Why pleasure is essential to healing from sexual assault...and no one is talking about it.
In the era of #MeToo, we are more open than ever before to conversations about sexual assault, sexual healing, and changing society for the better so that sexual harm is NOT the norm.
More than ever before, women feel able to share about their experiences and begin the long process of healing.
For most of my clients, this has been a complicated process and a delicate time.
On the one hand, there is comfort in knowing that you're not alone. As you hear story after story come out, even memories or situations that may not have registered as 'trauma,' 'harassment,' or 'assault' in your mind may be taking in a new light. What felt weird, hard, violent or uncomfortable to you (and what you may have felt like you needed to just brush off) you may be realizing was actually a huge violation. What this leads to for many women is relief -- I'm not alone. I didn't make this up. It actually DOES make sense that this was so hard for me.
But on the other hand, our trauma responses can be triggered by hearing all this. Our body memories of what happened may be getting released & unlocked. Our unhealed places may be all the more obvious.
As we move to expose more and more of what has been kept hidden, silenced, and secret about abuse and assault, we are invited to explore the powerful role that pleasure plays in lasting healing.
What does that mean?
Well, simply put, we don't want to just focus on what felt bad, but to draw attention as well to what feels good.
On a more scientific level, this has to do with rewiring our brain.
Harm, heartbreak, and violence are stored as memories, fear, and triggered responses in our brain... leading to shutting down within our body & not-too-healthy relationship habits we may not even know we are enacting!
You can actually use pleasure to rewire your brain & nervous system.
Not only is it a useful tool in your healing process, I've come to believe that deep and true healing is impossible without it.
That's why in my online course, UNCOVER, we combine self care processes, pleasure practices, and body releasing tools with our psychological & analytical trauma work.
As you deepen into the hard parts of facing your past, unearthing what still needs to be healed, and exploring what feels painful... you get to reassure your system that it is safe, that it is healing, and that you are moving forward toward (and in) love.
So how do you do that?
There are a lot of ways, and this is something that I love exploring in both my online courses and in my private coaching practice, but here are is one bite sized tool that you can deploy today.
Set a scene
Set aside some time to go in, whether in your journal, going through a course like UNCOVER, or being in a coaching session/on the phone with a friend, and set a fluffy, comfortable, cozy scene up for yourself. Get a warm fuzzy blanket to wrap around you, brew tea, light a candle that smells amazing. As you do your "work" take pleasure breaks. Rub lotion on your feet. Eat a square of dark chocolate. Close your eyes and rub your scalp.
As you do this, you are telling your system that it is safe to explore what is in there, what is needing to be healed, and what is hurting.
You can use pleasure to safely go within.
And, this is just the beginning. If you know that you are ready to tackle the deeper work under the surface so that you can stand boldly in your life, love fearlessly in your relationship, and feel truly like yourself -- book a free breakthrough call so that we can explore if coaching is the right next step for you. :)