Of the many people who have claimed benefit from GV, it's possible that only a few people disclosed their history of abuse. Of those who did, here are a few encouraging stories –
Sexually abused as a child/teenager, Zita had sought help for her self-harming behaviour, including around food, “but to no avail”. Wanting to learn a new way of being, she attended two 6-session GV courses. During the second one she found herself writing “I don’t need anybody. I can prove it! My body is larger than life!”.
Then, after engaging with two particular songs, including one that Jill created especially for the course, she realised this was bravado, and that "I don't want to be cut off from my body any more". She did 'homework' every day, and found the songs offered her a way through. She reports realising that she was learning how to allow herself to be supported, including by song.
After the course, Zita realised she could now move through difficulties using GV as a tool – “I feel I have moved on; become more alive ... Allowing ‘negative’ feelings to come out seemed to release me of them and any hold they had on me ... I feel stronger now [and] more trusting of other people. I don’t feel afraid any more: I’ve learnt to let go of fearful habits and replaced them with habits that help me move forward ... [GV] helps me to express and nurture myself." Instead of smoking and drinking to relieve stress, she now uses other means, including “listening and bringing to mind the songs ... This also enables me to feel more powerful."
"Feeling joyful and empowered is a new way of feeling for me.”
More about Zita's story can be found in Jill's article in Positive Health.
Janet, sexually abused in childhood too, wrote to Jill after exploring GV for a few months –
"I realise how far I’ve come given where I started from – overdosing, cutting, bingeing, vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, living in a windowless attic room, apologising for existing. I’ve moved light years.
There is an enormous change in my level of self-criticism. I used to beat myself to a pulp on a very regular basis and I don’t do it half as often or to such an extent. I can feel a contentment in myself that I didn’t have before. I can feel very loving to myself sometimes, without having to consciously ‘work’ on getting in touch with feelings of self-love. They jump up out of the blue on a regular basis and make themselves known. It’s good. I’d never have believed that getting in touch with my voice could have had so many good side effects. ... I’ve taken what was available through our work and I’ve used it to alter my feelings. I’ve drunk from the water you took me to. And continue to drink!"
Janet used to feel that her pain/turmoil was being negated when joy was mentioned. Remarking how this feeling too had lessened through using GV at home, she wrote one day,
“I even felt happy (yes HAPPY) all weekend. What an admission!”
Our book reveals more about Janet's story, and how she – and others – have engaged with song to effect change in their lives.
Janet sent her friend Diane, a fellow-sufferer, a copy of Jill's Songs for Universal Peace and Healing. She wrote back –
“Listening to ‘Old Man’ ['A Song about Finding Peace'] I have the strangest sensation of watching something on the surface yet being aware of a stillness underneath at the same time. It makes me feel very settled inside, peace and contentment spread through me ... I feel everything is OK, there is no need to worry about anything. It gives me a really lovely good feeling. Thank you very much [for the recording]. Jill has a beautiful voice and listening to her songs is like a balm to me inside. It is very healing.”
The story of the song Diane refers to is described in the book, where many others' stories can be found, together with 'Handy Hints' on how to unlock the song's power. The song is often used in GV for Peace, and can be found on our GV for Peace CD too (available for a donation, to aid the promotion of peace).
Another abuse survivor wrote after attending a short course, where the above song was shared, together with a number of others –
“Experienced lots of positive feelings, which I’ve stored within ‘like jewels’ – and which am currently using to sustain myself through a traumatic time. Also gained much clarity and understanding about my life. I feel really able to use what I’ve learnt in the future … I couldn’t get over how I experienced soothing and calm – almost despite myself, I couldn’t get over that. It made me think.”
Some sexual abuse survivors share after a day of GV ...
“I felt confident for the first time ever – for such a substantial amount of time.”
“For the first time, I felt the real me coming up. I couldn’t believe it!”
“Thank you so much for enabling me to feel whole for the first time since I was a very small baby.”
... Some abuse survivors share after a short GV session
“[I learnt] I can deal with issues through voice - it’s more than just an ‘escape’"
“I enjoyed it (and I didn't think I would!)"
"A very calming experience. I feel uplifted and positive"
“A sense of strength and inner peace, joyfulness … a wonderful experience”
“A sense of well-being and healing” “It soothed me and made me smile”
"“Empowerment” "Confidence and Liberation!” "A revelation!”
“Sense of richness, relaxation, happiness”
“Helped me regain some equilibrium and perspective”
“I’ve gained some confidence and also a feeling of optimism. I’ve always felt scared about using my voice”
"I was able to ‘let go’ more”
“I went away with my mind having been gently caressed”
“Thank you so much for enabling me to get in touch with ‘happy’ feelings”