Posted by: dylanemrys | January 14, 2008

Afraid to “be seen?”

I just read a post by Peter on his blog about Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and he raised the question of how many of his readers have issues with or anxiety about being seen…that is, doing things that get themselves noticed.

This is an issue for many people, whether or not they identify as an HSP. In the field of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, many individuals have found resolution and relief from this kind of anxiety by identifying and addressing woundings that occurred at the time their mother found out she was pregnant, and during birth.

Upon discovery of being pregnant, if a woman or the father has strong negative emotions, or if their is chronic stress (say, about finances with a baby on the way) it can easily transfer to the consciousness and into the cellular body of the growing fetus. The negative impact then imprints in the system of the individual, and belief systems are formed such as the belief “When I am noticed, bad things happen or people get upset.” Or “I am wrong/don’t belong, I’d rather hide than be seen and be wrong.”

Later, during birth, it is easier for a newborn to interpret difficulty in the birth process as reinforcement of the earlier experience as in, “See? I knew that when I get noticed/show up/get seen I get hurt!”

What we’ve seen when working with clients is that releasing the trauma and shock from the system helps to let go of the imprints and allows more room for different experiences.

I for one have become much more able to show up for myself and for others in many ways upon resolution of this issue.

What do you think?

What do you know about the circumstances in your family when your mother found out she was pregnant with you? Do you have trouble with the concept of “being seen?” Is it frightening for you to be noticed by others when blogging, giving presentations, speaking your mind or being vulnerable in relationships? If you could change it, would you?

Thanks Peter, for the great topic and idea (I am using your “talk back” format, I love it!)



  1. Yes, I have always had difficulty expressing myself, making presentations, etc….also it is a real challenge for me to feel that I belong in a group, that i am accepted for who I am.
    I have had huge life changes over the last 5 years, initially I think I went around in a state of shock for probably a year or so…then I started to wake up to myself. I commenced a roller-coaster of a journey.
    I trained as a craniosacral therapy with Franklyn Sills & was introduced to the concepts of pre & perinatal psychology & am now passionate about learning more…I recently signed up for a baby therapy training with Karlton Terry & was humbled by him working with a 5 month old baby & parents.
    I also feel that our woundings go beyond the prenate thru ancestral memory & soul memory….patterns are played out again & again for an opportunity to be learned from,healed & released.
    Towards the end of my BCST training I discovered that my mother had had a stillborn child when she was 21, before she met my father…I am still integrating that…as a child I always felt I had an older brother & indeed used to ‘imagine’ playing with him.
    This emerging field is potentially a gift to really change people’s lives right from the outset…

    • Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for commenting. It sounds like you’re doing some really great work and healing! Yes, I continue to be amazed and humbled by all that goes on and all that impacts us deeply, from very early and also from beyond body/ancestral/generational experiences.

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