Listening to Your Intuition is So Damn Hard Because of This
[* Trigger warning *] Talking about intimate, sexual violations….
Alexandra* was pregnant when she was sexually assaulted on the train. In court, her assailant kept denying he had groped her. He did admit that he was utterly pissed after drinking a few tequilas and a bottle of wine coming back from a football match. There was even a witness who testified to seeing him groping her.
But a pregnant woman’s judgment cannot be trusted, according to the judge. Had His Honour enforced a guilty charge, it would have traumatised him (the assailant just in case you missed it). So he was deemed innocent.
Since the #metoo movement, more and more women have found the courage to speak out about their stories of being violated, assaulted, raped, and diminished.
Denigrating women’s version of the story about their bodies has a long tradition.
When I started experiencing pain when making love with my ex-husband, I went to the gynaecologist. First I was given anti-fungal medication that not only did not solve the problem but also killed all the good and necessary bacteria in the vagina.
As time passed and the problem persisted, I was told (or it was not very gently hinted at) over and over again that it was just in my head!
Perhaps it’s due to growing up with a mentally disordered mother that I developed a tenacious heart that did not believe that there are problems without a solution.
Sitting in front of a tall, silver-haired man, who gently smiled at me while speaking to me — without me telling him about anything it!!!— of all the times I had been told it’s in my head when in fact there’s a tiny virus that attacks the tissues in my vagina which a simple surgery can fix, I finally felt that listening to my inner voice had been worth all the self-doubt and the agony of standing up for myself, demanding to be looked at seriously.
When you know yourself you can trust yourself
It starts from learning the story you tell yourself about yourself. Finding the knots where you have twisted your story unconsciously, because your truth has been manipulated, ignored, twisted or disbelieved.
I meet women who’ve been disbelieved all the time in my coaching practice. Like Rachel who was disbelieved for a horrific childhood abuse and rape by her father, or Heather whose mother kept silent while her uncle raped her, or Silvia who’s been labelled mentally unstable for the piles of lies her narcissistic mother has told, and Lora who’s been constantly told by her mother how inept she is in making her own decisions.
If your voice of reason as a woman is shredded into “nothing”, how do you expect to hear or even listen to a much subtler murmuring that flows like a hidden creek in your emotional body?!
We’ve grown so particular about a therapist’s certificates and training that we never ask whether s/he dares to use their own intuition, lean into their own inner wisdom. To me, that is the most valuable tool I have.
When a therapist abandons their intuition they abandon their client at the same time!
We can’t be read like textbooks. We can’t be treated like a product on a conveyor-belt.
We love memes that tell us how unique we are but then we go to “authority” figures to be treated as “one of those”.
The mother wound is not only a wound created in a woman who experiences a challenging relationship with her mother. It’s an inherited wound that is passed down through her female ancestors.
Your mother might have treated you completely differently than the way she was treated by her own mother. She might have been loving and caring compared to her own cold and detached mother. She might have been present where her own mother was absent. She might have been sober and engaged unlike her own addicted and unpredictable mother. But these wounds, if not eradicated through a deep healing process, live in her DNA and are passed on to you.
This might explain why women who have a good or reasonable relationship with their mother still struggle with similar difficulties to those of women with a clear mother wound to deal with.
Difficulty in speaking up; intimidated by setting healthy boundaries; taking care of everyone’s needs before her own; struggling to make decisions that are her own; fearing being a burden, being too much asking for too much… These are some of the most common mother-wound challenges women deal with.
Unleashing the trust in your inner voice is perhaps the underlying one, the river below the river.
Sometimes, just seeing this broader context you live in starts to put your own challenges in place on the map of your life. Often it’s buried under walls made of personal bricks, carefully crafted by the details of your own life! If you feel ready to knock those walls down, I’d love to help you. Reply to this email and tell me your story. I will read carefully and with love, then reach out to schedule a conversation.
Shelly’s helping women on a healing journey of the mother wound who are struggling with the ways it affects their sense of self, relationships or career success and want to reach deeper levels of healing and step into their wholeness
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