by Vivian J. Frazier, L.C.S.W.
The continuing influence of a past-life experience upon the present one is a phenomenon well-known to those who practice PLT. This case study illustrates an important but often overlooked point that carry-over may not be from one life time but rather from several.
Sexual karma may sometimes be the most powerful kind of karma people can create for themselves. This would not be surprising, considering the primal nature of sex and the deep emotions it can engender in people. Because of the crucial role sex can play in a person’s life, if the expression of sexuality is seriously thwarted for some reason, feelings of self worth and sense of identity can sometimes be greatly affected. As a result, powerful emotions of guilt, resentment, and self hate can develop.
Andrea came to my office about a year ago, in much distress over inexplicable feelings of guilt and resentment toward her new husband of five months, as well as a feeling of sexual rejection from him. Even though she could rationally see he was not really rejecting her, she was feeling he was, and she was even finding herself setting up situations where he would have no choice but to reject her. Her resentment and guilt about the situation was now threatening their marriage.
She was open to try anything to get to the bottom of the situation, so she readily agreed to try past-life regression. Very quickly upon being hypnotized, she began to experience another lifetime.
Th: What’s happening?
Cl: (sad) I feel so alone…
Th: Where are you?
Cl: I’m on the plantation. I’m a slave — a girl, Melissa. It’s Georgia, I think, in the early l800’s.
Th: Why are you feeling so alone?
Cl: I’m half-white. My father is my master. He doesn’t talk to me much. My mother is dead. She died when I was little, and I don’t have any other family. I don’t fit anywhere. I’m like an outcast. The other slaves don’t like me very much. They think I think I’m better than they are because I can read and write and I’m a house slave. But I’m not any better. I’m a slave, too. (pause) I don’t have anyone to talk to.
Th: You’re feeling pretty lonely.
Cl: Yeah. I just do my work all alone. No one really talks to me, except to tell me what to do.
Th: What do you do during the day?
Cl: I clean the house and cook. (pause, sudden smile) I’m very excited today, though. The master’s son is coming home. He goes to military school in Atlanta, but it’s Christmas time and he’s coming home. His name’s Steven. (softly) I really like him.
Th: You really like him.
Cl: (hesitates) Yes. Actually…I love him. But I shouldn’t. He’s my half-brother. And he never even notices me. I’m not very pretty.
Th: That must make you pretty unhappy.
Cl: Yes, very unhappy. I long for him so in my heart. All day long I think about him, dream about him. I’d do anything to have him just look at me.
Th: What’s happening now?
Cl: I hear him coming in the front door downstairs. I hear voices. My heart is beating so fast, I can hardly breathe. I hear his voice. (pause) He’s drunk. He’s never been drunk before.
Cl: I’d better hurry. I have to put new towels in all the bathrooms upstairs here and straighten the bedrooms. I want to see him so much. But I have so much to do first. I have to put towels in his bathroom…oh no!
Th: What’s happened?
Cl: I’m too late. He’s coming into his bedroom, and I’m still here. (fearful) He sees me.
Th: What do you do?
Cl: I just stand here staring at him. I can’t move. (pause) He looks so handsome in his uniform. I feel excited but scared. He’s drunk. I can see it in his eyes. They’re sort of glazed.
Th: What does he do when he sees you?
Cl: Oh my God. He’s looking at me and slowly closing the door behind him. I feel weak. I can’t move…He’s looking at me…like…Oh my…he’s coming toward me. My knees are weak. I drop the towels.
Th: What’s happening now?
Cl: He’s pushed me down on the bed. I’m so excited — but so scared. I’ve never been with a man before. He’s being rough with me. Like a man. I think I like it. I don’t know. He’s pulling at my clothes. I think I’m going to faint, I’m hot all over. I’ve wanted this for so long, but I don’t know what to do. All I feel is my heart beating hard in my chest. He’s ripping open his britches now…oh my — I’m scared…
Cl: Oh! He just rolled over, away from me! He looked at me suddenly — like he saw how plain I am — and then rolled off of me. (tears) He won’t even take me as a woman. (crying)
Th: This really distresses you.
Cl: I would give him my heart and soul — if he would just take my body! He doesn’t even want me. He just lies there with his back to me. I don’t know what to do. (pause) I just get up and walk out.
Andrea is visibly upset at this point and cannot seem to speak very coherently.
Th: Let’s progress you to the next important event in this lifetime. One-two-three.
Cl: I’m still here on the plantation. Steven is now master. His father died. I’m his house slave now.
Th: What is your relationship with him like now?
Cl: I still love him. (pause) He’s kind to me — but he stays very distant. He just treats me like a maid. It’s only us in the house now. He got married, but his wife went back to her family three months after the wedding. I don’t know what happened. So it’s just him and me here now. (wistful smile) I like to pretend I’m his wife. I do all his cooking, I serve him his meals, I wash and press his clothes…Sometimes I catch him looking at me from across the room. (sighs) I long so much for him. Every night in bed I beg him in my mind to come to me. But he never does.
Th: It’s very painful for you.
Cl: Yes. He never does come to me, ever. (pause) I grow to be quite old — always alone. Steven dies rather young. I am devastated. And I never forget him. I live such a dreary, lonely life. Like a lonely, rejected outcast…
At this point, I directed Andrea to go to her High Self to get some information and insight about this lifetime. She was informed that Steven was her present day husband and, quite predictably, that her feelings of rejection today stemmed mainly from that time. She was also told that her husband, as Steven, rejected her — not as she had thought, because of her plainness — but because he suddenly remembered in his drunken state that she was his half-sister and he would therefore never have sex with her, as much as he might want to. He was a very moral man.
All of this brought a sense of relief to Andrea and she looked visibly lighter as she was leaving my office. I suspected there had been other lives with her husband leading up to this one she’d just experienced which might throw further light on her situation and suggested she come back for further exploration and therapy. She agreed to.
A few weeks later she returned, reporting to me that her feelings of rejection had somewhat subsided, but that her feelings of both resentment and guilt had gotten worse. We discussed how this might happen, considering what she had experienced at the last session, and then decided to do some more exploring. Immediately upon being hypnotized, Andrea smiled.
Cl: I’m a beautiful young girl, 14 years old, in France — somewhere in the 1700’s. My name is Marie and I am very happy-go-lucky. I love life! I love to dance and sing.
Her vibrant voice was such a contrast to her dreary, depressed manner as the slave girl, I was taken aback for a moment.
Th: What are you doing?
Cl: Ah! I am having fun! I love to flirt with all the boys in the town. I am really quite comely. They all long after me! (laughs gaily, then suddenly sobers) My father is worried. He does not like this. He fears I will lose my maidenhead too young, before I am wed. Oh no!
Th: What is happening?
Cl: He is putting me in a nunnery. No! I don’t want this. I don’t want to go! But he makes me. I cannot leave.
Th: Tell me what your life is like at the nunnery.
Cl: Well, I am sad at first. (pause) But then I become gay again. My natural high spirits are so strong, nothing can dampen them. I become a nurse. I learn of the healing arts and work with herbs and poultices. I go into town and wash the wounds and bring healing to the townsfolk. I enjoy my work. (wistfully) But I do so wish I could be like one of the townswomen — married to a man. My loins ache to be wed. It is my one sadness.
Th: Let’s progress you a few years to an important event.
Cl: I’m in a home with a young girl with malaria. I am nursing her. Her family is all here, concerned. (pause) Her brother is here, Jacques. (pause) Oh.
Cl: He is just a young man — 17, I think. I’m almost 30. But he is such an intense, handsome boy. I am feeling feelings I should not be. I cannot break my vows. (pause) I can’t believe what I am doing. Oh dear. I’m seducing him. What sacrilege! And he is so innocent. He’s more reticent than I am, but I can see he wants me, too. I am so lustful, so shameful! But I love it! I am so full of lust and love for him. (sighs) It is wonderful.
Th: Does your love remain a secret?
Cl: Ah! We have been discovered! Oh such cruelty! They are dragging him away, like an animal! They will excommunicate him! (tears) What have I done? I have ruined his life! I have sinned against God. I am so sorry, so sorry…(very agitated)
Th: Tell me what happens to you.
Cl: I am put in isolation in a small room at the back of the convent. (pause) I am miserable. I have ruined both our lives. I have disappointed my Mother Superior. I was her favorite. I was always so full of life. Now I’m broken. I’ve sinned against God and…oh my God…
Cl: I am with child. This is my punishment. I want to die. I just want to die
Th: How does this resolve?
Cl: I do die, giving birth. The baby is dead too. I’m glad for his sake. But I’m going to Hell. I deserve it…
Before I could respond to this, Andrea was suddenly deep into another memory — this time long ago in Egypt, as a young girl, with a beloved twin brother. She began describing the idyllic life the two of them lived as children.
Cl: We are always together, all day long. We are inseparable. We play games and explore all along the river near where we live. It’s like we’re both the same person, we are so close. We don’t even have to talk, really. We know what each other is thinking.
She described how her parents were wealthy merchants and kept their children away from the other children in the town. The only person she and her twin interacted with during the day was their tutor. The rest of the time they spent together. Even their parents were not around much.
As children reaching puberty at 11 or 12, they discovered sexual feelings together.
Cl: We are so innocent. It is so beautiful. There is no shame — we just touch each other’s body and we become excited. We learn what to do — and we do it. It is delightful! Oh how I love him! He is like the other half of me.
She described several very sensual scenes between herself and her twin, and explained that it seemed very natural, that there were evidently no taboos on sibling sex in the culture. Their lives continued idyllic and romantic until age 16.
Th: What happens at age 16?
Cl: It is our birthday. He has something to tell me, but is having a hard time. I am concerned. He never has a hard time talking to me. Worry grips my heart, but I tease him. I tickle him to make him laugh.
Th: Does he finally tell you?
Cl: (gasps) Yes! He’s saying he’s going to war! The Pharaoh has called upon all the men in the land to go to war for him and my brother will go to prove his manhood. I am panicked. I can’t believe it. He would leave me?! How could he bear to even think it! We are one — we cannot part!
Th: How is he responding to your panic?
Cl: (crying) He is steeling himself against me. He pleads with me at first to understand. But I don’t. I don’t want him to go. I am afraid. He will be killed, I know. I cannot believe he wants to leave me! I am crying so hard, pulling at him. He pushes me away. I am devastated.
Th: Does he leave for war?
Cl: Yes. He does. And I don’t even say goodbye to him. I stay in the other room. I want to hurt him. I want him to feel the pain he has caused me. But he does not even come to seek me. He just leaves. He just leaves. (crying) I do not stop sobbing for days. My mother is distraught.
Th: Does your brother ever return home?
Cl: (quietly) No. He is killed. And I know the moment he is killed. We are like one. And I am distraught beyond repair — so much guilt and grief! I never even said goodbye to him! I just want to die.
Th: What do you do?
Cl: (sighs) I remain alone for many years. The pain is still there. My parents die and leave me. I feel half dead. I have no more love for the world. I just finally die
Th: Tell me what you experience when you die.
Cl: Darkness. Just darkness. I’m alone. Oh! I see someone. A soldier — a large and brilliant soldier, like a statue of a God, or something. (pause) Oh! It’s him! My brother! He’s beckoning to me. He’s…he’s…(crying) We’re together again…
After a period of deep sobbing and releasing of pain, Andrea spoke to her High Self, who informed us that the rejection, resentment, and guilt she experienced with her twin in this Egyptian lifetime was carried forward into her French life with her lover (both of whom were her current husband). Still unresolved, the karma was then played out further in her life as a slave. She was still experiencing it now in her present lifetime, but this time she had the opportunity to begin letting go of it all, with understanding and forgiveness.
Therefore, we worked for the next few sessions on forgiveness of her husband and of herself. She told me in one session that during the week she and her husband had gone to see a movie about the American South during the days of slavery. From the beginning of the movie, she said, she had begun sobbing and could not stop. Her tears, she said, came from the heart-wrenching realization of how much resentment she was still carrying toward her husband. It appears that seeing this movie with him helped her to further release the anguish the three former lifetimes had caused her.
Andrea reported to me several months later that her understanding of the source of her guilt, resentment, and rejection had greatly improved her sex life with her husband. Although she still found herself playing the old tapes in her head at times, they no longer had the power over her which they had in the past. She knew it was now up to her to choose to create and play new positive tapes that would serve to enhance her sexual expression with her husband, and she could no longer play the victim to her emotions. It felt wonderful, she said, to finally feel in charge of this area of her life.