"What will we find when I listen to you?"
A woman lost her grandparents in a car accident. She noticed that every time her partner or one of her children went for a longer journey by car, she was very afraid and always insisted on them calling when they arrived at their destination. As her grandmother and grandfather I listened to what had been both painful and scary for her. ‘Why did you leave me?’ was one of the sentences that wanted to be heard. Two months later she told me, how her daughter was travelling with a van in New Zealand and she was no longer afraid. She only missed her daughters presence.
An adult woman noticed that due to things that happened in the past, she was afraid that her father would not respect her boundaries. As her father I could feel, that it was her fear that made me cross her boundaries. After we did several things to increase her power, I went back into the role of her father. This time she was so certain that she would not let me cross her boundaries, that I pulled back. I noticed that I was even a little bit afraid. Two months later she told me, that when she met her father, he was sweet as a kitten. She even felt (to her own surprise) the urge to hug him.
At an early age a man experienced something that made it difficult to separate innocent cuddling and sexual lust. We listened to the young boy and heard how very uncomfortable he felt after a seemingly harmless remark from his father and the also seemingly innocent response from his mother. What made it even harder for this boy, was that no one seemed to notice, that it had crossed his boundaries. As we listened to the young boy, the boy became more relaxed. And as the boy became more relaxed, so did the man. Several weeks later he told me how he was able to ‘hug’ women with much more ease and without linking it to sexuality.
I’ve been doing several family constellations with myself. In one of these constellations I put my father’s mother behind my father to learn more about his behaviour. As soon as I put her in the constellation, I had extremely strong physical reactions. I wanted to make myself small and felt like vomiting. To be able to endure her 'presence', I had to put several barriers between her and me. As soon as she was behind these barriers my parents came towards me. Until that moment I had never known the impact that my grandmother had had on my life. With this experience I went to my mother. She told me, that sharing an appartment with my father’s parents when she was pregnant was ‘hell on earth’. And given all the processes I’ve done afterwards, that was not exaggerated. At this moment my grandmother is still not one of my favourite people, but I can now ‘meet’ her without fear and even talk to her.