Emotional Trauma and Retinitis Pigmentosa

Written By: ingridricks - Jul• 21•14

Girl running down road

Six years ago I traveled to the Bay area to meet with Dr. Damon Miller, undergo detox and get started on his Better Eye Health home treatment program. I knew from my initial phone consultation with him that his treatment approach emphasized both physical and emotional health. But I was still surprised when he asked me to tell him about my childhood.

I was even more surprised—and embarrassed—when I immediately began sobbing.  I’d spent most of my childhood trying to escape the extreme religion and poverty at home by begging my freewheeling, vagabond dad to take me on the road with him to work as a tool hustler. I finally got my wish at the age of thirteen, when my mom remarried a man who used his religious powers as a weapon to oppress and abuse our family. I began spending my summers hustling tools throughout the Midwest and living out of cheap motels and rest areas with my dad. He became my lifeline and escape.  But the summer after I turned sixteen, he was violently arrested while I was with him.  A highway patrolman shoved a gun against his head and waved it within a foot of mine. Then he dragged my dad out of the car and took the one person I counted on away from me.

The trauma from my childhood was so great that I cried every time I talked about it. So mostly, I just kept the hurt tucked deep inside. But that day in Dr. Miller’s office, everything changed.  Dr. Miller pointed out two very powerful things to me.  First, he noted that I was still carrying around a huge negative energy charge inside of me from events that had happened to me as a teenager—which meant that I was still giving away my power. This bothered me. But it was nothing compared to his next words.  He said, “If you think this isn’t affecting your physical health, you’re crazy.”

The idea that carrying so much anguish inside of me could cause me to go blind was a huge wake-up call for me.  I decided to do whatever it took to get it out and was able to release the trauma by writing my story (now published in my memoir, Hippie Boy), and sharing it with others through radio interviews and podcasts.

Since that time, I’ve done research into epic genetics and the environmental factors such as emotional trauma and stress that can activate a faulty gene and trigger degenerative diseases. I’m convinced there is a correlation between my childhood and my RP. And it makes me wonder if the same holds true for some of you.

During my most recent treatment with Dr. Rosenfarb, he mentioned that he is discovering a similar correlation with many of the RP patients he treats. It seems that many of us have experienced extreme abandonment or trauma.

One of the most important things this healing quest has taught me is that emotional health is key to treatment success.  And I’ve discovered through my own journey and the writing program I’ve helped develop for at-risk teens that the only way to release emotional trauma is to get it out—either through writing or sharing it with someone.

So if what I’m saying resonates with any of you and you need a listening ear, I’m here. I’m also going to continue this discussion in the Facebook Group Determined to See and will be asking Dr. Miller and Dr. Rosenfarb to share their thoughts on this.

Here’s to getting healthy emotionally so we can heal physically.


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  1. Pat says:

    Wow Ingrid. I did not know it. I have RP since my childhood and also have a difficult childhood too, though yours is much worst. I grew up in a family of constant arguments, shouts and in some times even violence between my dad and mum. It was horrible to live there. I always fear that my dad would never come back from work as always there were arguments. I did not know about my RP until I was 18 but my mum always over protect us. I could never go to any school trip with the school. So,I was not at all the popular one, but the strange one who could not go anywhere, also I was so thin and with long legs and some kids laugh at me.

    I reached the University but I could not see the day I could leave my parent’s house. I was involved in some awful relationships, but I just wanted to get married leave my house and have my own family.

    Hopefuly, I managed to save money and buy my own house and my mum did not talk to me for more than a year. I tried to explain her that I could not live there, but she said that my only reason was to take to my house to all boys I met. She was crazy. She wanted to control my life.

    I got married later in life and have a WONDERFUL husband and 2 little kids who are my WHOLE LIFE. My mum is always there, always angry and always trying to control you. She was helpful when my kids were born but you must be greatful for that for the rest of your life and let her control you. It hurts so much when she just stop seeing my kids because I dona want to do what she orders you. I try to control myself and be strong and understand she is this way and will never change. She makes me feel that my RP is a catastrophy coming from my dad side (which is not true, as I am the only one). She is always testing me to see how much vision I have lost and then show me how sad and bad she feels about it. She never allowed me to tell my family my problem, because she said, it was not their business and they dont talk about their lives.

    When I was about to get married I told my dad to divorce, and so he did. She blame on me for this because apart of the huge arguments and make my dad’s life almost impossible, she was happy to get my dad’s money.

    My dad has a new life with a new partner. He is happy and is of some help.
    My brother’s life is spoiled. He changed completly and you can not even talk to him anymore, I have 2 nephews that I dont Know.

    I try to speaking about it, but not always is easy and not always you want to remember

    • ingridricks says:

      Thanks for sharing your story here, Pat. I think it’s awful to be made to feel that you have to hide your RP — and it sounds like there has been lots of stress and trauma in your life. I think finding your voice and speaking out is key to getting this out. I know from my own experience — and from the students I work with – that it is incredibly healing and empowering to just write it out or share your story with someone who will listen. It also helps to realize that other people’s actions have nothing to do with you. It comes from their own life experiences. There is a great book called The Four Agreements…it helped me so much in letting go of the hurt and the past, and just enjoying my own life and the present.

      So glad you are happy in your relationship and the family you’ve created. That’s what counts.Another great book to check out is called The Power of Now. Loved both books.

      Wishing you all the best – Ingrid

  2. Alysa S. says:

    I’ve read your thoughts on this before, and completely agree with what you’ve found. Childhood issues have given me a health condition, as well, I believe. It’s amazing what prolonged stress and fear can do to the body, even long after it’s gone. I am so happy that you got out of your own bad situation, and selfishly, I’m glad that you found that writing was a way to try to work through it today – “Hippie Boy” is such an amazing, beautifully written, inspiring book. But of course, I wish even more than that that you’d never had to go through what you went through in the first place…. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, and for all that you do to help others who are suffering or have suffered.

  3. Ruben says:

    Dear Ingrid. I’ve witnessed healings using anatehoresis methods, (a type of regression technique – no hypnosis) conducted by a Western doctor who has also dabbled in complementary medicines; this technique is immersed in the chain of memories its effects on mental, physical and emotional health of people who did not have a specific diagnosis or treatment in terms of Western medicine, many self-destructive attitudes and ways of life (more or less) were treated with success here in Argentina. Part of similar mechanisms can be read in the book The Emotions Code, Dr. Bradley Nelson, which can be very interesting for you and for those who follow you in this shared path looking heal our view or our loved ones. Thanks a lot.
    I hope I have contributed something (Made With google translator)

    • ingridricks says:

      Im sorry I missed this before, Ruben. Thank you so much for this. I’ll definitely look into The Emotions Code. I know there’s a correlation. Wishing you all the best. – Ingrid

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