“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin
Jennifer's Experience (November 2019)
I have been home and reintegrated into my routine for a little over a month and am already experiencing profound changes. I learned more about myself and my potential in one SPT intensive than I have in 47 years of life. I no longer am merely existing to raise my son, surviving to see what the next day will offer. I am now 100% committed to living, not giving up, and to embracing all it is that makes me who I am. I’m not letting the demons of my childhood or young adult life control my future.
I learned that vulnerability is beautiful, and leads to deep connection. I learned that I can quiet my inner critic by giving her a name, by showing her respect and asking the same respect of her. She is part of me, yes, but she cannot control me any longer. I learned that showing emotion is acceptable and does not lead to rejection, and it is so nice to allow someone to comfort and support me during emotional moments. I learned I am quite attractive, inside and out, just as I am, even with a few extra pounds.
Those who know me best, including my long-term therapist, have observed a positive change in me. I am empowered, more confident, and able to communicate more openly. They can see I feel a true sense of hope and purpose. My relationship with my son, great before, is even stronger. This is by far the best investment I have ever made for, or in, myself.
Imagine a five-year-old being told by her mother, "Do whatever he tells you."
These were the words I heard as my Mother left me in the care of my uncle. Hours later he told me that “we” needed a nap. I protested and again he reminded me of my Mom’s order. This predator proceeded to molest me and at times lay on top of me. I remember his stinking breath, his grunting noises, and the pain and bleeding. I also remember the horrific feeling that he was crushing me and I couldn’t breathe.
I have been aware that many things trigger the horror of that day. Throughout my life, including thirty years of marriage, I had always panicked when a man put his weight on me. I have relived the fear, the loss of power, and the absolute horror of not being able to breathe. At times I could manage this by continuously repeating in my mind “You are ok. He is not going to harm you.”
It is now 64 years later. As a result of my experience with Andrew Heartman I have been gifted with a new knowledge and I now have control of this. I felt very safe with Andrew, probably because I knew that Andrew had no agenda of his own, and that he was there only to support me. Before, I always had to convince myself that I was safe—to talk myself into it. But with Andrew I was able to experience that I am safe, and this experience transformed not only how I relate to men, but to the world in general. I found I had the confidence to attempt and achieve many things in the world that I had been afraid to before. I have gained the wisdom that I can choose, freely and powerfully, and this has unshackled me from a prison that spanned 64 years.
I am now free to choose a relation without “Uncle G.” in the bed. My thanks to you, Andrew.
Copyright © 2010–2020 Andrew Heartman