Behavioral patterns may not necessarily come from single incident which defines the wound that a child carries. A series of unrelated traumas can overlay one another in such a way that cripple the adult until the patterns of all related childhood and even pre childhood incidents is accessed.
The Hidden Patterns of a Wounded Child
At different times through the year, Fiona presents different moods, different physical symptoms, self-sabotage patterns - you know, the sort of thing that has been listed in all of the classic Psychotherapy and counseling textbooks.
Transpersonal Therapy with Fiona
Throughout our time together, I have known that Fiona is not to blame for the moods and emotions that she displays - or even the reactions that sometimes surface in our relationship together.
Quite simply, the reasoning, thinking mind is not capable of "seeing" all of the interrelated patterns. Over the years we have been together, we have done process after process with individual events .. usually followed by her crying to me "I've done the best I can and I still cannot get it right" ..
What follows is some of the pattern of traumas which we unraveled together. Yes, she knew all of these things because we had gone over and over them .. but it was not until we accessed a memory held in her stomach that the whole lot came out (quite literally) and things started to settle ..
To assist in resolving all of the patterns, we used the pattern sheet that can be found in the Self-Help section of this site
A defining Childhood Trauma took place in February (the beginning of the school year here in Australia) as Fiona started a new school. She was 7 years old and the family had just moved from one end of the state to the other because of fathers work commitments.
In this Catholic School, children took their lunch to school in brown paper bags with their name on them. Although Fiona had difficulties eating the food her mother made for her (another story), she ate all of her lunch and threw the empty brown paper bag (with her name on it} into the rubbish bin.
As it seems, another child went to the rubbish bin and disposed of their uneaten lunch by taking it out of their own bag and placing it in the bag with Fiona's name on it.
After an hour in the midday sun, you can imagine what the garbage bin smelt like, but that didn't stop the Nun - a sister Michael checking out the rubbish bin. Having found the supposedly discarded and uneaten lunch, Fiona was made to sit up the front of the class in front of all of the other students and forcibly made to eat this "second lunch".
Of course, no-one (least of all the nun) would listen to her protests, the rest of the class made fun of her and when she went home and told her parents, they did nothing.
What must be remembered in this sort of therapy is that, at 7 years of age, Fiona didn't have the words "nausea", "humiliation", "bullying", "victim", "fearful", "scapegoat" etc.
What came to her was a series of images, tastes, smells and the emotions (which she had to put words around) of being forced to eat someone else's bad tasting food in front all her friends .. something that she had to stomach that came out of the garbage can .. whilst being stood over by a red headed Irish RC Sister named Michael .. being powerless, unsupported and not believed.
Simple incident .. you get the picture .. ?
Not so simple. Where do you think the images were stored in Fiona's body - beyond words. What are the defining patterns that were set in motion by this one incident .. what beliefs would be set up by these defining patterns? Conventional Therapy says that one should be able to deal with this, get over it and get on with life.
Pointers and Clues - remember the red head, remember that the garbage sandwich had chicken, tomato and lettuce. Remember it was February, remember it was at the start of a new school, a new school year and, that she was in that school because of her father.
Maybe, the advice would even be "let go and let God" - fat chance of that - what would her relationship with "god" be when this was a church school and the "perpetrator" was a Mother Superior - a "Bride of God".
A hidden Memory ..
7 years earlier, when Fiona was born (so her mother even now tells the story) the baby was looked on with bitter disappointment because it was not a Red Head. Mother had a pre-occupation with red haired children, and has prayed for a red haired child to replace her own red haired sister who had died when she was very young.
This time we were not only dealing with Fiona's images (at birth, she had no words for the look on her mother's face or the way her mother pushed the new-born away, but we had mother's own words.
So, what we have is three associated images - mother's obsession with a red haired female, mother's rejection of Fiona because she was not, and a Red haired nun is a Mother Superior (and mother believed the nun's story when Fiona told her about the lunch incident.
We're not finished yet ..
Fiona's brother had red hair and mother hated boys. He married a red head and their first born was the answer to mother's prayers - a red haired little girl.
Fiona's mother developed an obsession with the grandchild. The child's mother got jealous of Fiona's relationship with this child (Fiona was an early childhood learning teacher) and stopped Fiona seeing her niece ..
Oh .. and one other thing .. there was the favorite Aunty in the Family .. a red-head .. and then there was the cousin (a red head) who was sent on a scholarship (by the RC School) to Rome to study singing ..
OK .. are you starting to see some of the interweave here .. how simple things like time and space, color and taste, image and memory all tie in together to form a matrix .. ?
Not so fast ...
Trauma from the Unconscious
As we find out with a little prodding and digging, February is rather significant in the Life-Cycle of Fiona. 3 months before she was born, her mother went into high blood pressure with associated hysteria and nearly miscarried .. the trauma of moving while pregnant. Not just a simple move, but again, because of father's job, back to her mother's house as a "transit stop" ..
So here we have mother, father, move .. and an almost "death" ..and we'll add to it that mother's mother also lost a couple of children at about 6 months .. How are we going here .. can you start to see the build up of the matrix yet .. ?
Lets add another juicy layer .. remember, in the primary incident, Fiona was 7 years old (you'll see the significance of this in the pattern chart) ..
From birth, Fiona would projectile vomit all of the food that her mother tried to feed her - firstly breast milk and later formula when the breast was rejected. Here we have another image, taste, smell; a memory that the brain has no comprehension of or words for, stored in the digestive tract, a first experience of mother's food being unpalatable .. yet being forced to "swallow it" ..
Now, I'm going to stop here (yes, there's a whole lot more to this weave) and let you digest that little lot .. see if you can figure out what sort of cumulative effects this could have had on the life style of Fiona - and her relationships with the world around her ..
For example ..
- What would be the unconscious reaction (from the stomach) if Fiona started a new job (in February) and discovered that her immediate superior was a red head female who spoke with a slight accent .. especially if this person was a bit of a "bully" .. ?
- Why would be Fiona's reaction on meeting an old school friend who bought her a chicken, lettuce and tomato sandwich result in her collapse and being taken to Hospital .. ?
- Could you see any reason why Fiona might get nervous or depressed or suffer attacks of biliousness to the point of not being able to eat anything every February .. to the point of collapsing at age 14, 28 and 42 .. ?
- Could you see any connection as to why, in Fiona's own search to heal her wounded child, there was so much grief and pain came up concerning her childhood experiences with both her mother and the Roman Catholic Church .. ?
It sounds quite simple, written out like this, but this pattern has plagued Fiona every year. Therapists have, in the past, identified some of the trauma incidents and, until she met me, Fiona had gone through the process of cutting the ties, burning letters, talking about it .. sought Spiritual Healing ..
BUT .. it wasn't until we started working with the tastes and the smells she was experiencing, got her familiar enough with her body to talk to her throat and stomach to recover those images, played with brown paper bags with sandwiches in them that things started to move ...
after she came home hysterical from her new job one February day this year .. after she had been bullied by her red headed boss ... and after the "process", it took her a week of gastric upset to get all of toxins out of her system