Childhood was far from easy, and I shared some of it in my chapter from the book series 20 Beautiful Women,Volume Six. Interestingly enough, I don’t remember much about when I was a child. I merely have flashes of the past up until I was seven or eight years old. Perhaps it is because the subconscious mind hides trauma so we can continue to live in safety and security.

The issue though is that these traumatic experiences linger in the backs of our minds and indirectly influence behavior throughout our adult lives. As a child, when experiencing trauma, we are unable to make sense of what is happening.

Our tiny and underdeveloped brain is incapable of processing emotions and feelings that come with an experience that is beyond the physical realm of the child’s mind.

Those who read My Journey of Belonging in the book series of 20 Beautiful Women are astounded that I would attempt suicide at the age of ten. I opened up tremendously when writing my chapter as I struggled with feelings of shame and fear of judgment by exposing my life so openly.

Yet, I was not ready to share my most significant trauma of all which was the real culprit behind my suicide attempt. I was afraid of people’s “uncomfortable sympathy.” I did not feel safe to share my traumatic experience nor did I want to open up my Pandora box of the past.

A box which was responsible for my definition of self-worth and love; a box that contained horrific memories of sexual abuse when I was a little girl.

In my case, the sexual abuse happened when I was six, and the abuser was a pedophile who unfortunately happened to be a friend of the family. Even worse, he had a reputation for being a pedophile, but the Moroccan community in the small town where I lived seemed to turn a blind eye. Or perhaps they could never prove anything and so they ensured their children were never alone with him. Unfortunately, my parents were oblivious to his true character and he was a good friend of our family. He was such a good friend that he and his wife were our babysitters when my parents left for a month-long pilgrimage. As I write this I remember feeling scared the whole time because I became his prey.

I always remembered I was abused, but I repressed those memories because they were too horrific to remember with the conscious mind. I was unable to grasp the meaning of those moments at the age of six and long into adulthood.

Because of my sexual abuse, I developed an unhealthy understanding of what it meant to be loved and to love within relationships.

Unconsciously, I believed I had to have physical contact for someone to love me even if the contact made me very uncomfortable or afraid.

Unconsciously, I believed my self-worth was close to zero and I had to work very hard for people to accept and love me by being someone they acceptedand they could love.

Perhaps my distrust of people was a blessing in disguise as I had very few relationships in my life where I was intimate with the other person. Most of my relationships occurred in my mind and were illusory which, in hindsight, was not a bad thing.

My mind tried to keep me safe by keeping my walls and defensives high. Opening up meant getting hurt, violated and left to the wolves.

Then, one Sunday morning my friend and angel, Sarah Nur, decided to do another therapeutic session with me. It was one of several to come. She said I had many emotional blockages and unless I released them, I would never live life in the flowand manifest all the abundance that is already on my path. I needed to let go of my darkest emotions and heal from the inside.

Well, all that sounded nice, but how the heck was I to do that, right?

By diving deep into darkness and feeling those emotions before releasing them. This is how I experienced this healing session, which was the start of my freedom and that of my inner-child; my inner-child who was held hostage by these dark emotions for over three decades.

Healing through Skype

Sarah lives in Beirut, Lebanon and we do our sessions through Skype. Skeptical at first, because of a possible poor internet connection, I did not realize how powerful this session was about to be. I sat across from her image on the TV screen in my bedroom with my door closed.

I spent the hour before asking my son to please stay in the living room as Mommy had a very important meeting. I was nervous because as a six-year-old who has high energy levels, he is used to bursting into my room for no reason. In this case, it meant interrupting my healing session over Skype and God knows with what consequences. He looked at me after one hour with his big brown eyes in his Transformer’s suit and said in a cute voice in French:

“Maman, c’est bon! J’ai compris, tu me l’as dis deja milles fois. Je ne viendrais pas dans ta chambre,promis! (Mommy, I get it alright. You told me a million times. I won’t come into your room, promise!”)

Okay, I was ready; I told Sarah this when she asked me to close my eyes. She asked me all kinds of questions, but the big one was: What do you want to work on? I paused, took a deep breath and answered:

I want to learn how to tap into my internal love base so I can be at peace from within and live life in all its serenity.

I could hear thoughts popping up and telling me . . . Good luck with that! Like Sarah is going to transform you through Skype? I could hear the laughing sound of my thoughts. I observed and let go.

I trusted Sarah as we have a very good rapport and I am an Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner myself so I know the power of these sessions. Moreover, Sarah is angelic, pure and kind.

Her purpose is helping others to enhance their spiritual quality of life and she was passionate and determined to help me from the very first moment I met her in Bali.

Numbness as I Relived the Sexual Abuse

As I sat across from the screen with my eyes closed, she kept asking me to go back to a moment where I felt unsafe and insecure. I did not want to go there, but I knew I had to if I wanted to heal from this period. So I did. Surprisingly enough, I felt numb.

Pure numbness as I visualized his hand deep down there, while I was cuddled up in his lap.

As a six-year-old girl who lacked affection and attention, I was confused. It was nice to be hugged by someone I considered an uncle. At the same time I did not understand what he was doing. I let him because I was paralyzed with confusion and fear of losing the affection I desired so much at the age of six.

After the first time, I felt dirty and scared. I managed to escape several times before he cornered me against the wall and promised me a Disney wallet if he could kiss me. I remember seeing the beautiful Disney wallet in his hand as he was showing me my incentive if he could kiss me. I did not want him to kiss me, but he was too strong for me and he shoved his tongue in my throat. After five minutes, I managed to escape and I grabbed the wallet as I ran away.

My parents were not wealthy — far from it! Sustaining a family of five children was hard for them. Presents were a rare phenomenon. We received presents for Christmas and our birthdays so the children would not make fun at us in school.

As I kept my eyes closed, I visualized how I looked at the wallet in awe and at the same time with disgust. I did not know what was happening, but I knew what he did was wrong. Still, I could finally be admired at school for my new Disney wallet. I could never have afforded it by myself at the age of six.

I always kept everything inside as a little girl and I still do as a grown woman. I never told anyone about the sexual abuse until years later when I shared it with my mother. I remember she was terrified my father would find out and hurt or even kill the man who abused me.

A few years later the pedophile died a slow death from cancer. I was about twenty-five years old when my parents called me and said he was dying. Deep down I hated him for what he did, but I forgave him nonetheless. Not for him, but for me. I could not allow his abuse to define me for the rest of my life.

Little did I know that I was subconsciously carrying the burden of sexual abuse; nonetheless, it defined all of my relationships as feelings of trust and love were unfamiliar to me.

Walking Down the Stairways into Darkness

Sarah asked what I felt when reviving this scenario. I answered, “Sadness.” She kept asking and I kept digging until I no longer knew what I felt. At least, I ran out of labels. She guided me as I visualized a staircase and every stairstep was a dark emotion I felt which I articulated and swiped away so that I can see what emotion was beneath.

Anger, resentment, sadness, frustration, lack of worthiness, disgust, insecurity and emptiness were present as I continued walking down the stairs.

Then, I experienced a mental blockage and I could not come up with another emotion; yet she kept asking. She kept guiding me to go further until suddenly I saw a very small child sitting on the staircase surrounded by darkness. Only her face was shining with light. This young girl was so scared and so lonely. I could feel her darkest emotions. This young girl was me. I ran down the stairs to hold her in my arms as Sarah guided me to comfort her and to hold her tight.

As I was holding her in my arms, hugging her so tight, I could feel all the tiny cells in her body whilst the staircase started to light up. Light was shining from every corner, and I could finally see my inner child in all her magnificence. I kept comforting her and I kept hugging her. And the light kept shining all the way up the staircase. It was no longer dark.

I dove deep into my past, felt my darkest emotions so that I could find my inner child and we both could heal from the past. Adults failed to comfort her when she needed it the most. As now I am an adult myself, I can finally comfort her and love her with all that is in me.

Unleashing My Emotions through Motion

Needless to say I felt very emotional in a positive way. I felt lighter like I had just dropped a back pack full of rocks that I had carried for as long as I could remember. Sarah told me to stand up, scream, dance, take up a warrior pose because I was a warrior. I was a strong and resilient woman who from now on would love and nurture her inner-child. Who from now on knows how to tap into her own love base from within as I have now released my biggest emotional blockages from my childhood.

I stood up and went to the living room, put on Celtic music and danced away. I held my son’s hand and we danced, smiled and screamed our lungs out. It’s a good thing the neighbors have two small children with vocal cords that can shatter the thickest glass ceilings you can imagine. So we continued to dance and scream guilt free! I had never felt so light and so loved.

Sarah explained that when we dance and move we allow our emotional energy to move as well and to flow out of us. It was a new way, at least for me, to deal with repressed emotions.

Find Your Inner-Child and Be the Love She Never Had

Everyone has a different story and different emotional needs. There is no one-size fits all approach and we all do our best to find what works for us. I hope my story and vulnerability will help those who are victims of abuse — any kind of abuse — as a child.

I hope that as an adult you will seek help and connect with your inner-child by diving deep into your darkest emotions so that you can finally live at peace. Find your inner-child and unleash your darkness so the light can shine brighter than you ever imagined possible. A true hero is someone who shares his or her story, so they and others can heal from traumatic experiences that were out of their control.

Never let anyone tell you otherwise or encourage you to keep your pain for yourself. There are many people who suffered from abuse all around the globe, yet they have kept this burden to themselves. No more my dearest one. Be brave, be courageous and allow your burden to dissipate like smoke.

I for one am determined to help as many people as I can to heal and live their true potential, to learn how to love themselves and shine their light so they can feel fulfilled during their journey on this planet.

Stories from the heart

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