A history of abuse can leave you with a complex relationship with your body.
My own experience was that it made it very difficult to connect with the whole of myself. I felt detached from my body and its feelings. For many years that was kind of fine. I was a full-time academic and was perfectly happy to be absorbed in a life of the mind – full of books and ideas. My body was really just a vehicle to get me to the places I needed to be and I didn’t really give it a lot of attention. Trying to conceive, however, catapults you into a whole new relationship with your body and I felt like I became a hot mess of emotions and memories that re-triggered the trauma. This wasn’t helped by the IVF process where I was examined and probed and once again was made to feel so vulnerable having to open myself up to prying eyes.
I always called my fertilty journey a ‘boot camp for the soul’. It wasn’t easy – and sometimes it was downright ugly – but I was determined to embrace it as an opportunity to work through my history. Slowly and gently I found techniques that could help me to trust myself; honour my body and what it had been through; feel worthy of what I desired and believe that I could be a good mother. In fact I could see how all that I had been through had given me strength of character matched with sensitivity which I knew would serve my future children well.
Jump forward a few years and, from my work as a therapist and fertility coach, I now know that my story is sadly not at all unusual. Women are working with all sorts of body stories on their fertility journey. It may be abuse; it may be a history of disordered eating; it may be self-harm or a combination of many elements. I am regularly blown away by their courage and strength as they look to reclaim their own power and move forward with excitement to the next part of their journey.
I have been thinking for a while that I would like to offer something special to women who may be struggling in their relationship with their body on their fertility journey. I have working on a package that would include three pre-recorded sessions – one on reflecting on the past; one on acknowledging the present; and one on looking forward to the future – with accompanying workbooks that you can complete in your own time and at your own pace. This would be supported by a 1 to 1 call with me where we can explore any issues that are coming up.
If you think this is something that could be useful for you then do get in contact and we can talk further.
Sending love to you wherever you find yourself