Grief and Abandonment
A first class look at using EFT for a complex case - depression, guilt, grief and abandonment
Hi Everyone,Follow along with EFT Master Sophia Cayer as she professionally unravels a case that wasn't what it seemed at first. As Sophia says, "When someone makes the comment that they have a tendency to ignore people, events, etc, I view it as a major trail that generally requires extensive exploration. This tendency could be a core issue behind resistance, get busy tapping! It is always worthwhile Hugs, Gary Craig
I feel this story offers a great example of the need to tune in and always consider the fact that what may appear to be the "obvious reason" for someone's grief and discomfort, may simply be a clue to a number of underlying causes. It also illustrates the value of dissecting events. While the loss of her husband was a major contributing factor, I soon discovered many aspects linked to Marta's continual despair.
Initially when I spoke with Marta, she told me that her husband had died about five years ago. She continued to feel consumed by grief and depression. It was affecting every area of her life and she was hoping that EFT could help. When we began to work together, it became apparent that there was much more to the story.
One of the core issues uncovered was her tendency to stuff or repress memories and emotions. She referred to it as "a tendency to 'ignore people and things' that left me feeling uncomfortable". This was true when it came to the loss of her husband, as well as many other "people and things" in her life. Unfortunately, she had done an excellent job of stuffing a ton of events and related emotional baggage. It was definitely taking its toll.
A major trauma she experienced at the age of five, was not as cooperative as many of the others. Marta, now in her sixties, explained that as a child she and her family lived in a Latin American country. One event she wanted to work on dealt with her father abandoning her. While her feelings of abandonment were definitely an issue, the focus rapidly changed.
She began to tell the story of the day her father left. He came home and told her mother to put his clothes in a suit case, because he was leaving them to live with another woman. He left them with no way to pay the rent or buy food. There was no food in the house, and her mother had a single penny in her possession. She sent Marta to the store to purchase sugar so that they could at least have sugar water before going to bed.
Marta's intensity was on the rise, but she was determined to tell me more. I began to tap surrogately, as I frequently do. The next words out of her mouth were that she had lost the penny, and the tears began to roll. "I felt so guilty because I lost the penny."
I had her begin at the top of the head:
"Even though I have all this guilt, I love and accept myself.
All this guilt, all this guilt... I really screwed up,
I love and forgive myself, all this guilt, I lost it, all this guilt, this guilt..."
We were making progress, but had a way to go. Pay attention to the shift in language, sometimes addressing the little girl and sometimes the adult. This tends to be pure intuition. I emphasize to all my students that developing and trusting their intuition is one of their most valuable tools.
"Even though I lost that penny and I feel really guilty, I love and forgive myself.
Even though I lost that penny, I love and forgive myself.
I didn't do it on purpose. I was only a little bitty girl. I was doing the best that I could.
I still feel guilty, I love and forgive myself. All this guilt... this sad little girl.
I still feel guilty, I love and forgive myself.
All this guilt... this sad little girl filled with guilt, I love and forgive this little girl.
She had a lot going on, she was traumatized already, then she lost that penny and she is filled with guilt,
loving and adoring this little girl... loving and forgiving this little girl, letting her know that I love and adore her...
letting her know that it is OK now... healing this little girl, from all this guilt and pain.
Healing this little girl from all this guilt and pain... letting go of all this guilt and pain..."
The level of intensity had decreased greatly, but I could feel something else gaining intensity. I stopped to make a determination and learned that Marta's attention had shifted to "the image burnt in my mind". It was the image of her mother's face, filled with anger and desperation. The tears began to roll as she told me about returning home. Mom accused her of being silly and stupid, and yelled at her: "Now we are going to have nothing!", as she slapped Marta.
"Even though this little girl had this awful experience, her mother said some really unkind things, I love and adore this little girl.
Even though this little girl, can't get this image out of her mind. Her mother's anger and desperation, I love and adore this little girl.
Even though this little girl still has that image in her mind, her mother's anger and desperation, I love and adore this little girl.
I heal this little girl from that awful event and I am letting her know it is OK to let go of this image.
This sad little girl, who can't let go, of that image of mom's face. This sad little girl who can't let go of that image of mom's face.
This sad, frightened little girl, who still sees mom's face. She still sees that anger and desperation.
I now heal this little girl from all that sadness. I love and adore this little girl.
I now heal this little girl from that awful experience. Loving and adoring this little girl."
As we worked through it, she sobbed, but chose to continue. The next piece that came up dealt with her feelings about provoking Mom.
"Even though I feel I provoked Mom... I love and forgive myself.
Even though I am sure I provoked her, I didn't mean to, I love and forgive myself.
This deep sadness and all this guilt... I feel I provoked her, all this sadness and guilt.
I felt I provoked her, I love and forgive myself... I was only 5 years old, but I provoked her.
I can still see her face. She slapped me! This stunned disbelief. I couldn't believe she slapped me.
I provoked her. Stunned disbelief...all this guilt and sadness..."
I stopped to reassess and she felt she was now at a 5. We continued:
"Even though I still feel that I provoked her, it was all my fault, I love and forgive myself.
Even though I am still blaming myself, I provoked her, I love and forgive myself.
Even though I still blame myself, because I feel I provoked her,
I deeply and completely love, honor, respect and accept myself unconditionally.
I provoked her and she slapped me. All this guilt and sadness. This stunned disbelief, I provoked her.
I love and forgive myself. I love and forgive myself.
Even though I was only 5 I managed to provoke her. I love and forgive myself.
All this guilt and sadness, this guilt and sadness... loving and forgiving myself, stunned disbelief, I can't believe she slapped me.
This guilt and sadness. This stunned disbelief, I still see her face filled with anger and desperation.
She took it all out on me. She made me feel like it was all my fault.
I love and forgive myself, I love and forgive myself... all this guilt and sadness, this remaining guilt and sadness, remaining guilt and sadness... remaining stunned disbelief..."
The tears had stopped and she sounded much calmer. We began to reassess. I asked her to do her best to focus solely on the feeling that she provoked mom. She felt no intensity. I inquired about the slap. She felt it was now at a 3, but said she seemed to be realizing that mom was reacting to her father's abandonment and probably not what she had done. Ah, ha! Yes, we are making progress!!
"Even though mom slapped me, I am OK anyway... she slapped me, this slap, this slap...
She was really angry, and she slapped me, she slapped me..."
She said she was feeling much better, but was now seeing herself in the middle of the street, wondering what was would become of them. "All this responsibility and I couldn't perform. I felt a sense of panic. I had to find that penny! It was just a dirt road, it was getting dark. I dropped the penny and couldn't find it!"
"Even though I still see myself in the middle of that street, I had to find that penny.
I was really frightened. I love and accept myself.
Even though I still see myself searching for that penny, panicked and frightened.
It was getting dark and I couldn't see anything.
Even though I still see myself in the middle of that street frightened and panicked.
Where is that penny! Frightened and panicked. Where is that penny? I have to find it!!!
What am I going to do if I can't find it? Frightened and panicked.
Frightened, frightened, what am I going to do?
What is going to happen to us? This frightened little girl...."
Even though she ended up in tears as we tapped, she now said she was beginning to feel freer and more relaxed.
I had her go back to the beginning and attempt to tell the story, telling her to stop the instant she felt any intensity. It was only a moment before I had her go to the top of her head and begin to tap:
"This deep sadness, this image of mom, packing his clothes.
This image of mom packing his clothes, this image of her packing his clothes. This image..."
Once again, I had her try to tell the story. She commented: "Now I think my father was such a S.O.B.!" She also had the realization that much of r sorrow was related to what her mother experienced. She told me that until now she never realized how intense those feelings were, or that she had carried them all these years. She began to recall many scenes when her father had been abusive and disrespectful to her mothe.
"Even though I have all this mom sadness, I am OK anyway. Even though I have all this mom sadness, I choose peace within. I choose peace... in spite of all this sadness, I choose peace, I choose peace within..."
She then began to feel at fault for many things that had taken place.
"Even though I have all this deep sadness, I am still making this my fault, I love and forgive myself. Even though I have all this deep sadness, I am blaming myself, I love and forgive myself... it is all my fault, this deep sadness, I am a very powerful little girl, it is all my fault, it is all my fault. I made everything worse... I love and forgive myself. Even though I have all this deep sadness, I love and forgive myself, I love and forgive myself."
We finally reached a point where I felt we could begin to test things. She was handling things well, so I tried saying: "You made it worse!" Her intensity began to return:
"Even though I am determined to carry this guilt, I love and forgive myself. Even though I am determined to carry this guilt, I love and adore myself. Even though I have this remaining guilt, that I can't seem to let go of, I love and adore myself. Even though I have this remaining guilt, I love and forgive myself..."
The next time while we were testing, I tried: "Well, it was all your fault!"Her immediate response was: "Well, no it wasn't!"I had her attempt the story again. She was doing quite well until she got to her father's departure. "He didn't kiss me or say goodbye, he just left."
"Even though he left without even saying good bye, I am OK anyway. Even though he left without saying goodbye, I am OK anyway... no goodbye, not even a goodbye, no goodbye... he didn't say a word to me, no goodbye, not a word. Not a single word. Not a word, no goodbye..."
At this point we were back to feelings of guilt. His leaving had to be the result of something she had done. It was the first time she could ever recall experiencing these feelings. In the past, the gripping image of Mom's face and the emotions she experienced around losing the penny were what had triggered her. She began to jump around a bit, and felt overcome with sadness, saying the guilt part didn't seem to matter. She said: "I now feel full of tears, I don't want to think about it anymore... To the top of the head:
"This deep sadness, this deep grief and sadness, this unending deep sadness, this deep sadness..."
Now all the old abandonment issues began to surface, and she began to reel off a list of people she felt had abandoned her. Marta said she felt that everyone in her life she deemed important had abandoned her, including the husband. It was obvious that we needed to begin to address individual situations, but for the moment, we tapped to take the edge off her rapidly rising emotions:
"Even though I am incredibly angry, I feel cheated, I give everything and get nothing in return... I love an accept myself. Even though everybody who ever meant anything to me in my life has cheated me, they abandoned me, I have given and given. All this anger and these mixed emotions... everybody has done it to me, I feel cheated, this anger..."
Marta reached a calmer state, and also began to realize herself, the value of addressing those "things she thought were so neatly tucked away.
When someone makes the comment that they have a tendancy to ignore people, events, etc, I view this as a major trail that generally requires extensive exploration. This tendance could be a core issue behind resistance, get busy tapping! It is always worthwhile.
Wishing you the best in all your endeavors!
Sophia Cayer, EFT Master