EMDR four

Another EMDR session last week, and I’m just mentioning it now because as usual, it threw me for a loop as they say, and I’ve been functioning poorly since then.

The attacks that gave me PTSD happened to me as a very young child, and I blocked out a good deal of it. Because I was so young, the memories that come back are extremely confused. I guess as a young child, I just didn’t know what to make of what was happening, so the experiences aren’t that recognizable. Or something. I don’t know.

So in therapy I talked a bit about my week, and my problems with the walk last Sunday. So Ms T suggested EMDR while I remembered how I felt on the walk when I was exhausted in the middle of it. It’s kind of an emotional experience – one emotion, exhaustion (if that’s an emotion) leads to another, anger, which leads to more anger and then hurt and sadness.

I saw some images but they were fairly benign – I was on a family outing for instance.

Ms T stops every minute or so (she’s waving her arm in front of me and I’m following her hand with my eyes) and checks in, so I tell her what is happening. I simply breathe, follow her hand, and allow emotions or whatever to surface.

After a few of these check-ins, I’d had enough. I knew I would not be functional at home, so even though Ms T encouraged me to continue, I decided I’d had enough.

I seem to be remembering the edges of the experience – I seemed to be trying to tell my mother about it, and she got angry with me, because I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to explain the problem. My mother is not comfortable with emotions anyway, and I’m sure she would have been angry at this unexplained upset. My mother cared – she wanted me to tell her what the problem was, but when I couldn’t, she got angry with me. Which probably caused me to implode – not to bother trying to tell her what was wrong, but keep it inside as much as possible.

After therapy, I’d planned to listen to a guided meditation tape I have bought for the purpose of calming down and feeling less distressed. I didn’t. It turns out you need some degree of hope to listen to a meditation tape, and that hope was lacking. I just curled up in bed and stayed there for the rest of the day I think. Maybe I slept some. Actually listening to a meditation seemed beyond my strength.

Friday I again came down with stomache distress, so hung out in bed mostly. I did find listening to our public radio was doable – I actually had a lot of patience, and listened to some programs I usually find boring. Even the late night ‘new music’ program held my interest. I could have emotional pain, but also listen, which was good. To do more, I would have had to suppress everything, but just listening hit the spot.

This time, by resting a lot, I didn’t come down with a full blown illness, yahoo. I’m maybe getting the hang of this. Kind of riding the wave somewhat.

Wednesday I again have therapy, and am not sure I want to go back to EMDR. Friday I have an interview for a contract, and cannot be in despair at that time, for one thing. I’ll see. Maybe I’ll ask Ms T how long she sees this EMDR process lasting. Probably she’ll say she doesn’t know.

Recovering from therapy kind of takes all week.

Fractal image from: Digital Expressionism

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6 comments
  1. Susan said:

    You are very brave Ellen. I understand what you mean that it takes all week to recover from therapy. You are doing the very hard work.hugs for you.

  2. Ellen said:

    Thanks Susan, you are so supportive. It's hard to explain and I'm glad you understand. hugs.

  3. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,It does sound a very draining process. You show a great resolve to keep going through it knowing what you will have to deal with afterwards. It must be a little frustrating to when you are on the verge of capturing something but just can't grasp it- in this case a past memory. Is the purpose of the EMDR to bring that memory out of hiding and/or to learn how to change your emotional reaction to it?I hope the interview goes well for the contract. Take care of yourself and rest until then.All the bestNechtan

  4. Ellen said:

    Hi Nechtan,Yes it is frustrating, but at the same time I can only cope with a little at a time so I'm not pushing it. Why the heck am I doing it? Yup, good question. Because I want the symptoms I am having to go away. Currently I have bits of this coming back during my regular life, and I want that to stop. That's the main reason. I always ask this question during the process, and Ms T's answer is that we're trying to get stuff moving through my system so I can process it and be done with it. Currently it is stuck.Thanks for the good wishes – I'll do that, cheers.

  5. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,I can see the sense it that. It becomes a habitual reaction every time until we can deal with it and let it go. If only dealing with it meant one sitting and we were guaranteed it would work. The hardest part, for me anyway, with any therapy is keeping the belief that it is the right way when things don't appear to be getting any better. At least you have visitors here who have been there and done it which is why blogging is a great thing.All the bestNechtan

  6. Ellen said:

    Hi Nechtan,Yes, if only. Especially I'd like it if it was only one sitting, with or without guarantee. I feel I can handle most anything if I just have to do it once. Yeah, blogging is pretty great. I know my experience is not out of the ordinary and that things often get worse before they get better. Thanks Nechtan

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