It may seem like an odd phrase, or statement. Especially when speaking about EMDR therapy, but when I explain. It’ll make more sense.
All I have to say is that if/when you do EMDR. Do you research. Find an awesome therapist, someone you can trust, someone who knows what they are talking about and someone who has patience with you, and can gently guide you in a direction that you will have to go.
With that said. When you go through EMDR, they usually have you pick two phrases. One is what is something that you associate with the event. I.E. Guilt, I could have stopped it, I should have done something, etc. The second would be the opposite, so the positive. Something to replace the bad in your mind.
Throughout the process, we had one thought for my positive. After my session this week, after a few derailments. We came to the conclusion, due to the derailments, that my positive phrase changed. It’s not what we thought it should have been. And that is ok. The mind is complicated. It never works quite right for everyone all the time anyways.
It was difficult playing the “film” in my head over and over again, and then letting my mind just go with it. You know, the bi polar, and anxiety in me not letting me give up control, but I did it. I have to. I can’t keep having flashbacks.
They started to return in July. Not to a full extent like they used to, but they caught me off guard for sure. They were more vivid than they were before as well. That’s why my therapist and I think this is the perfect timing to forge ahead with this. After my first session. I’ve had one flashback, no nightmares (that I remember), yet, only minor issues with most sounds (other than the ones I can’t seem to desensitize myself to yet), and…..darn it…my fickle memory. I’ll remember eventually.
Oh, yea, I’ve been able, for the most part, to keep the memories in their little locked boxes in the recesses in the back of my mind where I don’t wanna say there are spiders and cobwebs, but there probably is.
Also, I wanted to give a little tip out there to those of you who may be going through EMDR. If you find a moment when you are “stuck on the train” and can’t get past the image. I had one moment where it did this. I imagined myself being blown away, out the door by a very strong wind. It helped. It moved my brain forward. It got my brain into motion. (I will share whatever little tips/tricks that have helped me like this when I can for when my brain gets stuck.)
Derailment? AHHHH, yes. You wonder what I am talking about. Derailment. Such an odd, ODD thing. To go from this harsh crazy memory. Something that I keep trying to block out in my mind, to all of a sudden having an almost entire clarity of things that were completely filled in. I don’t remember walking to the chaplain’s car, but apparently, I was escorted there. The paramedics apparently checked me out on the front porch before that, I don’t remember that. My memory stopped from the time I saw the one paramedic shake his head. My mind was blank. Gone. No more. They said I was cold. I think I was cold on the inside. Not the outside. It may have been December in Colorado, but I didn’t feel the cold. I don’t remember my friend coming up to me to make sure I was breathing ok. I don’t remember any of this. I don’t remember anything up to the point of the cops swabbing my fingers for gun powder residue in the ambulance. Correction. I DIDN’T remember. I remember MOST of it now. And not because someone filled it in. I remember my friends facial features. I remember her scared, worried face. I remember the group of people talking to the side about me. I remember being in a car was claustrophobic. I couldn’t be in a car. I couldn’t. It was too much for me to handle. How was I to handle my life from there?
What do you do with all this new information dumped on you? You follow the rest of the derailments. Just continue. See where they take you. Sometimes you have to let yourself relax enough to allow the brain to just “leave” its head space and go where it needs to.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR TOOLS HANDY BEFORE DOING ANY OF THIS! YOUR TOOLBOX YOUR THERAPIST GIVES YOU IS THERE FOR A REASON!!!!!
Wait, what about the derailment? I got derailed again, didn’t I? Oh, yea. Sorry, apparently my brain does it EVERYWHERE I guess. Well, my brain kept going to things not supposedly related to the subject at hand, and yet they were relevant. It was so weird. It showed odd things about the whole event and myself. My support system, my inner strength, my ability to get through 5 years of “self therapy”, by doing my own desensitization, and doing my own research on everything. My own therapist was surprised I was as far as I was with everything I did on my own, but with all my “smarts” as she put it, it will be my downfall as well. It will be what holds me back. I think it’s my inner control demon that I can’t seem to control. Wait, does that even work???
This is not the hardest thing I have gone through. I’ve already been through the hardest thing that I’ve had to face so far in my life. (I know I will have more in the future.) But I have to do this for myself. I have to heal, move forward, make myself better, to make my future better. The only way to do that, is to reach out for the continued help that I couldn’t finish on my own. I am thankful I found such a great place to do so in my little sanctuary of the world. My therapist is great, and I am glad I found her.
I AM STRONG! I will not break. No matter how long I’ve been strong, I will always been strong. I have two beautiful women giving me very strong examples of strength.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger
I WILL NOT SURRENDER!!! Which reminds me. I volunteered to help photograph the Out of Darkness Walk being held here in the Twin Cities in September! Look out for pictures then!!!! Also, check out @mugglearts on Facebook for our Internal Strengths Project. We haven’t had follow through for people on appointments yet, but it is hard for many which is understandable. If you know anyone willing to join us in spreading the word around the Twin Cities in Minnesota, PLEASE let them know!
If you search, you don’t find much about EMDR therapy from a patient’s point of view. It won’t be an easy feat, but I decided, I wanted to share my experience with everyone here. It’s about time I added to my journey from 2012 on here. To maybe either conclude it with a good ending, or to make it a little better. I have started the journey, but haven’t gotten too far in. We started with my first session 2 weeks ago. We will see what this session brings this week. I know it will bring up a lot, but this will help a lot in the long run. I am hoping that this will help some who will be going through EMDR therapy or thinking of going through EMDR therapy, from the patient’s point of view. I want to give them encouragement and let them know they are not alone in this process.
I hope whomever is reading this gets understanding and hope. And know you are not alone in this process!