Here I am, in my room at the Purple House, with the diffuser puffing wisps of lavender oil, the three bars of the heater sending out a warming glow and music playing softly in the background. At first glance everything appears normal, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Anita (fake name to protect identity), is about to undergo the biggest transformation in her life: she will soon leave her human body and enter the spirit realm. Anita seems to be in denial about her impending death but my Dutch down to earth brain is sizing up the cold hard facts: her tummy is grotesquely swollen, her breathing is laboured, and her frame looks like a skeleton. In an effort to stay alive her body has used up all her muscle tissue. Her systems are slowly shutting down and I expect it will only be a matter of minutes, hours or one day at the most before her time is up.

mist.jpgI realize that it has taken a huge effort on Anita’s part to be here. She lives an hour away and had to find a driver brave enough to take on a dying passenger. We have just done some healing work together which made it easier for her to breathe and relieve the pain that’s been her constant companion for the last few months. Now we are sitting together while I have my hands under her lower back to support her with energy. We don’t talk because there is no need. We have entered a wordless realm where nothing needs to be said. She knows that I love and respect her and that I am ‘with her’ in every sense of the word. I hope that my wordless presence will give her enough courage to help her reach her finish line without any further dramas.

There is nothing more isolating and terrifying for us mere mortals than being in agony and facing death while the world around you goes on as normal. I have been there and done that myself.  I am glad that today I can make a difference for Anita.  The atmosphere in the room is peaceful, as if we are in a parallel universe, where dying is the norm of the day. I can sense her welcoming party so I know that it won’t be long now.

Over the years I have developed a very sensitive nervous system which picks up on the slightest changes in the atmosphere. Now it feels are if the Universe is preparing to welcome Anita back into the warmth of its womb. The same happened just before my mother died. Peter and I were sitting beside her hospital bed at night and even though there is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your mum die from cancer in a sterile hospital environment, there was that same feeling of complete and utter calm, love and comfort that everything was right. The hardest part of that experience was stepping out into the cold dark night a few hours later and shutting the door of the hospital , leaving my mum behind forever, and entering the land of the living again..

The following year I had a very close brush with death myself.  Surprisingly in that moment I had no thoughts of fear or darkness, because I only saw love everywhere as I was fully opened to the presence of the Universe. I understood then that the Universe is always open to us, ready to fill us with feelings of joy, love and happiness but we don’t allow ourselves to notice it.  We are too busy working, thinking and interacting with each other that we are closed off to the one Source that could give us everything we are subconsciously looking for.

Just before Wilbur was born I had a really strong message from the Universe again. Peter and I were walking towards the Mersey Hospital where Lucy was in premature labour, and my heart was heavy with worry. Suddenly it felt as if a curtain opened and I knew the Universe was as busy anticipating Wilbur’s entrance into the world as I was, and that Tom, Lucie and Wilbur were being looked after. To the Universe we all matter equally, we are all important. If only we could have those messages every day, wouldn’t life be so much more satisfying? We wouldn’t need to watch the news every day to see what the world is up to, because we would be able to get all the ‘news’ from our own private Source and then we could live our lives fearlessly and productively.

Anita has never expressed any interest in ‘life after death’ or getting in touch with her higher consciousness. I don’t blame her because much of her life has been a string of painful and difficult memories.  Now she whispers to me she is looking forward to being re-united with her parents when all this is over. She is starting to feel lighter and more cheerful, she says, and soaking up the good feelings.

Anita first came to me with many problems. She had previously overcome breast cancer and was petrified that cancer would strike her again one day. She wasn’t just terrified; she had fully convinced herself that she had cancer, and that it was only a matter of time before her Doctor would diagnose her with terminal illness. And that is exactly what happened. Her health spiralled downward after the diagnosis and I had to find what was causing so much conflict in her body.  During her first visit I noticed that her energy was blocked around the pelvis and the throat. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that energy blocks in the pelvis meant problems with her reproductive area (she had never been able to have children). When the throat energy is stagnant it can mean a multitude of things, including low thyroid function. Often when we look beyond the physical we realize it’s to do with conflict between the head and the heart and that there are issues with not being able to speak your own truth. Connecting the dots I asked her if she had a history of sexual abuse.

She said yes. Only a few months earlier a different health care worker had suggested to her to ‘come clean’ by approaching the person who had taken advantage of her as a young child. The thought behind it was that it would clear up the repressions from her childhood and liberate her emotionally. The exact opposite had happened. When she finally found the courage to confront her only brother he denied the whole story, and even accused her of being a liar and a cheat. That incidence had shaken her up so much that she retreated from life and her cancer had returned with a vengeance.

I am not a great believer of ‘setting things right’, ‘aiming for justice’ or getting ‘even’ exactly for the reason I am seeing today.  For me as a therapist it is more important to help the person make peace with their memories of hurt and abuse and restore dignity and balance without necessarily confronting the perpetrator.

Kinergetics is a very gentle and effective form of energy medicine we use at the clinic, usually supported by cranio-sacral therapy, reflexology, time line therapy, essential oils or any other form of energy medicine where we tap into the subconscious layers. Often clients don’t fully remember their history and they feel angry, fragile, confused, anxious or ill without fully knowing why. Every treatment gives them new insights. They start to see why they kept on repeating unhelpful behaviours, why they always got sick at crucial times or why they attract a certain partner with disastrous effects. With understanding comes compassion and self respect.

Changes in the body chemistry happen instantly when traumas are released and clients usually feel lighter, more chilled out and resilient to cope with stress. (Emotions are chemicals in the blood stream)These treatments can be confronting, but there is no reason to be scared or fearful of what you are going to experience during a healing session. We get in touch with your subconscious through muscle testing which guides us to the real traumas that are holding you back.

It’s clear that Anita’s history of sexual abuse set her up for a life sentence of suffering and I can’t help thinking of the many girls and women who disclosed similar issues to me in this same room. There have been hundreds, perhaps thousands.  Some women have been married for decades and yet their husbands aren’t aware of their internal torment. The shame they feel is so deep that they could never utter the words. Others talk about it freely, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t deeply scarred or that their issues have been properly addressed.

Before I started work I never realized that sexual abuse or child sexual abuse is of epidemical proportions.  In Australia alone the cost of violence against women and children (usually by intimate family and friends) stands at $13.6 billion per year (study done in 2009). However this is talking about recognized cases. I believe the real cost would be much higher. When we take into consideration the loss of trust, health, and the diminished capacity to function in society as well as the effect on consequent generations the costs are staggering. (I am using monetary loss here as a measure, because all the other damage is incalculable).

The majority of girls and boys who were coerced into sexual activity by older siblings, cousins, fathers, grandfathers, uncles and family friends will never talk about it so the largest percentage of victims fall outside the major studies.  The acts they suffered are often not recognized as violence and even the victim themselves have great difficulty discerning between an ‘act of love’ and being violated. All the boundaries have been blurred and the harmful effects are very insidious. If left untreated they will either suffer physically with symptoms like very low energy, hormonal problems, chronic illnesses, infertility or endometriosis, bouts of cancer, multiple allergies, overeating and obesity or the opposite which leads to anorexia.

On an emotional level they often feel isolated, depressed or anxious, or they have trouble being authentic/themselves, never build up real connections, not even with their partners or their own children. They may be promiscuous because that is the only way they know how to ‘get’ love. They may suffer from borderline personality disorders; have ADHS, ODD, OCD, bipolar or schizophrenia or have addictions like gambling or pornography.

Spiritually they are often deeply divided or disconnected from their Source/God, unworthy of happiness, love or prosperity, or feel fatally flawed.

Back in my room I look at Anita. She sums up all of the above. She has felt alienated from herself and her closest relatives all her life and I wish for her to enjoy a sense of belonging now, and make these peaceful moments last. I wished she had come to us for help many years ago but I put those thoughts out of my mind. In the bigger scheme of things there are no coincidences, and everything happens according to a perfect plan. At least that is what I choose to believe.

All too soon our session is finished and I am sorry I can’t bend the rules and cancel my other clients to stay with her for a bit longer. However I feel that in this last hour we have completed her lifetime of learning and now she is able to face the next step of her journey with courage, hope and dignity. If her chakras remain fully aligned and opened like they are now, it will be easier for her to exit her body when the moment arrives. I say goodbye, leave my room and step back into the reception area, where the phone is ringing and I am confronted by the real reality of time, money and distance.

Every day I expect a call to inform me of her passing. Finally after thinking of her for four days and nights we are informed that she is gone. I sit in my empty room and let the tears flow.  I feel sad, but what really moves me is thinking about her spirit, of everyone’s spirit; it’s the stuff of miracles. We are able to endure humiliation, deprivation, shame and suffering and yet somehow our spirits keep on shining forever.

Postscript from Grada: I wrote this story as a tribute to Anita a couple of years ago but I felt it was too early to post it. Since then I have lost several more clients through cancer. Each one’s history was similar to Anita’s. If you have been a victim of abuse please remember two things from this story:

1) YOU ARE NOT ALONE! My guess is that one in two women has been abused and one in four men. Some health care workers/therapist would go as far as to say that EVERY woman has memories of coercion or exploitation. If you were molested by an uncle for instance, the statistics say that the average paedophile molests 117 youngsters. There are even studies that suggest the number is as high as 260 victims per paedophile. That means that there were at least another 116 or 259 children/cousins/friends/ people you know who were molested by the same uncle who groomed you. All these people feel the same unspeakable shame/guilt as you do!

2) Avoiding the painful memories might be short term gain, but it’s definitely long term pain. If you haven’t used any tissues (if you haven’t cried, which means you haven’t listened to the cries of your body) your issues remain stuck in your tissues and eventually manifest as all sorts of health problems, like a sore back, stiff neck, asthma, allergies, diabetes or worse, heart disease and cancer. YOUR ISSUES BECOME YOUR TISSUES!

Please seek the help you deserve. Phone 64283007 and book yourself in for a massage ($80) or a kinergetic/combination/healing session which is $100/hour. (My sessions are always $150)

I am looking forward to doing group healing sessions in November. These 1 hour sessions will initially go over 4 weeks ($100 for the 4 sessions) and will be made up of a combination of powerful emotional release techniques like

  • EFT (emotional freedom technique)
  • Specific breathing to release trauma
  • Group hypnotherapy and relaxation
  • Essential oils to restore and support emotional wellbeing and much more…..

I will release information closer to November. Please register your interest and phone 64283007 or email  Till next time, Grada