Journey to Forgiving an Alcoholic Father

Lovingly shared by Michele Mullins, 52.

I would like to share my personal story of what I experienced at the Level 3 EFT workshop I attended in September 2010.

Michele’s Background

My story should begin with a brief setting the stage of where I come from. I grew up with a reasonably happy upbringing, with a good-hearted mother and a bigger than life dad who was a highly intellectual man. He was a kind father but, sadly, was also absent for the many hours that he spent overindulging in alcohol. I loved both my parents but I battled to see just how they have impacted on who I am today.

My dream to become a doctor did not come to fruition as I was concerned that there was not enough money for my studies. Although I have been happy in my chosen paramedical profession of Optometry, I still believe my actual purpose was, and is, to heal. I therefore felt that a part of me was lacking fulfillment.

Since the age of four I sought comfort in eating and have thus created a lifelong struggle with my weight. Part of what I have discovered along this journey is that the comfort eating resulted partly from an absent mother syndrome (an emotional mother that is), and undoubtedly, from the hurt caused by my fathers drinking. So how does one unravel this parcel and find a resolution?

EFT Level 1

When I first began Level 1 of EFT (in July 2010) it was with the aim to discover: “What if I could begin to do this for myself, and maybe others?” On beginning the course I quickly discovered the importance of the PPP (Personal Peace Procedure), and for those who may not understand,  it’s the daily commitment of tapping away one’s personal emotional issues.

(Liesel’s Note: See the article on the Personal Peace Procedure for a full description)

I soon realised that if I did not begin my own journey of facing and clearing out my own personal “stuff”, that I would never be able to begin helping others. I discovered this notion when I witnessed anyone else’s tears: it always touched me too deeply to help them without getting tearful myself.

The first problem I encountered was having difficulty accessing my own emotions: my lovely ‘inner child’ had been protecting me for so long that now, nothing gave me a charge (or zzzts as we call them.)

(Liesel’s Note: The basic EFT foundation is that stressful or traumatic incidents, create a disruption in the body’s energy system. We refer to them as ‘zzzzts’ in the energy system. These disruptions in the normal, healthy energy flow can be corrected through the application of EFT so that we can think of our past with neutrality. Sometimes, like Michele, we bury those traumatic experiences so deeply that we don’t connect with or feel them anymore. This is not a healthy neutrality, but an unhealthy suppression that really serves us by protecting us from the intense pain.)

EFT Level 2

So I followed through onto Level 2. At this point, facilitated by Laurie in a very safe place, I asked the question about how to access these deeper emotions. I was privileged enough to be the example in a session where she helped show what I needed to see.

Through Tapping (another term for EFT) my ‘inner child’ showed up. As I felt the big issues were just too large to handle at once, we agreed to break the whole issue down to a bowl of small peas, hoping somehow that it would be easier to deal with a  small step at a time.

I continued to work on my own PPP,  searching my memories for charges, and found that I had to write down everything I could remember. Yet some memories remained inaccessible. I phoned my sister in Australia and with the guidance of the right questions, I began to remember whole chunks of my life. She gave me her memories and stories, along with some very painful pictures which I had long since wiped out of my mind – my conscious mind at least.

One day after about two weeks of continually ‘tapping’ and searching, I finally got a charge. It was the memory of a young me waiting outside the pub where my dad spent most of his life. I had the feeling of embarrassment and consequently the very painful feeling that I was not worthy of his love, as I was always waiting and waiting for him to choose to be present for me in my life.

EFT Level 3

Roll on Level 3 – my time had come. My Outcome Statement was in 2 parts: one was the dream to become an efficient and great EFT practitioner, the other was to let my ‘inner child’ out.

(Liesel’s Note: We asked the participants to think about what they would love to achieve for themselves by attending the Level 3 workshop. Michele is referring to this Outcome.)

I knew in my soul that some steps needed to happen for me to move on. The weekend was a journey for me. As I knew I was in such a safe place – with all the love that one could ever wish for, from the participants, Laurie and Liesel – my outcome was realized. My incredible ‘inner child’ was bursting to be present and be heard. Since being freed, she has loved being acknowledged for protecting me for so long, and finally having a place of comfort.

In answering the question of what I hate most in others and in society, overindulgence in alcohol reared up. My practitioner for this session successfully got my charge right down to zero. Before, the feelings of embarrassment and the fact that I felt uncared for as my dad drank his life away were choking me up so much I wanted to vomit.

Finally – Forgiveness

The next session was one of forgiveness – oh my gosh – a biggie. Laurie asked who wanted to be the student example and guess what, my little ‘inner child’ showed up and I simply had to put up my hand. The question was, “what event or thing did I wish I could eradicate from my life?” For me it was the fact that my dad was an alcoholic.

The minute I sat down I could not even verbalise the words as years of emotion were simply there in a flash. Yet while Laurie began ‘tapping’, I felt myself relax and arrive at a place where I could speak. I was able to go through a process of forgiving my Dad on a soul level but also first having my say – something I should have been able to say all those years ago, but out of love for my dad, could not bear to hurt him with my emotions.

As an adult I had dumped my dad‘s ashes three metres from where he spent so much time drinking – In Germiston lake. At the time I thought, “What a great revenge”, but as time went past I really felt ashamed. What a burden on my chest. In this session, however, I was able to forgive myself too. What a relief and freedom.

Changes and New Possibilities

We discovered some other aspects during the session that I can now lovingly do for myself – as I am now more equipped to do so with the training. When I went home, exhausted from crying and releasing so much “stuff”, I found that feeling lifted amazingly quickly and I soon felt fine. As I tried to find something to eat for supper nothing appealed to me, for this moment food had lost its comfort value. I do accept that I still have to work on my weight issues as many more aspects are there ready to raise their heads, but still, wasn’t that interesting!

(Liesel’s Note: We have since had our feedback session after the workshop. Michele continues to feel like food has lost it’s comfort value. This, in Michele’s words, is a HUGE and incredible change, that happened without her trying. She told another story of where she simply forgot to buy herself a snack – something that would never, ever have occurred before EFT.)

On our third day, as we described in one word how we felt, “blossomed” was my answer. I had dressed for the occasion and together, my little ‘inner child’ – my beautiful little girl – and I had arrived at the session. I am looking forward to a new enriched relationship. I am now equipped to fulfill my objectives and become a fabulous EFT practitioner. This would not be possible unless I had done the work, painful as it sounds. I feel so privileged to have unlocked those cells buried deep inside me that must have been shut all this time, trapping those hurts – how choked they were. I look out on each day and see so many possibilities for my life. I wish this for all of you who read this: that with a facilitator you may reach this place of peace and possibilities as well.

Michele Mullins, Optometrist

Liesel Teversham
Liesel Teversham

Liesel helps sensitive introverts to see their sensitivity as a superpower, love their work and practice awesome self-care so they can be energized and make a difference in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She helps them to overcome the fear of being visible, avoiding the spotlight and conflict, being ‘too nice’, perfectionism and procrastination.

She’s the author of “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”, which is a handbook for those who struggle to say no, are overwhelmed and exhausted.

Click here to read about the book.

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