The Unbearable Wound

 

I follow the #MeToo movement closely because it addresses a reality that is central to my existence. Sexual abuse trauma dominates my emotional life. I was never sexually abused myself; however, my mother was. Her sexual abuse impacted her ability to be a loving mother to me. I recently became aware of the depth of this reality when I read a paragraph about what it is like to be in relationship with a narcissist.

A relationship with a narcissist is a desperate relationship where you are always feeling vulnerable, worthless, hated, constantly explaining yourself, silenced, punished, and traumatized. What is it that you are actually doing wrong? Nothing!1

This describes what it was like to be my mother’s daughter. Extreme abuse can engender a particular type of narcissism. My mother, a victim of sexual abuse, needed to throw her own negative feelings about herself onto me in order to live with the unbearable truth and pain of her experience. I experience my relationship with her as something in me that always feels a need to defend myself and is sure that there is no love or margin of error available to me.

Wholebody Focusing as a Way to Heal Sexual Abuse Trauma

The dominance of this felt sense in my life became clear to me one day as I was preparing for a medical test. Try as I might, I couldn’t clear my mind and relax. Thoughts of random moments in the past in which I felt traumatized by interactions with others kept surfacing. There were so many from such a wide variety of different points in my life that I became completely overwhelmed. I slowed down and connected to the energy of the Earth.  I paused with this sense of overwhelm.  A new realization eventually emerged—it was futile to try to hold space for any or all of the fast shifting narratives floating through me.

In the space that the pause allowed, I asked my body what it needed. I began to experience the feeling of being unloved and the urge to defend myself from outside attack as my normal state of being.  While this was a very unpleasant feeling/realization, it relieved me of the impulse to review past narratives in which I felt this way.  I could redirect my energy into being with this wounded place with compassion and love instead of finding arguments and justifications presumably to make it feel better. A great sense of relief opened as I held space for this wounded place in this way.
This new relationship with the something in me that frequently feels unloved and under attack is now in my consciousness. I know that when I am feeling unloved and under attack, being with this sensation with compassion and love helps this wounded place to heal. The more I acknowledge these feelings the more they heal and the obsessive thoughts of past narratives fall away.

How Can our Society Heal?

The collective consciousness of women and men around the world is awakening to how sexual abuse lives in the bodies of its victims. It impacts its victims, their children, and possibly others who come in contact with survivors. By allowing sexual abuse to be so tacitly and widely acceptable in our society, we have created a class of people who struggle to love and accept themselves.

My mother spent her life fleeing from the trauma of her abuse while passing that trauma on to her family.  What she needed was someone to stop her perpetrator. She also needed support so that she could heal from her trauma.  In the early 20th century those resources were not available to her and our family felt the impact of the abuse that she suffered.

As a society we need to understand the gravity of sexual abuse and the long-term consequences to the victims and their progeny.  Sexual abuse has to stop now. Whatever remedies we put into place to prevent sexual abuse have to be unambiguous actions with real consequences that leave no room for perpetrators to continue their destructive behavior. We must also pair new laws and real consequences against sexual abuse with programs to help heal those who have been wounded whenever it happened. Moreover, there needs to be support for sexual abusers to heal whatever trauma they carry which may have started with their own sexual abuse. Wholebody Focusing stands in the forefront of practices that can support that healing.

I look forward to continuing my own journey to heal and the journey that is awakening around the world to end sexual abuse against all human beings.

Diana Scalera

1 Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @http://www.amazon.com/ Charm-Harm-Everything-Narcissist-Narcissistic/dp/1523820179/ref=sr_1_1? s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462614209&sr=1-1&keywords=from+charm+to+harm

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Diana Scalera

I am a Certified Wholebody Focusing Professional and Reiki Master Level III. I am interested in the cross-section between Wholebody focusing and energy work. I offer Reiki treatments in person and at a distance. I am also available to train clients in WBF. Please contact me at wbf285@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “The Unbearable Wound”

  1. Dear Diana

    Something just came right away, a sense of mother and her suffering that had no support in her life, and you, her child, who felt alone, maybe feel attacked or abandoned in a suffering you do not understand, and ask “what have I done to deserve this?”

    I can feel that, and especially feel that ungrounded sense of what is going on inside you that is so traumatizing and you wonder why, and there is nothing to hold on to that feels solid and perhaps supportive to quiet yourself so that you can find yourself once again, separate for her and her trauma! It is like being caught in something that is not of your own making, and yet it fills you with this sense of ungrounding suffering and panic.

    You have found words here that I feel others can resonate with that suggested possibilities of what to do and where to go or what needs to change in the larger picture of life. Kevin

  2. Dear Diana,
    What a lot for a young girl to have to carry around and to bear. I am so sorry for that little girl who deserved love and kindness instead of bearing the brunt of your Mothers pain, that must have been so hard.
    When I was reading I felt so happy when you said you paused and made space which enabled you to redirect to what was happening this moment. To turn toward yourself with compassion and love instead of reliving past narratives. It felt good in me to hear that.
    I also like your passion and strong advocating for help and awareness of this huge problem. I am glad more people can speak out and have with the me too movement. I hope the narrative is changing but we still have a long way to go. I have unspoken wounds inside me too about this because there was no one to hear and no one wanted to hear, they want it ignored so it will disappear. Its too shameful and whats the point it wont get you anywhere they say.
    I can have empathy for your Mum who no one heard her about what happened or stopped her perpetrator or held him accountable or maybe even believed her. Mostly I feel for a little girl who felt unloved and had to protect herself from attacks. I am glad she has you now.
    Hurt people hurt people so I suppose love for ourselves must be the antidote.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    #metoo

  3. Dear Kevin,

    It was so wonderful to read these words…

    “especially feel that un-grounded sense of what is going on inside you that is so traumatizing and you wonder why, and there is nothing to hold on to that feels solid and perhaps supportive to quiet yourself so that you can find yourself once again.”

    What I did with these feelings was to create an inner court room in which I would argue my case against all the blame and harsh treatment that seldom got to be spoken out loud because it would just make the situation worse.

    No one else has ever noticed what was happening with me before let alone been able to describe it. This is a gift I will honor forever.

    Thank you. Diana

  4. Dear Gabrielle,

    Thank you for your comment and your concern for my little one who had to live through her mother’s anguish as if it were her own. What I want for people to come away with is that there is a way to heal.

    By finding grounded presence and asking our bodies what we need, an answer will come. It just may take a while before common ground can be found between what we are asking for and what our bodies need and understand.

    I am also so grateful to you and other contributor’s and followers who have participated in my journey, gave my suffering the recognition it deserves and are holding space for what comes next.

    Thank you for your support.

    Diana

  5. Dear Diana,

    Thank you for sharing this realisation, this new way of rising from the pattern. The trauma your mother suffered not only affected her life but profoundly affected yours too. Reading your description of your ability to pause and make space which enabled you to redirect to what was happening in that moment. To turn toward yourself with compassion and love instead of reliving past narratives…. I am so grateful that you have found a way to break the pattern and a way to share this way with others. Such relief – we are still only hearing about damage done. You are presenting a way forward to healing. Thank you. Katherine.

  6. Dear Diana

    Yes, thank you for clarifying what you wanted, as I re read slowly (very hard for me) I could really feel that. The importance of Wholebody Focusing as a way to heal from sexual abuse and trauma. I also got that when you paused and listened to your body just as it was in that moment of overwhelm feeling all that trauma it bought you right to the present moment where the healing could happen rather than going through the old narratives. This takes much practice I think!
    Asking the body in its own deep wisdom “what do you need” and knowing it may take time for the understanding and the answers to come. My body sure doesn’t trust me with this….yet!

    These words – to end sexual abuse against all human beings. Yes…I am with you in this. Wouldn’t that be progress in the right direction.

    Many thanks for your openness and wisdom.

    Gabe

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