Sexual Abuse Trauma and RecoveryDina Saalisi
Using Bach Flower Essences for Sexual Abuse Trauma Recovery
Many clients who see me to address cultivating emotional balance with the help of flower essence remedies are survivors of sexual abuse trauma. Trauma often shows up later in life in the form of unhealthy behaviors, poor relationship choices and post-traumatic stress. The good news is that healing is possible. Humans have an innate capacity to strive toward wholeness of being. Although recovering from trauma is a challenging process, with the aid of flower essence remedies, therapeutic support and positive habits, you have the ability to shift repeated patterns and discover new ways to grow and ultimately heal.
The definition of trauma is: a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
All humans have experienced trauma in one form or another, at some point in their lives. The very experience of being born is traumatic. Once safely and peacefully existing inside your mother’s womb, through the birthing process, you became cold, hungry and uncomfortable almost instantly. You were filled with fear and helplessness. What happened next was a healing: your parents gave you love and filled your basic needs and you adjusted to life and began to thrive. With proper care and nurturance, soon the trauma of birth was released. You instinctually understood that your needs would be met and you felt loved, which allowed for a healthy transition into the world.
The trauma associated with child sexual abuse trauma is more severe in that someone you trusted betrayed you and you were unable to make sense of what was happening. You felt unsafe and scared. Similar to birth trauma, through joining with other humans who can give you support and nurturance, you learn to trust again and thereby shift your shame around the abuse and begin to heal.
Throughout this process, the use of flower essence remedies is extremely beneficial in rebalancing the daunting emotions associated with sexual abuse recovery. Here are some essences I find particularly useful in working with sexual abuse survivors. This is only a partial list. When meeting with a client and discussing their specific challenges, I am better able to hone in on the best combination of remedies to use.
Helping Sexual Abuse Trauma – Bach Flower Essence List
- Aspen is used when there is a sense of fear that cannot be named. Survivors suffering from PTSD often have disturbing feelings that sneak up on them and find it hard to feel safe. With the use of Aspen, a sense of security is restored and feelings of inner peace and courage are kindled. This remedy also helps with nightmares or any ominous feelings.
- Centaury is a helpful ally for a trauma pattern, which shows up later in life: the inability to recognize your own needs and to put the needs of others first, to the point of seriously lacking in self-care. Since survivors didn’t have their needs met early on, it can become a habit to neglect their own needs. This remedy helps you cultivate a deeper understanding of and a determination to follow your own life path.
- Cherry Plum is one of the 5 flowers in Rescue Remedy and is used to counterbalance fear of losing control. Many abuse survivors inflict harm upon themselves or others, as a way to gain control over an out of control situation. This flower helps you connect to your body and mind, allowing you to pause before committing a harmful act. Cherry Plum offers a sense of true control in the form of emotional composure.
- Chestnut Bud is the best remedy to help you learn from past mistakes and to stop repeating habitual patterns. Often trauma survivors aren’t even aware as to why they are unable to make progress in their lives, but tend to replay the same dysfunctional experiences over and over. This remedy helps you to observe your mistakes objectively and gain the wisdom necessary to grow from life’s lessons.
- Clematis is used for the dissociation that comes with surviving trauma. I like to point out to my clients that when they were children and something so frightening was happening to them, it was a self-preserving measure to dissociate from the situation. Years later, many survivors still unknowingly use this tactic to protect themselves even from minor discomforts. They tend to get lost in daydreams and stories as a way to escape a disturbing reality. This flower helps you re-connect to your body with a sense of grounding. After this restoration, you can begin to use your creativity in healthy, productive ways.
- Crab Apple is an effective remedy for a distorted sense of body image that many abuse survivors hold on to, which sometimes shows up as obsessive-compulsive tendencies. For those who feel unclean and impure, finding it hard to accept any imperfections, this flower allows for self-acceptance and a positive self-image with the ability to release preoccupation with perfection.
- Larch is another remedy associated with the after effects of trauma. Abuse survivors often harbor a lack of self-confidence, never feeling like they are good enough. This flower enables you to feel positive vulnerability, leading to certainty in your efforts.
- Mimulus is useful when fear and anxiety take over. The cause of the fear is easily recognized and there is a feeling of uncontrollable nervousness. This remedy instills courage and inner-calm so that you are able to proceed with life in a fearless manner.
- Mustard is used when there is a deep sense of gloom, which comes on suddenly. Trauma survivors typically have periods of depression and free-floating anxiety that come on out of the blue. The essence of Mustard restores joy and stability in the midst of dark, dismal feelings.
- Pine is useful when feelings of guilt surface. Often survivors were made to feel guilty about their abuse, living in secrecy, which produced feelings of shame and self-reproach later in life. Pine is a wonderful ally in restoring feelings of self-worth and acceptance.
- Rock Rose is another one of the 5 flowers in Rescue Remedy and is used for feelings of terror. It is used with success for panic attacks where there is frozen fear and helplessness. This flower restores a sense of calm, courage and clarity.
- Star of Bethlehem is the remedy I always turn to first when working to unblock trauma. The state the client exhibits is one of shock; whether the abuse occurred recently or many years ago. Unfeeling and numb, often with a quiet voice and dazed look, this potent remedy is the star that helps you be able to feel again. Bach described this remedy as “the comforter and soother of pains and sorrows.”
- White Chestnut is used for the mental anxiety of recurring thoughts that can’t be stopped. Trauma survivors often replay unwanted scenes over and over in their minds and feel trapped by these thoughts and images. The essence of White Chestnut restores peace of mind with the ability to stay focused in the present moment.
- Rescue Remedy should always be kept on hand and used whenever any intense emotions arise during sexual abuse trauma recovery. This combination formula acts to rebalance equilibrium, bringing you back to a clear, calm presence.
Getting to Emotional Balance
Once I am able to help a client recover emotional balance from sexual abuse trauma with flower essences, then we can work together to develop practices that will lead to growth and healing. In my next blog article I will talk about healthy practices for greater resilience in sexual abuse trauma recovery.
I am here to help and invite you to get a free consultation to ask me any questions.