By Gloria Arenson, MFT
Dr. Robert Scaer, a researcher and specialist in treating trauma, maintains that any type of negative life event that occurs when the person is in a state of relative helplessness can produce the same changes in the brain as those that occur in combat, rape, or abuse. He believes that what makes a life event become trauma isn’t the nature of the threat but the degree of helplessness the victim fears plus that person’s history of other trauma.
“Nick” was the son of a teenage unwed-mother who later married a man who resented Nick. Nick’s inability to follow on his plans and promises lost him jobs and friends.
He used EFT to defuse his painful childhood memories of physical and emotional abuse, challenge his fears, and look at his procrastination, using statements like:
Even though my mother made what was fun into hard work, I love and accept myself.
Even though my stepfather’s harsh rules stopped me from having fun when I was growing up. I am letting go of my anger now.
Even though I didn’t feel safe with my stepfather’s rage, I survived and I am safe now.
Even though I have many unhappy and unpleasant memories, I am willing to release the pain now.
Many of our self fulfilling prophecies bring us misery and pain because we unwittingly keep reliving them.
Here are some examples of self-fulfilling prophecies that lead to tragic scripts:
– My life is about neglect.
– My life is about never being good enough.
– My live is about being unlovable.
– My life is about when I need you, you are never there.
– My life is about how life sucks and I have to take it.
– My live is about pleasing others.
– My life is about being invisible.
Therefore, I am supposed to be: abused, blamed, treated like a victim, a loser, bad disgusting, unlovable, or dead.
“Brigitte,” a single woman, was sexually abused from ages 4 to 15, and thought it was her fault because she was bad. At the age of 45, this college graduate didn’t earn enough money to have much comfort in her life. She read many self-help books and went to support groups, yet kept putting off taking action that would move her toward a better income. She was very frustrated because nothing she had done seemed to work. She was unaware that her answer lay in the level beyond awareness, he unconscious mind.
When Brigitte used the Worse-Case Scenario and EFT to explore her frustration and procrastination, she discovered that one of her False Belief’s was that others would try to take advantage of her and might not like her if she was a financial success.
She continued tapping until until she uncovered her basic self-fulfilling tragic life script: Bad things happen to me after something good happens.
Continued tapping helped Brigitte see the connection between the experiences of her childhood abuse and her procrastination. The first time she was molested by her uncle was on the night of her 4th birthday. No wonder she believed that bad things happen to her after something good happens.
She was very young and trusted her uncle. She had received birthday presents and cake , then her happy day was ruined. She continued to be sexually abused until the age of 15. It’s hard to imagine the degree of helplessness she endured and the fear of being overwhelmed and mistreated over and over again. Brigitte used EFT for each memory that came to mind.
The adult Brigitte finally saw that her 4-year-old brain had decided two things:
1. Bead things happen to me after something good happens, and
2. I am bad and I deserve to be punished.
When Brigitte tapped, she saw that she had become addicted to the pain of not having comfort, support, safety, and love. She said, “I am afraid to let it all go. My pain protects me so it won’t happen again.” All her excuses were rationalizations that allowed her to continue to push away the possibility of financial security and stay true to her prophecy.
Excerpt from the book: EFT for Procrastination