with author Guest Contributor
the power of childhood memories
Friend of Ricki Rebel Brown: Why do I keep finding relationships with men who aren’t as they appear?Why do I so overreact to blindsides in my life, even little ones? Where did this hair-trigger temper come from? Why am I so driven to be perfect?
Those are just some of the questions I asked myself, over and over again -- until I ended up on my knees praying to God to die because I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t know it then, but my life had come full circle in that moment.
I knew I needed help.
Everyone agreed I had all the signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). It wasn’t surprising. I’d been caretaking dying parents then a friend with AIDS for eight years, with no more than two hours of sleep a night, the perfect setup for PTSD. So I began Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) therapy, the leading treatment for PTSD. EMDR uses the power of a waking REM sleep - the time when we process our subconscious beliefs/observations into our conscious mind – to release PTSD symptoms. The theory is that when we’re in extended periods of fight or flight, without REM, our subconscious gets stuck with false beliefs as trauma energy sticks in our bodies. EMDR releases both by recreating REM in a waking controlled state. Within three weeks of beginning the treatment, theme I’d known for almost 50 years was gone, forever. Replaced by my truth.
I recovered memories of childhood torture beyond my imagination. It took a year of therapy for me to truly accept that reality. But deep inside, I knew. When I wasn’t perfect my father and his mother tortured me, sadistically, horribly, to the point I prayed to God to let me die at the age of 8. Since they defined perfect, I never satisfied them, nor did God come to take me home. The torture continued from age 4 to 14.
I consciously buried those memories, as abused kids so often do. I couldn’t cope with the reality, so I replaced it with a fantasy tale of mean kids and being the too-smart-girl-made-outcast in a very small town. Those stories became my conscious reality, the reason for me being me. Until the unheard voices of my cellular memory brought my life crashing down around me, 40 years later.
What is Cellular Memory?
As kids, we are giant blank whiteboards. Until we reach the age of 6 or 7, we have no filters of what’s true and what’s not. We imprint every experience, every word as truth. Those imprints become part of our very cellular DNA, creating who we are and what we believe about ourselves. We don’t consciously know those beliefs are there, much less false.
As an adult, my cellular memory was acting on the simple logic my little girl imprinted as truth:
• I have to be perfect or I will die.
• God wants me to be punished, that’s why he didn’t come to save me.
• If I find men like my daddy and get them to see me as perfect, I’ll be safe.
• I am powerless to stop the pain. No one will ever save me.
The list goes on and on. To my adult self, these beliefs are just plain silly. But deep inside, they are my oldest truths.
Learning to Thrive
We all have programming. We all can shift beyond it. I’m sharing my story to show others that we can and do deserve to step beyond our hidden voices. Thanks to EMDR and Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP, another technique that integrates body and mind to clear imbalances in beliefs and energy) along with shamans and angels and healers of amazing gifts, today I am thriving on the other side. Yes, I still have triggers, days when the old programming seems to be more prevalent. But I also have the knowledge and tools to gently and lovingly release the voices to the universe. They no longer drive my life.
Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts below. I’m here to share my experiences and learning.
Rebel Brown is the author of Defy Gravity, a best selling business strategy book, a corporate speaker and 30-year executive coach and consultant to complex businesses. She is the founder of Unstoppable U - a program for kids where Maverick the Mustang and Rebel share inspirational stories and practices to help every kid know and live by one simple truth - we are all UNSTOPPABLE! Unstoppable U offers a face-to-face program in Northern California and an online program for kids everywhere - complete with videos, blogs, storyboards and a daily Kids Kuote. Rebel is an experienced life strategies coach, a certified NLP practitioner and Level One Equine-facilitated coach. You can find Rebel on Twitter and on Facebook.