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Dealing with an abusive father and the danger of forgiveness.

Caroline has a very long list of issues. At 50, she's without a job, she is not happy with her body, she hasn't been in a romantic relationship for 20 years, she is depressed, her body aches in many different ways, including her heart, recurring hypoglycemia and breathing problems. And whatever problem she taps on, it always comes back to the same person: dad..

Dad has passed away many years before, but the extent of his abuse is endless. And so is the list of the events that have left deep scars in Caroline's life, identity and self-esteem. It could have been words (you're useless, you're not worth my time, nobody would want you, you're a failure), or actions, sometimes emotionally violent, and sometimes physically violent. She was so terrified that she didn't even protest when she was eventually ¨forced¨ to marry the man he had picked for her, because she ¨could only survive with a man to pay for her." Unsurprisingly, that relationship ended in a divorce a few years later.

Still Caroline had managed to run a successful business all by herself for many years with about 50 employees. She had raised her kids after her divorce, with very little help from others. But now she was stuck, couldn't see any light in her life.

After many sessions dealing with numerous traumatic memories, Caroline would have liked to really let go of her father issues but didn´t know how. She knew these bad feelings were only really affecting herself. I suggested we´d use EFT combined with Ho' oponopono. Talking about this wonderful Hawaiian concept of healing would take a book, but for now, let's just say it's about forgiveness, and taking ownership of our actions and thoughts and the impact that we have around us. And it is summarised in one magic formula. So we started using the magic formula, repeating it slowly on each point:

Dad, I love you, I´m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.

Dad, I love you, I´m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.

Dad, I love you, I´m sorry, please forgive me, thank you...


Needless to say, this was very challenging for Caroline. And as she tapped, I could see a panic coming up. That's where I want to warn you about the dangers of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a very powerful feeling. And when you watch the progress Dr Leyden is making with genocide survivors in Rwanda, you realize that anybody can reach forgiveness, whatever wrong was done to them. But there are times where we just CANNOT forgive, even if we know our life depends on it. And Caroline was just not ready.

So we had to stop this for a while, but we now had ¨regular tapping material¨ to work with:

Even though I feel panicky...

Even though I can't breathe...

I never cease to be amazed at how quickly EFT can help release strong feelings... Panic came down, breathing came back. So once she felt comfortable again, we started again with the ho´oponopono, and after only 3 points, another magic of EFT happened : an old memory came back.

Her dad had come back from work, late, tired, probably after a very bad day. He sat down with a plate to eat his diner. That´s when little 8 years old Caroline made a big mistake: she reached for a french fry on the plate. Harmless child behaviour, which in this case triggered a very strong reaction with her dad, a very tall and intimading man to her, who shouted abuses at the child for not even allowing him to have food and eventually stormed out of the house.

We used the Matrix Reimprinting technique on that event, tapping with the little 8 years old on ¨this daddy terror¨, but the memory was so vivid, the terror so present, that we had to step back and calm down regularly. However, we eventually reached the point when Caroline could think about it peacefuly.

From that session, Caroline realised many connections, such as how her hypoglycemia was always related to fear and terror. She remembered times when she passed out of hypoglycemia, and had to crawl to the kitchen to get food, since she was alone in the house, and she remembered associated terrors. It all suddenly made sense to her. Also the shame and blame she put on herself for eating anything : ¨that's what you get for wanting food¨. Therefore, based on what she had ¨learned¨ during that traumatic event, she just didn´t deserve food. And the list went on.

Her comment at the end of the session was : ¨Today was nothing short of a miracle¨.

We hadn´t had time to finish though, and on the next session, we came back to ¨the french fry from hell¨. Matrix reimprinting doesn´t change the past, but it does allow us to change our feeling about it, and affect positively our memories. In that case, Caroline could now imagine her dad sharing his plate. However, it was so much out of character for him to do such a thing, that it started an anxiety attack for Caroline.

Which led to yet another intensive episode. All her childhood fears and angers, that she had repressed for so long, now came out as pure hatred for her dad.

Even though I hate dad so much.... all this hatred in my heart...


¨Hatred eats the soul of the hater, not the hated¨ says Alice Herz Sommers.... Food for thought.... Hatred is definitely not a feeling anybody enjoys, but when it is there, we can’t ignore it... It has to be released to let space for true peace. On the other hand, you can let out and shout your anger and hatred for months, but to my knowledge, it might take a long time to feel release... unless you tap of course!

She had spent her life trying to deal with her mixed feelings with her dad, but had never been able to get in such a depth. Ho´oponopono had opened the door to an ocean of burried bad feelings that she was now able to really let out.

She said after these two sessions that she felt really freer, it was like a new opening.

6 months follow-up:

Caroline now can speak about her dad without strong feelings. She is resuming her work activities, her relationships with her sons are improving, so are her finances and her body image. She is in a relationship with a man who is nearly all she ever dreamt of. This extended change is obviously not due to these two sessions alone, but the french fry from hell will definitely remain a turning point in her life. She´s now regularly using ho´oponopono together with tapping on a regular basis.