It is funny isn’t it? Just how much certain experiences in our younger years affect who we become. It never ceases to amaze and interest me… Of course we all know that we are affected by things that happen to us… Even though my Grandfather worked on a farm all his life, I grew up with a fear of cows and got terrified every time I went with him to fetch milk in the mornings… All thanks to them charging in a field once when we were walking past…

I worked with a butcher who — in the latter part of his career — developed a phobia of blood due to something that happened in his childhood, which was only really triggered later on in life… yet still affected him much later… after years of being a butcher!

So I wanted to point out something interesting that I read today…

Here is what this hypnosis article at Suffolk and Essex online had to say:

A TERRIFYING childhood experience with a shark has not dissuaded a Suffolk paramedic from a cross-channel swim in aid of charity.

Mark Ransom has sought hypnotherapy to help him out in the open sea should he find himself in similar circumstances to his close encounter with a shark off Clacton at the tender age of 14.

Now 38 years old, the paramedic from Bury St Edmunds believes it was just a basking shark but he has still sought professional help to put the experience behind him for the upcoming swim in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

He said: “When I was 14 I was out swimming quite a way out at Clacton when it swam up to me and my brother. At the time I didn’t know what it was — it was just a huge shark.

“It was touching both of us and we were swimming 10 feet apart. We screamed our heads off.

“After that I haven’t liked to be out of my depth. But when this channel swim came up I realised it was something I had to overcome.”

In addition to the shark “threat” he is also receiving hypnotherapy to help him deal with the cold and remaining calm during the endurance challenge.

He admits the threat of the cold even in mid June will be his greatest worry: “I started training last June. Most of it has been in the pool although I’m also doing some sea swimming now.

“I did three-and-a-half hours down at Dover. It was very cold. I’m probably going to be in there for 12 to 14 hours. I will start at Dover in England and hope to land somewhere between Calais and Boulogne in France. I will swim approximately 26 miles in cold sea across the busiest shipping lane in the world.

Now that is some childhood experience to have gone through, isn’t it? I am guessing that most people placed in a similar deep sea experience as a youngster would have some remaining effects and influence from such an experience.

And this is my point today… When we go through something, especially a large, emotionally charged or traumatic event such as feeling stranded at sea with a shark swimming around your legs, then that highly emotional, charged experience gets coded as that exact experience, at that age. It is etched finely into the brain and remains coded and etched that way, even many years later; we still carry around the experience as it happened, at the age it happened.

The beauty of modern psychological interventions such as hypnosis and related fields, is that people get to alter their perspective of the event, reprocess it, get their brain updated and of course, allow themselves freedom from old experiences that can hinder our progress through life.

I was delighted to read this story, Mark Ransom strikes me as a brave guy and I get the feeling that with the hypnotherapy and his obvious determination, he’ll find his way across the channel for his swim. Good on him!    

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Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂