Being incested is one of the most traumatic experiences that can happen to a child. Parents are supposed to protect children from harm, not cause them excruciating harm and pain. The shock of incest is so intense that it often causes children to completely dissociate from their bodies, which is what creates repressed memories. This is generally the only way that children can survive the intense pain and betrayal that occurs with incest.
Because the memories are often repressed, it may take years for a person to begin the healing process. When people start to practice Inner Bonding® and develop their loving Adult, they may suddenly begin to receive information - in dreams, in body memories, and in vague actual memories. This is because, as you develop your loving Adult, the child who went through the trauma feels safe to finally let you in on it. As challenging as this is, it is a good thing, as you cannot heal what you do not know about. Often, as the memories emerge, people feel a kind of relief, saying, "Finally, my life makes sense. I never knew why I was a compulsive eater, or why I've had sexual problems, or why I've been promiscuous, or why I've had so much fear of the dark, etc."
Practicing Inner Bonding® provides a powerful roadmap for healing from incest. However, it is important that you not do this healing work alone alone. You need another's love and support to fully heal incest, and you may need to be lovingly held to feel safe enough to do your healing work. Here is the process that I facilitate with my clients:
- As memories emerge, however vague, it is vital that you embrace and acknowledge them. You have no reason to make these up. In fact, finding out about incest is the last thing most people want to know about. It is extremely important that you believe your inner child.
- One way of accessing the information is to tell your inner child that it is okay to make up story about what happened. You will discover that what you think is just "made up" carries so much emotion that you can't help but accept the reality of it. Giving your child permission to make up a story takes the fear off of being wrong.
- Incest is deeply heartbreaking - one of life's most heartbreaking experiences. You could not feel the depth of the heartbreak at the time, but now you can.
It is vital that you clearly let your child know that it was in no way your fault, and move into deep compassion for what you went through. Be very tender, gentle, caring, kind and understanding with the depth of pain and confusion you experienced. Asking why is not helpful, as trying to understand it is a way to avoid the heartbreak. At some point you might understand that the incesting parent may have been sexually abused themselves, or may have completely disconnected from their own essence so they could not feel your pain. Whatever the reason, it is their journey, not yours. Your journey is to completely be there for your child.
- Children often absorb the shame of the abuser and go through life thinking it is their shame. It is vital that you visualize the shame as a dark cloud being released from you and going back to the abuser or to Spirit. It is theirs do deal with, not yours.
- Explore the false beliefs you concluded as a result of the incest and bring the truth of Spirit to them. This will likely be an ongoing process, as the beliefs may emerge in layers.
You may need to do this over and over until the heartbreak is completely acknowledged, lovingly embraced and released, and shame is completely released. You need to stay with the heartbreak until you feel a release in your body, and then consciously give it to Spirit. You may need to do this numerous times with each memory, until the heartbreak, shame, and false beliefs are healed.