Chapter 2   -  From Bad Billy to Dr. Hugh

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Perhaps because of my childhood sexual experiences, I became quite sexually precocious in my early teens. Although I experimented a great deal sexually, I never took advantage of anyone. Sensitized early to abusive, coercive behavior, I was always careful the situation, the girl, and the sex were safe. By age 16, I was quite mature for my age and began dating women in their middle to late 20´s. I escorted these women to several of the Palm Springs night clubs frequented by Hollywood celebrities and Palm Springs socialites. Soon, I became a regular, invited to private parties held at the clubs after hours. These parties were frequently little more than orgies, and while I became friends with a lot of the homosexual and bi-sexual entertainers who attended them, I knew I was most definitely heterosexual.

    My early sexual experiences with males were negative experiences for me. Not because they had been homosexual experiences, for children often explore within their own genders, but because I had been manipulated, used, and my protests ignored. Such experiences constitute sexual abuse. The shame, anger, guilt, and sense of betrayal, I harbored from those experiences stayed with me for many years and affected me in many ways. Some of those ways were quite convoluted.

    A curious and adventurous boy, I was nicknamed "Bad Billy" by a family member. One day, I took a rattlesnake (live, but contained in a one gallon glass jar) on the school bus for my biology teacher, Mr. Batley, who´d asked for "interesting specimens" for class. I proudly showed it to Mr. Batley, who was also the school bus driver, by shoving the jar close to his face. Screaming, he slammed on the brakes, which threw me off balance and caused me to drop the jar, which shattered as it hit the floor. Instantly, girls were standing on the seats and screaming. Boys were shouting and whooping down the aisles. I was chasing after one scared rattlesnake slithering under the seats. After I finally caught it (you grab a rattler quickly behind the head to catch it), Mr. Batley threw me off the bus and left me standing there, holding my rattler. I had to walk to school. I left the rattler behind. He was happy to stay.

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    After that, everyone began calling me "Bad Billy". The funny thing was, I secretly believed the moniker was given me because I´d been sexually molested. Even though I hadn´t told anyone, I felt everyone somehow knew anyway and the name was their way of letting me know they knew. Not an uncommon feeling in sexual abuse survivors. "Bad Billy" began to feel, deep inside, he really was bad.

    Years later, rather late in my professional career, I realized the name Bill ~ which I´d been called all my life ~ reminded me at a deep level of "Bad Billy". That name, after all those years, still bothered me deeply. So I changed my name, insisting I be called by my given name, Hugh. Interestingly, those who knew me by Bill and couldn´t seem to adjust to my "new" name, drifted out of my life. I was glad. I was happy to put "Bad Billy" behind me.

    There have been positive benefits from my early abuse. My experiences sensitized me to the feelings of others, which has been valuable in my clinical practice. I have worked a great deal with survivors of abuse of all kinds and have worked extensively with sexual abuse survivors. I am able to tune in readily to people who have experienced abuse - even if they themselves are not consciously aware of it. I can often guess what the abuse consisted of and at what age - and will most often be right. However, I take great care, because of this, to clear my mind of any preconceptions when dealing with clients so as not to influence their minds or feelings.

    Nevertheless, as a clinician and keen observer of human nature and behavior, I cannot help but note the common bonds linking survivors of abuse. Whether that abuse is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, verbal, or sexual, and whether it is short-term or long-term, the scars run deep and link people of all ages and gender. Very often the shame, anger, and guilt are so deeply rooted there is an inward need for punishment. That need destroys many lives.

    It has been my life´s work to save lives. As a boy, made responsible for the death of my beloved animals, I´d determined I would become a healer. Because of my interest and skill in communicating with animals´ minds, I figured I would become a veterinarian with a psychological bent. However, as I grew, I became more interested in people, so I entered medical school instead.

    It didn´t take me long to become disenchanted with the medical profession´s bias for cutting, burning, and poisoning the body. Discouraged, I wondered when we would be taught "real" healing. Then I took an elective class in medical hypnosis taught by a man named Dave Elman. I was so impressed with the seeming ability of a person to heal quickly with only the power of the mind, I left medical school and obtained a Doctorate in Behavioral Science from the University of Southern California. Later, I added a Doctorate in Religion. Later still, as I became more and more fascinated with Metaphysics, I obtained a Doctorate of Metaphysics from the University of Metaphysics in Los Angeles.

   I chose not to practice psychology. The licensing methods of the governing board were restrictive and controlling. They wanted to tell me how I could and could not work with people and wanted me to fill out endless paper work for the privilege of controlling me. (In my opinion, the medical field ought to have taken a look at THAT situation and stopped it right there. We´d be a lot better off today, both patients and doctors.) Besides, I´d already discovered that clinical hypnosis was the most powerful tool available for guiding clients into healing states. So I opened a practice as a clinical hypnotherapist. As word spread of the powerful change and healing being demonstrated through my work, I began being asked to teach other professionals, including medical doctors and psychologists, my "technique".

    My so called technique was then - and remains today - teaching others to take responsibility for themselves and their own lives. After working for the past 40 years with literally thousands of people, I KNOW that those who hope and wait for others to save or to heal them are lost. No-one can save or heal another. I have asked many of the medical doctors with whom I´ve studied, worked, and associated if they have ever really healed anyone. After some reflection, they have (with only one exception) answered: "No, I just keep people alive. They do the rest themselves." Healing, I believe and observe, is an inside job.

    It is the same with mental and emotional healing. Most people go to a therapist to be "fixed." The problem with this is twofold: 1) It promotes the mind set that the self is broken. 2) It turns responsibility for the self over to another. While many therapists - whether licensed or unlicensed - are skilled and sincere, others are not. I often remark to the therapists I train that the word "therapist", when separated, is "the rapist". Therapy, when done badly, can feel like a rape, and do just as much damage.

    I have come to think of myself not as a therapist or a healer, but as a teacher. I teach what I have learned about the body, the mind, the soul, and the spirit so that others can use my knowledge to heal and improve themselves. I know a great deal and have a great deal to share and to teach. Perhaps the most important message I have to teach is this: Thought creates all that there is. Negative thoughts, whether conscious or hidden, block the unlimited potential for good and promote imbalance of the mind, the body, and the spirit.

    No-one likes to admit to negativity. Certainly, I don´t. But the fact is, we all harbor negative thoughts and emotions that continue to keep us "stuck" in many areas. While my clinical practice continued to grow and flourish, my personal life did not. When my second marriage became stuck in negativity, I knew it was time to investigate the lack of satisfaction I experienced in my intimate relationships. While there are always many contributing factors leading to the demise of relationships, I was determined to uncover the limiting negative thoughts and emotions I was contributing to my marriages.

    That proved difficult to do. While it is true that self-healing is an inside job, it is also true that the mind is capable of setting up powerful resistance to changing "old" patterns of thinking and behavior, even if they are counter-productive. Thus the need for a skilled and knowledgeable therapist to help move one past ones own outer and inner resistance. I needed a therapist who worked with the tools I knew worked. I needed a clinical hypnotherapist. However, while I had trained hundreds of clinical hypnotherapists, none of them possessed my level of skill and knowledge. Of course, none of them had my years of experience either. I tried working with a few "conventional" therapists near me, but became impatient with their more limited techniques. I did know of colleagues who used similar methods and techniques to mine, but they lived at such distances it was impossible to work with them. Even clinical hypnotherapy requires repeated visits for deep rooted healing and change. So I began to work with my personal physician, Warren Jacobs, M.D.

    Dr. Jacobs is a true healer. While it is true that no-one can heal another, there are people who can do much to facilitate the healing process. Dr. Jacobs is such a person, and we began to work with a technique we´d learned in a class together called Touch For Health. This technique, pioneered by Dr. John Thie, utilizes the meridian energy flows to help people get in touch with their emotions.

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All material © by Pamela Chilton 2001