and agitated. The experience reminded me of the time when I was 20 years old when my ex-husband forced me to have an abortion against my will.
I experienced great pain, guilt and grief, and I think about it still. I am very angry with myself for allowing someone else to have such control over me.
Benita and I decided to have another healing session the second day of the retreat. This is what I experienced during the breathwork healing session:
We said prayers and played music and everyone sat close to me for support. I started breathing deeply, and I felt the painful knot in my stomach. My body started contorting and I had to sit up. People laid their hands on me for support. I shouted, “No, No, No! Leave Me Alone!” And then after a few minutes, I screamed, “Help Me, Help Me!” I repeated these words over and over, feeling them deeply. This went on for a long time.
Finally, I laid back down and I felt very calm and peaceful.
Benita asked me questions about what happened. I said that I had wanted my daughter here with me on the physical plane. I always knew that this child was a girl. I felt like I was talking to my daughter on a spiritual plane. She explained that she knew that this pregnancy would not reach term and that we were not going to be together on the physical plane.
My daughter said that she is always very close to me, and she does not blame me in any way.
I felt very calm and peaceful after this experience.
Later the next week, I had more insights about this experience. The feelings, sensations and words that I spoke during the healing session reminded me of another traumatic time in my life.
When I was eight years old, I had open-heart surgery and was in the hospital for several months. It was a terrifying experience.
To make matters worse, I was in a training hospital so each morning 10-12 doctors would come into my room. They asked me questions and took blood. I was under an oxygen tent, and I would crawl up into the tent and tuck the corners under me. I screamed at them to go away and leave me alone.
It was a very scary feeling of helplessness. It took many years to be able to go to the doctor and get a shot or have them take blood without getting scared and crying.
During the breathwork session, I was curled up like I was in the oxygen tent. I screamed at them to leave me alone. I begged for help like I tried to do when I was eight years old.
During both of these experiences, I felt great helplessness like I had no control over what was happening to me. But with Benita’s support and the help of the group, I was able to fully process the painful experiences and sensations. I was able to breathe through them instead of holding the pain and the emotions in my body.
Immediately after the breathwork sessions and now a week later, the physical and emotional pain of these two traumatic experiences no longer haunts me. I feel a kind of inner peace I’ve never known before. I find it easier to emotionally connect with people.
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If you’d like to experience deep emotional healing, contact Benita A. Esposito for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview to see if her psychotherapy, life coaching and spiritual counseling is a good fit for you.
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Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor credentials.
Offices in Atlanta (Sandy Springs) and Blairsville, GA.
Distance counseling is available via phone and videoconference from the comfort of your own home.