Not very long ago, I wrote an article about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I wanted to post an update about the sort of help I’ve received since.
Our biggest challenge has been to stop giving my deceased ex-husband the power to affect our lives. Not only did my daughter witness the abuse directed at me, but she was also encouraged to abuse, hate, defy me. Overcoming the effects of parental alienation has not been easy and it’s taken a long time to heal our relationship.
In recent months, I experienced a few PTSD episodes, triggered by conflicts with my daughter. Her behavior, during these conflicts, was reminiscent of her father’s behavior when he and I argued and, as a result, I had flashbacks to some very unpleasant events. When I conveyed my concerns to my therapist in one of our sessions, we both agreed to do a joint session with my daughter and the therapist working with her. During that session, we talked about what was happening and looked at how the current dynamic was similar to unpleasantries in my past. I knew that if we didn’t learn how to communicate, we would never learn how to resolve past and future issues effectively. Before the end of a very enlightening session, my daughter’s therapist suggested hypnotherapy and offered me a separate session, explaining that hypnosis was an effective way to deal with PTSD. I’d always found the idea of hypnosis intriguing and had some hope that it would work for me.
On the day of the session, we sat down and talked about what would happen when she hypnotized me. She had me visualize an abstract painting to represent my state of mind and I told her that I envisioned a chaotic splattering of colors, but they were dark colors and had no form in particular. She then asked me to tell her about my happy place and I described an orchard that was the setting of a book I’d read as a child. I had always imagined the rows of trees, vibrant leaves and fruit, a breeze blowing as I walked through the orchid and an overall sense of peace. We discussed what I wanted to happen as a result of the hypnosis; I told her that I wanted to take my power back and picture my ex as a weak entity who no longer posed a threat to me. I also wanted the anxiety to go away because I had spent so many years feeling constantly “on edge” as a result of the abuse.
When the hypnosis commenced, she had me focus on a point on my hand before telling me to close my eyes. She then began telling me to breathe and relax. I remember being fully aware of the ambient noise coming through her speaker and, also, the traffic outside. Her voice got distinctively lower until I couldn’t distinguish what she was saying after a while. I knew from research that I didn’t have to hear what she said because my sub-conscious was hearing her. There was a period when I thought she was whispering, but I couldn’t tell. Suddenly, I got the urge to visualize myself walking through the orchid and I couldn’t tell if it was my instinct or her suggestion. She was touching my arm until a certain point and then when she touched my arm again, she brought me back to the room. She asked me how I felt and I told her that I was very relaxed and “floaty” and “Zen calm”. She told me that she’d felt a surge of energy flow from my arm to her hand, which was a good sign. She also asked me if I’d had any specific thoughts while I was under and when I told her about the sudden urge to visualize myself walking through the orchard, she smiled and said, “That was me. I told you to do that.” I thought that was pretty cool.
The great thing is that I don’t feel anxiety anymore. The “Zen calm” is still with me. I used to feel apprehensive about conflicts with my daughter, but I now feel calm, regardless of what’s going on around me. If you have ever experienced hypnotherapy, I would love to hear your experiences. If you are considering hypnotherapy, I would be more than happy to share more about my experience with you and invite you to contact me.
As always, we’re here to help.
Book recommendation: Instant Self-Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Yourself with Your Eyes Open (Click on the link for more information!).