to encounter the horrors of the past with courage: With my healing fairy tales

by Renate weber

5 years ago I was diagnosed with Burnout and sent to a psychosomatic clinic: Here it became clear that it had not only been the overload that had caused my break-down, but various Traumata. Until then I had written down my family’s history and my own childhood. Thereby the sexual abuse I had endured as a little girl “came to the surface”. Since I had started to write About my childhood I was constantly haunted by nightmares. My therapists then advised me to write a healing fairy tale.

I have drawn my inner children in this picture. They are the inner parts that have been hurt by the sexual abuse. Since then they have remained in a state of shock. Now they made the experience to be saved. Thereby they could be integrated into my personality.

This was the “birth” of Fulna, the Dragon for my protection and Kai. Kai used to be a shadowy part. This part used to create a recurring nightmare for me:

Octopus with “penis-tongue” abuses 9-year-old Nati

Nati= my younger self

While my inner parts were transforming I suddenly could give “a face” to the rage I had turned against myself for a very long time. The “anger-devil” was born and he helped me to understand that underneath my anger there lay a deep sadness that nobody had helped me emotionally after I had told my family about the sexual abuse.

I imagined how it would feel to be the person I really was. I recognized that the feelings of shame and guilt that had accompanied me my whole life were not mine. They had been “transferred” to me just as the devaluation that took place during the sexual abuse. “Feather Woman” meant a liberation for me and it was also the beginning of a positive view on my own womanhood.

But before I was to find my “true self”, I had to let go of everthing that had constrained my life energy for so long. That’s why I created a truly “magic” world: The Aenderland (land of Change). And even if there were monsters and great terrors I still was in complete control of this world. It stood in contrast to the actual world where I had often felt powerless and rejected. The healing fairy tale in my autobiography had the effect of an ointment: You could still make out the “scars of the past”. But I didn’t feel that they were so ugly I had to hide them away.

Despite of my healings fairy tales “Fulna” (the dragonlady hatches inside the office of a chief Editor) and “Renate -or the journey to the centre of the self” I had to admit, that I wasn’t fit for the challenges of every-day-life. Ich suffered from the reactions of my family who played down the consequences of the sexual abuse. I suffered from the rejection of some of my colleagues. Also I put too much energy in in handling my pupils. All this made me again seek “refuge” in the psychosomatic clinic. Unexpectedly grouptherapy led to many confrontations. Luckily I could gain insights from These conflicts and this helped me to deal better with the situations at home and at work. On my way I found valuable companions. I wrote About this process in my second book: Renate II: Companions. It will soon be available on the market (first in German).

I realized that my low self-esteem together with my constant feelings of shame and guilt had made me a target for others to let out their anger. Only if I could be “a good mother” to my inner parts and learn to love myself as I was the constant “attacks” from outside would stop.