This is episode 295 healing from trauma with Welcome to over it and on with it. I’m your host, Christine Hassler. And for over a decade, I’ve been a life coach, speaker, and author each week. You’ll hear me work directly with a caller. As I coach them through a goal they want to accomplish or an obstacle they may be facing. I’ll provide a blend of practical and spiritual advice as well as tangible actions you can apply to your own life.
Now let’s get on with the episode welcome, But to the show, everyone, thank you so much for listening. Before we dive into this episode, which is a very important episode because I talked to Anne about how to deal with and heal from trauma. That’s really impacting the quality of her life and impacting her from moving forward in areas that are really important to her.
I want to update you on a couple of things. First, we’ve got our relationship retreat coming up the weekend of June 11th, which is a virtual retreat. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, it is recorded. If you can’t make it live, it is open to single people, people in relationships, and you can either come. Both of you can come together.
Or if you feel like your partner won’t come with you, or you can attend on your own and take the tools that you learned back into your relationship for the single people that would like to join us. This isn’t a workshop on how to call in a relationship. Those are our be the queen. And soon to be announced, be the King programs.
This is really about learning relationship skills, communication, masculine, feminine, essence, and polarity, and how to have a thriving life on all levels, especially when it comes to money and sex. The two areas where couples tend to have the most issues you can join us by going to Christine hassler.com/relationship retreat. You want to register soon because the early bird discount is coming up.
So again, go to Christine hassler.com/relationship retreat. We are really, and we meaning my husband and I are really excited about facilitating this retreat. It’s going to be very juicy and, you know, we’re sharing the things that have worked for us as do people that moved in together for the day we met and spent a lot of time together and have gone through a lot of ups and downs and challenges from financial to family,
to business, to health and just life, and being two very different people. We have learned so much both things that we figured out on our own and things that we’ve learned from our own mentors and coaches and healers. And we’re combining all of that knowledge and experience into this virtual retreat weekend. So I hope that you join us because it’s going to be very special.
As I mentioned, this episode is about dealing with trauma and I’m going to talk a little bit more in the outro about how I think the personal growth industry can sometimes be harmful to people that have experienced trauma. So make sure to listen to the breakdown that I do after the call before we dive in. I also want to invite you to listen to a new audio course that I have out on the Himalaya learning app,
Himalaya learning is an audio learning platform that provides an extensive library of courses straight to your ears from the world’s greatest minds like Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Linda Hill, and me, I don’t know if I’d lump myself in the category of world’s greatest minds, maybe in my own little universe, but I’m very proud of the series that I have out,
which is called your heart, your life, and what it is is all about love. And I talk about love and the way relationships work. And then I have a couple of episodes on getting over a breakup, a couple of episodes on calling in love, and a couple on maintaining love and really nurturing your relationship. So you can go and check it out at himalaya.com/hart.
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and really level up your knowledge with bite-size, impactful lessons that help you conquer personal and professional milestones. Even when you’re on the go, it’s a great way to bring priceless wisdom and insight straight to your ears. So if you like podcasts, I really know that you’re going to love the Himalaya learning platform and it’s different than podcasts because you’re really going through courses and listening to different episodes,
and I’m really enjoying the platform. So again, the URL is himalayan.com/hart. The promo code is Heart, and now Onto my coaching call with And welcome to the show, how can I help? Hi, I’ve been trying for a long time to just heal and really integrate sexual abuse and just the trauma of rape and, and I’m a performer and it feels like that trauma took my ability to perform.
And it feels like there’s just this really big hole of insecurity that, that I don’t know how to, how to navigate it anymore. Cause it feels like everything. I try still just doesn’t work well first, all I’m So sorry that you’ve had to go through these experiences. They are unbearable at times to navigate. So you have my compassion and I hope that you give yourself a lot of grace and a lot of understanding that you’re having a hard time,
this normal, I have a hard time after you go through things like that. Yeah. Yeah. What kind of performer are you? I’m a musician. And more recently I’ve been trying to tap into performance art and expressing myself through dance because that’s really my joy place, but it also feels so connected to my sexuality and feels, feels like even though I want to express myself in that way,
I’m so afraid of being seen in that way. Yeah. When, how long ago has it been since the last violation? Since the last abuse, I guess 10, 15 years. And how long have you been unable to perform? Well, I feel like I can perform as long as I’m hidden in some way. And whether that’s like behind the visuals or behind instruments and it feels like,
like I have a deep depression because I feel like I can’t share who I am and the way that I want to share. Yeah. Because if I share who I am, then, I guess I’ll be embarrassed. And if I’m embarrassed, then I won’t feel love, but I already don’t. Yeah. Yeah. So what’s the emotion that’s coming up.
I think it’s like this to really deep sadness and longing for feeling the love. Even though I, I know that I’m loved. I just it’s. It’s like, I can’t feel it. Yeah. Well, there’s probably a big part of you that shut down because when we experienced sexual abuse and rape and that kind of overwhelming feeling of pain, part of the coping strategy is just,
just shut down. And also a big part of feeling love is feeling seen. And if you feel like you can’t fully express yourself and it’s not safe and you have to stay hidden in a big aspect of your life, you know, in a part of you that that really feels alive when you express, if you feel like you have to hide that,
then yeah. Not going to feel loved because he doesn’t feel seen. So all of this is normal. Given what you’ve been through, the question is, and the question you’re asking is, okay, well that’s all well and good, but how do I shift it? How do I feel like I get my life back? How do I feel like I get the innocence and the sensuality and sexuality and the part of me that was taken through all this abuse back?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well first and I’m going to say some things that are just, they’re probably not going to help. They’re just things to know, which is number one. I know it feels like some of those things got taken from you, but they didn’t, they still belong to you. They can, your innocence, your expression,
your, your right to express yourself, including expressing your sensuality and femininity and sexuality in a safe way that can never be taken. It was violated, but it can never be truly taken. It’s still in there and it’s still in there. So please trust that, that you haven’t lost it. I want to just ask just so I know where I can help most,
what kind of work have you done around this? I’ve done a lot of energy work. Like I, I studied like the body code and did like a lot of energy work. And then I’ve done a lot of, of like unconscious work as well. Like, like with talking it out with, with different, like intuitive counselors and I’ve tried like more traditional therapy and,
and I’ve tried like the temper tantrum technique and I’ve tried like, like women circles and connecting with others who have then when that situation and the thing that it always comes back to is like this feeling of, of like, how can I truly guarantee that I’ll be safe and, and that it won’t happen again. Yeah. Yeah. I hear that. And I understand that.
I really, really understand that. And, and, and I want to acknowledge something, which is everything that you’ve done, the temper tantrum technique that women’s circles, the energy healing, the talking about it, that takes a lot of courage, a lot of courage. And, you know, it takes not being in hiding. And so you’re already doing what you think you’re not doing,
because even though you’re not performing and not dancing in front of these people, you’re still vulnerably expressing yourself, even though it hasn’t quote-unquote, worked to take away the pain or the fear, you still have come out of hiding in a lot of ways. And so it’s really important to see and acknowledge the progress you have made. Because if you keep thinking that you’re stuck,
you won’t see that you’ve actually moved forward in some ways. Can you see that? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And my experience when we’re dealing with sexual abuse or trauma, really, it does require working with a trauma-trained therapist that induces a medic work that can do trauma work, but maybe can do some EMDR because trauma is, it basically injures our nervous system.
And so our brain goes into survival mode. And instead of you being able to go out and enjoy, you know, walking through a park or performing and just enjoying it, your brain is scanning for danger consciously and unconsciously because it wants to protect you from having it happen again. So you’re having what we’d call a biologically correct response to what’s happening.
So even though you might rationally be able to go, all right, well, I can go perform at this function. There’s going to be a lot of people there. I can have a friend to score me. Like I can do a lot of things to make myself feel safe and practically and rationally. You could probably do that, but you’d still have this big fear because again,
your body and your unconscious mind are in survival mode and are trying to protect you from having it happen again. So this anxiety, even though rationally, you know, it probably wouldn’t happen if, you know, there were safety precautions in place. You’re still going to have the fear because it’s a biologically correct fear based on your trauma. Does this make sense?
What I’m saying so far? Yeah. Yeah. So the only one or the only way, but one of the only ways I know how to have the fear go away because the fear is coming from your brain, being in an activated state from being in a trauma response state from being in a survival brain state, that’s where the fear is coming from.
And so getting, being able to move through the trauma, move it out of your body and have someone start to help you regulate your nervous system. So your brain can come out of the fight-flight-freeze, and out of that red zone. And out of that survival into like, okay, like I am safe and you can actually feel it because I know that like rationally,
you and I could probably come up with a situation where you could perform. We could put precautions in place and rationally and logically, you know, it’d be safe, but you probably still have the fear and it would stop you from doing it. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So this is really working with your nervous system, your brain, your unconscious mind,
and your body to bring you out of the survival mode, to bring you into a place where you can regulate so that when you go into those situations, your body and brain don’t go to, I’m going to be attacked. I’m going to be violated. And so that you can actually enjoy because I bet I can feel is that you are an incredible performer and an incredible artist.
And it’s so important that you nurture that part of you because that’s, that’s your soul essence. That’s your passion. That’s in a lot of ways what you’re here to do. And if that is an express, my concern is you’ll get real depressed more so than now. Yeah. And so I, I know that you’re quote-unquote, playing it safe and you have every right to,
I would never say, and please don’t listen to anyone who says, Oh, just push through it and just do it. Get out there. You’ll love it. Just push through the fear. No, no, no. When it comes to trauma being activated, we don’t push through the fear. Cause all that does is activate us more. So I don’t want you to feel like you have to push through this.
It’s not, no, not the direction you want to go. It’s more, I have this, this passion inside of me. I have this part of me that I want to express. And right now, my body, my brain, it doesn’t feel safe enough to do it. So I’m going to find ways to like regulate my nervous system and bring my brain out of this and,
and talk therapy and circles are helpful, but it’s like, I wouldn’t go to my general practitioner. If I had something wrong with my stomach, I go to a gastroenterologist. You know, my, my general practitioner might be able to give me some advice, but I’d want to go to a specialist if I had a real issue and that the talking and everything is good in terms of like,
it’s a release for you. Like I said, it’s helping you be more vulnerable, but with something like this, going to someone that, has, the tools to really help specifically with what you dealt with and understands how trauma works in the brain and the body. That seems to me like your most helpful next step. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
I guess I have tried that because something like blocks me each time I go to find that person because it’s been recommended before. And I think, I think like for some reason, energy work feels easier. Yeah. You know, you might also have something called the leaving pattern, which is a personality pattern, which is a coping strategy where dissociation is an easier way to deal with things.
And energy work is way more palatable than actually getting in the body and feeling the rawness of everything that comes with it. Let me ask you, what do you think blocks you because you can’t be too blocked. I mean, you’re on the phone with me. Yeah. I think I feel really connected spiritually, but I feel a lot of anger at like divine energy that it happened and I don’t understand.
And so I think I feel locked there because I don’t feel loved or yeah. I really hear you. There have been definitely times in my life where I was really pissed off at God and I had to do my temper tantrum at God and spiritually. It’s a real spiritual crisis that you’re in too. I really get that. And I could give you a bunch of platitudes,
like, you know, your soul choose this. This is something you had to do in this lifetime. It’s karma blah-blah-blah. But that doesn’t really make the very human part of you. That trust feels any better because you do feel betrayed. You do feel like why did this happen? Where were you? And that’s, that’s all part of the, the physical and emotional release that eventually needs to happen.
And so to, to reach out to a trauma specialist, you don’t need to have faith in God at all. What you need to have faith in is years and years of study of people who’ve been in trauma years of study of understanding the brain, understanding the nervous system. It’s like, this is where faith and in psychology, intelligence study and research and history of doing things.
Do you think you can have a little faith in that? It’s funny because oddly enough, I feel like I have more faith in God. Cause like some of the sexual abuse was like from a doctor and like, and so I have just like a really tainted experience with the medical system and like, and I’ve had experiences of, of like putting my trust into doctors.
And then they gave me medicine that like made my hair fall out. Like I feel less trust there. And I think like energy workers have just been, you know, nothing has happened there. So it’s okay. Yeah. No, I hear you. And you really have, trust is definitely a big thing for you. And you’re really walking this line of trust.
I get that. Do you trust your intuition? Yes and no. Like I think that that’s partly what makes me not reach out to certain things is that I don’t trust my decision making, but I trust my sense of knowing like I trust parts of me, but not other parts. Okay. If you found a practitioner and had a phone conversation or consultation with them and you got a bad feeling,
could you trust that? Yeah. Yeah. I would definitely trust that. Okay. There you go. I guess I do trust it. I think you do. I think you do. So what if you really set the intention and said, okay, I’m ready for the next Hill at the level of healing because you know what Anne when we sign up to really deal with our trauma,
it’s not like going on a five-star vacation that we look forward to. It’s like, Oh God, this could be tough. And parts of it are tough, but it’s like a short-term tough. So that long-term you get to live your life. Yeah. And so you’ve been through a lot of pain. You’ve had a lot of people betray you.
You’ve had people violate you. I, I really get, this is not easy. This is not been an easy path. And it’s like, all right, I’ve already been through enough. What can I do? That’s going to give me, even if it’s hard, some freedom from this because again, the energy work is helpful, but someone else can’t remove trauma from our body.
It’s like, we’ve got to do that. And so if you set the intention and really put it out there, like really put it out there with your heart and said, I’m scared. I don’t know if I trust this. But I, one thing I do know is I don’t want to live like this, the rest of my life. And I know there have been other people that have gone to the other side of their sexual trauma.
Cause there are thousands and millions maybe. And I’m really going to call in that people or person that can help me. And the second I feel a no in my body I’m out of there and I keep looking. Yeah. Do you think you could do that? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Does this help at all?
You can be honest with me if it hasn’t. Yeah. I think I just don’t know how to get past this defeated part of myself. But, but I think if I just maybe push through it to find like that, No pushing, no pushing. It’s my love. I don’t think, I don’t think you’re defeated. I think you’re exhausted. Yeah.
I think you feel alone Very much net. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So the thing is like this, this asking for help and opening up to receiving it doesn’t have to be a big energetic push and the right practitioner for you will hold you and will guide you. So you don’t have to be the one leading it. And so if you can just sort of reframing and go,
okay, I’m exhausted. I really like need some help and support it’s time for me to receive. See it’s like, you’ve had such a level of trauma. You need to receive that level of support. Yeah. And so, yeah. And you deserve that. You deserve that you’ve dealt through, you’ve dealt with a bot, so you get to receive a lot.
That’s part of how works and healing. Yeah. Well, I like that. I’m open to that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So really think of this as being, you know, receiving, having your team around you, really feeling supported and nurtured and loved and cared for. And like this isn’t a push. Like I said, the men, it is,
feels like a pusher. The minute anybody tells you, you should push yourself or just push through it. You run in the other direction. Yeah. But I’m hoping that this conversation, you know, and just being heard and just, you know, being validated and being encouraged and, and also hearing someone who has dealt with trauma, we hadn’t seen people go through trauma for years and years and years and see so many people get to the other side of it and,
and knowing what really works. I hope that that gives you the encouragement and the faith, faith in the process. If you don’t want to have faith in God or any of those things, that’s totally fine. But faith in the process and like a belief in your future self, feel your future self really calling you forward so that you can perform not in the shadows,
like it’s really time to step into the light with your gifts. Yeah. It’s funny because, before this call, I was praying just like asking to hear just like, what is the one thing that I can do that I don’t have to keep thinking about the many things. And, and I think I’m just trying to sit with hearing what, what came through and,
and it, you know, feeling harder than, than I’m wanting it to, but, but also appreciating the way that you can change the words into receiving support. Cause that feels, feels like a really nice thing that I am feeling big. Yes. Beautiful Gratz. Great. That’s great. Then, we got somewhere and not touches my heart.
I’m so glad. Cause yes, you, you do really deserve to receive an exquisite level of support. And when you really open up to that, it, it comes in where do you live In Washington state? Yeah. What city? I’m in the Puget Sound. Okay. Okay. Well, if anyone listening knows any great trauma or sematic therapist specialists in that area,
reach out to me so that I can hook you up. And, but I have a feeling that you will with your intention. This is, this is going to come through. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re welcome. Welcome. All right. First and foremost, I want to thank and for her courage in calling in and sharing. So vulnerably some very vulnerable things.
Before I talk about the call, I want to talk about why I have a concern that often the personal development self-help world can be misleading, perhaps even damaging for people that have experienced extensive trauma, like rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse, racial trauma, so on and so forth often there’s this expectation or ethos of the personal development industry that you just need to shift your mindset about it and find the lesson and challenging experiences make you stronger and just meditate your way through it or do the energy work.
Or, and I find that leaves a lot of people feeling like they’re failing at personal development because they’re still really having a hard time and they’re trying the sharing circles and the energy work and the intuitive counselors and things are just not shifting as it is in Ann’s case. You heard me coach Ann and we talked about how trauma impacts dare. I even say injures the nervous system.
And so when there is extreme trauma and I can’t label what extreme is because two people can have the same situation happened to them. And one person it can register in their body and nervous system is not that big of a deal. And another person, the same circumstances or event can register as a really big deal. So, you know, something was traumatic for you.
If you feel like it impacted your nervous system and you feel like you really struggle with anxiety, just all around all the time or in certain situations like Ann does. So for her given the assault that she has gone through, she doesn’t feel safe. And that’s because, because of the abuse, the rape, the trauma impact did her nervous system and her brain.
And because she felt so unsafe and because what was happening to her was so overwhelming, her brain went into survival brain and the survival brain is that fight flight or freeze. It’s that always on the lookout for danger, it’s that over-activated response. And that’s why we experience a lot of fear and anxiety. If we’re in the survival part of our brain because it’s wired for fight-flight-freeze or fond,
it’s wired for danger. It’s always on the lookout for danger and it’s exhausting now. And I was also having a biologically correct response to going out and performing. Like I said to her, we could come up with a scenario where maybe they were even cops at the door. She felt so safe. I don’t know if cops would make her feel safe,
but whatever. I’m just coming up with, what, what would make her feel really safe? So she knew she wasn’t going to be physically harmed because her brain still associates being seen, feeling vulnerable with trauma it’s her nervous system. And our brain probably would still go into survival, scanning for danger, feeling really nervous. That’s the biologically appropriate response based on her trauma.
And this is why I think a lot of people and you may be so frustrated with your own healing path because you haven’t really been able to release the trauma from your body. And in my experience, and I won’t say this is everyone, but most people including myself, it really takes working with a skilled trauma-informed trauma trained therapist, facilitator practitioner, because someone who’s trained in trauma knows how to help you regulate the nervous system,
even a modality like E M D R is really great for trauma and what keeps a lot of people from going and healing. Their trauma is number one, they’re afraid to relive it. And I think that was the case with Anne too. She had this block to really finding a protective practitioner that could maybe take her to the places that she may need to go to help regulate that nervous system.
But really when we’re healing trauma, it is not about reliving it. What it’s really about is, of course, providing the space for the somatic emotional release, if that is necessary, and you can have the semantic emotional release without having to go back and relive it, it’s just the pent up emotion, but also working with the person to regulate the nervous system.
It’s all about regulation coming out of that survival brain and moving back into that rest and digest part of our nervous system. In other words, moving from the sympathetic nervous system, which is on alert to the parasympathetic nervous system. So if you are someone who is afraid and hesitant to go and deal and heal with your trauma, know that it doesn’t have to be about reliving it’s really about healing,
your nervous system, moving out of survival brain and moving more into that parasympathetic nervous system. Let’s talk a little bit more about so one important point that I made to her that I want to make to all of you is no one can ever take away your innocence, your expression, even your sense of safety and security. I know it can feel like that,
but at some point, we want to take that power back and stop reinforcing that belief. So it’s going to be important for, and moving forward to know that her expression is still hers, that no one can take away her ability to be able to share her gifts in the world. Of course, the fear, which as we discussed is biologically appropriate based on her past, and the anxiety and the trauma make her feel like that and makes it harder.
But it’s important for Ann and for any of you to start to let go of the story and the belief that it’s gone and that you can never access it again. The other thing we talked about was how, you know, she’s having a hard time feeling the love. She wants it, but she’s having a hard time feeling it well, that’s very normal when we have such an overwhelming amount of pain and we have to suppress a lot of those feelings because it just feels like too much,
the trauma was already too much. And then the feelings associated with it feel like too much. So let’s just suppress everything well, when we suppress all that, it’s really hard to feel the love and the joy too, because there’s a wall, there’s an energetic wall that we form around us to keep ourselves safe. And I have faith that as she starts to work with the trauma with the facilitator,
she trusts that she’ll start to let those feelings in, which brings me to the other point of when we go through something really challenging, traumatic, or just really difficult. It can lead to a spiritual crisis of, I feel betrayed by God. And like I said to, and there have been many times where I’ve had it out with God. And sometimes when it’s hard to put our faith in something unseen,
we still need to put our faith in something. So my recommendation to Anne was to have faith in trained practitioners, not necessarily from the medical system, because she felt violated by the medical system, but by trained practitioners and healers, right? Different category to have faith in the process, to have faith in the training, to have faith in the skills, and to have faith in her future self that really has this desire to get on the other side of it.
And she’s walking a fine line here of trust. And my hope is eventually she crosses it to really start trusting herself, trusting others because living in a constant state of mistrust is going to keep us in that sympathetic nervous system is going to keep us in that survival brain is going to keep us scanning for danger. So beautiful place that we got to was really trusting her intuition,
trusting her intuition, to align with the right person, and realizing in really feeling into I’ve endured a high level of trauma. I deserve a high level of support, both from the seen and the unseen teams. So for those of you who maybe have trouble receiving or being vulnerable, know that you deserve a high level of support and there are people out there that can help whenever I’ve been in one of my very challenging times,
when I set that intention, please universe, even if I’m mad at God, please guide me to the people. The training, the healing like helped me find my way. Maybe it doesn’t come immediately, but it comes eventually. And that’s my hope for Ann. And all of you and takeaways are just look at any things you have bought into in the personal development world that feel more motivational and feel more light,
just be strong, find the silver lining and, and just consider are any of those actually hurting more than they’re helping. And is it time to be really real with yourself and normalize some of the biologically correct behavior you’re having or you’re experiencing and finding the right specialists to help you with it, the right training, the right learning, really moving out of that injured or impacted nervous system moving out of that survival brain and learning how to regulate your nervous system?
Next, think about trust. Where do you have trust issues right now? And if you’re having trouble putting your faith in XYZ, find something that you can put your faith into. Maybe it’s your own intuition. And finally, open up to receiving support, put it out there verbally and energetically. You all deserve a high level of support. Thank you so much for listening to this show for this week,
sending you so much love and many blessings until next time. Thank you for listening to over at non with it. I love hearing from you. So please post your comments or questions at christinehassler.com slash podcast. That’s also the place you can sign up to receive coaching from me in an upcoming episode. And if you love the show, please share it and subscribe to iTunes.
You can find all my social media handles and sign up to be part of my community at christinehassler.com until next week here’s to getting over it and on with it much love and many blessings.