The Healing Power Within: Carla Speaks Again; Chapter Three

“I just finished a Reiki Fusion  session with Cynthia. It was very tough for me. It surprised me with how quickly I began to see images within. It began with more of a feeling, like pure energy being held in a box.

Bing Magic Box

But then I saw swirly party ribbons with long white balloons that had bright flowers on them. They were all over the place and moving with the energy that I was feeling within. Cynthia asked me what else I saw, and I told her the box was present again. She asked me what it looked like, if it was still black like it was before. It wasn’t. It was a decorative dark wooden box this time. I told her about it. It was filled with light, bursting at the seams. It seemed like it was a party in a box and I could feel the energy it was emitting. The energy was everywhere. That was what was moving the ribbons and balloons as well.

th.jBing silhouette girl reaching to the skypg

As I watched I noticed my smaller self appear in the corner of my consciousness. She was smiling and almost eager to explore what was happening. She walked confidently down the hill she was standing on, (for some reason she always appears on a hill), and entered the area with the ribbons. She was happy and smiling, turned her face up toward the ribbons and laughed out loud. Then she gathered ribbons in both hands and started spinning and dancing as she continued to laugh. She was filled with this happiness. She was bursting with this energy and felt the need to run. There was a field that opened up before her as she started to run. It was a big green grassy field. It felt so good to run and laugh and feel the happy energy pulsing through her. Running helped her expel a lot of the built up energy. This is energy that I have been feeling for bout a week. I have wanted to just up and start running, so it felt good to do it in my subconscious.


She didn’t forget about the box, nor was she running away from it. As she started thinking about it, she felt herself heading back towards it. As she approached it, she knew that one single touch from her finger would open the box. She reached her arm out, stretching her finger slowly towards the box, anticipating what would happen once the light was freed.


Once her finger touched it, the box collapsed open, laying flat and the light exploded into the space. The bottom of the box was open, allowing the light and sparkles and ribbons and balloons to continuously flow into the space.

Bing Sparkle, light, baloon, ribbon


My smaller self sat down and laid back to watch the light flow all over the space. she closed her eyes with a smile on her face as she felt glittery light rain over her. She was happy and felt it deep down within.

Bing Encounter of a seriel harrasser

Then something happened that changed everything. A person appeared. Someone my younger self did not want to see. I immediately began to fight this feeling of this person’s appearance. I became uncomfortable and upset. I told Cynthia that this was making me feel emotional and I could feel the heat in my eyes as tears began to build up. I didn’t want to feel this way. I didn’t want to see this person. My younger self told her, “I don’t want you here”. I didn’t want to cry because of her presence.

Cynthia encouraged everything to happen. I still didn’t want to. She asked me to describe the person. I didn’t want to. I said I wanted her to go. Just thinking about saying who it was made my face hot with emotion.

She asked me again. I told her who it was. “It’s my mother”. Saying that took courage and made me want to release all kinds of emotion, but I couldn’t. Cynthia asked me what she looked like. I couldn’t see her face. Only a representation of a body and her hair. Then I could not see things very well. The clear images began to get fuzzy. I felt myself closing up because of the appearance of this person. I said this to Cynthia and she explained that I was slowing down the experience in my mind. She continued to encourage me to describe what I saw when I saw something.


Slowly I started to see my younger self again. She was angry. She was making a very angry face. This is new, I thought, because growing up I never allowed myself to feel angry. Just thankful that my dad decided to keep me. Looking at my younger self, I was proud that she was actually allowing herself to react with her feelings. She was really angry and she looked at the person with all her rage.

The person did not move, just stood there. Cynthia asked if there was anything that she wanted to say to the person. YES!!! I felt like screaming out, but I didn’t, because I wanted the answer to be no. Then things began to get fuzzy again. I mentioned that and we just waited for me to focus within again. Slowly the words, “How could you?”, “I don’t want you here” and “I don’t like you” began to develop in my smaller self’s mind.

Cynthia reminded me of the strong, younger me who opened the dark box and danced in the light. The strength and confidence were there. I didn’t have to disappear just because that person was present.


So, my younger self began to breathe deeper and held her head up higher and higher. Her back straightened and she began to feel the strength and confidence that she knew was there. “I DON’T WANT YOU HERE!” She said it and it felt weird. She felt confused, because she wasn’t supposed to be feeling this way about this person. Then she got sad. She began to wish that she didn’t have these issues, that she actually grew up in a home with a mom and dad who loved her unconditionally. Who would she have been?


I began to feel the heat of tears building up again and I didn’t like it, so things became fuzzy again. I realized that every time I felt my emotions were about to release, I would get fuzzy and try to close things down. Cynthia was on to me, though, so she acknowledged it and then we would patiently wait for it to continue.


When I could see things again, my younger self was sad. Cynthia suggested I go over and hug little me so I did. Then she asked how does she feel? “She doesn’t”. What about me? How did I feel? I didn’t feel anything, no connection. I was just overwhelmingly uncomfortable.

Bing Mother and Daughter hugging silhouette


I started pushing my thumb nail into my fingertips on my left hand at some point during the session. At this point, I was so uncomfortable feeling these feelings that I have buried for so long, that I started pressing it harder and harder until it hurt. I found that little bit of pain distracted me from feeling the emotional pain that kept threatening to overflow.


This whole time, that person just stood there. Cynthia said that she was just standing there taking it. Whatever I said, she was not moving, just taking it and not running away. Even though I was angry and emotional, it felt good to hear that. She was not running away.


I wanted her to go away, though. I could feel it deep down within. I wanted to get away from this person and my younger self told her so. “I want you to leave!” but she wouldn’t. After feeling frustrated, I realized that the person wasn’t leaving because she didn’t want to. So I told her she could come back some time, but she needed to go now. Slowly the figure receded into darkness.


Then it was over. As I sat up, I realized I had been crying and my nose was stuffy. I was overwhelmed by the session, but knew that I had reached somewhere deep within and tapped into a part of my subconscious that has been locked up for a long time. The idea of releasing my emotions in that area scares me. My younger self was scared and I felt scared. Hopefully I will have the courage to let it go soon. I can only imagine how different my life will be once I have released all that emotional baggage.”

Carla’s courage inspires.  She is discovering her capacity to dig deep so she can release the demons, and come to innocence and joy.  She is on her way!





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2014 in blogging

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

There were 35 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 7th with 48 views. The most popular post that day was How Do I Heal From This Pain?.”


I am honored by your interest.  Here is to your enlightenment and self-actualization.   Thank you!


The Prey – Characteristics and Behavior of the Victims

The Prey – Characteristics and Behavior of the Victims

1. What makes you so vulnerable?

Let’s start out with a look at what makes you so vulnerable to the manipulator. What signals are you sending out that draws them to you like a magnet?

Here are some questions for you:

  • Are you needy, deep down inside? Are you desperate for love, attention and approval?
  • Is your self-esteem based on how others see you?
  • Are you caring and conscientious? Do you tend to be sympathetic and giving, wanting to help others?
  • Do you tend to think that others are like you? Do you have the tendency to believe in the best in others? Do you see the glass half full?
  • Do you magnetize users and narcissists? Are you driven by the need to fix or rescue broken people that in part you may feel sorry for, and then find yourself the one needing repair? Do you find yourself exhausted and depleted in the process?
  • Do you tend to be gullible and just can’t believe it when someone crosses or betrays you? Are you easily bamboozled?
  • Are you a bit of a Pollyanna? Do you see yourself as optimistic?
  • Do you believe that love can solve everything?
  • Do you take on people as projects, feeling that with enough love and support, you can change them? Do you take on other people’s responsibilities (and then secretly resent it)?
  • Do you stay in a painful relationships and try to “work it out” even though the other is not trying in good faith to work it out too? (This is called inappropriate loyalty!)
  • Do you tend to minimize the hurtful behavior of the other, to minimize the pain you feel, thinking that that this is just part of being in a relationship?
  • Do you do more than your part, giving and giving – because this is just who you are? Do you then feel drained with all that energy going out and very little positive coming in?
  • Do you sometimes feel that your head is in the clouds, or have others accused you of this?

Some of these qualities sound like such wonderful and positive ways of being, don’t they? You might say, what’s wrong with caring and believing in the power of love? What’s wrong with seeing the best in others and being loyal, in spite of relationship difficulties?

When mismatched with a user, the relationship is a disaster! If you drew someone more like you, you would not be at risk! Later we will get into how to discern how to know whom you are drawing to you. Discernment depends on tuning into your own deep feelings and responses when you meet someone or are in their presence. Your connecting with the feelings in you in response to the presence of the other is key! Otherwise you are swimming right into the mouth of the whale.

2. Fear-Based Behavior

Think about this: are you motivated by fear? Do you tend to make decisions based on avoiding confrontation? Do you make choices to avoid upsetting or getting others mad at you? Will you do anything to avoid being in the eye of the storm? Do you have a hard time saying no? If so, you may find yourself vulnerable to being manipulated and dominated. This may make you overly compliant because you focus on pleasing others.

Ironically, even though you try to avoid confrontation at any cost, you walk every day with fear. That avoidance actually draws aggression to you, your fear answered by the other’s challenge. You invite it by keeping in your presence one whom you don’t trust. It’s like walking a tiger!

Internally the constant presence of danger stimulates fear. Fear induces the endocrine system to run on high alert. Adrenal fatigue can result and even the thyroid can be thrown off balance. You may have the tendency to be triggered into the fight, flight and freeze mode (numbing paralysis). If the trauma is intense and prolonged enough dissociation can be induced. What this means is that you don’t actually feel fully present; it is a means of removing yourself from fully experiencing the pain. The problem is that this numbing can prevent appropriate action actually designed to promote survival. The numbness overlays the pain keeping it covered and in place like a blanket. The pain remains intact, like a time capsule, deep inside.

You may be giving away your own power out of fear without even knowing it. You may discover you focus on the other and you are left out of your own equation. You may find yourself thinking, “How can I make him or her happy? What do I need to do to make my world safe? How do I need to act in order to keep the world around me calm? How can I placate the other so I can be safe?” When you find yourself thinking in these ways, then you know the fulcrum of your life has shifted dangerously away from your own center.

When you give away your power, you give away the ability to control your own life. Do you try to micro-manage certain areas of your life because in the big picture someone else is in your drivers seat? Do you stay engaged in the relationship out of fear you can’t make it on your own? Do you believe you really are unworthy and no one else would care? Staying in the relationship for these reasons (the wrong reasons) are fear-based and are sure to lead you to feel inauthentic in your own life, as though you are a hypocrite. You may feel like you are in a secret war within yourself; if that is so you are a war casualty!

There is an epidemic of these types of abusive relationships with teenage girls. The boys are trying out their aggressive and masculine ways, looking for a girl to dominate and control. Is this what it takes for them to feel powerful? Does it take demeaning and controlling their girlfriend and putting her down, putting her into a jealousy box for him to appear manly to himself and others? Do you girls really need to accept this behavior, to sacrifice yourself in order to make him look “bigger?” Are you afraid to shine your own light because no one will “like you?”

3. Are you prone to create fictional reality?

As the relationship progresses do you shift your perceptions to agree with the other? Are you worn down and come to accept the perspective of the abuser? Are you justifying an alternative or fictional reality that sets you up more and more as the bad guy? If you have a tendency to deny signs of aggression, meanness and disrespect you actually give permission for the abuse to continue and grow. Is it possible that you are emotionally naïve? If you don’t face another person’s meanness does it mean it doesn’t exist?

In the fully developed stage of abuse the victim can develop a delusional version of reality that joins with the abusers view. This may sound like, “It must be me” or “I know I’m not perfect” or “I must have done something to deserve this.” It may be that you justify the disrespectful behavior or make excuses for him or her. And do you then believe it yourself?

Sometimes those under the yoke tend to avoid those who truly support them. Is it out of shame and the desire not to be “found out?” Whatever the motivation the victim often forms a protective bubble around him or herself, keeping out potential sources of support and perspective.

Intense feelings of shame can keep the relationship going when it should be stopped. Fear of others seeing just how bad things are can promote a smiling mask put on over the truth of suffering and pain. Rather than be embarrassed by others seeing how diminished you are, do you hide the truth and act like everything is all right?

It can go so far as defending the person who is hurting you. Have you ever done that? Maybe you say, “They can’t help it,” “They must be hungry, tired or sick,” “they are under so much stress,” “I can’t blame them,” “I must have done something to set them off, “After all, I am not perfect.”

For one wounded over the years, especially since childhood, an even more dire scenario can develop. The wounded can become one who wounds: victim turned persecutor. Tired of fighting, tired of being the one on the bottom, some turn to victimize others. I see one person in this situation and she wonders, “Will I ever find my real self? Have I lost my innocence forever?” The suffering she has experienced is so overwhelming that she turned to identify with the aggressor. And now even more tragedy: the (apparent) loss of her beautiful self. So poignant, when she was only 4 or 5 years old she turned to her mother and said of her father, “Mommy, if you leave me with him he will ruin me.” He did. She ultimately became as cruel, vindictive and twisted as her father.

But I say her true self is yet to be re-discovered. She has only to call for it. Beneath the twisted wreckage is the bright and beautiful essence of herself – waiting, just waiting to be recognized.

But remember, it is not your job to rescue her. Only she can save herself. Your job is to save you!

4. Do you have loose boundaries?

As the abuser tends to penetrate boundaries, do you invite the abuser into your inner realm without regard for your own safety? Does he or she stray into what should be sacred territory, like your computer, cell phone or work life, or your very mind? Do you give them the key to your world then feel profoundly unsafe? Do you fail to set up safe boundaries for yourself?

Once penetrated the danger is that you “internalize” the emotional bullets that have been shot at you. Do you take “hook, line and sinker” what has been projected onto you? It’s as though you lost yourself, the self you once were. Do you recognize how much you’ve lost?

5. Do you have low self-esteem?

If you started out confident, it won’t end that way if you are being ambushed at every turn. If you started out self-doubting, anxious and submissive the damage can even more pervasive. Low self-esteem makes you available for “the hook.”

Low self-esteem can also lead to not trusting yourself. Do you have intuition but then deny it and go ahead anyway against your own better judgment?

Bottom line: if consciously or unconsciously you feel unworthy you may draw to you someone who acts like that is true. If you feel you deserve punishment, the abuser is ready and waiting to make you “dream” or as it may be, your “nightmare” come true. Do you think you can “dream” up another reality?

  1. Do you find yourself taking excess responsibility

I have seen this over and over. If you have a tendency to look to yourself for wrongdoing in the name of “taking responsibility” and if you are in relationship with an abuser, that will be used against you. Your tendency to be fair and look to yourself for “your part” will lead to projection of blame on you only. After all, “It’s all your fault.”

  1. Did you have a dysfunctional traumatic childhood?

The background music of abusive relationships is the history of traumatic, abusive or neglectful early childhood experience. That theme song can be set for the future: the nature of later abuse often reflects a similar pattern established in childhood.

One wounded often draws the same type of abuser to them, as experienced in childhood. It makes no logical sense but this is the way the mind works. We are drawn to the familiar patterns established in childhood even if they hurt. Freud called it the repetition compulsion and it is amazing how powerful it is! It can put it all in motion even without your obvious awareness. It can be insidious.

The lack of self-confidence based on damaging childhood or early experiences can lead to minimizing your own worth, and over-valuing the other. This creates a setup for just the “wrong” person to take advantage.

There is hope: once we know who we are and what we draw we have choices. More to come!


A. Introduction: Power Politics or True Empowerment


Power Politics or True Empowerment

by Cynthia M Chase

     With awareness, we have choice. Knowing the “truth” can set us free. This blog is based on personal and 30 plus years of clinical experience. It is my hope that by sharing the intricacies and inner workings of abusive relationships, both abuser and the victims of their abuse can be set free from their suffering and pain.

     The depth of pain felt by those dis-empowered is extraordinary.  Sometimes people say, “It’s only emotional pain, not physical.”  No scars or black and blue marks are left, but the psychological wounding is profound.  Just because the effects are not physically evident doesn’t mean that it hurts any less.  The hidden twistings and turnings that make up an emotionally abusive relationship can be hard to describe.  The Police won’t arrest the abuser since their ways are hidden behind closed doors and sometimes even the victim doesn’t understand what is happening.

     Accommodations are made, subtle adjustments are put in place to placate the abuser and to try to keep safe.  Over time the victim doesn’t often notice the ground lost or the confidence diminished.  Denial is the constant companion of the victim.  I was there, I know.  It is because of my own pain, years of denial and devastated self-esteem that I had to fight to empower my own life.  “What is wrong with me?” “What is wrong with him/her that makes me hurt so?”  These are the questions that plagued me.  This is my contribution to those of you who are suffering victims.  If you know what makes you vulnerable to these manipulations and if you begin to track the motivations, techniques and behaviors of the Abuser, you have a chance to change your life.

     The Abusers are in pain as well but are more difficult to help:  often they fight awareness of what they do, how much pain they cause, and sometimes don’t even care.  Certain Abusers act as though their feelings are the only ones that matter.  I offer compassion to you – you may not even know the loss of humanity that has robbed you of a heart.  Look carefully at yourself.  Understand that this loss deprives you of true empowerment.  The power that you seek over your Victim is a hollow victory.  Where is the happiness and contentment that you deserve?  You can never find it by using, manipulating or overpowering the other.

     As a psychotherapist of over 30 years I have seen hundreds of people caught in the web of an emotionally abusive relationship.  I have shared many of the ideas with my patients which I will now present to you.  They have been helped and have urged me to spread the word so that others may also seek their own salvation.  I honor them as I share my insights with you now.

I will be introducing ongoing chapters on this blog, Power Politics or True Empowerment on a regular basis.  I welcome your feedback and the sharing of your experience.

     Abusive relationships are based on the belief that external power over another leads to “winning.” What I have seen is that, on the contrary, abuser and victim become “locked in a death embrace” and both lose, unless detachment is achieved. Detachment facilitates the ability to “come home” to the self, to grow, and move towards self love.

     I have separated the abusers into two categories: The stealth hunters and the raptors. Based on nature’s model the first group hunts in the dark, keeping somewhat hidden in their search for prey and tending to camouflage their aggression. My focus here will be on stealth hunters. The second group, the raptors, is the equivalent of birds of prey: they attack, maim, and kill their prey. This may be the focus of a later blog.  Just know that in reality, there may be a fuzzy line between the stealth hunters and the raptors.

     First I want to talk to you about the abuse cycle. Then I will identify the characteristics of the stealth hunters and the victims or prey. We will approach this dysfunctional relationship in terms of how the abuser and victim connect with their energies so you can see why it is so difficult to “untangle the web”.  Then we will take a look at what a healthy relationship looks like and what kind of healing is needed to be free and empowered.

     We will delve into the Bill of Rights for both the Abuser and the Victim and end with thoughts on how to heal both the hunters and the prey.

     The journey is one from darkness and despair to freedom and light.  It’s not an easy journey but one worth traveling. There is hope!  Let’s begin.