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Why Cathy didn't enjoy Christmas--an embarrassing core event

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Hi Everyone,

Christmas and the holiday season are supposed to be happy times, but not everyone sees them that way. Why? Because they have past experiences around that time that are re-played each year, thus turning the expected holiday glee into a trip to grimsville. A thank you to Alan Morison from the UK for taking us down the path he took to help his client out of this dilemma.

Hugs, Gary


By Alan Morison

“Cathy” arranged an appointment with me about 10 days before Christmas.  For many years she had an aversion towards Christmas and had not been able to enjoy herself in family reunions as she might like.  Someone with an antipathy towards that time is missing out on that wonderful feeling you get when loved ones join together, often from far-afield, in festive celebration.  That antipathy was steadily growing for Cathy and she was not happy, especially at the thought of her mother coming to stay during that period as tension would always grow between them.

When I asked how long she had had these feelings, she said for most of her life.  She is now in her mid-forties.  So I asked if there was a time when she had enjoyed Christmas as a child or maybe as a young adult.  She considered the question and said she could indeed remember happier times as a younger child but memories were quickly replaced by that glum down feeling that she shouldn't expect to enjoy herself.  Christmas, she summed up, had never really been a joyous occasion in her home.

She gave a wry smile and said it was to do with her mother who had always felt Christmas was overrated and people spent too much on presents.  It was an opening and fairly general but worth a start.  Cathy's feelings on the 0 to 10 scale for being affected by her mother's attitude were an 8 out of 10.  So we tapped for

Even though my mum felt Christmas was overrated and I felt kind of restricted because of that … I can forgive her because she had a hard childhood and I know she was affected by the way she was brought up.

The 8 dropped a little to maybe a 6 out of 10 but that initial round of tapping had opened things up.  She explained that when she was 14 her parents had moved away from the city of her birth to a small remote town in the north some several hundred miles away.  It was a big upheaval for her, especially as she had lost all her close friends.  I asked her how she felt about that but she said that strangely, she wasn't affected by that as she had made new friends right away.

I asked her if this was still connected with Christmas and she said it was.  At her first Christmas in the new town she had wanted to buy a small present for the best friend she had left behind.  Her mother had been out shopping with her and when she realized what Cathy was doing said, “You just want to buy your friends!”  That comment had really hurt and produced a level of intensity of 9 out of 10.  Tapping for the exact words her mother had said reduced the intensity of emotion to a 5 then in a subsequent round for any remaining feelings a 2.

She said she was able to forgive her mother for the comment as she understood where she was coming from.  I asked her what the 2 out of 10 represented and she said it seemed to come from somewhere else.  She remembered that at that time of year relatives came to stay and because the house wasn’t large she had to share her parents’ bedroom.

I had the feeling we had got to the core of the matter but that it had to but dealt with gently and as tactfully as possible.  I asked her how she felt about that and she said she was reluctant to give up her room and that her uncle, like her mother, was negative about Christmas.  Tapping for giving up her room and her glum uncle didn't reduce the 2 to anything less so I asked her to take a metaphorical sideways step and consider anything that might have been even remotely connected to Christmas time.

She went straight to the answer.  “I was embarrassed sleeping in the same room as my parents as they often thought I was asleep when I wasn't.”  She stopped there and didn't provide any details and I didn't ask for any.  I felt tapping for her general embarrassment using the Tearless Trauma Technique and easing her way into the issue instead of asking for details would be the preferred route.  

After a round of Even though I didn't like sleeping in their room and felt embarrassed... she visibly relaxed and then said, “It was all to do with something my mother said in the bedroom.  One time they both thought I was asleep and became intimate with each other.  My mum told my dad to do something that I can't possibly repeat.”  I said she didn’t have to repeat it and directed her to think to herself about it and we would tap that embarrassment away.

I guided her through the routine and a minute later she smiled and felt a lot better.  The gentler way into the problem had worked.  She felt the issues all dissolve into zero.  She was now free from her mother's hurtful comment and the child's embarrassment of hearing her parents in bed, both of which had happened at Christmas and had produced her own negative attitude to Christmas celebration.  She left shortly afterwards on a very positive note and I wished her a happy Christmas.

Last week I received this short email from her partner:  Thank you so much.  Cathy is doing fab!!!  Her first ever Christmas that she enjoyed - and we had her mum stay for a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - incredible.  Very very impressed. 

Thank you again Gary for the gift of EFT.

Best wishes

Alan Morison  

 

 

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