Did you know that your body is a barometer of past sexual abuse?
I am a “why” sort of person. When my oldest son was little, he started having trouble with ear infections and the doctor found fluid in his ears. Since that is not a normal condition, I wanted to know why the fluid was there. So I found doctors that thought the same way as me and discovered he was allergic to corn, chocolate, eggs and apples. Long story short, we changed his (our) diet and the fluid went away and no tubes were needed.
Same thing happened when I kept struggling with my weight. Oh I could take off the pounds ok, but I couldn’t keep it off. So I dug deeper. I asked why can I take the weight off but not keep it off. I KNOW it is a behavior of eating too much or the wrong things so why can’t I keep it off?
I believe if we ask good questions, we get good answers. And it started me on a path of discovering that my body was a barometer of what was going on in my emotions, what was going on at an unconscious level.
I found a book by Karol Truman called “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die”. I devoured that book, especially the chapter that give you the possible emotional causes for ailments. It was fascinating and really resonated with me.
Overeating (compulsive)- tension, feeling a material emotional lack, craving closeness, putting on an emotional armor, a symbol of power and desire to throw one’s weight around, emotional energy based on anger and resentment
Overweight: feelings of insecurity, feelings of self-rejection, wanting to protect the body, seeking love and fulfillment, attempting to fulfill the self, feelings are being stuffed inside, unexpressed, misperceived and inappropriate feelings.
WOW WOW WOW!! That made so much sense to me. Even now as I read them again, more meaning is hitting home for me as I have spent decades working through these issues.
The last time I was like 5 pounds from my goal weight, I was visiting with a male friend in church and he said emphatically, “Do you know how good you look?! If you weren’t married, I would be so in to you!” It made me very uncomfortable to hear that and without even realizing what was happening, within 6 months, every ounce of those 90 pounds I had worked so hard to lose were back on.
Confirmation: I wasn’t safe to be thin.
Learning this information gave me an opportunity to directly address the root cause of my physical situation and clear what I could on my own and then ask for help as needed.
I continued to explore every ailment, illness and injury and time after time, Karol Truman’s philosophy rang true for us. If my right shoulder was bothering me, inevitably I discovered I was worried about money. (my right shoulder hurt me A LOT) or if my left shoulder was bothering me, I was having some issues with my family. I would get a sore throat and knew that I had negative feelings going unexpressed. And on and on. Sometimes every one the proposed causes didn’t ring totally true for me but I stayed open to what was bothering me that needed to be addressed and did so.
I believe God wants us to look at our bodies and see the mind/body/spirit connection. He could have created us to be just spirits flitting about the planet, but He didn’t. He put our soul into our body.
I believe we need to honor and address our bodies. Show them respect. Pay attention to them and what they need. What kind of nutrition. How much sleep is needed.
But…for a sexual abuse survivor, that poses extra problems. If any other survivors are anything like me, we disconnected at some level with our bodies during the abuse. We dissociated to not have to experience what was going on.
And maybe we developed beliefs about our bodies during the abuse: our bodies were to blame for the abuse. I got abused because I was skinny… because I looked like my mom…because I had red hair… because I had short hair…long hair… because my fingernails were painted and I felt pretty… because they weren’t painted.
So if, in the state of our abuse, we created beliefs of why we were abused, we then surmised a way to not be abused again. If I got abused because I was skinny, then the only way to not be abused is to be fat. If I got abused because I looked like my mom, I need to do whatever I need to do to not look like my mom. If I got abused because I felt pretty because I just had my fingernails painted, then I’ll never paint my fingernails again or allow myself to feel pretty.
Keep in mind, these thoughts are rarely spoken and usually at an unconscious level. Which is why it is necessary to ask the right questions and allow yourself to be open to consider that your body might be telling you something.
We may even try to abuse to punish our bodies and not consciously know why we are doing it.
What might your body be telling you?
What is your barometer saying?
If you are interested in exploring this further, I highly recommend the two books that I use:
“Feelings Buried Alive Never Die” by Karol Truman
“You Can Heal Your Body” by Louise Hay
There may be other books out there but these have been tried and true for me.
Please let me know what you discovered about yourself.