“She was part of me, I was part of her. I cannot let her go. She was stronger… then I became the strong one. She was on her deathbed for 9 weeks. I still have the smell of the hospital in my nose.”
Michelle lost her twin sister seven years ago. She spent three years paralyzed after being in a horrible car-crash. Michelle lost her job taking care of her and now after all these years she still cannot get on with her life. She thinks about her twin every day, maybe every waking hour.
When we lose someone so important to us sometimes we just get stuck in that moment, unable to move on. As if the option of moving on and letting go did not exist. Michelle was living and breathing together with her twin from the day they were born - and still, now, even after she's gone.
We think of our memories and our past as rock solid facts while they are soft and malleable. We can mold them to our needs. When dealing with the recent past we don’t have to go back to childhood to clear a trauma. I can use consciousness techniques with Michelle developed by the NLP team. This will help her to clear the imprint of the sad and troubling memory of her sister and create a new happy memory that will help her to think of her in a warm and positive way. This is how we work with Michelle.
I ask her to paint the picture of the hospital where her sister had died, and then we collect happy pictures from the past where the two of them enjoyed their lives together. Her sister defending her from a bully in high-school. The twins by the sea, their white bikinis against the deep blue of the Adriatic. Then I ask her to think about a long lost friend, somebody she intimately knew, have not seen in a long while, and chances are that they won't ever meet again. Then I use sub-modalities of these pictures to overwrite the original and create a happy memory. I ask her to change the colors, make it as bright as she wants it to be. Then I ask her to draw a timeline of future events and place a copy of the new picture by every event. Then she travels the timeline back and forth.
As she comes out of the exercise the very talkative Michelle is silent. After a minute long pause she whispers: “She had to die so I can live a life. So I can step out of her shadow.”
The fact that she sees both her sister’s good and bad sides is a great sign. After seven years her healing has started.
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