One of the things I am frequently asked about in my practice is, How do I go about finding out if I was sexually injured or not?
This is an important subject, and one deserving of material here on our EFT Tapping Training.com website. However, before reading further, please note that some of the material may be upsetting to some readers. If you find yourself triggered by this material, please either do some Orienting Tapping, stop reading the article entirely and consider working with a skilled practitioner to help you through the source of those strong feelings.
Here are seventeen signs that you might have something of a sexual nature to be concerned about from your past:
It is important to note that just because you are able to identify some of these issues in yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have some sort of sexual injury, having been sexually violated or molested. Every one of these signs can be attributed to having experienced some sort of intense emotional experience of some kind. Being kind and compassionate with yourself as you start the process of asking what might have happened is by far the most important aspect of dealing with this. So is seeing a mental health care professional.
Memory loss is the sign or symptom that many find the most disconcerting, so let me talk about why this happens and what it means. It has been said that the biggest red flag in childhood sexual injury or abuse is memory loss. Neuroscience shows that episodic memories before age four are almost impossible to access consciously, and this is referred to as Childhood if Infantile Amnesia. Our minds have the capacity to keep some things conscious and others that may be difficult to deal with unconscious. This helps us move on with our lives instead of constantly re-living past negative experiences. Our brains are selective for our survival to allow us easy access to some memories and others that are traumatic are often kept away from our conscious recall or retrieval. If you remember the first time you kissed the love of your life or your recall what the room looked like when you gave birth to your 1st child, you’ll see what I mean, depending on what those memories are like for you.
Sexually charged memories, particularly those associated with sexual injury, often come up as fragments or snippets of information. Someone may come to me with only a picture of themselves scared in bed, or hiding in a closet, or perhaps with the thought of a seemingly innocuous item such as a teddy bear. What these snippets have in common is that they for the person, they are disturbing or anxiety provoking. Suppressed memories are those that we feel are coming up to the surface that we want to consciously reject. Repressed memories are those that we don’t even know are there. Delayed recall memories are those in which you will at some point in the future be able to have conscious memory of an event. Often times with EFT, clients will feel a sense of safety and then they are able to have access to things they never remembered before.
And the sexual injury does not have to have been actually inflicted. In my practice I once worked with a young man who was beaten for playing doctor when he was a child playing with a young girl friend from school. What was conscious for this client was that he was taking his pants off in an attic when he was about 5 years old. That’s it. He was terrified of what he’d find if he allowed himself to remember. At the same time he felt terrified of continuing his life without knowing. After we tapped on the memory, he was able to recall the complete memory. He actually did take his pants off, the little girl took her dress off. They laid there next to each other and then she said, “We are making a baby”. That’s it. As they were about to put their clothes back on his mother came in and saw them. Later when his father came home from work, he was beaten. His mind had prevented him from accessing the entire memory because of the beating. One of the ways to use EFT for yourself in these situations is to tap on what you feel about the gaps in memory, the fear that there might be something bigger that you aren’t aware of, and finding a way to love and accept yourself either way.
I’ve come to realize that sometimes fear is just fear. Sometimes the negative experience can be from the aftermath of an event more than the actual event. And sometimes there is a blaze in the horizon when smoke is detected.