“Can you Help our Daughter? We’re Afraid!”


“Congratulations Graduate! Your education was gritty and the rigor you displayed finding your greatness among your brokenness will always serve you.”

I received a High School graduation announcement today from a 17-year-old girl I worked with several years ago. When we met, her parents were mortified that she was “having sex with anyone who would have her,” had been in and out of every school in their area, was not liked by her peers, was depressed, and was cutting herself regularly. In addition, they had tried several programs including wilderness survival for troubled teens and she had been seen by a number of therapists.

Her mom heard of my work “around a campfire in a canyon somewhere in Texas” and contacted me as a practitioner of last resort for her daughter. Their goal: “Can you help our daughter? We’re afraid.”
When I asked the girl what goals she had for our time together she replied “Having sex with boys makes me really sad and all I want to do is keep having sex with boys. Can you help me stop? It makes me sad but I just keep doing it.”

She wanted help but she wasn’t going to give in easily. I remember in our second session she was not cooperating with our dialog and she said: “This is where the therapist usually gets pissed off at me and then I can’t come anymore.”

I told her I actually get that attitude a lot. People want help but getting healthier scares the hell out of them. I told her about her psychological bodyguards and how her mind, body, spirit (energetic), and behavior were all linked to the stories only she knows. We also discussed why she needed to stay committed to feeling broken.

We went on to spend many months together. Collaboratively we processed rape, chronic yeast infections, weekly Xanax use, sleeplessness, panic attacks, relationship dynamics, personal and sexual boundaries and behaviors, school attendance, and what she wanted for her future because she could not see one when we started.

Healing sexual trauma is not for the faint of heart (very few people are trauma-free) but it needs to be done because it affects how a person behaves in the world – outside of sexual acts.

In her case her self-worth was non-existent because of her sexual trauma and life became a blur of negative behaviors. She didn’t want to go to school so she kept getting kicked out of schools. She was not additive in her peer community, so “naturally” she was not well liked. Because of her poor social behavior, she didn’t fit in, leading to anxiety and panic attacks when she had to participate in the world.

It wasn’t ironic to me that she kept wanting to ‘fix the wrong’ that happened when she was raped, yet sleeping around with boys was not the fix for love and affection she emotionally sought. She was quickly developing a reputation for being a problem kid, a loser and I was concerned about pregnancy and multiple STI’s due to her lack of interest in using safer sex practices. A LOT at such a young age!

Healthy sexual behaviors (at a minimum those that are consensual and emotionally & physically don’t cause harm) which lead to heights of pleasure and connectedness to yourself and partner require the exorcism and resolve of: stories never told, traumas not fully dealt with, taboos you’re afraid of, beliefs you’re aware of and uncovering a great many more that you are unconsciously not aware of.

All of these elements affect your behaviors in/out of the scope of sexual behaviors.

Before our time was concluded she had gotten off Xanax, quit cutting, found a high school that would accept her, and stopped sexually acting out.

In the past year or so this young woman has gone on to find a stable boyfriend that she trusts emotionally and physically. She’s on a birth control method she believes in and practices consistently. She took extra credits, attended summer school and is now graduating ON TIME with her peer group. She wrote that she’s got a scholarship and a plan for going to college this fall.

“Congratulations Graduate! Your education was gritty and the rigor you displayed finding your greatness among your brokenness will always serve you.”

Can YOU find your greatness among your brokenness? It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s always well worth the journey.

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Cari Oneal

I help individuals become sexually confident and show them how to bring that energy into everything else they do. Shoot me a message, introduce yourself, and tell me what sort of information you want to learn about!

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