For eight years Sammy had been plagued with depression and almost constant fatigue and dull aching pain in her whole body. She couldn't focus on anything and was starting to lose faith in life.
She had tried everything from anti depressants to mindfulness meditation and had even become a vegan. She had seen countless therapists. Nothing had worked.
The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her and reluctantly diagnosed her with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME myalgic encephalomyelitis). Since receiving her diagnosis she was struggling to stay awake past 1pm in the afternoon, had lost her job and now her marriage was under pressure.
Her young children were playing up at school and she would frequently lose her temper and then felt immense guilt for taking it out on them. She arrived to see me feeling like she had almost lost all hope that anything could change.
Sammy's depth of trauma awareness was limited. She felt like she had a relatively stable upbringing. She talked about the family dog dying when she was 7 and that's all she could disclose or remember. When I asked her what she would talk about and work on with other therapists she replied, 'mostly how bad I felt and how much I was struggling'
That in itself, was important. The struggle.
I found myself more engrossed in Sammy's story than normal. I noticed a feeling of awe within me as I felt her determination to find a cure for herself. She really had tried so many things over the course of the last 8 years. I kind of felt proud of her. I was a little confused though- where were these feelings coming from? Who was I to her? The transference had begun.
'I feel really comfortable with you' Sammy said as she lay down on the treatment table. 'I don't know why because I don't even know you.'
I was surprised but I felt the immediate resonance. She was trusting me with her body.
I could feel her system reaching out to mine and I felt something within me, trying to reach back out to her. I attuned to this dynamic and allowed it to develop.
What was really going on here in the unconscious field?
Feeling Sammy's structural system revealed severe cranial base compression and a strong left torsion in her neck. Her cranium was tight, almost like a rock or nut and fluid felt like it was struggling to flow. There was a strong tugging that was coming from her right shoulder. Her kidneys and adrenals were depleted and imbalanced and energetically her legs were kicking back and forward although there was no physical movement and she had very little sensation in her legs. There was a deep level of dissociation and her body lay almost frozen on the table whilst she struggled to feel. Her emotional body however, was screaming for it's life. In a desperate fight for survival I felt deep within her a gut wrenching fear of death.
Contact and the transference field
I suddenly felt a huge wave of exhaustion wash over me. I looked at the clock and noticed it had only been fifteen minutes. I felt like I had been treating forever. What was happening?
This level of exhaustion in the field was important. I let it develop and evolve. Suddenly the kicking became stronger. Sammy began to grown uncomfortably in her own body. Images flashed before me of a tiny baby fighting for it's life. An exhausted and depleted mother at her wits end. I could feel it all. We were in the transference field and I had become the mother.
'How do I get out of this?' was the only question that reverberated though the room. I suspected it was both of our questions. I suspected that at some point, both Sammy's baby body and her mothers had both been battling with this question.
An image appeared. A tiny baby with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around its neck. The baby's face was blue. Sammy's body began twisting and her breathing became shallower.
'Sammy, what do you know about your birth?'
'I was just about to tell you- I can see my birth right now. I have the umbilical cord around my neck. I can't get it off....' her voice trailed off into the silence.' She was fading away into a state of dissociation. A state she had found herself in for the rest of her childhood and adult life.
'Shall we take this cord off together?' I asked
'Yes...I'm scared..but yes' she replied
I began to release the cranial compression rapidly whilst also supporting an expansion of her entire cranium and energetic grounding of her sacrum. This led to length in the spine and neck and a rapid fascial unwinding. I released frantic panic and fear from her nervous system and a choking sensation left her throat. The kicking stopped and she began to breathe. I continued to support the unwinding of her entire body and all the emotions that came with it.
Sammy cried tears of relief as her body softened and relaxed, releasing a lifetime of fear and exhaustion.
Due to her difficult birth she had not only held onto her newborn exhaustion but had also held onto the exhaustion of her own mother, absorbing her fatigue and fear to try to make up for the guilt that she had caused by her own existence. This had blurred the boundaries between her and her mum and led to deep resentment and anger. She often released that out onto her own childhood unknowingly.
Finally, she was free. In subsequent sessions we worked with her body, guilt, shame, rage and forgiveness. We integrated aspects of her in utero and birth experience through her physical structure and organs. We cleared her lymphatic system and she learnt tools to support her emotional awareness and expression.
After the treatment was complete Sammy reported being more energetic and now being able to stay awake for most of the day. This helped her interact with her children and partner and feel like herself.
Her mood had improved and she was no longer in pain.
Several months later she contacted me to let me know she had just got a part time job at a nursery near her home and was excited to be back in work and supporting children - something she loved doing. She felt positive about her future and was no longer afraid of her emotions or trapped in her body sensations.
Working in this co transference depth requires both personal and professional willingness to step into the vast unknown.
To accept subtle impressions and fields as they open and to work with them without interfering with the mind. The exhaustion was real. Time slowing down as if we were stuck there together facing the fear of death was a very real experience that both Sammy and her mother went through during the birth process.
The power of somatic and energetic work is that we are constantly feeling our client's unconscious and buried trauma and we are vessels for bringing this into conscious awareness. We must therefore, be fearless in our willingness to feel, and trust it fully.
For more guidance on trauma work through energy medicine visit The School of Healing Alchemy. To embark on a personal healing journey please book a free consultation.