skip to content

# One Of My Childhood Repressed Traumas & How “Clean Language” Therapy Helped Me




WARNING: This Is About Sexual Abuse 

In 1996, while watching the film ‘A Time to Kill,’ based on John Grisham’s novel, with my 16-year-old son, a scene depicting a young girl being assaulted caused me to have a psychotic experience. We had to leave the cinema. I found myself dissociating, overwhelmed by numbness and uncontrollable sobbing for over two hours.

Thankfully, I had access to a highly competent therapist with whom I had been exchanging therapy sessions. We managed to conduct a ‘Clean Language’ therapy session over the phone that same evening.

I recalled a memory of being molested by my grandfather around the age of three or four. The most harrowing part of the memory was his threat to kill my mother if I ever disclosed what he had done.

In the weeks following the successful therapy session, I was in denial about the authenticity of this memory. Gradually, I began to recognize that my grandfather’s actions likely contributed to my father’s alcoholism and his fits of rage. In our final conversation, a year before his passing, my father confessed to consuming over half a gallon of vodka daily. He passed away at 49. I also came to realize that at least two of his sisters struggled with prescription drug abuse. Moreover, my grandfather was a member of the KKK.

In 2016, I went on the internet site ‘23andMe’ to get my DNA test results. I found a second cousin on the site that had been unknown to me. In our conversation, I found that her grandfather was raised by my grandparents from the ages of 1 to 12. He was my grandmother’s younger brother by 20 years. He told my cousin’s father that he had been sexually abused by my grandfather.

He ran away when he was 12 years old, after he had been tied to a tree and bullwhipped by my grandfather. He never returned, and years later, because of his traumas, he became an alcohol abuser. He died of a heart attack at the young age of 42.

It was as if her grandfather never existed in the Matheny family. My father nor any members of his family ever mentioned him. I believe the saying, ‘people are only as sick as their secrets,’ applies in this case.

My father didn’t have a chance! My extreme animosity towards my father dissolved shortly after the above mentioned phone session as did my client  Nancy after her “Clean Language” one hour session with me in 1994:



Back to Top