Pre-school mini trauma and depression


Aine is in her early twenties. She’s a very sweet person, very private, with a tiny voice. She contacted me because her mother had told her she was worried Aine was having depression bouts, and she should seek help.

by Christine Disant

I had met her in several social gatherings and noticed she would avoid joining in at all costs. She was not a native English speaker, and used this as her reason, despite her English skills being excellent.

The first time we met, Aine’s main concern was to make a decision for herself, regarding studies. She had three lines of interest, but just couldn’t figure out which one to take. And the clock was ticking. It was early June. A decision needed to be taken NOW!

We started talking about family issues. There were some issues with her father. Also, her family had had difficult times. We tapped around all of these.

Her self esteem was very low. When asked what her qualities were, she couldn’t find any, Then I asked if she had friends. Yes she had. So, I asked why these people were her friends. Did they see any qualities in her by any chance? We tapped one round where I asked her to name some people who liked her and thought well of her. That’s when she got “the look”, the one which says “Mmm, hadn’t thought of that this way, they can’t all be wrong, maybe I am likeable after all...”

By the end of the session, Aine’s posture was straighter, her voice a bit more assured. We had definitely opened new doors and new awareness, but I had a feeling we were missing something big.

The second session was a week later. She had felt better in between, but still no decision. So we started tapping around:
“Even though I can’t make a decision for myself, and I don’t know why, I accept myself anyway.”

Reminder phrases included statements such as:
“I don’t trust myself, can’t get it right, wonder why, where did I learn that, I'm open to the possibility that my mind knows, I’m ready to find out safely...”

And then, as happens so often with EFT, an old memory came back:
“It reminds me when I was in pre-school. I was about five. We had to clean up some dishes. Amongst the dishes, there was a knife. I knew how to handle a knife already, so I took it, and started wiping it carefully. But then the teacher saw me. And she took away the knife.”

As we tapped on the feelings brought back by this experience, the whole story unfolded. Aine later found out that her mother had taught her from a very early age how to handle knives. So when the five-year-old saw the knife, she knew that she was able to do it, and took the decision all on her own to deal with this. All was well until the teacher came in.

Imagine, as a responsible adult, you see a five-year-old with a knife... the first thought is usually ‘danger!’. So the teacher removed the knife, probably a bit panicked by what huge risk she must have thought she had taken.

Now here is our five-year-old, utterly convinced of her own right to make that decision, and the teacher, the figure of authority, the one who knows it all much better than a five-year-old, telling her she really cannot make this kind of important decision for herself.

Here is a ‘little t trauma’, but none the less a trauma. The five-year-old takes the message, doesn’t discuss it,(remember, the teacher knows better than a five-year-old), and puts this deep in her body and in her being: “I am NOT to be trusted with any decision for myself.” The interesting part is that in her life, Aine had already taken many decisions for herself, always supported by her parents. She had travelled on her own through Europe, lived in three different countries. Still, she now had reached a wall.

Coming back to our session, by now, her posture and voice had definitely changed. Relief was obvious all over her. She left with a bright smile.

Three days later, she had booked herself in a photography school. To be honest, I was a bit surprised, but that was her choice, so all was well.

Three-month follow-up

I emailed Aine three months later to know how she was doing, and her answer just left me speechless. For a non-native English speaker, she came up with a very long message, in perfect English, of course. Then she told me about her summer trips, home and to other countries, about her helping her family. And she said: “About the depression... After our last EFT session, I never really got deep into a depression any more. Especially during the trip, I felt fantastic and very happy and relaxed. Just in the last six weeks or so, I feel a bit more moody and sometimes a bit down, but never really depressed.”

But the cherry on the cake was that: “On the trip, I decided to study drama, instead of photography.”

Now, THAT, was a total change! Here is a person would would not step out for all the gold in the world, now ready to stand in full view of everybody.

She also wrote: “Sometimes, it feels, like there is something blocking me from expressing myself and being light. I think, I am really self judgemental as well.

“I did a little bit of tapping, but was very impatient with myself. And I feel that I don’t find the right things to say during tapping and put myself under pressure, which makes me feel uncomfortable.”

So there is still work to be done, but then, don’t we all have to work on ourselves, day in day out?

One month again after that, I met a person I hadn’t met for a long time. This person actually knew Aine, and told me about how amazing her transformation was. That was confirmation, if needed, that the new Aine was out there!

Thank you for EFT, and may Aine’s story help you to get on your own journey...

Christine Disant
Practical Learners

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