A sexual trauma survivor reclaims her life, after years of nightmares, flashbacks, anxieties, phobias and avoiding life, thanks to a skilled therapist who specializes in this problem, and imagery, meditation and EMDR and EFT.. I wanted to let you know that I’m one of those people who was severely traumatized as a child, through repeated sexual molestation by a relative, and then retraumatized as an adult, through domestic violence and multiple rapes, courtesy of my husband.

I was very nonfunctional for over a half dozen years that spanned my thirties and early forties. I barely left the house, except when I absolutely had to. I was subject to terrible waves of anxiety, shaking and nausea at the thought of taking my car to the carwash or going to the grocery store. I didn’t sleep because of nightmares. I was pathologically thin and suffered from anorexia. There’s more but the main point was I didn’t think there was any hope for me, for ever having a normal life. Each day was something to get through.

By luck or divine intervention or both, I wound up at the doorstep of a wonderful therapist, who happened to be an expert at hypnosis, guided imagery, EMDR, EFT and Somatic Experiencing. These are all techniques that I have since learned are first line therapies for what I had - post traumatic stress. That was a happy accident. I didn’t know what to look for in a counselor.

I was taught to use self-hypnosis and imagery for when the anxiety started building. I also used it to help me sleep. I was surprised at the way it worked so well. I was told that this was precisely because I was a trauma survivor. We survivors of incest really know how to go into a trance. We do it all the time, whether we’re trying to or not.

I attacked specific memories and images through the EMDR, EFT and SE techniques. They made an immediate difference in some things. Others were more resistant. To this day, I still startle when surprised by loud noises or a sudden touch I didn’t see coming. But I am a different person, after only two and a half years of various therapies and aids. I will continue with them to make sure I get all the benefit there is to get.

I can honestly say I am well on my way to being happy and fulfilled. Most of my anxiety is gone. I gathered the courage to leave my husband. I have gone back to work, as a counselor in a domestic violence shelter. I sing with joy in my church choir. I have made wonderful new friends. I am normal weight and I almost never obsess about food. I am deeply grateful for each day. I love my new strength.

I wanted people who have suffered similarly to know this. I remember how hopeless I once felt, and I know there are others who feel the same. It seems like another lifetime and a different person now!

God Bless.