Meet Jenny – 35, married, mother of two adorable young girls, Director of Legal Affairs at a major corporation. Up until four years ago, Jenny pretended her life was as perfect as it looked from the outside. One gorgeous baby (the other would come a year later), a loving, wonderful, husband, a beautiful home, prestigious job, and some wonderful friends to round it all out.
After the birth of her first baby, Jenny suffered from postpartum depression and entered therapy. Though her depression lifted relatively quickly, Jenny found that she was benefiting greatly from therapy and decided to do some deeper work.
She finally addressed the sexual abuse she experienced as a child. Before she entered therapy, she had always downplayed the abuse as “not that bad” – in comparison to the stories of horrific systemic abuse, an isolated and interrupted incident with a babysitter “didn’t matter.”
Jenny’s trauma affected the framing component of her house. As a recap, strong framing would look like this:
- Fluency and acceptance of feelings and desires.
- The ability to provide for ourselves physically, financially, practically.
- A belief that the world is here to enjoy and explore.
- Delight and pleasure in our bodies & sexuality.
Jenny was an ace at providing for herself and her family, and she was able to reclaim her sexuality and feelings in therapy.
When she got out of therapy, she recognized that she was not quite done. She started to look around at the rest of her social house and found she didn’t really like a lot of what she saw.
Many people would love this house, with its extensive windows and beachside location. For Jenny, it was built in a defense mode, with the isolation of the seashore to protect her. She had more windows than she wanted, leaving her feeling exposed, but kept the curtains drawn in order to feel protected. No one could see in and she could not see out.
As Jenny gains additional access to her desires and relaxes and starts to trust that the world is here for her benefit, she can start exploring her soul’s land. Jenny’s soul’s land might look like this:
Her former beach house was not a fit for this land – she needed more wall space for safety and privacy, and windows that offered more protection. This is what her ideal house might look like:
What that might translate to in Jenny’s everyday life is a willingness to open up more with different people while maintaining excellent boundaries. It looks like allowing herself to enjoy what she loves without having to hide from her desires. It allows her to be more connected, engaging in the neighborhood where she lives without being afraid of losing her privacy.
If you’d like to learn more about your soul’s land and the process of building and rebuilding your social house, check out the Happily Ever (After Therapy) webinar.
A couple of notes on these examples – first, these are not real client examples. My clients’ privacy is critical, and I don’t tell client stories, even anonymously. These are hybrid stories, with different examples pulled together so that client privacy and anonymity is completely protected.
Second – these are simplified versions of stories. When we get a wound in one area of our social house (like the foundation), it often reverberates throughout the whole structure. Healing those wounds is usually a very complex process that cannot be summarized in a blog post.
I’m sharing these stories in hopes that it can help you identify parts of your soul’s land and what the process of building and rebuilding your social house can look like.