Growing up, I don’t recall being really heard or listened to by my parents or immediate family. Any emotional outburst was met with disapproval and I would be told off or told to calm down but never asked why I was feeling the way I did. It was a typical upbringing of the times to be a child that was seen and not heard.
Of course I have some compassion for my parents because it wasn’t their fault. Neither parent is particularly good at expressing themselves or communicating their wants and needs easily as they had not been brought up to talk about emotions and so the natural way of handling this was either to tell me to ‘get over it’ or ‘not to upset anyone’.
However, this inability to express myself would create within me deep emotional pain and I would feel guilty for having emotions, not understanding them, not understanding why I couldn’t let them out and not knowing how to process them.
As time went on, I learned that my feelings weren’t as important as others’. I learned to suppress, ignore or distract from any discomfort so that I wouldn’t upset anyone. I remember many times crying myself to sleep, feeling misunderstood and unable to like myself.
When my mum suddenly left the family, I was in my very early 20s and I didn’t process any of my emotions. I don’t recall discussing it with anyone really. People were shocked but no-one asked how I was, it was just ‘one of those things’.
I was having difficulties with my boyfriend at the time and remember many times bursting into uncontrollable tears in the office. I would hide behind pillars in the open-plan office hoping no one would see before making a B-line for the ladies toilet. I didn’t consider that it might have anything to do with my parents’ break up because my mum had often been angry while I was growing up and so I didn’t have a close bond with her. I realise now that she had clearly been unhappy in the marriage for some time.
20 years ago we didn’t talk about mental health, so this was unfamiliar territory. I went to see the doctor about the uncontrollable crying and was prescribed Prozac. It kicked in pretty quickly allowing me to focus on being a support to my dad, who seemingly hadn’t seen this coming either.
6 months later, I took myself off Prozac because, as someone who is very in touch with her emotions, I became aware that I had no emotions whatsoever. I didn’t seem to care about anyone or anything! This concerned me and I decided that I wanted to at least feel something, even if it wasn’t always pleasant.
Life went on and with it came a series of unsuccessful relationships, yet I didn’t make the connection that deep down I felt abandoned and so this subconscious belief would keep playing out in all of my relationships.
Working in the television industry throughout my 20s and into my 30s, I discovered my passion for real stories and had a dream to be a documentary filmmaker. I’ve always loved learning about different cultures, anthropology, the natural world, psychology and even metaphysics: ultimately anything that delves deeper into what it means to be human. More recently, I have discovered that this deeper understanding is my natural gift and I am very able to read people and intuitively guide them to discover their own insights.
After being made redundant I again became more in tune with my mind and body. I remember sitting on the sofa in my flat in South London being very aware of having my own thoughts and these thoughts started to explore what I really wanted to experience in life. I didn’t want to just be a cog in the corporate wheel; I wanted to help others share their stories that would make a difference in the world.
I soon took a short contract working on I’m A Celebrity in Australia, partly because my mum (who is Australian) was living close to the jungle residence and so there was an opportunity to rebuild our relationship, and partly because I was running away from my life. After completing the contract and with no firm job or home to return to in the UK, I moved to Sydney to freelance on Observational Documentaries for independent production companies. Yet, I was still running.
During this time, I began working on my own ideas for documentaries and when I returned to the UK having made a debut short film featuring puppeteers in Burma (which screened on all routes with Singapore Airlines), I realised I could run but I couldn’t hide from myself.
I became quite reclusive working intensely on my spiritual growth and this, along with some small career success, strengthened my desire to explore and communicate topical social and environmental themes.
I followed up with another documentary featuring puppeteers in India (available on Amazon Video) and this brought about an introduction to a US-born female puppeteer now living in the UK, who was a survivor of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Puppetry fascinates me because it is the oldest form of storytelling and has the power to reflect the human condition.
This project never came to fruition. However, through it I learned a number of things:
- how to create boundaries so I didn’t get weighed down with other people’s trauma;
- I have strong listening skills and am really able to hear what is being said and validate another’s story;
- We are not our stories, neither are we our emotions;
- It is our emotional response to a situation that creates trauma;
- We cannot fix our emotions with our minds.
The latter two points are the key to resolving many of today’s mental health issues because it is not necessarily the experience itself but our perspective of the experience that creates trauma. The problem is not with the mind, it is the emotional charge that drives the mind’s thinking.
The truth is, it is not our emotions that cause us pain but our avoidance of facing our emotions that brings psychological pain. Emotions are simply energy in motion. If we do not process them, they cause us all sorts of havoc, from repeating painful cycles to physical and severe mental problems.
How do I know this?
I know this because I have received counselling, taken a CBT course, done positive affirmations and, whilst they have a place, they DO NOT resolve our mental and emotional pain.
For the past 6 years I've worked with two personal coaches and more recently studied Energetic Codes and Alchemy. This combination has empowered me to really understand the depths and root causes of mental and emotional problems and why we behave in certain ways or experience certain things. I cannot emphasize enough how life changing having a coach is. Having someone to listen to you and to help you work through emotional challenges is invaluable and I am not the same person I was 20 or even 10 years ago because I had a coach.
Whilst I still enjoy telling stories that make a difference, it’s fascinating to reflect on my journey and how these experiences, along with years of personal development, have lead me on a path towards coaching. Being able to help others through their painful stories, coaching them out of the darkness and into their light using tools and techniques I have learned and developed from my teachers and mentors is incredibly rewarding as I love to see others grow and go beyond their self-imposed limitations.
Emotional Acceptance has a powerful life changing impact because we work through the emotions that are causing the mental and emotional pain so that you come through it having fully owned each painful experience. Once you have owned it fully, it dissolves, once and for all.
If you’re struggling with any mental or emotional issue, I offer a 1-hour introductory session for £50 so that you can experience the power for yourself. I would love the opportunity to serve you with the tools and higher wisdom I have developed in myself.
You can reach me at
T: 020 7871 3641
or book in via my Facebook page: Victoria Hart Emotional Acceptance Coach