“Amy” is a young woman in her 20’s who has had a lot of loss in her life. Two especially difficult losses were young male cousins who, at different times, committed suicide. These deaths had really haunted Amy in her teen years; from age 15, she has had bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts.
Amy has made remarkable progress this past year with a combination of regular tapping sessions (with me), supportive mental health services, and dedicated work on her own -- whenever I make her a tapping or hypnosis CD, she uses it diligently, and she also taps on her own. She has come out of the last major depressive episode and feels much more stable, often able to enjoy life. She says that the tapping sessions are the first thing that has really worked for her.
Recently, Amy came in with a strange issue. It had been the anniversary of her grandmother’s funeral (her grandmother died 2 years ago) and, although she often has trouble with the anniversaries of losses, the problem she was having here was different. As she said, her “Gram” had died at 80 years old, in the normal order of things. “But,” she told me, “the issue I have is that I keep forgetting that she’s dead. It bothers me! For some reason, I can’t really get it that she’s gone. I keep thinking I should call her. Why can’t I remember that she has passed?”
I asked Amy to tell me about her relationship with her grandmother. I learned that it had been good, “lots of weekends and overnights as a kid.” Her Gram no longer lived near her, so she had not been a big part of Amy’s adult life. Losing her had been sad but not devastating. Actually Amy seemed at peace about the relationship and about the loss. And yet she felt that there was some unfinished business having to do with her Gram’s passing. We decided to explore this with EFT.
Even though I can’t get that Gram is dead and I don’t know why, I deeply and completely love and accept myself...
Can’t get that she is gone... I keep forgetting... convinced that she’s still here... why do I forget?... not really connecting with her passing... thinking I should call her... can’t get that she is gone... and it bothers me...
Following the Thread - What's Coming Up?
As I often do after a round of tapping, I asked Amy to just close her eyes and see what was coming up for her. “What are you noticing?”
She said that she was aware of some anger. “I think I’m mad at myself. I was really preoccupied and depressed two years ago, at the time when she died.” We tapped.
Even though I’m angry... mad at myself... I was preoccupied and depressed when she died... I deeply and completely accept myself anyway...
Mad at myself... I was so preoccupied... so depressed...
But before we finished the round of tapping, Amy broke in with an “ah ha” moment: “Oh my gosh -- I just got what the anger is about. Gram got to leave and I didn’t. She got to exit -- and I didn’t. I’m mad at her because I wish I was the one who died.”
The Subconscious Had Its Reasons
It was a painful and yet liberating realization. We talked about how much better she is feeling now, and yet a part of her, at the time, was in the bad place of wanting to exit... and that part was envious that her grandmother got to do that. Of course, this had all been unconscious but it had left a sense of unfinished business. Amy was amazed to feel the puzzle pieces fall into place. We tapped.
Even though Gram got to go... and part of me wishes it could have been me... I love and accept all parts of me... Even though a part of me is angry... jealous... wishes it could have been me... I can love and accept all parts of me... I acknowledge that I was having a very hard time... I can accept myself with kindness and compassion.
We tapped the points for the anger and even the jealousy of that part of her that had been so despairing that it envied someone who got to die. With that round of EFT, Amy truly felt compassion for herself. How sad that an unconscious part of her could only think of one thing with her grandmother’s passing: “she got to leave and I didn’t.” It made sense that on some deep subconscious level, a part of her had shut down and simply refused to accept this.
The mystery was solved and Amy felt something shift deep within her. Perhaps we had brought some healing to that part of her that had not wanted to be here. And we had helped integrate the loss of her grandmother so that it was finally accepted by all parts of her.
Checking in with Amy several months after this session, I got this report:
“Since that session, I naturally include my Gram in the list of people I’ve lost. In general, I now know in my mind that she’s gone. I don’t keep thinking that I need to call her. That feels better."
"I also find that I’m much more gentle with myself. Interestingly, just the other day I happened to drive by the house where she used to stay when she came here to visit. I had a moment of ‘she’ll be coming soon,’ then immediately realized, ‘no, she won’t, she’s gone’ -- but I didn’t beat up on myself for not remembering. I think I really am having some kindness and compassion towards myself.”
Betty Moore-Hafter is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Trainer of Trainers and Advanced Practitioner offering EFT Level 1-2 and Level 3 Trainings several times a year as well as mentoring for practitioner candidates. She offers EFT sessions by phone and by Skype, as well as in person at her Burlington, Vermont office. Find out more at www.CreativeEFT.com. She also offers a new Mentoring and Certification program at www.EmotionalFreedomMastery.com.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International International.
Originally published Jun 19, 2013.