Hello, I’m Rachel and I am the founder of Feeling is Healing. I hold a degree in medical sciences, MA (Cantab), from the University of Cambridge and have worked in the medical field for a number of years. I’m a certified coach, speaker and the author of the upcoming book, due to be published in 2020, Stopping Supply: Freedom from Narcissistic Abuse.
I had already sought healing from a number of issues as a teenager and in my twenties, such as an eating disorder. By the time I was in my early thirties, I was brought to my knees by a number of experiences of abuse in my life. This led me to face up to the reality of the relationship patterns that I had experienced throughout my life.
The Recovery Journey
I started to explore the reasons how I had ended up in, and couldn’t seem to escape from, abusive situations, despite understanding on a cognitive level that these relationships were not healthy. I attended a whole host of different recovery groups, sought counselling and coaching, met others who were on a similar journey and did a huge amount of personal research. I qualified to be a ‘Change That Lasts’ domestic abuse awareness ambassador with Women’s Aid and completed training to be a ‘Chair and Share’ group facilitator with a social enterprise in London.
Changing my Beliefs
Dysfunctional relationships had affected all areas of my life: work, family, friends, acquaintances as well as romantic relationships. This led me to a great sense of shame that “THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME” – I call that the shame mantra. It used to replay over and over in my mind so frequently, that it was buried deep in my subconscious. This belief about myself got so bad that I found it near impossible to function in life. I had no confidence or belief in my decisions. I did not have a clear sense of my own identity. I felt that everything about me was WRONG and that others had the right to judge and condemn me as they somehow held a key to life that I lacked.
Learning about the dynamics of abuse was a huge relief for me as it allowed me to see that these painful beliefs were not true and that they belonged to other people who had planted them in me, often in very covert ways that were hard to detect. I discovered that I had been groomed from an early age to be a prime target for abusers and emotional manipulators. I also learnt that simply understanding the dynamics of abuse were not enough, I needed to get in touch with the full force of my feelings. Many of these feelings, including anger, rage, sadness, hurt and disgust were deeply buried, due to their intensity and my own sense of shame in experiencing them.
Below I will list a couple of examples which illustrate the origins of my beliefs around the connection between our emotions and our physical health. This is a huge topic which will be discussed further on this site.
During my teenage years I experienced some physical symptoms. Despite numerous visits to specialists, the only solution offered to me was a pharmaceutical one. Despite going down this route for a number of years, it was fruitless. I had almost given up on the symptoms resolving.
However when I was at university, I started counselling. I was able to speak, for the first time, about some experiences in my life that I felt ashamed about. I could sense something shift in my body. The symptoms, that I had been experiencing for many years, seemed to disappear overnight.
More recently, I experienced some severe jaw pain. The pain was so bad that I arranged an emergency dental appointment. As I called the surgery, I felt a wave of emotion crash over me. This carried with it the thought of, “I’m so fed up of feeling as though I have to try to make my own family love me”. It felt like a real strain that I was trying to hang onto and control. It was exhausting. As the tears feel down my face, I felt a great sense of relief and of letting go of the struggle. The jaw pain then naturally subsided very quickly.
Looking to the Future
I felt there had to be some meaning in the suffering that I had experienced and the painful sacrifices that I had needed to make in order to recover. I therefore decided to do my own training and set on a path to support others who were also in pain as a result of the relationships they had found themselves in.
As I delved deeper into the recovery journey, I also started to notice more and more how toxic and abusive dynamics had infiltrated our culture and were affecting society as a whole.
I look forward to connecting with you. Please enter your email in the box to the bottom left if you would like to join the Feeling is Healing community and be the first to hear about the latest updates.
You can find out more about coaching services and book a free consultation here.